Thursday, 13 December 2012

PATAS - Loading a toilet isn't loading

for those flush with cash - a toilet shaped house
Yet another bad week for Barnet Council at PATAS with 52 parking tickets being cancelled and 23 being upheld. Notable cases as follows:

On Monday 3 December a person who was unloading furniture and who denied being served with a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) was found to be unloading and had their parking ticket cancelled. There seem to be a lot of cases where the traffic warden says the ticket was HTD (Handed to Driver) and the driver says it wasn't. It is rare for a traffic warden to have to attend PATAS and so they can tell all the lies they like with impunity.

Someone thought they should be let off a parking ticket because they were visiting their landlord to pay the rent. That is nowhere near a valid reason. You have to think of something better than that.

A parking ticket was cancelled because NSL failed to produce adequate evidence of the type of bay that was at issue. The adjudicator said about the evidence from NSL "Method of presenting is less than satisfactory".

In another case of payment being made by phone and applied to the wrong vehicle, which is quite common, the mistake was held to be that of Verrus as they had evidently made the mistake. If you have more than one vehicle and more than one credit card I would pair them up so that you won't be the victim of this sort of error. The PCN was cancelled.

NSL sent a letter saying a parking ticket would be reduced for prompt payment from £60 to £30 and if unpaid it would be increased to £110 which is wrong, the correct answer would be £90. This is a procedural impropriety and for that reason alone the parking ticket was cancelled.

Another case of overhanging a dropped kerb by a tiny (de minimis) amount led to the parking ticket being cancelled.

Tuesday started with 5 parking tickets being cancelled by the Adjudicator probably thanks to no evidence being supplied by NSL.

A PCN for being in a loading bay was cancelled as the PCN was not specific enough about what class of vehicle was allowed. In a similar case the notes and the photographs didn't prove that the vehicle was in a loading bay and so again the parking ticket was cancelled.

Wednesday saw another loading bay case. The evidence on behalf of Barnet Council was described as "thin" and there were no photographs so yet another parking ticket was cancelled.

Evidence seems to be a problem for NSL as it was described as "vague and uncertain" and the parking ticket was cancelled. The motorist faced with a financial penalty is entitled to see justice is done.

Evidence was almost certainly completely absent in the five parking tickets that day which were cancelled by Order of the Adjudicator and another one were the PCN was not produced which amounts to the same thing.

Thursday got off to a good start. Four cases saw parking tickets cancelled by order and the next because there were no photographs and no note of the road fund licence number.

Another motorist was loading equipment and so their parking ticket was cancelled.

The absence of sufficient signs to say the times of operation of yellow lines (at least every 60m) was sufficient grounds for the cancellation of the parking ticket.

A cheque for the 50% amount was not received at the parking office and so the poor motorist has to pay the whole amount. Might I recommend that payment of £1.55 for the signed for service is a good investment to avoid any doubt. We wouldn't want NSL to lose your appeal letter, now would we?

NSL or Barnet Council made a blunder when sending their evidence to the Adjudicator. the first copy PCN said the believed offence was for parking at the wrong time and the second copy PCN (of the same ticket) said it was for foot way parking. They invited the Adjudicator to disregard the first PCN copy supplied in error. He declined and cancelled the parking ticket. Procedural errors seem to be the usual order of things at NSL.

Friday started in the usual way with the Adjudicator cancelling three Parking tickets "By Order" almost certainly because he had no evidence to consider from NSL.

In one of my favourite cases the Adjudicator could see from the photographs that the driver was in the car with the brake on and the engine running. the traffic warden had not made a note of the tax disc number and there was no evidence of the service of the PCN so it was cancelled. the inference is that the traffic warden was over zealous in issuing without sufficient time of observation.

In another cracker the pavement works agent asked residents to park on the other side of the street to make doing his job easier. They complied and got issued with parking tickets. The Adjudicator said that in complying with the reasonable request of the agent of the council there was an expectation that they would not be ticketed and so cancelled the parking ticket.
The argument put forward that a motorist was loading a toilet into their vehicle was not accepted a loading which seems rather harsh as they are heavy and hard to handle. However, there had been a failure to extend the 50% discount period in response to informal representations and that amounted to a procedural impropriety which meant that the parking ticket got cancelled anyway.
Yet another administrative blunder saw a Notice of rejection issued on 31 August followed by a Charge Certificate on 3 September. This was far less than the 28 days that should have been allowed. The Adjudicator described the Charge Certificate as "an unlawful demand for money" and thus a procedural impropriety and the parking ticket was cancelled.
Do keep the appeals coming. Sending cases off to PATAS is not profitable for the council. Each appeal at PATAS costs them £44. The average ticket is worth about £90. So they paid out £3,300 last week and will recover £2,070 at the most as not everyone will pay the upheld parking tickets.
Yours appealing
Miss Feezance

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