Wednesday, 29 August 2012

PATAS - 13 to 19 August - Brook Avenue HA8

Here is the table of appeal results for this particular week which had a more normal level of activity and an abnormal result, far from the usual 50/50.

Totals 22 6

There was also one case withdrawn which was possibly a tactical move to avoid disclosure of something.
13. Two cases allowed by Order of the Adjudicator.
Another case concerned a parking bay located inside a bus stand which the adjudicator found to be very odd (and so would most motorists who are conditioned to stay away from bus lanes, bus stands and bus stops )
The two refused appeals are our old favourites, parked on the pavement (just don't do it) and missing parking ticket. There are so many of these that I am beginning to wonder if there is a systemic problem.
14. Another case allowed by Order of the Adjudicator and one where the vehicle had been sold but there was no proof so the appeal was refused. If this person was telling the truth why on earth didn't they produce a copy of the sale advert and of the bit of the logbook which records the sale?
15. In the only refusal the motorist said the traffic warden had been too hasty in issuing the ticket but better grounds are needed than that if you are to win.
The cases that were allowed are quite a mix
- an Audi was in a bus stop. It was claimed the driver threw the ticket to the ground, the driver gave conflicting evidence and the adjudicator preferred the driver's viewpoint.
- another case where it was not certain that the parking ticket had been served.
- ditto
- another By Order of the Adjudicator
- someone parked more than 50cm from the kerb (about 18", surely everyone can get within at least a foot of the kerb?) but the photographs were bad quality so that was a lucky motorist. I don't know if a measuring tap is put between your wheels and the kerb as evidence although if you are miles away it may be obvious.
-No evidence filed by LBB/NSL. This is a very poor show.
- the final case on the 15th had been adjourned for evidence to be produced and there was no clear contemporaneous evidence so that was the motorist's pocket saved.
16.  The two allowed appeals were both By Order of the Adjudicator.
The final case concerned lines and signs in Oak Grove NW2 is near Cricklewood Broadway and is an area in which it seems an awful lot of tickets get issued. The appeal was not successful because the adjudicator said that the lines/signs were "substantially complaint". Now it seems odd to me that HMSO go to the trouble of printing a £48 guide to signs and lines which contain exact sizes and percentage tolerances that a sign which isn't compliant can be considered as substantially compliant. If you have one wheel just 1mm on the pavement, or 1mm outside of a marked bay, you won't be allowed an appeal on the basis that you were substantially on the road or in the bay. There really should be some parity in the way the rules are applied.
17. All five appeals were won By Order of the Adjudicator
18. The one refused appeal was for parking on the pavement (come on drivers stop doing this).
Now we come to the case of interest to everyone who has been given a parking ticket in Brook Avenue.
Mr A. raises various points in his correspondence with the local authority. He states that cars regularly park on the footway in Brook Avenue and adjacent streets and are not issued with Penalty Charge Notices. Mr A also states that Brook Avenue is a narrow road. He states that if two cars are parked opposite each other both fully on the carriageway it is not possible for large vehicles such as ambulances or fire engines or local authority refuse vehicles to drive along Brook Avenue. This evidence was supported by Mrs A. She referred to an occasion when cars had to be lifted from the carriageway in order that a fire engine could pass to get to a house on fire. Mr A referred to a further incident concerning a fire engine in his letter to the local authority of 29 January 2012. He also stated that his mother had been in contact with the leader of the local authority about the problems of parking. Mrs A confirmed today that she had spoken to Mr Richard Cornelius. She stated he told her that civil enforcement officer's had been told not to enforce these contraventions.
I accept Mr A's evidence that he parked his car partly on the footway on the evening of 9 December 2011 to ensure that there was sufficient room for emergency vehicles to pass. I accept his evidence that he and other local residents had parked in this way for many years.

The local authority does not state whether it accepts that there is insufficient room in Brook Avenue for large vehicles to pass if two cars are parked in the carriageway although this issue was clearly raised. I find that at the time that Mr A. parked his car he had an expectation that no Penalty Charge Notice would be issued. This was on the basis of previous experience and because had he not parked on the footway a large vehicle could not passed through Brook Avenue.

As I find that Mr A. had a legitimate expectation that no Penalty Charge Notice would be issued I allow this appeal.

