Thursday, 6 September 2012

Ticket that Ambulance (PATAS cases 20 -25 August)

No commonsense in Camden as well as in Barnet
There were only 12 appeals heard at PATAS in this week and normally the score would be 6 all. As usual, Barnet Council / NSL failed to pull their weight and the outcome was 8 tickets cancelled and 4 upheld.
An appeal was successful from an applicant who renewed her permit on 29 April and received it on 3 May. Needless to say on 2 May she got a parking ticket. It was suggested she could have printed the new permit out at home (not everyone has a printer Barnet Council). The council ignored the informal representations that were made which is rude and not businesslike if nothing else. As it happens they issued the parking ticket and the Notice to Owner on 2 May so were guilty of procedural impropriety (or incompetence).
There was another case of the parking ticket not being on the car when the motorist got back to it. It is very worrying how often this is the case.
Three appeals were allowed by Order of the Chief Adjudicator which usually means there has been a failure by Barnet Council / NSL to produce the necessary paperwork.
There was procedural impropriety in another case where Barnet Council / NSL did not produce a copy of the informal appeal letter so the appeal was allowed and the parking ticket was cancelled.
A motorist who appealed on the grounds that the lines and/or signs were not proper was lost on the grounds that they were substantially compliant. I don't like this concept of the council's lapses being acceptable but not the ones made by the motorist.
One poor chap got a ticket because his car got stranded by snowfall away from home when it was snowing and by the time the roads were clear enough to safely drive on and he could get back to his car he had a parking ticket. The tribunal assumes that in bad weather you will be able to stop what you are doing, your work maybe (air traffic controller, theatre nurse, pharmacist etc) and run off there and then to get your car back. 48hours leeway really should be given after snowfall.
An appeal was allowed because the council's / NSL's photographs of signage were unclear and inadequate.
One evidently annoyed motorist, Mr M, applied for £1,311 in costs. The case was withdrawn by the council / NSL before the hearing probably in an effort to frustrate the application. It was lost anyway. The council has to have behaved unreasonably before costs are awarded and it is rare.
One case had to be refused because there were no valid grounds of appeal but the Adjudicator was recommending the council cancel the ticket because the motorist was looking after parents of 87 & 84 and two young children and also had to drop off their aunt and the lift in her block was broken hence the car was left for a little longer than usual.
Finally a parking ticket was issued to a supposedly Heavy Goods Vehicle parked overnight except that it wasn't an HGV it was an ambulance (weights less than 5 tonnes). You would think the traffic warden might have noticed and that some commonsense might well have crept in somewhere along the appeal process but that is not an attribute that is sought when appointing staff to look at parking ticket appeals.

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance

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