Tuesday, 28 January 2014

PATAS - w/c 20 January 14 - an average week

This week was so average that I have one page missing out of the notes that I took about it. I can't remember any notable cases though and the page will turn up in another file one day. One case was referred back to be looked at again by the council with a view to cancelling, 33 PCN were upheld as payable and 63 were cancelled. So that is 66% won by the motorist. you see, it is worth filling out that Notice of Appeal. If you skip the optional box 5 it takes 3 or 4 minutes at most.

Really average reasons to have your PCN cancelled this week included:-

- the council denying you the boarding or alighting exemption but the adjudicator allowing it

- the PCN not having been handed to a female driver as the traffic warden noted, the driver was a male

- the Saracens Event Day sign not showing that you need 2 permits if you live within the ED zone and a residents zone

- a suspension not being proven (very common this one)

- a single yellow line being non-existent

- a PCN from May 12 being too old to pursue due to a delay of over 6 months between the Charge Certificate and the Order for Recovery

- the council didn't put the representations they had received in the evidence bundle

- dropping a child at a nursery and being away from the car for a short while - I wonder if any of the clerks at NSL actually have children?

- a description of Station Rd being found wanting as there are 6 in Barnet (this only works when you don't find the PCN on your windscreen)

- a dropped kerb in Bulwer Rd not having been dropped to the level of the road

- someone driving away is not "preventing" the traffic warden from issuing the PCN so one shouldn't be sent by post

- actually these ones were not average. Vehicle taken without consent receives 23 PCN. The first 3 have been in front of the adjudicator and cancelled.

- ran out of fuel was allowed (it isn't usually) because the vehicle was in the hands of a garage and the fuel gauge was faulty

- the motorist was helping their disabled sister upstairs. You can't just leave them on the pavement if they need help and you need the car near to where you are going.

- the PayByPhone app got the blame for not changing a registration number back.

- attending a breakdown of another car.

That's it. Another week in which about 3% of the week's PCNs made it to PATAS. Any advance on 3%?, can we get it to 5% by the end of 2014?

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance

Monday, 20 January 2014

PATAS - w/c 13 Jan 2014 - Gross!

What a week. There was a gross of decided appeals (+1 referred back with a recommendation) and for the younger readers, a gross is not in this context something revolting but the number 144 or 12 dozen, a number in which goods used to be sold to shops.

If this were kept up every week then 4.5% of all PCN would be appealed. That would cause a bit of a flap in the back office.

Now there were some common cases.

21 cases from 2011 (and a few from 2012, it is 2014 now after all) led to 21 cancelled PCNs due to the difficulty in providing a fair trial (Article 6 of the Human Rights Act) for what happened all that time ago.

In 23 cases the council decided not to contest the appeal, known by me as throwing in the towel. This was probably due to the Xmas holidays getting in the way of work.

And then there were the one off cases.

A bus stop was worn and unclear so that motorist had a lucky escape. Bus stops are for buses, if you don't have one, keep out.

One poor person got 2 PCN as the parking bay was painted around his car whilst he was parked. it sounds like a music hall joke but it isn't funny if it happens to you. Fortunately when put to proof as to when the bay was installed the council can never come up with any paperwork and thus the decision goes the way of the motorist. It's a right faff though to have to appeal.

Another motorist paid in a shop and spoke to the traffic warden about the payment he had made. The PCN he still got was cancelled as it would be ridiculous to do anything else once proof of on time payment was provided.

In a case of parking in a residents bay with an expired permit, only 4 days out of date, the motorist was bang to rights but luckily the section of the Traffic Management Order produced by the council was the wrong one and so they hadn't proceed the contravention had occurred and that PCN was cancelled.

The visitors permit which had been placed in the driver's window was not photographed by the traffic warden. Oversight or deliberate omission, who can say but we can say the PCN is now cancelled.

There was a printer problem in the permit section a couple of months ago. Motorists were told what to put in their windscreen and of course traffic wardens ignored the note and issued a PCN. PATAS cancelled it as the story just had to be true.

