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So here we are at the end of of the fith month of the contract with NSL and you would really expect the contract to be running sweetly by now. If it was the score out of 28 appeals would be about 14 each but the public are stll giving Barnet Council / NSL a good seeing to.
Let us run through the week as usual and highlight any useful cases.
Monday 24. The first 3 cases were allowed by Order of the Adjudicator. This is for lack of evidence.
The next case was allowed because the signage was inadequate - plenty of that in Barnet.
Another case was refused as the motorist had put the wrong registration number into the system. A genuine error like that should not cost £60. You don't even get your parking charge back but I think people should write and ask for it. Once the council have extra work to do they might start to make less miserable and mean decisions. Imagine if senior management had to pay £60 for every mistake they made; even their excessive salaries wouldn't cope.
Another case was quite interesting as it centred on whether the 2012 or 2013 permit was showing in the car windscreen. Now let's think about this, there is no doubt that the resident had renewed their permit and all we are arguing about is whether it arrived on time and/or was displayed on time. Now that its what I would call a minor technical point (sounds like pettifogging bureaucracy) , the resident has done what is required of him/her and paid for their permit. They should not then have to go through a 3 stage appeal process to avoid payment of a fine that should have been cancelled as soon as it was seen that the permit had been renewed.
Two more cases of allowed by the Adjudicator.
The final case concerned pavement parking. It is allowed in part of the street that not the section that the motorist chose. Fair enough, your appeal failed.
Tuesday 25. Another appeal allowed by Order.
The rejected appeal is an interesting one. It concerned an out of date permit and was lost because there is no legal requirement to send a reminder, per Barnet Council (or NSL on heir behalf). That looks like it was due around the end of April a time when it is known that something went wrong with the reminder system and they were not issued. It is also custom and practice that the council send reminders and PATAS should have also been told this by the council. It is normal in court cases to have to disclose all material in favour of and against your argument. In my view the council / NSL have been less than honest in continuing with this case. If you get a ticket like this refer to custom and practice and that you were relying on the council.
What the council have done is profit from their own incompetence which is somewhat unsatisfactory.
Wednesday 26. Five appeals were allowed because the documentation pack was not produced by Barnet Council / NSL. On the sixth case the authority ( i.e. Barnet Council / NSL ) submitted a Do not Contest form on the day of the hearing. The applicant arrived for the hearing and this can only be because no-one from Barnet Council / NSl had the good manners to tell the motorist. What excuse can there possibly be for a public body to treat a citizen so badly (this is not the first time that this has happened and is contemptible behaviour. The motorist has lost half a day of their life and been put to expense.
Thursday 27. Eight cases. Four won / four lost.
The first case was allowed by Order.
The second concerns a civic minded person delivering donations to Barnados and as he has more readers than me I am telling Mr Mustard about this case and I hope he will blog about it this week.
The third concerned a person who tried to pay by phone and it didn't work and they were unable to speak to a real person. The photograph supplied by Barnet Council / NSL was after the event and you couldn't read the dign in it. There were no contemporaneous photographs. The appeal was allowed (must have been an easy decision).
In the next case and old gentleman working in his fruiterers was bit slow to unload his fruit and the traffic warden says he observed the vehicle for 6 minutes but the Adjudicator said he should have been given more leeway in view of his age. Older people everywhere note this for your appeal. The adjudicator is more human than the council.
The next case was a ticket issued on a single yellow line opposite Angelo's in the High Rd at Whetstone (just south of B&Q - I have eaten there, it is really good). Why does the council enforce on Bank Holidays? not just for the money surely?
The next appeal was lost as the motorist thought they were on private land and they were on the road. OK.
Case 7 was a motorist who said they were not on a yellow line but there are photographs. He lost. He was unlucky that he was one of the appeals that the council / NSL did manage to get their act together for. You did cost the council the £46 cost of the appeal though thus reducing their profit.
The final case was for being parked on the crossover section of the highway and although if the grass verge is wide enough for a car to park and not block the pavement or the road the council are still precious about it even though that piece of land is effectively yours to use alone.
On Friday 28 two appeals were allowed, one by Order. The second case related to an expired permit and the motorist had been told of the software failure by Barnet Council so why, when they knew of this failing, did they not simply cancel the parking ticket. The motorist attended the hearing and Barnet Council / NSL had failed to produce all of the appeal documents and that is why the appeal was allowed.
Saturday 29 was a lovely case. The motorist had paid by phone. They had been at a medical appointment. They came back to their car and felt a bit wobbly. They ran 2 minutes over on the time paid for. A warden wandered up, had a chat and said not to worry. Later, a parking ticket arrived in the post! I can feel the burning injustice from here. How mad would you be. Next time a traffic warden offers you something, get them to write it down or tape them on your camera phone.
Overall a good week for motorists and a bad one for Barnet Council / NSL.
Keep banging those appeals in.