Monday, 4 February 2013

75% success rate at PATAS

Worth the effort to complete the PATAS appeal form
So here we are in the week commencing Monday 13 January 2013. PATAS heard 53 cases (numbers seem to be rising which is good) and 40 of them led to parking tickets being cancelled and the huge effort that Barnet Council are putting into appeals, except the 16 they didn't bother preparing an evidence pack for, which would have take one person a week to do, must, in the light of the results be making them wonder whether the light is worth the candle.

Notable cases were Mr C who stopped to check directions and spoke to a traffic warden who didn't give him a ticket in his hand for stopping - no, the paperwork arrived in the post. Can you feel the rage? Ticket cancelled.

More missed paperwork in a case where informal representations were not dealt with, this is a procedural impropriety and led to the parking ticket being cancelled.

In a cul-de-sac called Garden City off Manns Rd in Edgware one of the CPZ entry signs was at such an angle that it was almost facing the opposite way. The council have to prove that their signage is correct if challenged and the council plainly failed to do so, not even producing a map of the zone. If you have had a parking ticket in the Edgware zone this is your escape route. Walk round the zone and look at the pairs of large CPZ signs which tell you the hours of the zone, take photographs and then you have your evidence. Although some adjudicators will cancel your parking ticket because the absence of a sign does invalidate the zone (only in respect of single yellow lines and bays which do not display individual time plates) others will expect you to say that was the way that you entered the zone so it would be helpful if you could remember where you had been beforehand such that the entry point forms a natural route.

Although photographs are not mandatory they are persuasive. So if the council don't have any for a certain parking ticket you have to ask yourself why. A driver who argued that he had parked up to the lowering kerb stone and not across the lowered one got the benefit of the doubt because the photos were of poor quality and hence not useful as evidence of the alleged contravention.

On the next case to be decided that day there was no contemporaneous entry by the traffic warden about Verrus, no contemporaneous photos and an image purporting to show the location of the vehicle and a claim that the parking ticket had been "handed to driver" which was denied. Given the accumulation of doubt the parking ticket was cancelled.

Barnet Council & NSL are not ingratiating themselves with PATAS as their evidence "is presented in an extremely unhelpful manner - very difficult to read each page unless it is enlarged".

It is worth checking that the signs in situ agree with the Traffic Management Order as sometimes they don't as was the case with four parking tickets for the same motorist in Nursery Walk NW4 (near the Garden Hospital) and all four tickets were cancelled.

We hear a lot about the hated pay-by-phone system which Verrus supplies. It seems that it has trouble telling a V from a B (presumably voice recognition software) and the adjudicator came down in favour of the motorist although with paying for the wrong registration or getting the wrong bay number the outcome is always uncertain. It all depends upon the facts.

A loading case that was slightly different to the usual ones. The sign says "loading only" but does not specify lorries. The motorist was unloading goods for a charity shop. The parking ticket was cancelled.

Another busy week at PATAS that the motorists found worthwhile on the whole.

If you appeal to PATAS there is a simple form to complete. It costs you nothing. The parking ticket does not increase from the £60 or £110 level (bus lanes £130) until 28 days after PATAS have decided the case so you get the chance to pay the original amount (you lose the half price offer but if you are innocent why should you pay?).

The council have to pay £40 to PATAS for each appeal.

The small effort has to be worth your while?

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance


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