A section of what the council think is footway in Bunns Lane had been parked on for 30 years without previous trouble. The PCN was cancelled. You must always be careful to avoid what is clearly footway for the use of pedestrians.

The ambiguous lines painted near the Montessori School in Rectory Lane led to another PCN being cancelled.

Dropping off your pregnant wife shouldn't be cause for a PCN. The adjudicators at PATAS are more sensible and sensitive than some faceless NSL employee in Croydon so that was another PCN cancelled.

A deaf person asked a traffic warden for help about whether they needed to use the 3 digit security code on the back of the credit card when texting payment. The traffic warden said not which was the incorrect answer. Thus the deaf person didn't pay and then got a PCN.  Their appeal was heard clearly by PATAS and the PCN was cancelled.

Well done to all 144 of you. Will that number stand as the record for 2014? Keep looking here to find out and keep those appeals going.

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance

Sunday, 12 January 2014

PATAS w/c 6 Jan 14 - start as you mean to go on

Sorry, no picture today as Blogger won't let you update them since 1 January 2014. They are trying to fix the problem.

There were 88 hearings of which 1 was the subject of a recommendation to cancel, 29 PCN were upheld and 58 were cancelled. So 66.66% were allowed, or 2 out of 3. Given that appealing to PATAS is free to the motorist and that it costs the council £40 every time, you really should complete the PATAS form and post it off as it will gain you another 28 days at the very least in which to pay, put the council to a whole load of work which they might not bother to do and then you win and you could, if you want to do the minimum, simply not bother filling in the optional box 5, details of appeal, and let your existing representations to the council stand to be looked at again by an independent adjudicator as a postal appeal so you don't even need to go to Angel, Islington. To complete the PATAS form that way will take 2 minutes, I know because I have just done one. All it will cost you is 50p for a second class stamp.

Have you got a Notice of Rejection of Representations and a PATAS form which you have received in the last 28 days. It's the New Year, fill out that form! Go on, stop reading this, fill out that form and come back here afterwards.
You've done it? Good. Now to the PCN which were cancelled last week and why.

The first one is a corker. The motorist saw the traffic warden run across the road to take a photo so they drove away. They received a PCN in the post. They were held not to have prevented the issue of a PCN. The position is quite simple. A traffic warden employed by NSL has no power to detain you, you can simply go about your normal business without waiting around to be penalised.

The Saracens Event Dday signage continued to cause a headache for the council. They probably don't care as they issue 400 PCN on most event days and as half of the recipients simply pay up that is at least £6,000 into the coffers every time. They lost 4 ED zone appeals in this week which is an appeal to PATAS rate of only 3%.

There is a missing sign in Castle Rd. That sounds like a good place to park or to appeal from.

The council only put part of the representations into the evidence pack. That isn't good enough so the PCN was cancelled. the motto of the story is to write long letters to the council so that they fall over their technical shoelaces.

Someone who tried 5 times to pay by phone and the system failed was held to have tried hard enough. There is more to life than trying to combat Barnet's unfriendly payment system.

A bay in Algernon Rd changes halfway along and catches people out. There should be a clear division if a bay changes. If there isn't your PCN should be cancelled if you appeal to PATAS. I note that the free from 10 till 4 loading bays have been repainted to be wider and separate them from the normal pay parking bays as people were getting caught out in droves. Nice to see the council doing something sensible for once.

The council are still pushing their luck on historic PCN with ones from 25 May 11, 6 June 11, 13 July 11, 21 July 11 & 12 September 11 being rapidly cancelled by the adjudicator.

The traffic warden put the PCN in his pocket but didn't tell the office that. It has now been cancelled.

The evidence for a car supposedly parked more than 50cm from the kerb (the whole car has to be this distance away or more) was vague and so the PCN was cancelled.

A suspension was not adequately signed. I suspect they often aren't nor in good time.

Someone accused of not having their blue badge on display produced photographs of it chained to the steering wheel. Anyone that careful with it is likely to have had it on display. Perhaps the traffic warden only photographed other sections of the windscreen?

