In this week there were 78 hearings and of them some 67% led to cancelled parking tickets (PCN) which wasn't far short of the 72% average of last year.
Interesting successes were
- a PayByPhone error ascribed to the council and/or Verrus
- a Notice of Rejection that the council agreed was wrong
- a case with no photos and insufficient other evidence
- a case in the Saracens Event Day zone in which it wasn't proven that 4 May 13 was an event day.- a cloned car
- administrative error
- a number of cases from 2011 that should not have been pursued
- kerb marks to restrict loading were not evident
- delay in issuing a blue badge
- a wording error on the PCN
- the evidence pack served at an incorrect address
- insufficient time allowed to obtain a Visitor Voucher
which was my favourite of the week in the slightly tidied up words of the Adjudicator:
The Appellant and his wife attended the hearing. Mr F. was the driver of the vehicle at the material time. The Authority did not attend and it as not represented.
Mrs F. said that she tried to pay for her parking by phone upon her arrival and this was in full view of the CEO. She said that her first call, which was at 17:16:43 was cut off. Her second call at 17:18:47 was answered but took time and a further call because she had to re-register her credit card. The CEO then told her not to bother as she had already issued a PCN.
The PCN was issued at 17:19 when the Appellant was on the phone to the payment people.
The Authority states that the three minute observation period was sufficient and the Appellant exceeded it. The CEO must have seen the Appellant trying to pay during the three minute period and I fail to see how it can be said that the contravention could have occurred when the at a time when Mrs F. was on the phone to Verrus. There was no evidence that Mrs F. was not able to pay, or that she was putting on an act in front of the officer to avoid payment. If there is any doubt, the Authority could have checked with Verrus as to why it took three calls and what these calls were about but it chose not to do so.
The Authority may also wish to reflect on the paucity of the CEO's notes. She noted that she allowed a three minute observation period. What was the point of doing that if the product of the observation was not recorded?
I am not satisfied that the contravention occurred. I am refusing the appeal.
Is the council fully in control of NSL's traffic wardens? It would appear not. The law says that the council must take the decision to reject formal representations and so one wonders how this case got through that long stop to the Adjudicator thus wasting £40 of council tax which was spent on the PATAS fee.
You can see how worthwhile it is to keep on appealing all the way to PATAS.