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Confusing Parking Sign leads to fine


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Hope someone can advise.

 

I received a parking ticket today in Reading (Saturday 1.30pm), but honestly thought I was OK parking where I did.

 

The sign read:

 

8am - 6pm Permit Holders Only

or 2 hours no return in 2 hours

 

I read this as Permit Holders can park between 8am and 6pm,

ANYONE ELSE, reagrdless of whether they have a Parking Permit or not, can park for 2 hours (but not return within 2 hours after leaving).

 

So my understanding was that as I was not a Permit Holder I could park for 2 hours at any time.

 

As I got a £70 ticket fine (I was only parked there for 1 hour 30 mins), presumably my understanding is incorrect?

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Need pictures..

 

The bay, the sign... The PCN..

 

Difficult to say from your post..

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Hope someone can advise.

 

I received a parking ticket today in Reading (Saturday 1.30pm), but honestly thought I was OK parking where I did.

 

The sign read:

 

8am - 6pm Permit Holders Only

or 2 hours no return in 2 hours

 

?

 

The sign means between 8am and 6pm every day permit holders can park for as long as required and non permit holders for up to 2 hours then not return for 2 hours. If it means what I think the LA/CEO is claiming it states it should read...

 

8am - 6pm permit holders only

6pm - 8am 2 hours parking not return for two hours

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I read it as the op has. If it was the other way then it should read 8-6 permit holders only 'then' 2 hours etc;

 

Make sure you get a picture of this sign Reporter, you might just need it later if they should decide to change it.

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Thanks to all, very much appreciate your comments.

 

I actually live about 30 mins away from where I got the ticket, so will go back there and take a photo when I get a chance.

 

Unfortunately I don't have a working scanner at the moment but the PCN reads: Served on 06/03/2010 by Civel Enforcement Officer (CEO) nnn who had reason to believe that the following contravention had occurred: Parking in a permit space without displaying a valid permit.

 

The signpost (which was actually right next to the space I parked in) was split into 3 parts.

 

Top part:

P 8am - 6pm Permit Holder Only

or 2 hours no

return in 2 hours

 

Bottom part:

All other time permit holders only

 

Right part:

Only A1

 

I've read it over and over and am sure the Top part implies that ANYONE can park for 2 hours between 8am and 6pm. It wouldn't make sense if the 'or 2 hours no return in 2 hours' applies to Permit Holders only....would it? Because that would be saying that Permit Holders can only park there for 2 hours between 6pm and 8am??

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We have similar parking restrictions in our street. If the sign says 'or 2 hours, no return in 2 hours' and relates to the bay you were in, then you should not have got a ticket. BUT, in our street, there are bays which are for permit holders only (that do not have the 'or 2 hours' wording) in the same vacinity so there are 2 different signs covering their respective bays. Is this the case where you parked? If so, you may have parked in a bay not covered by the sign that you have read. To be sure, we need pictures of the bay(s), road and signage.

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Many thanks for all the replies.

 

I've checked today and my PCN is now on the Reading website, with photos too, some uploaded here:

 

http://i44.tinypic.com/28bsp3l.jpg

Seeing the sign again, I notice the additional sign on the right side, which I didn't mention before. I guess they are going to say that cars parked to the right are 'Permit Holders Only'. However, there was no space directly behind me because there was an entrance (notice the lowered kerb), so surely the main part of the sign '....Or 2 hours no return in 2 hours' must apply to the parking bay I am in too?

 

I'll try appealing tomorrow.

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Ok I would suggest that the signs are too close together and should have arrows indicating which sign applies to which bays. I note that the 'permit holders only' bay seems to be quite long and I would say that the sign should be the same size as the one on the left. I certainy think its worth appealing on te grounds that it is unclear which sign is valid but no doubt others will comment.

 

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Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my scales at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice usefull.

Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek face to face professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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I would suggest that the signs are highly confusing and misleading.

 

The times are till 8pm by the way, not 6pm as everyone seems to keep saying.

 

Two seperate signs it would seem. To the left is one set of regulations, to the right is another.

 

The missing part? ARROWS. The signs must make it clear where the regulations apply and would be the normal thing to have.

 

In the absense of such arrows I believe the council will reject your appeal but an adjudicator will uphold it.

