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There was also one case withdrawn which was possibly a tactical move to avoid disclosure of something.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

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