24 February 2015

Blue badge renewal inefficiency (Crapita deal with blue badges)

A recent PATAS adjudication on a PCN.

The Appellant is a disabled badge holder who parked on a yellow line without displaying a badge. It was at the time in the process of being renewed; and, in the absence of any evidence from the Council to refute it I see no reason to doubt her evidence as to the renewal process. She made her application on the 16th June, the day before the old one expired (not having received a reminder) but nevertheless a month and a half before the date of the PCN. She was informed there would be an 8 week delay and that it was not possible to provide any sort of temporary cover note. The badge was not issued until the 11th  August. No explanation has been provided for what is on the face of it an extraordinarily long delay.

It is the case that in the absence of a disabled badge on display the exemption in the TMO for that purpose does not apply (and the Council in its case summary quotes from a number of my own previous decisions to that effect). However this is effectively a case of a Council demanding a penalty for the failure to display a document which the Council's own inefficiency had prevented her from displaying. It seems to me that  doing so amounts to the equivalent of an abuse of process; and in such circumstances no enforceable contravention can be said to have occurred ( see the dicta in Camden v The Parking Adjudicator  and BHS t/a First for Food Service Ltd [2011] EWHC 295 Admin [2011]EWCA Civ 905).

In addition the Appellant raises the question of the clear and correct signage of the restriction. The location clearly lies within a Controlled Zone; and I see no reason to doubt the evidence of the Appellant's representative, Mr Dishman, supported by photographs that at the entry point to the Zone which she used show there is only a single Zone sign positioned on the far side of the carriageway. This seems to me to be in be breach of the requirements of Direction 8 Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions; and even if some authorisation for a single sign had been given it seems to me it should be located on the left hand side of the carriageway. I would not be satisfied that the signage relied on was clear and correct.

The Appeal is therefore allowed.

If you have a blue badge the renewal of which was not processed efficiently do challenge the PCN all the way to PATAS and quote PATAS case number 2140524281 in support (not a precedent but should be persuasive). If you need help, send an email to mrmustard@zoho.com

Blue badges are only meant to be given to people who cannot walk more than 50m. What are they meant to do for 8 weeks whilst Crapita faff about, stay at home?

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

1 comment:

  1. So why (1) no reminder, (2) no temporary permits (3) 8 weeks to renew ? Good on the adjudicator to clearly identify "abuse of process", as it is going on in almost every London council parking department from what I see on a well-known forum.

    Presumably Barnet council couldn's care less, the councillors seem to get elected despite what goes on.


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