Someone who paid £1 to park had their PCN cancelled as the council failed to show where the £1 was allocated.

I have often wondered how the abbreviations used by traffic wardens are meant to be understood by the public. The council lost a case because they didn't produce a key with their evidence pack.

The council often claim that if they haven't answered informal representations (ones sent in response to receiving a PCN on your car and before the Notice to Owner is issued after which they become formal representations)  that they didn't need to. The adjudicator in case 2130605773 said otherwise and referred to the famous Hackney Drivers Association Ltd case as establishing this in Court.

There was a time lag on the PayByPhone payment being registered. As it was clearly paid on time the PCN was cancelled.

Is this start to the year typical of what is going to happen in 2014? That is up to you. Remember once you have the Notice to Owner (which means that the offer to pay 50% no longer exists) you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain, by ploughing on to the end of the process.

Yours frugally

Miss Feezance

Monday, 6 January 2014

PATAS - w/c 30 Dec 13 - 63.636363% won

The number of appeals won at 35 out of 55 gives us a percentage success rate of 63.636363...% a recurring number. there were some appeals that looked like recurrences of earlier ones.
There were two PCN from 4 June 11 and 15 April 11 which fell foul of the Human Rights Act as has every other 2001 PCN in 2013 once the point is raised with the adjudicator.
There was a failure to consider informal representations. That was held to be a procedural impropriety.
The council produced the wrong PCN in evidence. Whoops, the real one was then cancelled.
The council took yet another kicking on the Saracens Event Day zone where they have repeatedly written to motorists telling them they should check the internet before they set off. This is what the Adjudicator said

"The Council says in its case summary that it is the motorist's responsibility to familiarise themselves through the internet with the days on which events are taking place. In my view, that is an absurd proposition. It is the responsibility of the Council to properly sign event day restrictions."
Someone proved they had paid, why couldn't the council find their money rather than make them go to PATAS to get their PCN cancelled?
Someone else was in the process of paying. If traffic wardens are going to issue parking tickets starting from the second that you get out of your car to look at the sign and get your phone out it is simply unfair but that is what they do sometimes.
Someone else didn't have the necessary vouchers because of a printer problem. Mr Mustard knew about this problem, resident permits weren't issued for at least a week. Why on earth the council hasn't got printer maintenance on contract (it probably has, perhaps a spare part had to come a long way) to avoid this sort of problem is one question. The second is why the council don't make allowances for the problems they themselves cause?
Paying by cash near to where you park has been trouble ever since the bonkers decision was taken to remove cash parking meters. Here is a case that may help you if you have got caught without your phone and didn't know where the nearest paypoint or voucher shop was. These are the adjudicator's comments:
The Enforcement Authority has referred to alternative means for payment being possible at either a Council pay-point outlet or by purchasing a parking voucher from a retailer in accordance with details stated "on the sign post where the pay by phone sign is situated."

According to the Appellant, the relevant sign referred to in the Enforcement Authority's evidence was located on the other side of the road to where she had parked. This informative sign was not visible in any of the other photographs provided by the Enforcement Authority of the sign at the location at which the Appellant had parked, and I have therefore concluded that, on a balance of probabilities, it was not there.

I consider that, whilst not part of the signage required under the Traffic Signs Regulations & General Directions 2002, the additional informative sign is an essential requirement to convey to the motorist the various methods of payment available. I find that the Enforcement Authority had failed to comply with its obligations under Regulation 18(1)(a) of the Local Authorities Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996 to take such steps as are necessary to secure that adequate information as to the effect of the relevant parking regulations was made available.

The alleged contravention cannot be enforced and I allow the appeal.
Finally someone was held not to have been next to a dropped kerb. The council tend to issue a PCN first and argue later if your overhang is marginal or even non-existent.
Come on then. It is 2014. Your New Year Resolutions are to not get parking tickets and, if you do, to appeal every parking ticket you get all the way to PATAS. Easier than losing weight or getting fit.
Yours appealingly
Miss Feezance