Monday, 30 December 2013

PATAS - w/c 23 Dec 13 - a short week


There were hearings on only 1 day in this week, and 3 cases processed by postal decision on Xmas Eve. The upshot was 14 PCN cancelled and 12 upheld.

The more notable cancellation cases were:

- not clear that the suspension sign was clear and adequate

- the traffic warden was not prevented by some person from issuing a PCN and so the right to serve it by post did not exist

- no clear reason for the existence of a dropped kerb in Grahame Park Way, just because a pedestrian might use it doesn't mean it was for that purpose (there can't be a similar dropped kerb on the opposite side of the road0

- no evidence that the Saracens Event Day zone was properly signed

- a lady who uses the PayByPhone app and only has one registered car was found not to be at fault when payment did not show up.

- formal representations were rejected but they weren't representations

- a blue badge was found to have been on display

- council referred to single yellow lines not double so hadn't properly considered representations

- an adjudicator phoned a witness to confirm the story of a traffic warden having walked off without issuing a PCN (it is unusual for an adjudicator to do this, normally you would submit a signed written statement by the witness or take them along to the hearing).

What will 2014 bring in the way of adjudications? Stay with me to find out.

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance

Friday, 27 December 2013

PATAS - w/c 16 December - the council win 55%

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tjblackwell/3545764529/
It had to happen and finally, just before Xmas, Barnet Council managed to win 55% of the 92 cases that were adjudicated that week (there were also 2 cases subject to recommendation to cancel but I leave those aside as they aren't finished).
 
So for a change I will tell you why motorists lost their appeals and what they might have been able to do about it, if anything.
 
- Being in a bus lane. Stay out of it during the hours of operation (simple but obvious, sorry).
 
- The vehicle was on hire. The hirer didn't provide proof and should have done. The adjudicators are more readily convinced by paper evidence than by mere words.
 
- Claimed the PCN plastic wallet was empty. That may well have been the case but you still need a better argument than that as the Notice to Owner also sets out the alleged contravention details and although the PCN may have been removed by the traffic warden after issue and taken away your chance of paying at the 50% rate, you just have to take that on the chin and start looking for why the contravention did not occur. Traffic wardens doing such a thing could become a thing of the past if everyone who doesn't get their PCN takes it to PATAS which causes extra work and cost for the council. The motorist is already in for the full penalty so has nothing to lose by pursuing an appeal to PATAS.
 
- Claimed to have paid but didn't provide any proof. You need to produce copies of your texts and credit or debit card transactions to show that payment was duly made.
 
- Didn't realise was inside a CPZ. If all the single yellow lines don't have timeplates then you are probably inside a CPZ and you need to track back to the point where you passed a large CPZ entry sign to see what times apply to the single yellow lines (unless they have their own time plate which takes priority) or park in a car park or other pay to park bay.
 
- In a motorcycle bay. Don't park in it unless you are riding a powered two wheeler. It is free to park one in Barnet.
 
- On footpath. Just don't ever put a wheel on the pavement, ever.
 
- Had a blue badge on display but there was a sign saying No Loading. As well as the sign there should also be flashes of yellow paint across the kerb. The missing flashes, or the missing sign, could be your escape route from such a PCN.
 
- Across a dropped kerb. Don't park across a dropped kerb except with the permission of the householder and only then outside CPZ hours (OK if outside a CPZ with permission at any time) and only when the dropped kerb serves one home. If you are visiting a block of 4 flats where only one person drives you cannot park across the dropped kerb even with the permission of that one driver. The council should only issue PCN for dropped kerbs serving one home at the request of the home occupier. If you are genuinely parked get the home occupier to write to the council and ask them why they are giving out PCN when not requested and put a copy of this letter in your evidence to PATAS.
 
- Witness statement TE9 submitted but not supported by evidence of prior appeal. If you file a witness statement to take the PCN back to an earlier stage and say that you submitted representations i9n response to the Notice to Owner then be ready and prepared to produce them. If you didn't keep a copy (which you always should) then do your best to produce what your memory says you sent and when you sent it. The council don't have a copy after all. There is no point in filing the TE( and then not providing backup to your case; you will simply be told to pay the PCN although the 50% uplift and the extra £7 will probably go away (but not if you have abused the procedure).
 
- PaidByPhone for the wrong vehicle. Go online and tidy up your vehicles if you get a new one, delete the old one to stop it happening. If you have more than one then double check every time you pay or try to use debit/credit card meters if there are any because that way the error cannot occur.
 
- Vehicle parked more than 50cm from the kerb. This contravention is hard to argue against. Check the council's photos online and make sure the entire car is that far away, a single part of the car that is less will stop the PCN. So don't park in the middle of the road on some white cross hatchings and do park reasonably close to the kerb at all times.
 
- Permit falls off the windscreen. It is the failure to display that is the offence not the failure to buy a permit. Always attach your resident permit to the windscreen using the backing it comes with (it will last at least a year) or if you print out your own permit at home don't leave it flapping about on the dashboard but cut it out and put it into a plastic wallet or sellotape it to the windscreen. You can buy permit holders and parking ticket clips very cheaply on ebay.
 
- No proof of when the vehicle was purchased. You simply have to prove that you purchased the vehicle after the PCN was issued (or sold before the PCN was issued) by some method, by documents if possible.
 
