Wednesday, 25 September 2013

PATAS - w/c 16 September 13 - armed robbery

Every parking ticket feels like you have been violated.

In this week 48 parking tickets were cancelled and 42 were upheld, the best week for Barnet council in a long time. There was also one ticket recommended for write off.

Notable cancellations were for

- young children alighting

- not started to issue when the motorist drove away

- kerb chevrons in poor repair

- virtually non-existent markings

- miscarriage (yes, our council fight you in these sad circumstances, parking is more important than life itself)

The authority's case is that the Appellant's vehicle was parked adjacent to a footway which had been lowered to meet the level of the carriageway when in Trinder Road on 26 June 2013 at 10.36.

The Appellant's case is that she was 4 months pregnant and started bleeding; she sought the help of a woman who lived in Trinder Road who called and ambulance. She was taken to Barnet Hospital and miscarried.

I have considered all the evidence and I find that the Appellant's vehicle was parked due to circumstances beyond the control of the Appellant due to the miscarriage of her 4 month baby.

The appeal is allowed.

and of course the Trinder Rd dropped kerb is notorious for having no purpose and now has double yellow lines extended across it to prevent this offence.

- cloned vehicle.

- Bunns Lane - parking on the footway for 7 years.

- loading compost

- 2 minutes to obtain a permit

- Cab driver helping a disabled passenger

- delivering sand

- broken down

- had paid and possessed a pay & display ticket

- confusion about the rights of business permit holders
- I was robbed

The allegation in this case is the vehicle was parked in a permit space without displaying a valid permit. Mr. X does not dispute this but says that this was after he had been the victim of an armed robbery and during a time when he was signed off work. He has provided supporting evidence to this effect. He also criticises the quality of the signage.

While Mr. X's personal circumstances at the time may have been particularly difficult, this amounts only to mitigation. The Enforcement Authority may cancel a PCN as a matter of their discretion. The Law does not give Adjudicators the power to allow an appeal which establishes mitigating circumstances only.

The Enforcement Authority have provided copies of photographs taken by the Enforcement Officer which show the time plate relied upon. While in itself this looks clear and adequate, there is no photograph showing the time plate in context with where the vehicle was parked. In the circumstances I do not feel able to say I am satisfied that the signage of restrictions was substantially compliant, clear and adequate and accordingly I allow the appeal.
- some nonsense about a clamp which doesn't happen in Barnet
- Saracens zone records "not good enough"
- given a code 19 PCN in a shared use bay, the wrong code.
keep those appeals coming, you can see it is worthwhile and 91 appeals in the week is 2.87% of the number issued which is terrific.
Yours appealingly 

Miss Feezance

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

PATAS - w/c 9 September 13 - the pregnant pause

This was a typical week with 53 parking tickets cancelled, some 72% of the total of 74 decisions.
A £110 PCN was issued with a value of £60. This is a procedural impropriety and so the PCN was cancelled.
In Barnfield Rd the footway parking markings were unclear and so the PCN was cancelled.
College Terrace was the cause of some confusion as adjacent zones are CE and CE1 (there is also CEZ) and given that the council did not answer why there was a difference the PCN was cancelled.
A workman was spending 3 days fitting a kitchen. The client gave him 3 visitor vouchers and he put them on his vehicle each day. He put one in the side window (probably the kerb side one) and the traffic warden somehow didn't see it. The PCN is now cancelled.
There was no evidence that the traffic warden had actually begun to prepare the PCN before the motorist drove away, only observations had taken place. In that situation the PCN cannot be sent by post.
Inside a CPZ on a Sunday the single yellow line was in operation but pay bays were free (madness). This time the motorist lost although I think they should have won as there is a reasonable expectation that will not be the case, I think there should have been a time plate to show this.
Bay markings are too worn in Avenue Rd so appeal any ticket you get there until they are painted again.
There are two Queens Roads in the borough and the applicable one was not stated on the PCN so it was cancelled for vague locus i.e. the contravention was not clearly made out.
Barnet admitted to a processing error and agreed to cancel a PCN. That doesn't happen very often.
A PayByPhone problem for a motorist with 2 vehicles was ascribed to the council and the PCN was cancelled.
A motorist who had paid for a permit didn't receive it for 3 months. This was for a PCN from 2 May 2012 which was being readied to send to bailiffs when an application was made to return it to the start of the process. The PCN was cancelled. It is bare faced cheek on the part of the council to pursue a parking ticket caused largely by their own incompetence. I think I would be asking for costs.
On a voucher the 4th was partially scratched out and then the 5th fully scratched out. The adjudicator gave the motorist the benefit of the doubt as given that other items are scratched out it wouldn't be possible for years to re-use the voucher.
This decision seems rather pedantic but then I am not a legally qualified adjudicator and also I wasn't at the hearing so can't tell how good the evidence was.
The appellant claims that she is a midwife and was displaying her Health Emergency Badge (HEB).She has provided no details of the visit she was making. She has provided conditions of use for the HEB. These state badge users attending an emergency can park in a resident bay if no alternative parking space is available. The badge should be clearly displayed hanging on the rear view mirror. The number of the house should be shown if the visit is in the same street as the vehicle is parked. If the conditions are complied with a badge user will not usually receive a penalty charge notice (pcn).

