Monday, 12 November 2012

PATAS - another bad week for the council

The week commencing Monday 5 November was another damp squib, in firework terms, for Barnet Council and NSL. Of the 56 parking tickets contested at PATAS the independent adjudicators cancelled all but 11 of them.
Notable cases as follows:
Monday 5: 6 cases cancelled by Order of the Adjudicator (usual reason is that NSL have not submitted the evidence pack i.e. not done their job) in 3 more cases a copy of the Penalty Charge Notice (PCN=parking ticket) was not produced which is more or less the same reason and one of those was after a 2 week adjournment had been allowed and in 2 cases the PCN had not been properly served i.e. not stuck to windscreen or given to the driver. In another case the council put the wrong vehicle registration into the system so that ticket had to be cancelled.
Opposite 121 Golders Green Rd is apparently a very good place to catch the disabled out as a bus stop has been extended over the old disabled space and the lines are not clear. The motorist got the benefit of the doubt and hopefully will not park there again.
Pay-by-phone was the source of more trouble. A lady had 3 cars registered and a new debit card which her daughter had wandered off to the shops with. By the time she got her card back, registered it and paid for parking on the correct car 10 minutes had elapsed and a ticket had been issued. The independent adjudicator was sympathetic to the difficulties caused by pay-by-phone probably because he could see that it was a one-off set of circumstances and there was a genuine willingness to pay.
A taxi driver who left his car on double yellow lines whilst he found his passenger was out of luck. You just can't leave your car unattended on double yellows.
Tuesday 6: More failure to supply evidence packs or copy PCNs by NSL.
If you get a parking ticket in Hodford Rd it will be worth your while to get a copy of the TMO (Traffic Management Order) as it seems that a single bay in the Order has been split into 2 pay-by-phone bays with different numbers and so being given a parking ticket for using the wrong code number is not valid.
There was a failure to deal properly with appeal correspondence in respect of a dropped footway in Albert Place, Finchley Central. That was enough to get the parking ticket cancelled. You see, it is worth your while to send letters of appeal.
Wednesday 7: Someone in a bus lane was lucky as the council messed up the submission of their evidence and so the parking ticket was cancelled. Please stay out of bus lanes during the hours that they are in force.
Possibly one of the worst cases I have read about. A lady stopped her car because her daughter, in the back seat, was choking on crisps. By the time she had sorted that out she was in receipt of a parking ticket. Who amongst us is going to find an empty pay-by-phone bay, park in it and then ring up and pay whilst their daughter is choking to death on the back seat? Do councillors know what is being done in their name by traffic wardens employed by NSL?
A parking ticket for being parked in Cricklewood Broadway was cancelled as being the wrong location. I think the motorist was much further down the A5.
A motorist received a parking ticket for being parked on the footway. He claimed victimisation and was told to take it up with the council (being bullied? ask the bully to stop. Now why won't that work?) Best stay off the pavement and out of trouble is my advice.
In an unsatisfactory case a faded yellow line was found to be sufficiently clear. What is sufficiently clear becomes a very difficult question. In the rain lines will be less clear. Lines should always be crystal clear in my view before tickets are issued.
A ticket was cancelled because it was missing from the car, there were no photographs and no explanation as to what had happened. Is this a game that traffic wardens play? think of a registration number and a random street and just put them into your handheld equipment?
A Charge Certificate (which increases the fine by 50%) was issued in error and then cancelled. This did not invalidate the ticket which surprises me as I would have said that was a procedural impropriety. It isn't clear how quickly the cancellation was done. If it was the next day that might not be unreasonable.
A parking ticket was issued to someone for partially blocking someones drive i.e. across a dropped kerb, following a phone call by the resident to the council. The ticket was upheld. Please don't block dropped kerbs of people you don't know.
Thursday 8: Someone claimed there were no signs showing the parking times. The Adjudicator showed the motorist some on google streetmap and upheld the parking ticket. Always tell the Adjudicator the truth.
In a very interesting case to do with pay-by-phone evidence of the fact that the special sign had been properly authorised was not produced and so the parking ticket was cancelled.
Friday 9: In a case where it was disputed that the motorist had been handed the parking ticket it was noted that there was not a description of the motorist. Did you know that traffic wardens made a little note of what you look like because I didn't?
Another appeal was allowed where the PCN had gone missing from the car and there were no photographs. All very odd.
A motorist who was given a parking ticket for parking across a dropped kerb was lucky to get their parking ticket cancelled as it should have been for parking on the footway. Please don't do either.
In a case of damaged signage it was held to be impossible for the motorist to pay as they couldn't read the bay number. The parking ticket was cancelled. This was in the notorious black spot of North Finchley.
Saturday 10: Another nasty mean vindictive case. A motorist was changing his wheel following a puncture and is given a parking ticket. The notes of the traffic warden did not stand up to scrutiny. He said the motorist was not there but he is in the photograph and he appeared in person in front of the Adjudicator. that sounds like a case where costs could be claimed as the behaviour of the council has clearly been unreasonable.
It is clear that you have nothing to lose (the cost of the parking ticket does not increase if you appeal and you have probably already missed the cut-off for paying at the discounted rate) by appealing and everything to gain.
Yours appealingly
Miss Feezance

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