Edited by ClampingKing
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And, I have just been onto google maps to have a look. It looks as if there are two areas to park in on this street, with a yellow line in between!

 

One set of spaces is at the beginning of Waylen Street with enough for possibly 3 cars, then a gap with a yellow line of about 3 car lengths, then one long continuous bay for several hundred yards until the yellow line approaching the end of Waylen Street (a one way road).

 

If I am correct, these signs would seem to be for the 3 car spaces at the start of the road which are about 40ft away and the other side of a yellow line!

 

It would seem (asuming the map is up to date) that this is deliberately misleading and wouldn't stand a chance with the adjudicator.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I made an appeal, based around the signs being confusing, however I have received a letter today saying my appeal has been rejected.

 

One comment I find frustrating is :"The signs also have restrictions on either side of the pole in order to indicate which side the restriction apply from the pole"......this was just my point in the appeal, the main sign was in the middle of the pole and there was no arrows to indicate that the 2 hour restriction was meant for the lift side of the road. Granted there was an additional sign on the right of the pole, which said Permit Holders only, which I now realise was meant for cars parked on the right side of the road.

 

I guess there isn't much point disputing the PCN is there? The letter says that this can only happen after the 14 days reduced charge has expired, which is annoying too. The letter also says that this would involve a formal representation....what does that mean?

 

Thanks for all the comments

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The lack of arrows, plus the fact that the pole is actually situated adjacent to the bay itself is enough in my view to get this cancelled. It is totally unclear and you have two signs with different info, apparently applying to the same bay. How are you supposed to know the big one does not apply and the little one does?

 

I am sure you'll win this if you fight on. I would.

 

A formal representation is just a written appeal. It is a more formal stage, and should be considered more fully - although it may not be! If you do this, and they reject it, then you can refer to an independent adjudicator for a decision.

 

At the moment, if you are going to fight on, wait until an NTO is issued to you. You can't do anything just yet.

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  • 4 months later...

As far as I know the lack of arrows make that sign unenforceable - it's not particularly obvious what it means either. Appeal on the grounds of confusing/non-compliant signage, I'd say.

 

Neither is as bad as http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1295927/Is-Britains-confusing-street-sign-The-panels-baffle-parking-wardens.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

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  • 4 months later...

I just won my appeal against a VALPY STREET parking ticket (code 16 PCN). The council rejected the first 2 appeals, but the independent Traffic Penalty Tribunal, the last stage you go to, upheld my appeal, the council didn't even contest it.

 

I got the ticket in September 2010, so it does take a while, but stick with it. I know of another appeal which was upheld in July 2010, so it's not just luck - the VALPY STREET signs really are misleading and contravene the regulations for signs (info below).

 

It's most council's standard practice to reject the first 2 appeals in the hope that you'll go away and pay the money, so if you get a code 16 Parking Charge Notice on VALPY STREET, and feel like you want to appeal, do the first 2 appeals ("informal" & "formal"), don't worry that they reject them, carry on and go to the 3rd appeal stage as it's independent.

 

The signs are so misleading on Valpy Street, it's not clear that the 2 signs mounted on the same pole refer to different directions within the bay as there are no arrows on the signs. (I included a photo of the signs in all my appeals).The signs can easily lead you to believe that if you don't have a permit you can park anywhere in the bay for an hour, and between 6.30pm & 8am you can park for as long as you like. After mentioning that in your appeal, you can write this:

 

(Be sure to write this in all 3 appeals):

 

"I would like to quote paragraph 7.51 from the DfT published Traffic Signs Manual Chapter 3:

 

7.51 Where two different parking bays are side

by side (e.g. a loading bay adjacent to a disabled

badge holder bay), consideration should be given to

mounting two signs side by side, preferably on a grey

backing board, at the changeover point. Each sign

should include an arrow pointing in the direction of

the respective bay. This should minimise the risk of

drivers parking in the wrong bay by mistake and

incurring a penalty.

 

I would also like to quote Annex E1 and E2 from the DfT "Operational Guidance to Local Authorities":

 

E1 All local authorities are responsible for the accuracy and condition of the traffic

signs and road markings that identify parking restrictions in their area. The traffic

signs and road markings must conform strictly to the relevant regulations

(currently the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 – TSRGD –

and subsequent amendments) or have special authorisation from DfT. They

should also conform to the guidance set out in Chapters 3 and 5 of the Traffic

Signs Manual.