- Not unloading. If you are a business it should be a simple matter to produce a professional looking invoice and/or delivery note to evidence that you were collecting or delivering goods. As an individual it might be harder. People delivering to charity shops often get caught but the manager will probably give you a letter as they want you to donate again in the future. If you were delivering something for a friend get them to write out a letter saying what you were doing for them.
 
- In a disabled bay without a blue badge. you simply shouldn't do this. If you had a blue badge but forgot to put it out the council might let you off but the adjudicator can't as you did commit the contravention. You will need something to be procedurally wrong with the council's paperwork.
 
- Double yellow line was substantially compliant. Don't take risks with lines that are a little worn and think that you'll get away with it as if the message is clear, albeit a bit battered, the adjudicator might find that you chose to ignore the obvious message.
 
There are still a few odd days of adjudications to go this year. If you are going to complete the PATAS form you really do need to do a thorough job of producing your evidence to give yourself the best chance. Try and rustle up more than one argument as you only need one to work so having three will greatly improve your chances.
 
Yours appealingly
 
Miss Feezance

Monday, 16 December 2013

PATAS - w/c 9 Dec 13 - 104 cases


What a busy week. 55 PCN were cancelled, 48 were upheld and one is in limbo whilst the council to decide if they will follow the recommendation to cancel. A 53% win rate, which is lower than usual.
 
Some of the PCN were cancelled for the following reasons: 
  • the council were unable to show sufficient records about what was paid for by phone
  • there was no proof it was an event day (3 times)
  • council evidence was uncertain in 2 separate cases
  • a PCN from 19/4/11 was too old to pursue
  • an offence that lasted more than 24 hours was treated as one continuous offence
  • a suspension sign written in ink was washed away
  • unloading
  • the vehicle in the bus lane was an 8 seater (don't rely on this one)
  • there hadn't been an offer of violence before a driveaway that led to a postal PCN
  • a car with a for sale sign within it is not committing an offence
  • the evidence pack was sent to the wrong address
  • the case summary was not of assistance
  • a 9 seater in the bus lane (3 times - still don't rely on this)
  • unclear photographs and no other real evidence
  • sign obscured by bins
  • foot way not obviously dropped for one of the usual 3 reasons
So this week turned out to be about the same for motorists as if everyone had paid the 50% within the first 14 days although the council had to spend £4,000 in fees to PATAS who manage the adjudication process so they were definitely worse off. If you had missed the 14 days in which to pay the 50% then you as a motorist might as well always take your case to PATAS as it is just a question of a simple form to complete which might lead to you paying £nil if you win and the full amount of the ticket if you lose which you were by then liable for in any event.
 
If in doubt, appeal.
 
Yours appealingly
 
Miss Feezance

Monday, 9 December 2013

PATAS - w/c 2 Dec 13 - Commonality


In this week there were 86 appeals, two of which were the subject of a recommendation to cancel, 51 PCN were cancelled and 33 upheld. A 61% success rate.
 
There were some common themes.
 
There were 4 PCN for the Saracens Event Day Zone. Now there are none that survive. That tells you it is worth the trouble to appeal all the way to PATAS.
 
There were 3 cases where the PCN was sent by post because the  motorist drove away. All 3 were cancelled as the traffic warden wasn't prevented from giving the PCN to the driver or affixing it to the windscreen. If you get a driveaway postal PCN, that is also well worth appealing. The council look to be issuing PCN by post when they should not do so, they should treat those motorists as the ones who got away and just tell tall tales about them in the pub.
 
There were 4 PCN which had been issued between July 2010 (it was on papyrus) and August 11. All of them are too old for a legal enforcement as the right to a fair trial under Article 6 of the Human Rights Act has been compromised by the passage of time.
 
Then there were some one-offs.
 
One poor motorist got the bay reference number wrong and paid Westminster £11.10 instead of £7 to Barnet (that illustrates how relatively expensive the leafy outer London suburb of Barnet has become). What this PCN illustrates is that the bay numbers should be in blocks so that at least payment is made to the correct borough (Westminster have no legal right to a payment made under mistake, the motorist can reclaim it) and that technology is not being used for the benefit of the motorist. The telephone knows it is in Barnet by the GPS co-ordinates so PayByPhone could use that data, with the phone holder's permission, to limit the bay numbers to which payment could be made (with a manual override if you are paying from elsewhere, perhaps you left your car in the car park to recover tomorrow as you went to the pub on a whim one evening).
 
An appeal illustrated the misleading nature of the on-line payment method. Do make sure you press the confirm button when you are on the Payment Confirmation page.
 
A suspension sign at low level was held to be unfair and the PCN was cancelled.
 
The next case should not have reached PATAS. The council knew when they dropped the kerb. They were simply hoping that the motorist didn't.
 
The appellant Mr K attended the personal hearing listed for today. I found him to be a sincere and honest witness.

He stated that he is a local resident and that although he was aware that his neighbours with whom he has a good relationship were going to drop the kerb and the residents bay was eventually going to be removed he had not received any advance warning of when this would take place. At the time he parked his vehicle the bay markings were still present as was the residents bay signage which permitted parking during the restricted hours to residents displaying a residents permit which he states was displayed in is vehicle.

I have looked at the photographic evidence. I can still clearly see the residents bay road markings which I find to make the signage at the location to be confusing.

I am therefore not satisfied that the contravention did occur and allow this appeal.
 
