Monday, 15 October 2012

PATAS: has Barnet Council modelled itself on Barnet FC
Oh dear, I see that Barnet FC managed to lose again at the weekend, this time by a score of 4-1.
On Tuesday 2 October, Barnet Council had 5 cases listed for hearing at PATAS and NSL failed to submit evidence packs, a bit like not turning up to play at all, although the pitch was ready and the referee (adjudicator) had remembered the time of kick-off and so the score was 5-0 to the motorist. If the team has turned out the most likely score was 3-2 in either direction.
What else happened that week. On Monday 1st the score was 8-3 to the motorist and 6 cases were awarded to the motorist because of the lack of evidence from Barnet Council / NSL.
One sad case was where a young man borrowed his mum's car and simply texted the location number on the sign plate as instructed because he thought it was a premium rate number. The Adjudicator said he did not give the matter enough deep thought. As the detailed instructions were on the other side of the pole then I have some sympathy for the young man as the time plate does not tell you that there is a second sign on the other side of the pole and being narrow it isn't obvious. The young man has learnt an expensive lesson; not that parking is a tricky matter but that Barnet Council are slippery devils. They could have let him off a first contravention as he is unlikely to make this mistake again.
Another case concerns being parked more than 50cm ( 19 inches ) from the kerb. This offence is to stop double parking but it gets used to penalise sloppy parkers. There were no photographs or a sketch so the parking ticket was cancelled.
More trouble with pay-by-phone in the Bunns Lane car park as the charge was paid after the ticket was issued and the motorist doesn't appear to have made much of a case out so they lost. When appealing you need to provide a clear and comprehensive case.
In a case in Hodford Rd the motorist did not see the sign for their bay so used the one from the other side of the road which is a sure fire indication that the motorist wanted to pay for parking and has acted in a fair and reasonable manner. Not so Barnet Council who have put this motorist to time and inconvenience and made them go through 3-6 months of stress. The adjudicator found that the sign for the bay used was not well located and the siting was not for any obvious reason.  The parking ticket was cancelled. Barnet Council should agree to cancel tickets in reasonable circumstances like these rather than fret about the Special Parking Account being short.
On the Wednesday there was just one appeal and again the evidence pack was not produced so the parking ticket was cancelled.
The Thursday was one of the very rare days since 1 May when NSL took over when the score was in favour of the council, 3-2. It shouldn't have been.
The first case was where a motorist with a dispensation received a parking ticket. This must have been a postal hearing as the adjudicator said it should have been produced by the motorist. Well you don't get an actual piece of paper so you can't produce it but the motorist was not present to tell the Adjudicator that. The council should have been asked to confirm that a dispensation had indeed been issued and the ticket should have been cancelled.
A claim to have been loading was lost as no evidence was produced. A better prepared case might have succeeded.
There was uncertainty in the next case that the PCN was indeed given to the driver so the parking ticket was cancelled.
A case was lost for parking on double yellow where the kerb was marked with no unloading blips. Blips are short lines across the kerb. Even with a blue badge you are not likely to win this one. Don't park on double yellows. Picking up and putting down passengers is fine but don't hang around.
On the Friday there was only one listed case. NSL did not produce a copy of the parking ticket so it was cancelled.
The final tally was 17 to the motorist and 6 to the council / NSL. Another trouncing thanks to a poor effort by the council / NSL.
Will Barnet Council get relegated. It looks bad at the minute.
Will NSL get the sack. Boy do they deserve it. Parking should be kept in-house. It, along with dustbins and recycling, are the most frequent point of contact with the council; they are the human face of the council. Thus, the staff should be carefully chosen for their skill to do, in the case of parking, a difficult and unpopular job. They should not be chosen on the basis that they are prepared to work for the miserable sum of £8.20 per hour.
Keep sending those appeals to PATAS as it costs you nothing and each one costs the council £46. If you have already lost the chance to pay at the 50% rate you have nothing further to lose.
Yours appealingly
Miss Feezance

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