20 May 2014

Paying for parking took 59 minutes

The below is an edited version of a recent PATAS adjudication of a PCN issued to a motorist who parked in the Stanhope Road Car Park and did their best to follow the system, if you can call the way we have to pay a system.

There is no dispute as to the whereabouts of vehicle on the material date; namely at a location requiring the purchase of time to park and the display of a paid-for time voucher and/or facilitating the purchase of parking time by telephone payment.

The Enforcement Authority assert the absence of payment/display in respect of the said vehicle.

The Appellant denies liability for the ensuing Penalty Charge Notice on the basis of the prevailing circumstances as contained in her written representations, supported by mobile device screen-shots and Freedom of Information documentation.

The evidence upon which the Enforcement Authority rely to substantiate the assertion comprises the certified copy Penalty Charge Notice, extracts of governing Traffic Management Order provisions, and computer-generated notes made by the Civil Enforcement Officer together with photographic evidence: still frames revealing the said vehicle in situ, and the applicable signage notifying motorists of the restriction.

The Appellant indicated the full circumstances encountered at the location and clearly described the sequence of events to the Enforcement Authority from the outset, including forwarding copy mobile device screen-shots demonstrating the on-going exchange commenced  at 9.41 a.m. and resolved at 10.40 a.m.

The Penalty Charge Notice was issued during the currency of such payment transaction.

A motorist must be afforded sufficient reasonable time to comply with the requirements of a parking regime, whether that be attending at a voucher-dispensing machine, obtaining and completing a visitor's permit, or completing a telephone payment transaction.

I find the Appellant's evidence to be cogent and credible and I accept it in its entirety.

The points raised by the Appellant deserved proper consideration and due response, I therefore carefully examined the wording of both the Notice of Rejection itself, and the Case Summary to assist in my determination as to whether or not the Enforcement Authority had accorded requisite consideration as it is obliged so to do. 

I note an overt failure to adequately identify/rebut or retort to the Appellant's issues in the Notice of Rejection; a 'belief' that cancellation would be 'inappropriate' does not meet the criteria. Further I observe there to be a similar lacking of compliance of the same in the Case Summary, which infers that since the scenario did not come within an Appeal Ground it was not entertained.

I concluded that the Enforcement Authority had not discharged its fundamental duty under Regulation 5(2)(b) of the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) Representations & Appeals Regulations 2007 which I find to be a 'procedural impropriety' on the part of the Enforcement Authority.

Accordingly, this Appeal is allowed. 
(thus the PCN was cancelled)

What a state of affairs when a motorist has to faff about for 59 minutes making payment in a Car Park where the minimum time you can pay for is 30 mins at a cost of 75p (per the council website) and where the business they wanted to transact might only have taken 15 minutes.

If this doesn't show that Pay By Phone is not the solution, when to insert real coins would have taken less than a minute, then what does?

What an omnishambles.

Well done to the motorist for sticking it out all the way to PATAS, Mr Mustard salutes you. NSL, acting as the council's agent, garner no credit for making the motorist go all the way to PATAS at Islington and for doing a poor job of answering the motorist's challenge.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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