A nurse who was unloading heavy equipment for her patient at home saw her PCN cancelled. How on earth is home care to be provided if one public servant is at the mercy of a different one?
 
Keep those appeals coming. They are worth the time and trouble.
 
Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

PATAS - w/c 25 Nov 13 - Charge!

Charge (certificate)

In this week 50 cases were decided and another 3 were the subject of recommendations to cancel. 32 of the 50 means 64% of the PCN were cancelled.
 
One case was simply misleading so the PCN was cancelled.
 
A car that got a parking ticket in Barnet was proved to be in Beaconsfield so must have been cloned. How come Barnet Council / NSL can't see this before the case gets to PATAS?
 
The adjudicator was most unimpressed with a case of parking outside of a marked bay:

The Appellant did not attend to present his appeal in person. In the light of what can be seen in the photographs I regard this as a case where the principle of de minimis ( i.e legal insignificance) should be applied, particularly in the case of a disabled badge holder otherwise entitled to park on the adjacent yellow line. A Council which seeks to enforce a penalty in such a situation merely fuels the widespread public impression that PCNs are issued for purposes of revenue raising rather than traffic management. No doubt the Appellant will take care to ensure his wheels are exactly within the bay in future.
 
The software used by Barnet Council / NSL is either not much cop or not very well set up in terms of parameters as it keeps issuing Charge Certificates too early. here is what the adjudicator said about one:
 
I have heard the appellant in person who I find an honest and credible witness. The Authority did not appear and was not represented.

The Enforcement Authority has provided notes and photographs. They inform me that the vehicle was parked on a single yellow line within a controlled parking zone (CPZ). They have provided a site map and photograph of signage.

The appellant claims that signage was confusing. He relies on a nearby pay by phone time plate which indicates restrictions commence at 13:30 on a Sunday.

in the appellant informs me that he received a notice of rejection dated 17 October 2013 and a charge certificate dated 18 October 2013. He received the Enforcement Authority's letter dated 23 August 2013 at the same time. The appellant's appeal is dated 22 October 2013 and is made well within time.

I am arranging to send to the Enforcement Authority a copy of the charge certificate. They have not provided this in evidence.

I find that there is a procedural impropriety on the part of the Enforcement Authority. I accept that the appellant received the letter of 23 August on 17 October. This deprived him of the opportunity to pay the discounted amount. I find that the Enforcement Authority improperly issued and served a charge certificate only a day after the notice of rejection and while the appeal was pending. I allow the appeal.
 
28 days + 2 for service should pass between the Notice of Rejection and the Charge Certificate.

Kerb flashes were not clear so the PCN for parking where loading was not allowed was cancelled.
 
Someone stopped for a minute and then drove away. You are allowed at least 2 minutes to set down passengers. The PCN was cancelled.
 
Another old moribund PCN from 2011 was squashed, this time it was 24 September 2011.
 
Someone got 2 PCN in one day and the car hadn't moved. The second one was cancelled.
 
Someone who moved on when the traffic warden asked them too was surprised to get a PCN through the mail. It has now been cancelled.
 
Another drop off a passenger and drive away case led to a cancelled PCN. Barnet Council / NSL need to look at their appeals process and cancel those where this ground is argued and the observations times are very short.
 
Some poor sod had an accident and their car was immobile. They got 4 PCNs in 2 days. One at least has been cancelled  by PATAS, another by the council, a third is heading towards PATAS and the fate of the fourth is unknown. What a mess and after your car has possibly been written off this sort of administrative headache is all you need.
 
Lines had disintegrated, so too now has the PCN.
 
The reason why a PCN was served by post was not stated. that is enough to finish off a postal PCN.
 
Three signs at one locations were held to cause confusion and ambiguity. In law, ambiguity is construed against the body that causes it so the PCN was cancelled.
 
There were two cases where the postal PCN was not allowed as there wasn't proof that the traffic warden had been prevented from serving a PCN on the spot.
 
The council / NSL were criticised for the selective nature of the evidential record. the PCN was binned.
 
Wheel valve positions were not noted so there was no proof that the vehicle had not moved between 2 observations.
 
The Saracens Event Day zone was not proven, for the umpteenth time so no penalty can be obtained from the motorist.
 
A PATAS form was not provided with the Notice of Rejection. This is a procedural impropriety and so the PCN was cancelled.
 
The infamous Trinder Rd dropped kerb, down the hill from Barnet Hospital, made a late appearance. Double yellow lines have now been placed across it to stop anyone from parking there (not sure if there are kerb flashes to stop blue badge holders from doing so) but the dropped kerb was held to have no purpose, the PCN was not an exact copy of the original and the representations had not been properly considered. So that was three reasons to kill the PCN and only one is needed.
 
Signage was twisted away at an unreadable angle so didn't count. Another PCN over and out.
 
A good result in a quiet week. Keep those appeals coming. Why not ask for a personal hearing at PATAS, they are fun and you'll start to learn about the process.
 
Yours appealingly
 
Miss Feezance

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

PATAS - w/c 18 November - 99 appeals

I am fond of Mr Whippy ice creams, 99's especially
So what a week, not the busiest of the year but pretty busy all the same. 99 appeals of which 52 were won, 44 lost and 3 subject to recommendations.
 
A glazier was loading glass and so had his PCN cancelled. The van really does need to be close to the shop. Another occasion saw 32 minutes without any loading taking place. That case was lost by the glazier.
 
