Sunday, 30 November 2014

PATAS w/c 3 Nov 14 - the tide has turned

The number of new Appeals registered at PATAS was 951 which is at the lower end of the range. Of those cases only 24 were from Barnet which is a mere 2.52% of them whereas (unless PCN numbers have dropped) Barnet usually issue about 4% of all PCN London-wide and so it seems that more challenges and/or representations are being accepted. This is partly because every case sent to PATAS costs the council c.£40 in tribunal fees and it was really starting to hurt. It does mean that if you have an argument you should go to the trouble of writing to the address on the back of the PCN or Notice to Owner or email which is not advertised but is accepted as a means by which representations can be made.

Due to inbuilt lag of a month, as notice needs to be given of hearing dates, there were 56 Appeals heard. Of those, motorists won 26 which is only 46% and below the magic 50% mark at which motorists, as a group, break even. You need to smarten up your act to get this back up above the 50% mark.

Notable cases include:

The sign on the bay in Regents Park Rd outside the new Sainsbury store has been changed to remove the "no waiting" restriction which was confusing the heck out of everyone especially with a single yellow line through half of the bay. In the same week a different adjudicator didn't find the old sign to be confusing, unlike other adjudicators. You still need to be careful though as there are times when you still cannot park there and free parking is a slender 15 minutes.

The bay markings in Lodge Lane were found to not be clear enough.

The foot way bay markings in Greenway Gardens were found to not be clear enough, thus causing confusion as to where you could put 2 wheels on the pavement.

In one case a motorist paid by credit card within 14 days and the council (NSL) insisted they hadn't and dragged them to PATAS where the adjudicator found that payment had been made. What a waste of time for the poor motorist. I would be making a claim for costs on the grounds that the council had been wholly unreasonable (other grounds are being vexatious or frivolous but they don't apply to this case).

Things have changed people. The council are finally getting their act together at this stage of the game. You will have to work harder to win.

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

PATAS - w/c 27 Oct 14 - down, down, down

(Duck) down
In this week at PATAS there were 1,040 new Appeals registered for the whole of London. Of those, only 21 were Barnet cases which is half the number that one would expect as Barnet always used to account for 4% of all PCN issued in London, i.e. about 165,000. Now either Barnet are now issuing far fewer PCN, which does not seem likely, or they have wised up & accept more formal representations particularly on cases they know they are going to lose. By doing this they save £40 per PCN and a whole lot of work.

Of the 59 Barnet cases actually heard motorists won 38 of them which is 64% and that is the statistic which the council will attack next and try to win more of their cases, all of them is their target. You are all going to have to sharpen up.

There were 5 cases of note:

1.   In Woodside Grove there is a time plate missing it seems.

2.   In New Way Rd NW9 the foot way parking bays are too vague to enforce.

3.   A suspension sign was mounted on a traffic cone which of course can be moved by any motorist who wants wants to park where it was placed. In fact the best thing to do would be to place it temporarily in your boot, that would make it hard to enforce!

4.   No proof was provided of when a suspension sign was erected.

5.   No cctv was provided despite a request by PATAS.

Those five PCN were cancelled.

Now you know that more arguments are accepted earlier I expect to see you all challenging more PCN.

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

PATAS - w/c 20 Oct 14 - the drop

Numbers didn't drop quite as fast as the above ride probably does but this week saw a sea change at PATAS which must come from a change in policy in September 14 or slightly earlier.

The number of new Appeals registered at PATAS was 1,116 of which only 38 related to Barnet PCN. This is a mere 3% and finally below the norm of 4% as that is the proportion of London-wide PCN that Barnet Council issue. I can only conclude that the council have wised up and decided not to reject representations that they know will be accepted at PATAS and thus save themselves £40 for each hearing. What this means is that it is even more worthwhile to challenge your PCN.

There were 58 hearings of which 37 were won by the motorist (64%) so that statistic stayed good and high. I must warn you though that it will drop as the council get better at sorting out good challenges from bad ones.

Five cases they got wrong in this week, and for which PCNs were cancelled are as follows:

- Two bus lane PCNs were issued at the same time in two different locations. They could not survive as one car can only be in one place.

- Four bus lane PCNs were issued as two identical pairs. Two lived and 2 were cancelled.

- What the motorist displayed as his free ticket was in fact the visa receipt of the previous motorist which must have been left behind.

- The wrong PCN was produced in evidence so the council not only lost but possibly also breached the Data Protection Act.

- A PCN sent by post was not received and thus was held not to have been served. End of game.

Keep those Appeals coming and make sure you have some good arguable grounds.

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance

Monday, 10 November 2014

PATAS - w/c 13 Oct 14 - go back in time

In the week which started on 13 October at PATAs there were 933 new Appeals registered at PATAS. Of those, 39 related to Barnet which is 4% and for possibly the first time in 2014 that is the percentage that one would expect. The winds of change are definitely blowing through parking.

There were 45 Appeals heard and 30 of them, that is 67%, were won by the motorist.

There were 4 cases worth telling you about. In all cases the PCN was cancelled.

- In the first, the bay sign was hidden by an overgrown hedge. The Adjudicator said "Drivers do not have to inspect the hedgerow" although the level of search required will vary from one Adjudicator to another.

- The PCN was left hanging out of its envelope in the traffic warden's pictures. it had gone when the motorist returned. It was held not to have been served which doesn't happen very often.

- There was a note in the windscreen and a Solicitor's letter in the evidence pack about the vehicle having broken down. (The council really need to be able to work out when the truth is being told and not to default to a sceptical position).

