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Any help appreciated here as this is a new one to me.

Parked in a DISC Zone today in Keswick. Signage said it was a Disc Zone, waitinf limited to 1 hour and no return within 4 hours. Underneath the signage was a dispenser for Blue discs. It was empty. There was no ther signage whatsoever indicating or explaining the nature of this Disc Parking.

Returned within the hour to find a PCN slapped on screen. I noted that other cars had a blue (presumably) disabled type disc thing in windows. Surely if its disabled only it should be signposted as such? No raod markings either.

Have yet to check the council website and legality of PCN.

Advice sought. Thanks

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OK little addditional info from the Council website.

"

Disc parking

 

Disc Zones offer free, time-limited parking on-street in Workington, Maryport, Aspatria, Wigton, Cockermouth and Keswick.

You can obtain a free, clock disc (as illustrated) from some shops in the town centre, or from the Council centre in the town you are visiting. Alternatively, discs can be posted to you prior to your visit by emailing Parking Services at [email protected] or by phoning on 01900 702850.

Display the disc showing the correct time of arrival on the dashboard of the vehicle so that arrival time can be seen from the outside of the vehicle.

Disc Zones

 

Check the disc zones signs - Times allowed vary from: 30 mins to 2 hours.

Please ensure you return to your vehicle within the time limit to avoid receiving a Penalty Charge Notice.

Please note that you may not alter a disc to obtain extra parking time, and once you leave a parking area, you must not return to the same street within the time specified on the sign."

NONE of this is explained anywhere in the signage or area.

While ignorance is no excuse, lack of information surely is?

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not sure about signage requirements for these. Only one that springs to mind is the 'Entry to disc zone' sign. Similar to entry to CPZ.

 

More interesting for me would be the PCN if you could show all of it please.

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Yes the large square was present. But it gives NO indication, nor did any other signage of where to obtain the discs, other than the empty dispenser directly underneath.

An additional item - I rang the Costa coffee shop we went to, opposite the parking place/signage. They had never heard of the scheme. (or should that be [problem]...)

Will post copy of PCN shortly.

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Unfortunatly signage does not need to explain how the system works, if it had said permits only would you have parked because it did not say how to apply for a permit? As long as the 'disc' sign was correct you do not have much chance of appealing on that point alone.

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ah but the disc dispenser was empty. No other dispenser was present.

While I understand your point, I disagree. Everybody knows what a permit is and its function. I and I am sure many many other people will never have come across this Disc scheme. Indeed on an internet search it would appear almost exclusive to some remote Lancashire/Cumbrian towns in the whole of England.

In a court case where the level or measure of "reasonable man on the street", in whatever context, is used as a benchmark. I doubt this would stand.

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PCN is ok so far - as far as I can see. Need the rest.

 

On your point about the absence of discs etc. Bare in mind G&M tends to take the Councils' side but also talks sense along the way. There is no particular issue of legal value as far as i can see but yes I see your point from a common sense perspective.

 

It doesn't go to any court.

 

First action is an informal challenge to the Council to just ask them to be reasonable + mention any flaws we find in the PCN.

 

If rejected you either pay at the discounted rate if they extend it (discretionary) or wait for the Notice to Owner and make formal representations in response.

 

If rejected again you have the option of appealing to the Adjudicator. Similar to a court in proceedings but far more informal and comfortable. That would be where your argument might have best effect but it is fairly tenuous without any other issues to back it up.

 

You could research in the meantime if you were keen to pursue this.

Who is responsible for filling the disc dispenser? were they at work that day? - etc. etc.

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Oh yeah - that "blurb" on the back, LOL.

 

Not your fault It seems a very common perception by joe public that what is actaully a legal document has no relevance. It certainly does. It has to comply with the requirements of the relevant legislation - i.e. what it contains and what it tells you.

 

It's a pretty good effort actually (given some others). Sadly, for them, they missed something crucial unless I missed it.

 

They are required to say that if you make representations before a Notice to Owner is served that those representations will be considered. I can't see where they say that? IMV that is prejudicial because it may lead you to believe that only reps made in 14 days will have any chance. They say that you may make reps between 15 and 28 days but they don't say they will be considered.

I am told there was a succesful appeal at Adjudication on this matter - vs a Devon Council. Probably others.

 

Will link to the relevant regs when i find some time.

 

Regards.

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From - Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions Representations and Appeals Regulations 2007. Part 2, Reg 3, para (2) (b) (i) as below.

 

(2) A penalty charge notice served under regulation 9 of the General Regulations must, in addition to the matters required to be included in it under paragraph 1 of the Schedule to the General Regulations, include the following information—

 

(a)

that a person on whom a notice to owner is served will be entitled to make representations to the enforcement authority against the penalty charge and may appeal to an adjudicator if those representations are rejected; and

 

(b)

that, if representations against the penalty charge are received at such address as may be specified for the purpose before a notice to owner is served—

 

(i)

those representations will be considered;

(ii)

but that, if a notice to owner is served notwithstanding those representations, representations against the penalty charge must be made in the form and manner and at the time specified in the notice to owner.

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To be honest it's a bit tenuous. They certainly do deviate from the wording - but do they do so in a way that fails to comply with what they are required to tell you?

They do say that all cases will be considered but then i would argue that following that immediately with the statement about making a challenge within 14 days is misleading. They don't specifically say that all challenges received before a Notice to Owner is served 'will be considered'.

 

You could send it as an additional matter if you like. It would be interesting to see what happened if you sent that addition in the 15-28 day period? - If you get my drift.

 

Ultimately, if it were to progress so far, you would have to persuade an Adjudicator.

Technically, if a PCN fails to comply with the requirements it is invalid. I'm told though that some Adjudicators are insisting that you show that prejudice was actually caused. This is odd because it goes against the rulings of earlier landmark cases where the potential for prejudice was enough.

 

In conclusion, I don't think it would be of much use on its own - but useful in combination with your general common sense points - i.e. no discs, etc.

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well the 15-28 day period starts to day, so I think I'll submit a query regarding the "technical" validity of PCN

 

I like your style!

 

Should be interesting - because if they fail to consider it - point made.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Eventually received a reply to my informal representations.

They won't move from their position but seem to think a full 2 pages of blurb were required (in my mind this would indicate they are on the defensive). There's a surprise.

However, I'm going to pay as I really can't be bothered to appeal or argue the toss. If it goes to adjudicator that will involve my time and money.

 

Naturally I will be sending a stinking 2 page reply on their money grabbing [problem]. This will make me feel a lot better than saing £25!

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