The notes of the traffic warden said the tax disc was unclear but it was clear and so this cast doubt on the rest of his evidence and the PCN was cancelled.
 
There was a failure to send a PATAS form when issuing the Notice of Rejection of Representations. This was a procedural impropriety (as stifling an appeal is an unfairness) and the PCN was cancelled.
 
A loading bay and pay-to-park bays were not clearly demarcated one form the other and this meant the PCN was cancelled as it was easy to slip from one kind of bay into the other without noticing.
 
Someone delivering toys to Sue Ryder was held to be unloading and their PCN was cancelled.
 
A PCN that was being issued by a traffic warden who was not in uniform, who turned up in a private car, and was subsequently served by post was cancelled. The traffic warden does not have to wear a hat but the prescribed uniform must be visible and at the very least the words "Barnet Council" and CEO numbers on epaulets should be visible.
 
A PCN was cancelled for a kind person who was helping an elderly person to get into their car. The NSL appeal clerks must be so heartless that this sort of case gets to PATAS.
 
Another June 11 PCN was cancelled due to the Human Rights breach occasioned by the delay as was one from August 11.
 
A nurse unloading equipment for use of a patient at home had her PCN cancelled. Again you wonder if the appeal system is fit for purpose?
 
The next case is one where it looks to me like Barnet council / NSL tried to craftily hang on to a payment in doubtful circumstances and the adjudicator wasn't having any of it. Here is what the adjudicator said:
 
The local authority has not sent any evidence and I therefore find that no contravention is proved and the appeal is allowed.
 
I point out that the local authority sent a Request Form to this Tribunal on 16th  May 2013 seeking a de-registration of the appeal.
 
Mr Y. was not asked to make submissions upon the application. The appeal was closed on 16th  May 2013.
 
It was in my view  manifestly in the interests of justice to review that decision at Mr Y's subsequent request and the appeal was scheduled on 6th September  2013. The local authority made no further submissions upon receipt of the scheduling report.
 
My Clerk reminded the local authority by letter of 7th October 2013 that the appeal was pending.
 
As no evidence has been provided I allow the appeal

For the sake of clarification I point out that it was manifestly clear from the timetable of events here that Mr Y had made a payment notwithstanding a clearly expressed intention to appeal. There had been a delay in the scheduling of the appeal and the local authority had in the meantime sent  a Charge Certificate. I infer from these events that Mr Y. made the payment of £165 because he was under the apprehension that the penalty would keep rising whilst he appealed.
 
In my judgment the local authority's subsequent application was inappropriate and should not have been made. Once the case was scheduled the local authority would have readily seen that the appeal intention preceded the payment and that the payment was because of the intimidatory nature of the Charge Certificate. The local authority was not acting unlawfully in issuing the Charge Certificate without knowledge of the appeal. Nevertheless its officials ought to have understood the position once the Charge Certificate was voided by the scheduling of the appeal.
 
There is nothing in either the Traffic Management Act 2004 or the subordinate Regulations which expressly deny a right of appeal to an appellant simply because a payment has been made. The validity of any subsequent appeal form depends upon the perceived purpose and intention of such a payment.
 
In a case where the driver drove away it was held that the traffic warden had not begun to prepare the PCN. There are a lot of cases like this at the moment with traffic wardens arriving on scooters and saying they have issued a PCN when really they are still observing. One case I know about was 38 seconds from the warden arriving to the car leaving.
 
There was a second case where Barnet Council / NSL tried to hang on to £165 and lost (and also burnt the £40 cost of the appeal) and the notes are as follows:
 
The appellant has not attended at the Angel today.  The Council was not represented.
 
The  Council has not sent in a file of evidence as required under the rules this adjudication.
 
That would normally result in me simply allowing the appeal without detailed consideration of appeal points made.
 
An unusual characteristic to this present case however is the correspondence with Barnet and in particular the request it made to retain the £165 without the dispute proceeding to adjudication.
I have seen in connection with this the Tribunal's response (Mr Reeve's  letter dated 18 November 2013)  which I accept correctly informed Barnet to proceed with the submission of  a case summary etc. in the usual way.
 
As it has not done so I am now recording this appeal as allowed.
 
I am directing the refund is the sum of £165 if it has not already done so.
 
The Saracens Event Day zone was not proven for the umpteenth time. The adjudicator's notes show that the residents of Hendale Avenue had petitioned against the signage (I presume against its inadequacy).
 
An evidence pack sent to the wrong address was enough for a PCN to be cancelled.
 
In their case summary Barnet Council / NSL said both that a motorist "did not pay" and that they had "paid late". That doubt left no doubt about the fate of the PCN, it was cancelled.
 
A motorist who was only a minute going to collect a visitor voucher and then driving away because the householder didn't have one had his PCN cancelled as the time spent was reasonable.
 
A Charge Certificate issued after the PATAS appeal had been filed led to the PCN being cancelled as it is, in the circumstances, an unlawful demand for money.
 
A motorist who was unloading £300 of goods from IKEA (too heavy for me to lift) had their PCN cancelled under the unloading exemption.
 
The location of 2 suspended places was unclear and as ever ambiguity is construed against the instigator i.e. the council's PCN was cancelled.
 
An enquiry was treated as representations thus depriving the motorist of the possibility of making formal representations. The council has now been deprived of the PCN income.
 
A single wheel only partly over a bay line in a car park was held to be "de minimis" i.e trivial and the PCN was torn up.
 