If you have paid a parking ticket for footway parking in Brook Avenue I suggest you write and ask for your money back. If you have an unpaid ticket I suggest you ask for it to be cancelled.
In another appeal the adjudicator was helpful and said that when taking a child to see a GP there was a limited onus on the motorist to search for an alternative to search for a pay-by-phone alternative to a bagged meter. Sometimes commonsense prevails and this is as it should be.
Another motorist had received a parking ticket for what was described as de minimis parking next to a dropped kerb. I think that meant he was hardly across any of it and didn't impede access and in the light of no evidence being produced by the council / NSL the appeal was allowed.
The final case allowed is great. Parking ticket dated 2 October 12 (probably meant 11)
Photos dated 3 November 11 (someone fiddling with the camera date?)
On the certified copy of the parking ticket produced to PATAS is it dated 9 October 11.
The photographs were not filed with the adjudicator.
I can see why there was no hesitation in the adjudicator squashing that particular parking ticket.
Barnet Council are somewhat error prone and as NSL use traffic wardens who only earn £8.20 an hour as opposed to the £10 that Barnet Council used to pay they won't necessarily be any more accurate or diligent. This means that it is always worthwhile getting someone who knows what they are doing, e.e., to take a look at your case. The small fee can easily be recouped many times over.
Keep those appeals going.
Yours appealingly
Miss Feezance

Monday, 20 August 2012

PATAS - 30 July to 11 August -

finely balanced
During this fortnight the number of allowed and refused cases were the same at 8 each (after excluding 3 I had seen previously reported). That is the typical outcome except that in 5 cases the appeals were allowed by Order of the Chief adjudicator which shows that Barnet Council / NSL had still not got their acts together to present the necessary paperwork. We are now over 3 months into the contract.

Interesting cases in this period were a taxi driver who couldn't find his passenger and so was deemed to have spent too long on double yellow lines. Parking law is a bit rough on taxi drivers whose passengers may not be model travellers. Another case where a blue badge holder was fined after 3h3m of parking when the limit on a single yellow line is 3h; do you suppose the traffic warden hung around willing time to pass? In another case the photographs and the contravention were contradictory so the ticket was cancelled.

Barnet Council did actually exercise their discretion in a blue badge case but they hadn't properly read the representations made by the motorist the first time around so there was a fair amount of stress for the motorist.

The final case in which the ticket was upheld the vehicle was observed at 10.43, ticketed at 10.46 and the parking was paid for at 10.50. This seems a bit rough as to park and pay the first time can take up to 20 minutes and finding a pay point shop would take at least 7 minutes to find in most locations.

Keep on appealing, you know it makes sense.

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance

Thursday, 16 August 2012

PATAS - 23-28 July - still a car crash

this car was given a ticket!
Barnet Council / NSL are still failing to get the necessary paperwork to PATAS. The motorist gets their ticket cancelled but have had all of the stress.

Totals 11 4
Some notable cases from the week.

23: A ticket cancelled by order of the Adjudicator. This means no paperwork received and more evidence of contract failure.

23: In this case the motorist claimed the address was too general as only a street name, and a long one at that, was specified. That didn't work. However, although not mandatory there were no photographs which is odd and tipped things the way of the motorist. In addition the warden says he gave the ticket to the motorist and the motorist said he didn't. There was enough doubt for the ticket to be cancelled.

23: A motorist who has a blue badge was helping his elderly mother into a nursing home and forgot to put the badge on display. No mercy for innocent error. He has to pay the parking ticket. Being a good Samaritan is expensive.

24: Another by order ticket cancelled.

24: All meters were covered. The motorist paid by phone but still got a ticket. There were not enough signs about how to pay. The ticket was cancelled.

24: The bay markings on the pathway were not clear enough to prove that there was a pavement parking bay so the ticket has to be paid. The failure of the council to make bays clear has worked in their favour this time; on the road it usually goes against them. Only park on the pavement if you are sure you should.

25: A motorist's daughter needed the toilet. He used the loading bay to park in for a few minutes. The ticket has to be paid.

25: The parking ticket recorded an incorrect tax disc number and the other evidence was poor. The ticket was cancelled.

25: The contravention time was recorded as 20:26 but the zone ended at 17:30 so the ticket was cancelled.

26: Another by order ticket cancelled.

26: A personal appearance by the motorist and no show by Barnet Council / NSL. How rude. The ticket was cancelled.

26: A taxi driver was collecting a disabled passenger in a wheelchair. the traffic warden claimed to have observed for 8 minutes. The motorist is allowed time for passengers to board and for the loading of luggage i.e. the wheelchair. The ticket was cancelled.

27: This one is great. The penalty issued was that the motorist had parked after the expiry of paid for time. The motorist had not paid at all so he was given the wrong category of ticket. The ticket was cancelled. A lucky escape for that motorist.

The contract is still going very badly at the end of the first quarter of the year. How long does it take to get your act together. What does this tell us about what the huge customer services and development and regulatory services handovers will be like, massive disasters for £100m pa.a. of services.

Keep putting those appeals in.

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance

Monday, 13 August 2012

NSL in a fix

a pristine unused plastic wallet - backing still attached
I have now discovered why cases are going to PATAS where the motorist says they never received the ticket i.e. there was not a ticket on their car when they returned to it. The reason is that the tickets are not being fixed to the vehicle.

