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stimpycp

Police FPN: Illegible Disabled Markings

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Hi,

On 22nd July I received a Fixed Penalty Notice from Merseyside Police for parking in a disabled bay at 21:05hrs; Code 18: "Parking in length of road... (disabled)".

I was there to load gear into the adjacent building where I was playing a gig. We are always told to park there as the bays are next to the loading door and have no regulation.

The location, Wood Street is cobbled, narrow and pretty ancient. The disabled markings that line the bay have all but worn off the cobbles and are pretty illegible. Pretty bad, as you can't read it properly. Apparently readable to a (likely) horse mounted police person though. You can just about read the word but you have to stand on it and squint to make it out. There is no disabled wheelchair icon in the bay and no wall or lamp post signs next to the bay. There is upon inspection a very small lamp post sign at the top of the road on the corner, denoting that there are disabled bays in the road, but it's hard to notice as you turn into the road.

I would have thought that the bay itself requires better marking so that people have a fair chance of being informed and that any offences are enforceable. I also have no idea if there is a certain time that these bays are effective.

Martin Lewis' site advises that Police tickets are harder to contest. I'm going to photograph and record the location in support of my objection tomorrow.

 

I was mortified to learn I was actually in a disabled bay, as it's a pet hate of mine. I'd park on the far side of a 24hrs ASDA at 4 in the morning, than park in it's disabled bay. I feel the council has let me down by not maintaining the markings and making it more obvious.

 

Any ideas on my chances, and also are there any precedents to my case?

 

Thanks people.

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You'll have trouble contesting it if the markings are visible, albeit barely.

 

Request the TRO from the council for the bay. No TRO, no offence.

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You'll have trouble contesting it if the markings are visible, albeit barely.

 

Request the TRO from the council for the bay. No TRO, no offence.

 

Actually, as it is a police-issued FPN, then the route is to a Magistrates' Court. Where Davies v Heatley very definitely does apply!

 

OP: Can you supply pictures of the road markings and signage please?

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Yes, but turn up to mag's court with proof there's no TRO and you're sorted.

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I apologise for the wait.

I returned to the site and the illegible marking is actually readable (it's in relief, i.e. on cobbles so it DOES almost disappear when you see it in perspective from your car). But there's only 1 marking to a 4 car space. There's also 1 lamp post sign that's pretty small.

I feel let down by the council to be honest, because that's just NOT good enough. A traffic warden advised me of the strict guidelines that they have to adhere to when enforcing disabled bays; Markings and lamp post signs next to it. I believe you should have a fair chance of reading signs from your driver's seat, without having to make an effort to get out, walk around and look, on the off chance that where you've parked is covertly restricted!

May just pay it as I hate the fact I parked in a disabled bay but I still want to complain to the council.

P.S. What's a TRO?

Parking-2.jpg

Parking-1.jpg

Parking-4.jpg

Parking-3.jpg

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TRO = Traffic Regulation Order. It's a public document that provides the authority for the restrictions.

 

The outer edge of that bay appears to be marked twice with differing styles of dashed white lines. IMO, the markings are defective (and therefore invalid/non-existent in law) in that there can only be one broken white line,

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Cool, thanks.

I'll get on to the council about the TRO tomorrow.

On the strength of your white line idea, I feel more positive on contesting this.

Thank you.

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This disabled bay has no signText for an appeals letter:disabledparkingbaynosign.jpgThis bay does not comply with the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 which requires a disabled bay to be accompanied by a sign to diagram 661A.

 

Every bay needs to have a sign by it - not one sign at end of road.

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Awesome.

Saved a copy of said regulations, and will provide a copy in my letter to Police.

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I apologise for the wait.

I returned to the site and the illegible marking is actually readable (it's in relief, i.e. on cobbles so it DOES almost disappear when you see it in perspective from your car). But there's only 1 marking to a 4 car space. There's also 1 lamp post sign that's pretty small.

I feel let down by the council to be honest, because that's just NOT good enough. A traffic warden advised me of the strict guidelines that they have to adhere to when enforcing disabled bays; Markings and lamp post signs next to it. I believe you should have a fair chance of reading signs from your driver's seat, without having to make an effort to get out, walk around and look, on the off chance that where you've parked is covertly restricted!

May just pay it as I hate the fact I parked in a disabled bay but I still want to complain to the council.

P.S. What's a TRO?

 

Sorry, but that is crystal clear that it is a disabled bay to me.

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Sorry, but that is crystal clear that it is a disabled bay to me.

 

Which only goes to illustrate the point.

 

If it is incorrectly marked, no matter how clearly, it is not a disabled bay.

 

If no TRO exists, it is not a disabled bay.

 

Just painting 'DISABLED' on the road, regardless of how clearly, does not make it a disabled bay.

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I agree Pat, but I am referring to the markings that the OP said were very hard to see. Not at all - unless you are Stevie Wonder!

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No not Stevie Wonder. Also not a helicopter pilot, as they probably have a better angle.

The point of my constesting is that it is substandard in it's marking.

 

The council won't provide a TRO. They said they've only been asked once before and that they hold it at the local public library, but this turned out not to be the case any more.

