25 October 2013

New mobile comes with a car - thanks Verrus!

a car phone
Just in case you are getting a shiny new phone with a shiny new number or a shiny used car, you need to read the below decision from an adjudicator at PATAS so you can clean up any record of a car linked to your phone, or vice versa, of which you are unaware.

There is no dispute as to the whereabouts of vehicle xxxxxxx, at the time, on the material date; namely at a location requiring the purchase of time to park. 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 clearly stated in her written representations (supported by copy corroborating screen-shots of her mobile telephone), which she reiterated and comprehensively detailed at the Hearing.
The Enforcement Authority who assert that the said vehicle was so parked contrary to, and during the operative period of, a restriction are obliged to adduce evidence to the requisite standard to substantiate that assertion.
The evidence upon which the Enforcement Authority rely substantiate the assertion comprises the certified copy Penalty Charge Notice, copy provisions of governing Traffic Management Orders, and computer-generated 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.

Upon examination of the contemporaneous evidence I note that the civil enforcement officer records the abbreviation 'VC' at 10.24 a.m. on the date in question: I interpret this to mean that a check was made with the Verrus system at that time, yet the Penalty Charge Notice was issued at 10.22.a.m. and indicates that the said vehicle was viewed from 10.17 a.m.

The Enforcement Authority also adduce a copy of a 55 page 'PaybyPhone' user guide
and computer-screen images of the Verrus Parking History in relation to the said vehicle. Why the council (NSL on their behalf) insist on adding to their evidence a 55 page use guide which is not available to the person standing in a High Street or a car park and waste 55 pages of copier paper which add nothing to the argument
is beyond Mr Mustard.

The Appellant described the sequence of events, stating the time at which she positioned the said vehicle, her immediate attempts to comply, from within the said vehicle, with the instructions on the nearby sign. The Appellant also detailed the difficulties encountered with the system which caused the Appellant to be delayed for an appointment, so she vacated the said vehicle and made her way to the venue of the appointment, whilst continually trying to execute the parking payment transaction. The mobile device screen-shots corroborate this continuous activity and I have no reason to doubt the veracity of the same.

The sign at the location does not instruct motorists to remain with vehicles to make payment.
The Appellant, who was eventually put through to a customer services operative, repeated the information given to her: that a different mobile telephone number, registered in 2006, was linked to the vehicle registration mark and prevented the transaction going through. The Appellant had been below the driving age in 2006, and had never registered her own or any other mobile device to any vehicle registration mark. There is an obvious flaw in the system.

Where an enforcement authority implement a particular parking regime, a motorist must be afforded sufficient reasonable time to comply with the requirements of such regime, whether that be attending at a voucher-dispensing machine or obtaining and completing a visitor's permit, or effecting a transaction to purchase parking time by telephone or text methods. A motorist should not be prejudiced by an inability to effect such a transaction through the fault of the scheme.
I found the Appellant's oral evidence to be cogent and credible and I accepted it in its entirety, making a finding hat the Appellant was in the process of effecting compliance with the parking regime at the time of issue of the Penalty Charge Notice.
Evidentially therefore I am not satisfied that this contravention occurred, accordingly I allow this Appeal.

The question that Mr Mustard asks, given that the council had the same information, is why they wasted the time of the lady by refusing her appeal and making her travel to PATAS (nr Angel tube) and back again.

Is the council so desperate for money that they have to refuse blindingly obvious bona fide appeals in order to try and snatch a few quid from an innocent party.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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