One of my favourites. The council claimed that when it wrote that the PCN "was attached to windscreen" when they were claiming service by some other method was a "grammatical error". Adjudicators are all solicitors and barristers and don't stand such nonsense. The PCN was cancelled.
 
What a lovely week. Well done everyone. Keep those appeals rolling in.

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance

Monday, 25 November 2013

PATAS - w/c 11 November - meter what meter?

This particular week was slightly quieter than other recent ones but still there were 73 cases of which 39 led to cancelled PCN i.e. a 54% success rate.
 
There were the usual reasons for PCN being cancelled, Barnet Council / NSL throwing in the towel, some confusion over meters, evidence packs sent to the wrong address, copy PCN being produced by Barnet Council / NSL which weren't the same as the original, poor photographs and poor notes and muddled papers.
 
The council / NSL didn't think there was a parking meter in the Stanhope Rd Car Park. I have seen a queue of people waiting to use their debit and credit cards at it so it must be there. Of course, the staff in Croydon who produce the evidence packs don't have a clue about Finchley, it is simply a far away place on a map. This is one price of outsourcing, the lack of local knowledge.
 
In a curious case the traffic warden claimed that the expiry date had been altered on a blue badge. It hadn't been.
 
The council / NSL appeals system is like this case: broken. Thank goodness for the commonsense that you get from the independent adjudicator.

This Penalty Charge Notice was issued because the Enforcement Authority say that the Appellant's vehicle was parked in a resident's permit bay without displaying a permit. Unless the Appellant expressly concedes that the restrictions were properly marked and signed in compliance with the relevant part of the Traffic Signs Regulations & General Directions 2002, the Enforcement Authority must first establish with evidence that they were. This is normally done by evidence from the Civil Enforcement Officer who issued the Penalty Charge Notice or the cctv footage if issued following observation by camera, or photographic evidence and/or maps/plans of the area.

The evidence supplied are the notes of the civil enforcement officer who issued this Penalty Charge Notice. The notes do not mention a sign/time plate and whilst the Enforcement Authority have produced a library photograph of the location which shows a sign what is written on it is not legible.

In these circumstances, I cannot be satisfied that this resident's permit bay was correctly signed and so must allow this appeal.

Even if the Enforcement Authority had produced evidence of the sign, I would have still allowed the appeal as I accept the Appellant's case that he could not move his vehicle because of a broken key and that he called out a locksmith to provide a replacement. There is no evidence that the broken key was the Appellant's fault and I find that the exemption that the vehicle is prevented from moving by circumstances beyond the driver's control applies.

There were the usual arguments about whether a PCN was handed to the driver or not.
 
Here is another adjudicator's report about a single yellow line across a dropped kerb in Rosemont Avenue which might help you at other locations:

Mr E. initially made representations on the basis that his car was parked on a single yellow line and there was a disabled badge displayed. However the Penalty Charge Notice was issued for the contravention of parking adjacent to a dropped kerb. Mr E. appeals as he states that the Penalty Charge Notice should not have been issued because there is no evidence that the occupier of the premises asked for a Penalty Charge Notice to be issued.

A Penalty Charge Notice may not be issued for this contravention when residential premises have a driveway that is not shared with other premises and the purpose of the dropped footway is to assist vehicles to enter or leave the road from or to the highway unless the Enforcement Authority is requested to do so by the occupier of the premises.

I have seen the notes made by the civil enforcement officer, photographs taken on 19th July 2013 and also a photograph from Google Street view showing the location. I find that the evidence shows that the dropped kerb was not outside a driveway to residential premises. Therefore there was no requirement for the occupier of premises to request that a Penalty Charge Notice be issued.

Mr E. refers to Parking and Traffic Appeals Service case 2110067442. In that case an Adjudicator found that it was misleading to mark a location with a single yellow line and a dropped kerb on the basis that as parking adjacent to a dropped kerb is prohibited at all times if the location is also marked with a yellow line it should be with a double yellow line and not a single yellow line.

I am not bound by the decision of another Adjudicator. However the appellant has clearly raised the issue of the appropriateness of marking a location where parking is prohibited at all times with a single yellow line where restrictions are in operation only part of the time. The local authority has referred to this in its case summary but in my opinion has not adequately answered the issues raised.

I find that in the particular circumstances of this case the presence of a single yellow line at a location where there was also a dropped kerb was misleading.

I allow this appeal.
 
There was the usual case of someone getting a PCN in the minute that they were collecting a Visitor Voucher. The PCN is no more.
 
A delivery in the course of business was another exemption that was applied and the PCN cancelled. I ask myself why NSL don't cancel PCN when the obvious owner of a business appeals on this basis. The time of business owners is precious and this sort of behaviour could be the final straw that drives them out of the borough.
 
In a drive away case it was held that the traffic warden had not begun to prepare the PCN so was not prevented from serving it. There is currently an epidemic of traffic wardens issuing PCN in a hurry with them arriving by post.
 
Here is a case to do with paying your PCN on-line. This has ramifications for anyone who has chosen to pay up in the first 14 days.
 
Mr J. accepts that the contravention occurred. He believes he made payment of £55 the following day via the council's website. He produced a confirmation printed on 15 May 2013. The authority's position is that they did not receive any payment. Mr J. accepts his account was not debited.