 

E2 PCNs may not be valid if they are issued where traffic signs and road markings

are incorrect or in poor condition. Representations demonstrating this should be

accepted. "

You can mention that you know of at least two VALPY STREET code 16 PCN appeals, based on the signs being ambiguous & unclear, upheld by the adjudicator, one in July 2010 & one in January 2011 (one not even contested by the council) and question why the council are continuing to enforce the signs with no changes made to them.

 

Valpy Street parking signs are misleading, and the regulations are on the motorists' side on this one.

 

If you do decide to appeal, you are appealing on the basis that "the alleged contravention did not occur". You have to tick a box on the appeals form and it can be a bit confusing what you're appealing on the basis of, but this option covers anything to do with unclear signs.

 

Good luck if you decide to go for it.

Edited by Chale
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PS.Thanks Clampingking, Sailor Sam, Jamberson, Conifff & ForestChav for your advice above - it was your mentioning of arrows which got me googling! You were spot on ClampinKing - council rejected but adjudicator upheld. Big thanks all.

Edited by Chale
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  • 1 month later...

Hi again, I've finally had my parking fine in Valpy Street, Reading adjudicated. I was successful on the grounds that "the signage was inadaquate." The decision runs to two pages and condemns the Council, "The question has to be asked how many more Decisions are required before conforming surface markings and adequate signage are provided, and, not least, directional arrows installed... motorists are faced daily with non conforming and misleading signage."

I have placed the full decision on my website hewasanutter.com/Reading_Borough_Council_Misleading_Parking_Sign.html [i only have 1 post and so cannot use a hyperlink]

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How many times indeed?

Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek face to face professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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  • 2 months later...

have received a PCN where I allaegedly parked on a "permit holders" space without a valid permit. But the sign closest to where I parked was hidden. The sign which I saw on the other side of the road said I could park for 30mins free - no return within 2 hrs. Do i post a new thread for this?

Edited by parity4all
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have received a PCN where I allaegedly parked on a "permit holders" space without a valid permit. But the sign closest to where I parked was hidden. The sign which I saw on the other side of the road said I could park for 30mins free - no return within 2 hrs. Do i post a new thread for this?

 

 

Yes, all cases need a thread of their own and we can help.

 

Do include pics of the PCN front & back, also pics of the lines and signs (or last resort, a Google link or the name of the street and town and where exactly you were parked so we can look at it on GoogleStreetView - but on there the signage may be out of date).

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Hi again, I've finally had my parking fine in Valpy Street, Reading adjudicated. I was successful on the grounds that "the signage was inadaquate." The decision runs to two pages and condemns the Council, "The question has to be asked how many more Decisions are required before conforming surface markings and adequate signage are provided, and, not least, directional arrows installed... motorists are faced daily with non conforming and misleading signage."

I have placed the full decision on my website hewasanutter.com/Reading_Borough_Council_Misleading_Parking_Sign.html [i only have 1 post and so cannot use a hyperlink]

Congratulations on your win with this restriction. Now for follow up.

 

Now that it has been ruled against you can argue this

 

According to Statutory Instrument 1996 No. 2489 The Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996 … Section 18

 

Traffic signs

18.—(1) Where an order relating to any road has been made, the order making authority shall take such steps as are necessary to secure—

(a) before the order comes into force, the placing on or near the road of such traffic signs in such positions as the order making authority may consider requisite for securing that adequate information as to the effect of the order is made available to persons using the road;

(b) the maintenance of such signs for so long as the order remains in force; and

© in a case where the order revokes, amends or alters the application of a previous order, the removal or replacement of existing traffic signs as the authority considers requisite to avoid confusion to road users by signs being left in the wrong positions.

 

 

If the order is not in force you can now make a complaint that they make the signage ''to current standards'' and cannot financialy penalise the general public, all enforcement must be suspended.

 

further you may report them to the audit comission persuant to section 17 of the audit commision act if the signage is not rectified as soon as humanly possible.

Edited by nero12
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