Tuesday, 12 February 2013

4 out 5 of is pretty good (for you!)

In the week commencing Monday 28th January of the 48 appeals heard by PATAS, the office of the independent adjudicators, 39 were decided in favour of the motorist i.e. their parking tickets were cancelled. Now those are good odds. Filling a form in has never looked such good value - it is free to go to PATAS and there is no downside if you lose, you simply pay your ticket at the £60/£110/£130 level at which it was issued.
East Barnet School put in an appeal against one ticket. Barnet (NSL) failed to produce the evidence as they also did on 8 occasions, fail, that is.
I see a lot of dropped kerb cases where there are not any photographs. Given the scope for argument about whether a car is adjacent to a dropped kerb or not one would expect to see photos every time. Without some other compelling evidence the council loses.
There are lots of examples of motorists who make a one digit error in the location code and so their payment does not show up on the traffic warden's hand held equipment. The adjudicator said "One might have thought that discretion might have been exercised" but it wasn't and so the adjudicator noticed that the council said "payment had not been made for the vehicle" which was not true, payment had been made but for the wrong place. The adjudicator found that to be sufficient reason to cancel the parking ticket.
Another pay-by-phone fiasco. The motorist made 20 attempts to pay. The adjudicator cancelled the parking ticket. Why commonsense didn't prevail before that point is hard to say.
Another motorist was well represented and knew that the wording on the parking ticket was incorrect, as it has been for 4 years (now corrected). The adjudicator said that was a persuasive argument.
The old dropped kerb, a favourite of traffic wardens, came into question. It wasn't for a vehicle and it wasn't for pedestrians, the absence of tactile pavement was noted, and the parking ticket was cancelled.
Another dropped kerb, this time the car was there in order to collect the disabled father of the driver. S86 (Traffic Management Act) allows for the boarding of passengers so this parking ticket was cancelled. More lack of commonsense and reasonableness from NSL and/or Barnet Council.
A sign was facing the wrong way in Talbot Crescent, Hendon was enough for a parking ticket to be cancelled. The lines look pretty faded in that road and are a possible extra grounds of appeal.
Another bash at the disabled. A motorist was setting down a disabled passenger which by the nature of the disability can take longer than for an able-bodied person. The adjudicator cancelled the parking ticket. No quarter given by NSL and/or Barnet Council whose decision makers all need to spend some time pushing someone round in a wheelchair to get in tune with society.
A parking ticket was given to someone who drove away as they were trying to pay and the traffic warden was the final straw. This motorist was a lawyer and so was believed. The parking ticket was cancelled.
A disabled badge was on the driver's of the windscreen, which is only natural as it is closer to hand. The traffic warden only managed to photograph the passenger side of the windscreen and this left the necessary room for doubt in favour of the motorist. Parking ticket cancelled.
NSL failed to deal with informal representations. This led to the parking ticket being cancelled.
This next case is a beauty:

There seems to me no reason at all to doubt the Appellant's evidence, amply supported by documentation , that he was unloading gardening tools as he describes. The very brief observation period does nothing to suggest that some other activity was in progress.

The Council does not appear to doubt that this was so. Its case is, as stated in its case summary , that "loading and unloading is not permitted in a residents bay at any time." It maintains this position having complied with my direction to produce the Traffic Management Order.

This is simply wrong. It is permitted. The Traffic Management Order produced by the Council shows that it does indeed contain such an exemption, as these Orders invariably do - see Article 22(1)(h). I am satisfied the vehicle was within the exemption and that the PCN was incorrectly issued.

The Council's persistent failure to read its own TMO and apply its mind to the law correctly is  not only a procedural impropriety ( and the Appeal could have been allowed on this  ground alone) but conduct which is  wholly unreasonable. The Council has been put on notice of the Appellant's application for costs and given the specific invitation to respond to it over the adjournment. In the absence of any representations this seems to me one of the clearest cases I have seen for the making of such an Order. I order the Council to pay the £10 costs asked for by the Appellant. The Council may consider itself a little fortunate that the Appellant is claiming such a modest amount.
So the council give a motorist incorrect information and anyone less robust than this very reasonable person (£10 for being messed about is very little) might have given in and paid.
Finally another dropped kerb in Mays Lane and the council were unable to say why it was dropped, and it is in the slip road near the width restriction at the bottom of Manor Rd, and it does not have any purpose that I can see either, so this led to the cancellation of the parking ticket.
What you can see from the above is that Barnet Council & NSL acting together are a long way short of a dream team. They score own goals and need to be looked over regularly by the third umpire (the independent adjudicator). Do keep putting those appeals in.
Yours appealingly
Miss Feezance

1 comment:

  1. The problem is the NSL tend to deal with all the parking queries and the council does not deal with any of the appeal.