What does "fixed" actually mean. Well given that pretty much every borough uses the little yellow plastic wallets which have a sticky back under a peelable paper cover then I would say that means that the parking ticket should be placed inside the plastic wallet and then stuck to the windscreen. The wallet I have obtained was given to my by a friend and was merely tucked under their windscreen wiper blade from which it is possible that it could escape in the wind or be picked off by a mischievous passer-by.

It looks to me like the traffic wardens under the control of NSL are not following the rules properly.

The standard of their work, considering that they are meant to be experts in their field (if not, why were they given a contract)  looks to be below par to me. Look at the reverse of the parking ticket which tells you how to pay. Can you read it? The front was absolutely clear but the back of the ticket is unreasonably feint.

This is not equitable for the motorist.

Keep on challenging those tickets.

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance

Thursday, 9 August 2012

PATAS - motorists rejoice

Another week in which things largely went the way of the motorist thanks to the lacklustre performance of NSL & Barnet Council

Totals 14 9
The two cases on 16 July were allowed as the applicant was no longer the registered keeper. You would have thought that these cases should have been sorted out by the council long before the PATAS stage. The poor photographic evidence submitted by the council / NSL also got a mention.

On 17 July a case of parking on single yellow led to a cancelled ticket. There was poor signage at the site and both signs presented their case poorly (the motorist can surely be excused for that as they don't do it very day, hopefully) and unloading was occurring which is allowed.

The second allowed case was because the council didn't produce all necessary documents including the original representations of the applicant.

Although the third case was refused the Adjudicator asked Barnet Council to cancel the ticket because in a shared use bay the ticket machine was out of order and the motorist's phone was out of battery.

Three tickets cancelled on 19 July because in one case the council / NSL did not produce any documents, in the second there was no evidence that the ticket was served and in the thrid the council didn't produce evidence of the zone entry signs.

Three of the cases on the 20th were allowed by Order of the chief adjudicator which will be because of the lack of paperwork from the council / NSL. The final cancelled ticket was because the council / NSL notes say both that the ticket was handed to the driver and that it wasn't handed to the driver!

The refused case was unfortunate. The motorist had rented the car and there was not a ticket on it when he returned. He asked to pay at the 50% rate and the council would not exercise its discretion and this is a matter that the adjudicator does not have the power to deal with. Rather mean of the council though as in the case of rented vehicles there are extra communication difficulties.

Saturday 21 July was quite busy (very good of PATAS to offer Saturday hearings I think).

The first ticket was cancelled by order of the adjudicator.

The second ticket was at the infamous dropped kerb in Trinder Rd (near Barnet Hospital) which is now the subject of a campaign for the double yellow lines to be extended to make the situation clearer. Case no. 212019669A which you can look at on the PATAS website here in the "search" section was based upon the kerb being covered by foliage. The photographs from Barnet Council / NSL were poor and the Adjudicator recommended that the double yellow lines should be extended. He did not have the power to cancel the ticket but this was a genuine mistake and he suggested the council cancel the ticket.

There was another case where the motorist got back to the car and the ticket was not there. I am starting to think that the traffic wardens put them on the car, photograph them and then remove the ticket. Any film of one doing that would be dynamite ( like those bin men throwing cement and planks into a council bin lorry at our expense ).

Unusually I am now going to put the name of one of the motorists on the blog because it might help him. His appeal was refused. Here is part of the reason why.

He admits his vehicle was at the location but he states that he heard a noise as he was driving on the main road so he stopped to check the vehicle as he was unsure whether it was safe for him to continue driving. He explains that he was concerned for his own safety as well as that of others. He states that he was by the vehicle checking the exhaust when the civil enforcement officer appeared from nowhere and affixed a Penalty Charge Notice to his vehicle. He states he protested and the civil enforcement officer continued to take photographs. He states he spoke to his mechanic who stated that it was probably the exhaust and he drove it to his mechanic the next day. He produced an invoice from Tony Autos of 105B Upper Clapton Road London E5 9BU dated 28/07/2011 for a Mercedes R27UBY. His vehicle registration mark is in fact R271UBY.

The funny thing is that the registration number against which the appeal has been recorded on PATAS is R27UBY so if that is correct the parking ticket has the incorrect registration number on it and so is not enforceable. If you know Joe Nwachukwu please ask him to look at the parking ticket again and go back to PATAS.

Another person's Saturday was made (as they won their appeal) but also wasted as the council / NSL did not produce the required documents. If they knew that was the case they should have told the motorist. I would be looking for compensation if it were me.

In another fine piece of administration the date of the offence was recorded as 26/11/2011 and the date of service as 10/08/2011 which is a procedural impropriety and leads to cancellation of the ticket. I wondered if the council were following a new policy of sending you fines in advance of transgressing to save time and get the money in sooner?

The final case was another missing ticket. Is the glue bad on the little yellow envelopes or is something sinister going on.

Keep those appeals going in.

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance