14 March 2013

Suspended bays - suspend your payment

courtesy of Nutsville - motorcyclists who are not at all nutty
Mr Mustard expects you remember the article in the Evening Standard about councils in London using signs with which to indicate bay suspensions that were not of an approved design. Barnet Council were one of the culprits. Has that stopped them from issuing parking tickets and raking in the lolly? you bet it hasn't.

People who challenge their tickets find that they get a fairer hearing in front of the independent adjudicators at PATAS. Here is what the adjudicator had to say in a case from last month:

The Appellant attended in person. The Authority did not attend nor was it represented.

The bay was suspended outside 75 to 79 Cxxxxxxx Road. The Appellant said that the vehicle was outside no. 81. The Authority's evidence did not rebut this assertion. There was really no excuse as to why a photograph cold not have been taken of the profile of the whole of the vehicle against the frontages of the properties.

The Appellant had also made a challenge to the adequacy of the signage in terms of when it went up. The Authority's assertion that motorists must check every day. Not only is this a little harsh, the PCN was issued at 7:30. If the sign went up the night before after the vehicle was parked, the PCN is unlikely to be upheld.

I am allowing the appeal.

Here is another case from yesterday which led to that parking ticket also being cancelled:

The Appellant argues that the suspension sign is non compliant as it is not a traffic sign as defined in the relevant legislation. This point was considered by this Tribunal in the case of Campbell v Camden case no. 2090523567. The Traffic Management Order in that case is with respect to the power to suspend is in similar terms, in particular with the requirement for there to be a traffic sign. The Enforcement Authority have not said that their suspension sign has special authorisation from the DoT and they do not address the argument as to whether it complies with any of the signs in the Traffic Signs Regulations & General Directions 2002 ( see e.g. fig.s 636 or 640). Having considered the Campbell case and in the absence of any contrary arguments from the Enforcement Authority, I will follow that case.....

In following the Campbell case, I rule that the signage was non compliant as the suspension sign used is not prescribed in the Traffic Signs Regulations & General Directions 2002 and no special authorisation has been obtained. Accordingly, the suspension cannot be enforced.

Given that Barnet Council & NSL should both know the law on traffic signs one wonders why they have been refusing challenges based upon inadequate signage. It can't be that they simply want money from you, could it? Presumably they have now somewhat belatedly applied for a newly designed sign to be approved but if you have a parking ticket that pre-dates mid February you can get it cancelled. Quote the Campbell case above. If you have paid for such a parking ticket since the Campbell case in January 2010 why not write in to Barnet Council, not NSL, and ask for your money back or email here.

When Barnet Council reject any appeal that you have made don't just take their word for it. Barnet Council have a vested interest in rejecting your appeal. Go away and research your circumstances on the internet and send in an informal appeal after you first get the parking ticket, again once you receive the Notice to owner and finally after a Notice of Rejection you can appeal to PATAS where you get an independent consideration of your case.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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