'Find out the Highways Authority info' was their only advice.

I've emailed the Highways Agency to see what their advice is about obtaining a bays details.

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Not providing a TRO to any interested party is a statutory offence on the part of the council. "(7) If a person having the custody of any such document— (a) obstructs any person entitled to inspect the document or to make a copy thereof or extract therefrom in inspecting the document or making a copy or extract, (b) refuses to give copies or extracts to any person entitled to obtain copies or extracts, he shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding [F19level 1 on the standard scale]." Which is why they are trying to hide behind who custody of the TRO. When it goes to appeal make sure you tick the 'Traffic Order is Invalid' box then they will have to produce it or withdraw. better to track it down if you can. print this out Local Government Act 1972 (c.70) - Statute Law Database and get serious with them.

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Lamma,

 

That's only true if they are the highway authority.

 

Stimpycp,

 

Highways authority and Highways Agency are not the same thing, The Agency is only responsible for special roads (motorways) and trunk roads, in the main.

 

The highway authority is usually the County Council outside London, unless Unitary/Metropolitan.

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Ok.

Should I ring the council parking services again and ask them to do something about it (the voice on the phone is not the same as those who process appeals 'in the back room' so to speak; I was told that they're the ones who would consult TROs) ..or write to them requesting the TRO anyway?

 

I'm thinking that it is likely a real disabled bay as Liverpool Council's website states the number of each parking bays on all the roads in the city centre and it's one of them.

'Wood Street- 5'

Liverpool City Council Find a blue badge parking bay

Do you suppose the argument is more likely to be that it does not meet the guidelines that mkb mentioned i.e. Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002?

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If the Council enforce parking you cannot get a FPN from a PC for parking unless its for obstruction or pedestrian crossing zig zags.

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Lamma,

 

That's only true if they are the highway authority.

 

Stimpycp,

 

Highways authority and Highways Agency are not the same thing, The Agency is only responsible for special roads (motorways) and trunk roads, in the main.

 

The highway authority is usually the County Council outside London, unless Unitary/Metropolitan.

 

agreed.

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I spoke to a member of Liverpool Council's Traffic Management team and was advised that Police cannot issue Fixed Penalty Notices to Council enforced bays (as previously quoted by green_and_mean). He said it does occasionally happen, and that the officer in this case, in his opinion, has got it wrong.

 

He offered to support this argument in writing.

The gentleman was extremely helpful and I'm grateful to him for the advice.

 

He also said that the bays in that area are under review for possible maintenance.

 

I'm now drafting my contesting letter.

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As this is a police issued FPN can it be contested or does it have to go to magistrates court?

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I spoke to a member of Liverpool Council's Traffic Management team and was advised that Police cannot issue Fixed Penalty Notices to Council enforced bays (as previously quoted by green_and_mean). He said it does occasionally happen, and that the officer in this case, in his opinion, has got it wrong.

 

He offered to support this argument in writing.

The gentleman was extremely helpful and I'm grateful to him for the advice.

 

He also said that the bays in that area are under review for possible maintenance.

 

I'm now drafting my contesting letter.

 

I am right sometimes, lol!! :lol:

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The Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) General Regulations 2007 No. 3483

 

Criminal proceedings for parking contraventions in civil enforcement areas

 

7.—(1) No criminal proceedings may be instituted and no fixed penalty notice may be served in respect of any parking contravention occurring in a civil enforcement area, except a pedestrian crossing contravention.

(2) A penalty charge shall not be payable in relation to a pedestrian crossing contravention where—

(a) the conduct constituting the contravention is the subject of criminal proceedings; or

(b) a fixed penalty notice, as defined by section 52 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988(6), has been given in respect of that conduct.

(3) Where, notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (2)—

(a) a penalty charge has been paid in respect of a pedestrian crossing contravention; and

(b) the circumstances are as mentioned in paragraph (2)(a) or (b),

the enforcement authority shall, as soon as reasonably practicable after those circumstances come to its notice, refund the amount of the penalty charge.

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I am right sometimes, lol!! :lol:

 

Indeed you are sir.

 

..and thank you for that post; it will come in handy!

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I've written requesting the court hearing. Did LOTS of research right up until the 28th day and found nothing to challenge the integrity of my arguement.

I delivered the request, including email from the council which asked for details of the fpn so they could advise the police that they should not issue tickets of this nature & also had the tro details of the bays existence as a council enforced bay. I printed the document first noted by my good friend green_and_mean and took the lot to police headquarters. A jolly nice lady from the ticket office answered my final questions on fpn policy in a decriminalised area (obviously not commenting on my individual case) and was able to confidently hand over the package. She said I'd done the right thing, researching it and not to worry; they will see that it goes to the right people. Fpn can only be given to zig-zags/ moving offences/ obstructions etc and the only people able to deal with cancellations are the issuing officer, she said. A very reassuring conversation, for which I'm grateful.

Received my acknowledgement letter.

I fully expect to have to work at it and go all the way.

I'm sure that basic human rights still apply and you don't have to pay costs if you win? I mean the government haven't changed that yet have they?

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they are trying to change that.

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