The Authority is only obliged to accept payment of the discounted penalty if payment is made within 14 days of service of the Penalty Charge Notice. The amount is paid when it is received. The full amount becomes payable thereafter. That is the legal position. The authority does have discretion to extend that period.

In this case, payment was not taken because Mr J. had to press the "confirm" button before the transaction could be authorised. The heading on the form stating "Payment Confirmation" is confusing and does lead users to believe that payment has in fact gone through. The authority would be well advised to change this heading to avoid such situations arising in future. Mr J. was clearly not intending to avoid payment and the wording is not helpful. I would therefore strongly recommend that the authority now accept payment of £55 for this Penalty Charge Notice.
 
Barnet Council / NSL haven't thought about this long and hard as they have already rejected the recommendation which was only made on 16 November. I think they have to tell Mr J. why and doubtless the ambiguity in their system will all be his fault!
 
Next week, 99 PCN are appealed. You can do your bit to make it 100 a week by appealing every PCN you receive.
 
Yours appealingly
 
Miss Feezance 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

PATAS - w/c 4 November - be prepared

well prepared
This week was busier than the one before with 58 PCN cancelled, 37 upheld and 4 the subject of recommendations to cancel. So a definite 61% cancelled.
 
There were PCN from 20 July 11, 26 July 11, 19 July 11, 13 July 11, 3 June 11, 17 June 11, 19 April 11 and 21 June 11 all of which were cancelled. At some point the council are going to realise that an old case at PATAS is a waste of £40 (so these 8 appeals lost the council £320) and might just start cancelling them at the formal stage. I think the council have perhaps done a cost benefit analysis and are still making more from old PCN that the motorist pays in a panic when they get a document which is actually well out of time than they are losing at PATAS but that break even point may soon be harder to achieve. If you have a 2011 PCN going to PATAS make sure you appeal on the grounds of a breach of Article 6 of Human Rights Act, right to a fair trial, as you can't remember what you were doing on that day in 2011.
 
The road markings in Stanhope Rd were too worn to enforce so appeal any ticket you get there if the marking you are on are not substantially compliant i.e. you can't make them out properly.
 
The photographs put in evidence of signs were too blurred to discern any details from so that PCN was cancelled so always look at the photos on the council website before you pay up.
 
Where post is left in a communal hallway the presumption of good service of documents is rebutted. The PCN was cancelled.
 
The council put forward inaccurate and irrelevant points so the PCN was cancelled as that was evidence of the council failing to properly consider representations. They do this all the time so make sure you list all the points you can think of and then when the council fail to properly consider one of them that might be enough to sway the adjudicator.
 
There were two cases on the question of PCN sent by post after a driver leaves the scene without getting the PCN in his hand or on the windscreen. The question of whether or not a traffic warden had begun to prepare the PCN was considered because he should make some observations first, things like wheel valve positions, the tax disc etc, and the other case held that driving away was not "prevention of service". If a warden looks like he is going to ticket you I would scarper sharpish and argue later.
 
The bay markings on the footpath in Brunswick Park Rd were in poor condition so the PCN was cancelled.
 
A description of High Rd was not adequate for a PCN that was not received. When you get the next document, the Notice to owner, you should be able to work out whereabouts you were parked without further enquiry. High Rd is miles long.
 
Another barely noticeable yellow line, this time in Hodford Rd, led to another cancelled PCN. My readers are getting really very good at these arguments now.
 
There is something funny with the bays in Wilberforce Rd which are split for no reason. That would be your reason to appeal if you get caught there.
 
A man came home to find someone else's builders had parked in his drive. Whilst he was getting them out he got ticketed. The council and NSL must have rejected his argument. PATAS didn't.
 
An estate agent delivering keys (hard to know who to boo the most, the traffic warden or his victim) was held to be delivering, probably because it was part of his job. Dropping keys off at your nan's probably wouldn't be unloading for a private individual.
 
The Saracens zone got another mauling with the adjudicator saying the council were all at sea. I haven't seen a Saracens PCN survive the adjudicator yet.
 
I am sure you have the idea if you read this blog. Appeal that parking ticket and do it on time.
 
Yours appealingly
 
Miss Feezance

Friday, 8 November 2013

PATAS - w/c 28 October 13 - so stale

If you have ever wondered how you get caught when you are tucked away somewhere taking a chance this video showing traffic wardens going about their business in Wandsworth should give you a good idea of how much ground they can cover in a very short time. How the wardens don't all get into crashes given the careless way in which they are riding is very hard to comprehend.
 
 
Now back to PATAS. There were 86 appeals in this week and 46 of them resulted in cancelled PCN (parking tickets) which is 53%.
 
A lady paid to park in the Lodge Lane Car park using the credit/debit card meter (wise lady) but it did not issue her with a little ticket to put in her windscreen. The paper must have run out. She made a note of how long she had and came back in time. She had a PCN. She appealed on the grounds that she had paid and produced her bank statement and a letter from the bank. The council rejected her bank statement as it didn't show the time of payment (well they aren't meant to) but failed to notice that the time of payment was in a letter from the bank which the adjudicator read more carefully than the council or NSL did. Anyone would think they read things just looking for grounds to deny an appeal. The PCN is now cancelled.
 
The signage for the Saracens zone was again found to be inadequate so another PCN bit the dust.
 