- A PCN from 23 July 2012 finally reached adjudication but wasn't detained for long as this was clearly a dead duck. Councils are meant to get on with it at a reasonable pace.

Keep those challenges coming as Appeal numbers are dropping which must mean that more earlier representations are being accepted.

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

PATAS - w/c 6 Oct 14 - rather technical

In the week starting 6 October 14 there were 1,099 new Appeals filed across London. Barnet Council accounted for 5.5% of them whereas they really only should be 4%. The percentage does seem to be drifting down though. There were 52 Barnet Appeals heard and of those some 32, that is 62%, were decided in favour of the motorist.

There were some interesting technical points.

- The formal representations were made by a representative who was not authorised to act. therefore the Notice of Rejection was a nullity and the PCN was cancelled.

- A representative, who was authorised, chased the council three times for the Evidence Pack. As he hadn't got it by the hearing date the PCN was cancelled.

- A motorist stopped to help a traffic warden and got a PCN for his pains!

Mr P has attended and explained having a journey to Enfield where his sister lives on Sunday concerned. He told me about his professional work with children in Camden & Islington. He has explained he himself does not have a motor vehicle of his own but uses his brother's for occasional journeys.

He has explained using the area where he stopped was being used as a cut through. He has stated that he stopped solely on account of their being a pavement argument between a motorist and a pair of patrolling enforcement officers.  Mr P has spoken critically of those officers.

The Council case revolves around the report of its officer giving a physical description matching Mr P's. The officer evidence reports a vehicle driving away after stopping in  the disabled bay.

It is my conclusion that there is insufficient evidence today to prove the Council allegation.  I have recorded this appeal as allowed.

- Observations were recorded in the Evidence Pack as not being continuous. Thus the traffic warden's note "NLUL" (no loading or unloading observed) isn't very convincing as he/she wasn't next to the car to see what was going on.

- The motorist was executing a 3 point turn - not parked, he says. The motorist says he was not handed a PCN, the traffic warden says he was. The adjudicator believed the motorist and cancelled the PCN.

Keep those appeals coming.

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance

Monday, 3 November 2014

PATAS - w/c 29 Sept 14 - The great escape

In this week at PATAS there were 1053 new Appeals registered London wide and of those 57 were from Barnet which was 5% and higher than they should be.

38 Barnet Appeals were heard of which 24 were successful which is 63%

There were 4 notable cases.

In one the fact that the motorist had £7 in change available was sufficient to cancel the PCN, the adjudicator not realising that you could have a cash wagon with you but only a phone and a credit or debit card will do.

In another case the absence of proof of bus lane signs was enough to cancel the PCN.

In a third case the council did not respond to enquiries made by PATAS.

These were three great escapes.

The motorist who relied on a passing policeman saying it was OK to park on a Bank Holiday was wrongly advised and lost their Appeal.

Keep those Appeals coming as they seem to be tailing off.

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Barnet council have let NSL sow the seeds of dissent by indiscriminately scattering PCN

Barnet's PCNS issued by NSL have sown the seeds of dissent

News from Labour
London Borough of Barnet Labour Group
We’re on your side
For immediate release 
1 November 2014

Huge increase in parking appeals

Figures just released by the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service (PATAS) show that the number of appeals against parking tickets issued by Barnet Council has risen by 45% and is now the second highest out of all London boroughs.

In 2013-14, there were 3,470* formal appeals against penalty charge notices (PCNs) issued by Barnet Council, up from 2,393 in 2012-13.  This is even higher than the 3,235 appeals against PCNs issued by Westminster Council tickets, a borough covering central London and which issues far more tickets. (*Extra fees of approx £40,000 had to be paid to PATAS)

The figures also show that Barnet lost almost 60% of its cases at PATAS, one of the worst records in London. In answer to a question submitted by Labour’s environment spokesperson, Councillor Alan Schneiderman, the Council has revealed that in hundreds of cases it doesn't defend its case and the resident’s parking fines are simply written off.  And in some cases, the Council contests the appeal but then fails to submit any evidence leading to parking adjudicators making an automatic judgement in favour of the resident.

Cllr Schneiderman said: “Barnet has been treating motorists as a cash cow for too long and these figures prove it.  A huge rise in the number of appeals is bad enough but the fact that the Council loses almost 60% of appeals - and fails to defend hundreds of them is proof that too many tickets are unfairly issued.”

“It’s time for the Tories to admit that the outsourced parking service has failed and we should look at bringing it back under Council control.”



1.    The Parking and Traffic Appeal Service (PATAS) considers appeals against Penalty Charge Notices issued by all London local authorities.
2.    The appeal statistics for 2012-13 and 2013-14 can be found on the PATAS website: PATAS Annual Report
3.    Council Questions to the Leader can be found on Barnet’s website at: Full council meeting 4 November 14
Councillor Schneiderman’s questions are Nos 8, 38 and 54.

Doubtless the council will, as is their wont, blame everyone except themselves.

  • they don't properly supervise traffic wardens
  • have sufficient resources in-house to monitor the back office
  • allow NSL to produce evidence packs and not check them before submission
  • have a PCN with defective wording
  • have a Notice to Owner with defective wording

etc, etc

then the council really only have themselves to blame.

All I do is share knowledge about Appeals but that gives power to the people.

To reduce the number of Appeals in 2014/15 the council should:
  • issue fewer than 165,000 PCN p.a.
  • not issue so many marginal PCN
  • allow 5 or 10 minute grace periods almost everywhere
  • sack NSL
Keep those PATAS Appeals coming, it is starting to hurt the council. It is time to ramp up the pressure.

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance