Marc Gander - The Consumer Survival Handbook


A 220 page introduction to all things consumer related by our own BankFodder.

Includes energy companies, mobile phone providers, retailers, banks, insurance companies,debt collection agencies, reclaim companies, secondhand car sellers, cowboy garages, cowboy builders and all the rest who put their own profits before you.

£6.99



Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

£19.99 + £1.50 (P&P)


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  1. #1

    Default A break in a double yellow line has to be at least a "car length"...

    ...So says one of Blackpool's finest!

    (Bit of a moan but relevant issues covered, long post)


    The street on which the local Royal Mail sorting office, where people collect their undelivered parcels, is situated is a one-way street which pay-and-dispaly parking meters on one side and double yellows on the other, plus apparently pointless markings on the kerb which, according to the parking ticket office are there to let people know it is an offence to park on the footpath - that's what they told me when I phoned to complain. If you didn't, you would be blocking the road.

    Before we get to the main event - my complaint - there are already a couple of contentious issues here. First of all, I referred to the markings as apparently pointless as according to local rules it is an offence to park on any footpath anyway, so they say. So all footpaths need to be marked, or none of them!

    Secondly it is interesting to note that they refer to this misdeameanour as an offence. Since parking is council controlled, and thus decriminalised, it isn't an offence, a point of major contention in Blackpool at the moment - they are still pursuing people for unpaid fines even though they have now lost several cases at NPAS because their parking tickets referred to an offence and so were illegally worded (I believe they have now changed the wording).

    The parcel collection office is a particularly busy one, you can often be queing for at least ten minutes but being in the town centre the pay-and-display bays are usually occupied all the time (used to be free to park until the council spotted the money-making potential) and people collecting parcels park partly on the footpath opposite for a few minutes. No big deal, preventing an obstruction, no damage to the low kerb and plenty of room for pedestrians. Of course you're a prime target for a ticket and it's patrolled regularly. No need, just a money-making [problem] but we have all sort of got used to it and have to put up with it.

    However on the Saturday before Christmas, Christmas Day of course being Monday, the parcel collection office was very busy and there were long queues. The council's answer? To position two trafiic wardens outside all day, so people could not park outside the parcel office without getting a ticket.

    I myself had gone to collect a parcel, parked on the footpath before I saw the wardens which were ahead of the car parked in front of me. One warden appeared immediately and said, "Shift it - now!". I got out of the car and spotted the second warden. He was arguing with a woman who was in tears, in some distress actually, seemed she was protesting at the fact that she had a large parcel to pick up, had been driving around the block for an hour waiting for a bay, and finally gave up choosing to accept the inevitable ticket to collect her parcel, no doubt a Christmas present. However she was being told that a tow truck was on standby to tow away offenders who deliberatley ignoredicon them.

    I turned back to my car to see the first warden writing out a ticket. I then asked him if he knew the laws relating to parking on double yellow lines. he of course said he did, so I asked him why he was giving me a ticket. Before he had the chance to answer, I pointed out that there was a break, in fact several breaks in the yellow lines. I then pointed out that this rendered them basically non-existent and that nobody was commiting an offence by parking there, and they were wrong to stop them, let alone book them.

    I deliberately said offence to gauge his reaction. He initially said, "What break? I can't see any break in any lines so you're commiting an offence. That's why you have got a ticket. You were warned."

    Really? I then pointed out the breaks, about 4ft from where we were stood (remarkably he still couldn't see them the first time) and told him that I had no problem winning my appeal at NPAS. I then questioned that if he knew the laws he must know that he has just given me a ticket KNOWING that I am not illegally parked! I told him that if he didn't know he should resign because he obviously wasn't up to the job, and if he DID know he should resign because he was booking people illegally! He saud that he was well aware of the law and a break in a double yellow line "had to be at least a car length long". Obviously this is boleaux but I would love to know how the Road Traffic Act defines a "car length". Interestingly, no mention was made of parking on the pavement.

    Not until I phoned up to complain that is. My complaint was about the attitude of the warden that ticketed me (I could have avoided it, yes, but I'm not bothered about that, that's not the point here). My point is WHY is there a need for such overzealous regulation anyway? Couldn't they have turned a blind eye for one day instead of making the last shopping day before Christmas into a lot of hassle for people? And they can't understand why town centres are dying!