In a very interesting case, where the PCN was served by post because the driver left the scene the council failed to put into evidence the original PCN that they were supposedly prevented from affixing to the vehicle. That failure to produce the original Regulation 9 PCN (one produced at the scene) meant that the Regulation 10 PCN (sent in the post) was cancelled. A friend is about to use this defence.
 
The council said parking restrictions operated from 8 until 6.30 but the motorist proved it was only from 11 -12 so the PCN was cancelled. I'm not sure that all traffic wardens know the rules about CPZs.
 
In respect of a PCN from 13 September 2011 the adjudicator said that proceedings were so stale that a fair hearing wasn't possible and cancelled the PCN. If the adjudicator's attention is drawn to delays of 6 months or more they always cancel the PCN.
 
An even older PCN from 2 June 2011 led the adjudicator to say that the motorist's Human Rights came first and due to the delay he cancelled the PCN.
 
A PCN from 13 June 2011 was held not to have been served. The delay was not explicitly mentioned but the adjudicator may well have had it in mind. I suppose that they have internal circulars of what problems are coming up in appeals and Barnet must have had a mention for Saracens Zone and 2011 PCN.
 
The actions of the council in not promptly issuing a resident's permit counted against them, it not being fair to thus issue a PCN.
 
A van on the pavement so as to more easily clear a blocked drain had its ticket cancelled.
 
Two PCN from July 2011 became history and were cancelled.
 
Someone paid for 90 minutes but didn't get it. I have seen this problem before.
 
A PCN being chased from July 2011 was held to be an abuse of process.
 
Something odd happened to a case which Barnet asked to withdraw and permission was refused. There was some doubt about the legitimacy of the appeal form but the PCN got cancelled all the same.
 
Someone in a bus stop wasn't served. They were lucky to get away with that one.
 
Someone dropping off a cat, which has since been put down, had their PCN cancelled due to the loading and unloading exemption.
 
Another busy week for NSL and Barnet Council. Why not make them busier? Remember for a PCN on your car you can appeal 3 times
 
firstly - within 28 days of the PCN being put on your car
secondly - after you receiver the Notice to Owner (again within 28 days)
thirdly - to the independent adjudicator at PATAS within 28 days of having your last argument rejected for which you receive a notice of rejection.
 
It is at the third stage that you have the best chance of winning so it is worth it to flog through the other 2 stages. You don't have to respond at the first stage but you must respond to the Notice to Owner.
 
The third stage costs the council £40 so they probably hate it but they should allow more second stage appeals if they want fewer third stage ones.
 
Yours appealingly
 
Miss Feezance

Thursday, 31 October 2013

PATAS w/c 21 October 13 - no original ticket


Another week, another good set of appeals, 81 in all of which 46, or 57% were allowed. It is very pleasing to see so many people exercising their right to appeal to the independent adjudicator and succeeding.
 
There were the now regular cases with an unexplained processing delay which is a breach of your Human Right to a fair trial. Squashed PCN were from 10 August 2011 and 26 September 2011.
 
A suspension sign that was not visible was not enforceable.
 
The council tried to claim a penalty for parking across a dropped kerb by quoting the wrong legislation. They were not allowed to proceed.
 
A Saracens zone PCN hit the buffers as they do every time.
 
In a most interesting case to do with a vehicle being driven away before the PCN could be served the adjudicator wanted to see the original PCN. Oh dear, it wasn't put in evidence so it was cancelled. This case may be of use to others as it is easy for the council to claim they had started to issue a PCN and as they can't be cancelled, supposedly, then they must have finished it off and retained it as evidence? PATAS case 213046058A.
 
A sign that was mounted very low in Huntingdon Rd and obscured was found not to be adequate to uphold the PCN.
 
Due to many years of parking in that way there was a legitimate expectation that pavement parking was OK in Chapel Court. The PCN was cancelled.
 
A bus lane sign was missing. We only have bus lanes on one road so you might wish to refer to PATAS case 2130460411 in case you are in the same boat (or bus lane).
 
There is some sort of school concession in East End Road but I don't have the details. It sounds like one of those arrangements that councillors make and the traffic wardens don't know about. Check with your school to see if there are any concessions for your school.
 
The suspension of a PayByPhone bay was assumed to finish at 6.30pm as that is the time that the bay itself finished.
 
Keep those appeals coming.

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

PATAS w/c 14 October 13 - obvious flaw in PayByPhone


Well what a busy week for the adjudicators at PATAS, with 91 hearings. 2 PCN were the subject of recommendations to cancel, 44 were upheld and 45 PCN were cancelled. So it was more or less a 50/50 week. Almost 3% of all tickets taken to the final stage appeal is a very good record though; well done to motorists everywhere for standing up for your rights as the Transport Select Committee recommend you do. Barnet must be getting near the top of the table when it comes to the percentage of appeals. Keep them coming.
 
The council really need to think about formal representations a little harder and allow claims of obvious merit. In this week they have paid out £3,640 in adjudication fees and won PCN worth about £4,230 and they won't all be paid. I am told that about 3 evidence packs a day is normal for one person, and they are rather bulky, so that is 30 days work by NSL which probably costs in excess of £100 a day so in effect PATAS cases are a big loser for the council & NSL.
 