I find as fact that the vehicle was parked in a permit bay without clearly displaying a valid permit. The HEB was not displayed hanging from the rear view mirror. The appellant acknowledges that it was on the dashboard. The appellant has provided insufficient evidence to satisfy me that there was an emergency and that there was no alternative parking place. I am not satisfied that the HEB was properly completed. I am satisfied that the contravention occurred and that there is no exemption. I refuse the appeal.
One can imagine that a midwife rushing to a home birth could easily put the HEB in the wrong place but it was still clearly visible and if he/she had a little car derived van might not even have a rear view mirror in the first place. I also think that there are ethical and possibly data protection problems in providing details of expectant mothers to NSL Ltd.
In Powis Gardens a parking bay is alongside a dropped kerb which is somewhat confusing as the bay gives permission to park and the dropped kerb forbids it. in law, ambiguity is usually construed against the person who caused it, the council in this case and so the PCN was cancelled.
Another relic of the past, a parking ticket from 7 June 2011. There were no photos and the motorist said the car was on his drive. The PCN is now officially in the bin. It should never have been pursued due to its age.
Here is the pregnant pause from the heading.
The appellant claims that he was giving a driving lesson and his pupil who was 8 months pregnant needed to use the toilet. He claims he stopped outside his home and showed her to the bathroom. He claims he was 3 minutes. He has provided photographs.

I find as fact that the vehicle was parked in a resident permit holders' only bay without clearly displaying a valid permit. The appellant's reasons do not provide an exemption. I am satisfied that the contravention occurred and I refuse the appeal.
So next time the driving instructor will drive around for 5 minutes and then pick his customer back up (there is an exemption for boarding) and make the air more polluted.
A PaybyPhone transaction was made a few minutes after the PCN was issued. This was accepted as adequate and the PCN was cancelled.
A traffic warden said it was OK to park somewhere. It wasn't as a PCN was issued. it is now as thanks to what the traffic warden said the PCN has been cancelled.
It took 13 minutes to set up an account on PaybyPhone and then pay. This was held to be reasonable and the PCN was cancelled.
A traffic warden took the parking ticket back to cancel it they said (as if!). It has now been cancelled. If this is offered to you don't give them the PCN back. Simply write in to the council on the day and say this is what the traffic warden said and ask the warden to make a note on their handheld equipment.
Keep those appeals coming. We seem to have stalled at about 70 a week. It is still 2% of issued tickets but surely we can make it to 3%?