    Think about it - we hear a lot on the news about town centre stores losing out to internet retailers but I wonder if a lot of the reason for it is the fact that you can't park in or near town centres without paying for it or risking a ticket. Those retail parks are always heaving because it's free to park and no worries about fees or fines or your car being towed away. The likes of Tesco etc. seem to be making fortunes and one of the main attractions is free parking where you want to be, are councils ever going to wake up and realise that it is THEY who are killing High Street trade?

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  2. #2

    Default Re: A break in a double yellow line has to be at least a "car length"...

    I've had a similar debate with a traffic warden regaarding the gaps in double yellows being at least a car length. I was parked over a mini-sized gap in the double yellows in my Toyota Camry (think about two mini's long). He elected to let me just get out of his sight before he changed his mind, which suited me as my mate had just picked up our takeaway.

    A car-length is a very subjective measure.


  3. #3

    Default Re: A break in a double yellow line has to be at least a "car length"...

    Was he talking about the length of a Smart car or a Rolls Royce?


  4. #4

    Default Re: A break in a double yellow line has to be at least a "car length"...

    There is no such requirement - for any break to be at least an car length - therefore any debate as to what constitutes a car length in this context is sterile.

    The regulations are absolute and require that the lines are continous and terminated with a T-bar. There are no permitted variations.

    Many Councils and, indeed, some adjudicators will quote "de minimis" (In fact, de minimis non curat lex = the law does not concern itself with trifles) and state that a reasonable man would recognise that the lines existed. However, there is established case law that says that if the signs are not as prescribed (and road lines are signs) then they do not exist and cannot therefore be contravened. This strikes down any test of reasonableness (which doesn't exist in the legislation anyway)


  5. #5

    Default Re: A break in a double yellow line has to be at least a "car length"...

    That's really what I was getting at, not only are they fleecing the motorist at will, they are now LYING to the public in order to attempt to justiy to the public what they are doing there in the first place.

    The whole thing is a disgrace, as I said if either the warden doesn't know the law or is blatently lying then he should resign. Chances are though that he is making excuses such as this with his department's blessing!


  6. #6

    Default Re: A break in a double yellow line has to be at least a "car length"...

    I pointed out to a traffic warden that there was no T bar on the double yellow lines so I was not illegally parked as he stated .He laughed sarcastically and said well watch I'm still going to give you a ticket anyway . I said what with the disabled badge correctly displayed on my car and all these witnesses watching your actions .He laughed again but just then walked away .
    I regretted having the disabled badge on show as there where many witnesses so I'd of prefered to of got the ticket and challenged it / him , because of his attitude.


    When you want to fool the world, tell the truth.

    Advice & opinions of Janet-M are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Use your own judgment. Seek advice of a qualified insured professional if you have any
    doubts.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: A break in a double yellow line has to be at least a "car length"...

    Quote Originally Posted by seylectric View Post
    .
    plus apparently pointless markings on the kerb
    What kind of markings? Single, double, or treble bars on the kerb, at right angles to the road, indicate that loading restrictions are in effect.

    Tim


  8. #8

    Default Re: A break in a double yellow line has to be at least a "car length"...

    Was this ever appealed?


  9. #9

    Default Re: A break in a double yellow line has to be at least a "car length"...

    Quote Originally Posted by JaceMindu View Post
    Was this ever appealed?
    This is a long time ago now! After complaining on the phone at the time I got the ticket, pointing out the large gap in the lines, I never heard another word about it so I assume they must have dropped the matter and cancelled the ticket.

    I only mouth my opinion, please look elsewhere for sensible advice!
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  10. #10

    Default Re: A break in a double yellow line has to be at least a "car length"...

    Quote Originally Posted by seylectric View Post
    This is a long time ago now! After complaining on the phone at the time I got the ticket, pointing out the large gap in the lines, I never heard another word about it so I assume they must have dropped the matter and cancelled the ticket.
    That's interesting. I haven't tried calling them. Might have been worth a try at the time, instead of letting it go to the NTO stage. Something to think about it future...



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