6 May 2021

Hackney automation breaches the law

Everyone knows that councils automate as much of the back office PCN management process as they can. The relevant laws however, usually only that they 'may' take certain steps, they are not obliged to take them as in this section of the moving traffic legislation, the snappily titled London Local Authorities and Transport for London Act 2003.

Hackney Council came unstuck on their use of automation, which means that ahd pre-decided they were going to issue a charge certificate before they were entitled to think about one, when they forgot to turn off the automatic process after an Appeal had been made, an action which freezes things until 28 days after the Appeal has been decided.

It is worth closely checking through the evidence pack you are sent on Appeal, even if you don't get a charge certificate in error, to see if the system has been set to automatically send you one on a future date (look for a case history, if there is one). The tribunal case to quote in support of your Appeal if that does turn out to be the case is 2210111508. It is not a precedent but could just be a useful get out of jail free card if you are otherwise not going to win.

You can find the original decision in the tribunal register, here.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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