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

PATAS - w/c 2 September 13 - forget the internet

This was the week when the head of Ford talked about new cars being internet connected and google have trialled a car (see picture) that naturally makes heavy use of technology the independent adjudicator said you can forget the internet when it comes to parking.
There were 46 cancelled PCN in this week, 29 upheld and 1 recommendation for cancellation.
Of the 46 cancelled cases 21 of them were not the subject of any consideration as it appears that Do No Contest forms were filed by Barnet Council / NSL. The DNC form does not need to contain a reason as to why the case is no longer being pursued after all the trouble of issuing a parking ticket and then rebuffing informal and formal appeals. I can think of two possible reasons. The first is that the council is too busy to keep up with churning out evidence packs and the second is that the council / NSL have been bluffing and know they are going to lose. In this latter case I wonder if you could mount a claim for costs on the grounds that the council have been frivolous in not pursuing the PCN to the end? Do feel free to try this idea out, it seems counter-intuitive but it isn't.
On the Monday a PCN was cancelled as the reason for a dropped kerb was unclear.
This happened again on the Tuesday for a PCN in Brook Place.
For some bizarre reason the council / NSL demanded payment of £103. I couldn't make any sense of this at first and now I think someone was thinking of a bus lane ticket and transposed the 3 and the zero. Such a blunder, known in parking circles as a procedural impropriety, was enough for the PCN to be cancelled.
Now about the internet. NSL are writing letters to motorists telling them they should refer to the internet so they know when the Saracens match days are. No you don't. The signage should be clear and adequate so that any motorist visiting Barnet knows exactly where they are parking wise.
In a case on Wednesday it was clear that Barnet Council / NSL had not properly thought about the appeal i.e. they had not obviously considered exercising discretion.
Not so many of these since some parking meters were reinstalled but the old went to buy a parking voucher reasonable delay was allowed and the PCN was cancelled.
The council wrote that a loading bay said it was for goods vehicles only except that it didn't. oops, another cancelled PCN.
Another blunder in the notes which said that the contravention occurred and that the PCN was cancelled. It is now.
An urgent nappy change caused a motorist to be 5 minutes late leaving the Stapylton Rd car park because the changing facilities in the council library were out of use and the parent had to pop over the road to the Spires to use theirs. The PCN was not cancelled and so the spending a penny became rather more expensive as the adjudicator could find no breach of law and is not allowed to exercise discretion no matter how much they might like to.
The council failed to send their evidence pack for the PATAS hearing to the representative of the motorist and so the PCN was cancelled. PCN are dished out willy nilly for failing to comply with rules, the council also have to comply with them and their failures can be used against them.
A traffic warden told a man he could park where he was and needless to say he got a PCN. The case was not proven for other reasons but a lying traffic warden probably didn't help the case. An adjudicator will be able to tell that your indignation and testimony are real.
Someone made an error and paid for 60 minutes parking instead of 360 but they were only given 55 minutes and the council evidence on this point was so muddled that the parking ticket was cancelled.
In the Lodge Lane car park a motorist appealed their PCN for being in one of the red lined bays reserved for use by market stalls on a Friday on the grounds that signs about market day were not where they should be i.e. next to the bays. You too can use this point of appeal if you have such a PCN.
Keep those appeals coming as it is evident that you have a good chance of your appeal not being pursued by the council / NSL.

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

PATAS - w/c 26 August 13

A cul-de-sac
In the above week at PATAS, and the first day of the week was a Bank Holiday when PATAS doesn't sit but people still get parking tickets in Barnet, saw 32 PCN cancelled, 30 upheld and 1 odd one recommended for cancellation. In a way this was a good week for Barnet Council in that they won 48% of the cases, which is better than they usually do, but even in a short week there were 63 appeals which multiplied up would give 3,276 in a year which is far higher than in previous years. Those appeals just keep on coming. Remember that the more you appeal the more chance everyone has.
The first notable case was of a motorist ticketed for parking more than 50cm from the edge of the carriageway; this rule is to penalise double parking which sued to go on a lot in the squares of central London and people could end up blocked in. Your entire car, including wing mirrors, has to be parked in that way before a parking ticket (PCN) should be issued. In the instant case the car was parked, like vehicle A, at the end of the cul-de-sac. The adjudicator readily found that the end of the cul-de-sac was also an edge of the carriageway;p why the council and NSL felt it right to put a motorist all the way through the appeals process would be beyond me if it wasn't for the money they hoped to rake in. People park like that rather than in the corner so they don't get blocked in which is an unfortunate irony.
The old PayByPhone system caused more trouble. A motorist tried to use a public phonebox to pay which is quite possible as an operative will process your details. The phonebox was out of order and it was held that they weren't allowed enough time to pay. There were two other cases where people had left their car to collect a permit or voucher and were allowed a reasonable time which can be several minutes - it all depends on circumstances.
Another Saracens zone case saw the council / NSL fail to prove the signage. I think this might keep happening.
The council / NSL produced a Traffic Management Order for the wrong location. That was the end of another PCN.
There is a very faint double yellow line in Horsham Avenue apparently so if you get ticketed on it please appeal.
A mobile valet failed to get their PCN cancelled when they parked next to the vehicle they were working on. This sounds wrong but isn't as lots of people need their vehicle with them while they work and they all have to park properly and pay.
Another old ticket, from 19 July 2011 was cancelled as the vehicle had been stolen and this was notified to the council in September 2011. The adjudicator was as firm as ever.
The Enforcement Authority has a duty to act fairly and promptly. The delay of 16 months since the last attempt was made to enforce the Penalty Charge is unreasonable. For Mrs Lewis to be served with a Charge Certificate after such a substantial lapse in time and without prior warning is an abuse of process and clearly places her under a considerable disadvantage. She was entitled to assume the matter was finalised. Enforcing the Penalty Charge Notice by the use of a Charge Certificate after a substantial period of time is not reasonable. Therefore it is not in the interests of justice for this case to proceed further.
A suspended bay was badly signed (and the sign probably wasn't an approved one) and so the PCN was cancelled.
That was it. A run of the mill week.
Appealing is easy. Just write saying what you think was wrong. You can use the Pepipoo site if you need help.
Yours appealingly
Miss Feezance