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Westminster PCN - misleading sign

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Hi All,

 

Last time I posted on here the advice I gained resulted in my appeal being granted and a refund of £250 from Wandsworth council, so thank you in advance for any help here!

 

So 1 year later and I've been stung again..

 

This is an outline of what I am planning on sending, please advice on a)does it make sense and b) do you think I'm in with a chance?

 

"I am appealing the above PCN on the following grounds:

 

The core issue with the above PCN is with the parking sign, which is misleading and confusing. I was parked no more than 2 meters from a parking sign which clearly stated the parking restriction was until 6:30pm [ I parked about 8:20pm]. The sign for the bay I actually parked in was not placed on the edge of the bay, but was about 20 meters up the road and was illegible from the position I was parked.

 

It was impossible to tell that the sign nearest to my bike was for an adjacent bay as the end of bay markings were obfuscated by a parked car.

 

This was a genuine mistake and I had nothing to gain from parking my scooter one side of the bay or the other as there was adequate space. However, if the parking sign had clearly indicated to which bays it was applicable, I would never have parked there.

 

If you do wish to pursue the PCN then please enclose with your response a copy of the relevant Traffic Order and consider this a request under the freedom of information act.

 

 

I am shocked that such an aggressive policy towards issuing PCNs is practiced by Westminster Council, especially when it was clear to see that the sign was misleading and placed right on the edge of a bay, making drivers believe the regulations relating to the bay were for the sign it was closest to by a significant margin. I don’t think it would be unreasonable to think that the signs had been placed deliberately to mislead and confuse drivers. "

 

 

It does sound a bit convoluted, but I honestly think the signs are placed to deliberately confuse. I've been unable to find and rules on placing signs near to other bays etc, but please do let me know your opinions.

 

 

Thanks

Si

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Nothing wroing with it but I'll give you my own personal view. (By the way, I think "obfuscated" is wrong. You mean "obscured".)

 

If it were my appeal, I would drop the second half of the letter. Everything after "...I would never have parked there."

 

Why? Because I assume you've not yet had an NTO, and so this is an informal appeal. In my experience the people who deal with these get fed up with reading hectoring letters all day. At the moment I think it would be better to remain in friendly tone and appeal for some leniency rather than openly accusing them of deception. That may be your view (and may even be true!!), but I don't think it helps to put it in writing.

 

Likewise the TRO request - they will go find it, copy it for you and then what? Cancel the PCN? I doubt it. Having done the work proving the PCN is legal, they will then be inclined to tell you to pay it. So I would scrap the last two paragraphs and round off with something like:

 

"I appreciate the restrictions are there for good reason and that using an incorrect bay can cause problems for other road users, but I hope you will appreciate that a genuine error occurred on this occasion. As I explained, there was no advantage to me in parking the wrong side of the line, and I can assure you that I am now fully aware of the bay layouts and positioning of the signs at that location."

 

Also, in keeping with this approach I personally would not say "It was impossible to tell the sign nearest my bike was for an adjacent bay..." as the person reading it, who has heard claims like this a thousand times, will immediately think to themselves "no it wasn't - there are signs and lines telling you". Instead, I would say "I did not realise that the sign nearest my bike..." which reitterates that it was an honest error.

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Thanks a lot for your response! That's exactly the kind of advice I needed. Here's the final draft:

 

" I am appealing the above PCN on the following grounds:

The core issue with the above PCN is with the parking sign, which is misleading and confusing. I was parked no more than 2 meters from a parking sign which clearly stated the parking restriction was until 6:30pm. The sign for the bay I actually in was not placed on the edge of the bay, but was about 20 meters up the road and was illegible from the position I was parked.

 

I did not realise that the sign nearest my bike was for an adjacent bay as the end of bay markings were obscured by a parked car.

 

This was a genuine mistake and I had nothing to gain from parking my scooter one side of the bay or the other as there was adequate space. However, if the parking sign had clearly indicated to which bays it was applicable, I would never have parked there.

 

I appreciate the restrictions are there for good reason and that using an incorrect bay can cause problems for other road users, but I hope you will appreciate that a genuine error occurred on this occasion. As I explained, there was no advantage to me in parking the wrong side of the line, and I can assure you that I am now fully aware of the bay layouts and positioning of the signs at that location."

 

Fingers crossed. I'll keep you posted.

 

p.s. is there any advantage to posting this or is an online appeal just as effective?

 

Thanks again!

 

Si

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So far as I am aware it makes no difference whether you send it on paper on online. However don't forget to include the PCN number and your name and address - or they will not consider the appeal.

 

Best of luck.

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Thanks, I've gone with the online option and you have to fill in your personal details and PCN etc in order to submit the form.

 

 

Thanks again!

 

Si

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Hi All,

 

Just wanted to report back that I got a letter from Westminster saying they will let me off on this occasion, due to the fact that the end of bay markings were obscured by a vehicle.

 

:-)

 

Nice one!

 

Si

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Always nice to hear about a successful outcome. :)

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