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Towed away in Lambeth - what can I do?

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I've held a parking permit for my road and the surrounding streets for as long as the parking scheme has been in operation.


I've parked in the same space for about two years. Until Friday that spot was governed by a residents'-permit-only sign. The space one up from it is a pay-and-display space.


As we walked past the car on Friday at about 3pm (it's around the corner from our house), we noticed there was a ticket on the car, which hadn't been there the last time we'd passed the car two hours previously. Annoying, but the parking attendants have done this before (confusing our spot with the meter spot), and we've successfully appealed.


But when we came back an hour later, we found that the 'permit holders only' sign was gone - and so was our car. We'd seen a council tow truck go past us, but never dreamed that it would be coming for us.


A quick phone call confirmed our fears. And informed us that we had to go out to some industrial estate in SE14 and pay £240 to get our car back. And it goes up £100 for every day you don't go and get it.


My wife had to take taxi to get the car back while I stayed at home to look after our baby. It totally ruined our afternoon and evening, not to mention the stress and expense. We were all quite unwell at the time with a vomiting bug (which just rounded the day off nicely).


We've got photographic evidence from the last time they tried to ticket us that that spot was a residents' parking one.


I feel sure we have grounds for appeal, namely that


a) they've changed the rules about that space without giving any notice whatsoever (I've checked with my neighbours and no-one has seen or heard anything)

b) under the circumstances, towing the car away was a completely disproprotionate action.


I believe the council have behaved appallingly and unfairly. We have the same traffic warden all the time - he must have been aware of my having parked legally all this time, and yet he issued a removal notice and had me towed away within half an hour!


Would anyone be able to advise me on the best course of action to recover the impound fee and taxi fare? I'd like to sue for the stress and inconvenience, too, but the impound fee would be a start.


Thanks in advance.

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Are you sure that this is a Council PCN/towaway - the daily storage charge of £100 would belie that?

The parking scheme is administered by the council, but the impound seems to be run by a private company. I'm pretty sure the council issued the removal notice - but I'll check. Thanks

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