Notable cases include
 
- a case brought back to life from May 11, but the PCN has been torn up now
- a case where the mobile phone was linked to another person's car due to reuse of the phone number. An obvious flaw and another PCN disconnected
- there was no evidence by the traffic warden of valve positions to show a vehicle had not moved for a certain time and so that PCN moved into the bin
- a voucher scratched out using a pen rather than a coin was found to be fine as it had been rendered unusable so that PCN bit the dust
- someone received 2 Notices of Rejection which led to 1 PCN being cancelled
- another old PCN from June 2011 didn't stand scrutiny
- a case that was lost where someone went for change for the meter; not a good argument in a cashless borough
- a flat tyre was viewed as a breakdown beyond the control of the motorist and they had a photo of the wheel being changed at the tyre fitting bay
- a blue badge was mysteriously missing from the partial windscreen photo taken by the traffic warden, end of PCN
- another old PCN from July 2011 - these really are being raked out and if old PCN are appealed to PATAS on age grounds they are cancelled
- a case with no photos and the wrong tax disc number was never likely to be a winner for the council, it wasn't
- the fact that the Army Day celebration was not in any sort of Traffic Order suspending parking or at least not proven meant that motorist marched off smartly without paying a penalty
- another PCN from June 11 was cancelled
- the Saracens Event Day Traffic Management Order didn't stand up to scrutiny
- the council's own photos showed that the motorist had left before the PCN was issued
- and another PCN from June 2011 was cancelled
 
It doesn't matter if your PCN was from 2011 or from 2013, you have at least a 50% chance of winning your appeal, and usually higher in Barnet, so in the long run there is nothing to lose by fighting every parking ticket and keeping NSL and the council busy. They started it!
 
Yours appealingly
 
Miss Feezance

Sunday, 13 October 2013

PATAS - w/c 7 Oct 13 - I can't see you


On Monday, Barnet Council / NSL stormed out of the blocks and raced into a 11 - 6 lead but they are evidently sprinters in a long distance race as on Tuesday the public pulled level with an 8 - 3 result and then put clear ground between themselves and the council with a 10 - 5. Two more good days for the public followed with the council making up some ground on the Saturday with a 9 -3 drubbing but it wasn't enough with the final score being 46 PCN cancelled, 34 upheld and 9 recommended for cancellation. As we stand that is 58% cancelled.
 
Less routine cases included one where the traffic warden put "refused by driver" in his notes and then the council / NSL continued to chase the PCN as if it had been served. That is not correct behaviour.
 
A PCN from 15/9/11 has now been cancelled as it should have been last year sometime.
 
Someone with half a wheel over a dropped kerb was technically in the wrong but the council have been asked to cancel. Let's see if they do.
 
Someone misused the TE9 procedure (the one where you swear that you haven't received something). They are now paying £231. It would have been cheaper to pay the PCN itself.
 
A PCN from 24/6/11 has also been cancelled. If you have a similar PCN make sure you point out the age to PATAS and Article 6 of the Human Rights Act about the right to a fair trial which is not possible after this delay.
 
The council presented wholly insufficient evidence to PATAS which led to the inevitable cancellation.
 
Someone drove away and so hadn't been served and the PCN was not served by post so this led to a cancellation.
 
The traffic warden failed to see the Visitor Voucher in a side window so that PCN got the chop.
 
Customer services wrongly advised a motorist about the Saracens zone so his PCN was sin binned.
 
There was a failure to consider informal representations. A no nonsense adjudicator saw that as reason to cancel a PCN (not considering them is at the very least impolite).
 
A traffic warden put "driver not seen" in his notes but the council's photographs show the driver remonstrating with him! Guess what, that PCN is now invisible.
 
It seems that the Bunns Lane Car park has various complicated sectors. The adjudicator even thought about making a site visit but as the council hadn't provided a clear overview he though better of it, saved the cost of the trip and the cost of a PCN for the motorist. If you know anything about this car park please add a note in the comment box.
 
In Gervase Rd (coincidentally there is a letter about this road in the local Times newspaper)


the footway markings were held to be unclear by the adjudicator so if you get a PCN in this road, appeal it all the way to PATAS.
 
A Saracens Zone PCN was cancelled. I don't think I have yet seen one survive the adjudication at PATAS.
 
Someone made an error with their blue badge but because they could show that they were elsewhere and couldn't possibly have been parked for 3 hours their PCN was cancelled. This is the first time I have seen this so worth proving where you were if this applies to you. No guarantees though as you will have wrongly set the clock.
 
It looks like NSL are still back up to their old tricks. A man who was visiting his daughter parked slightly across her drive and had, at the very least, implied permission. Arden Rd is not inside a CPZ so a dropped kerb should only be enforced if the householder phones and requests it, which was not the case here. Why this motorist got dragged all the way through the process to adjudication at PATAS and why the council want to waste £40 on PATAS fees are worthwhile questions.
 
Seven parking tickets to one person from May 11 were the subject of a recommendation to cancel. Let's see if they get cancelled.
 
Now, leaving aside the 9 cases subject to recommendation which are as yet unfinished, there were 80 hearings at £40 each so Barnet Council paid out £3,200
 
If everyone pays up within 28 days, they will get in (assuming a quarter of the contraventions were at lower rate) 26 PCN at £110 and 8 at £60 = £3,340 so a net gain of £140 for a mountain of work.
 
If I was Barnet Council parking management I would be looking at why so many cases are allowed to go forward to PATAS that are obvious no-hopers and more appeals should be allowed in response to formal representations. NSL Ltd are left to send them directly to PATAS. Perhaps they should go via the council?
 
Yours appealingly
 
Miss Feezance