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Parking ticket - advice please

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Hi all,

 

This afternoon myself and my family thought we would take a drive to the seafront for a walk. We parked up, paid for a ticket and set off for our walk. When we came back we had been issued a ticket stating that we had been parked in a car park without clearly displaying a valid pay and display ticket or voucher. We had brought the ticket, still have it in fact and had out it on the dash when we left. The ticket when we got back was on the floor in the well of the passenger side. The only thing I can think of what has happed is that it being so windy on the front today, as we have left the car the ticket has blown off the dash and onto the floor. We came back well within our time limit as well.

 

The car park is a council run one not a private one and the pcn is for £50 unless paid within 14days then it's £25. Still a lot to pay when we had actually brought a ticket and still have the ticket to prove this. If it had been one of them sticker sided tickets then it probably wouldn't of happened but it is one of them paper things with nothing to attach it to.

 

I would be very grateful if someone can advise on what option to take with this. Whether just to pay or write to them contesting the pcn. If we hadn't of brought a ticket and displayed it I would agree with this pcn but the fact that we had brought one makes me feel quite angry about paying it.

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I would appeal using a letter such as the one below.

 

Dear Sirs

 

I would like to appeal the penalty charge served upon me.

 

Enclosed is a copy of the Pay & Display ticket that I purchased and displayed for inspection. It can clearly be seen that I paid the appropriate fee and that the ticket was valid when the officer inspected my vehicle. Unfortunately, at some point during my absence from the vehicle, the ticket somehow became dislodged from where it had been clearly displayed and fell into the foot well. I accept that your officer could not have known this and acted accordingly.

 

However, now that the ticket has been presented for inspection it is clear that I did not avoid payment of the parking fee or that I had parked beyond time paid for. The only purpose a ticket needs to be displayed is to enable an officer to distinguish between those that have paid for parking and those that have not and those who have exceeded the time paid for. The ticket produced clearly shows that had your officer seen my ticket at the time of inspection that there would be no need to serve a penalty charge notice.

 

The only remaining issue is whether the fact that the ticket was not clearly displayed at the time of inspection warrants the council taking a hard line and upholding the penalty charge. I believe that for the council to take such a stance would be contrary to the advice of the DfT and the Secretary of State.

 

Paragraph 85 from the Secretary of State’s Statutory Guidance to Local Authorities advises;

 

85. An authority has a discretionary power to cancel a PCN at any point throughout the CPE process. It can do this even when an undoubted contravention has occurred if the authority deems it to be appropriate in the circumstances of the case. Under general principles of public law, authorities have a duty to act fairly and proportionately and are encouraged to exercise discretion sensibly and reasonably and with due regard to the public interest.

 

This statutory guidance is given legal clout by section 87 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 whereby statute instructs that the council must have regard to this guidance.

 

As a valid ticket has been presented for inspection it is clear to any reasonable person that it would not be in the public interest to penalise a person who paid the required fee and did nothing to the detriment of the public interest. I cannot think of a more appropriate situation where paragraph 85 applies than this. I therefore politely request that the council act fairly and proportionately in this matter and exercise their discretion sensibly and reasonably by cancelling this penalty charge. It would be best for all if we can resolve this without the need to seek independent adjudication.

 

Yours with love, hugs and kisses

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Great, thanks so much for your reply BD :) I really appreciate it. I'll photocopy the ticket tomorrow and get it sent off bar the love hugs and kisses although it is very tempting to keep that in lol

 

Trina

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If it were me, I would just write the first paragraph. ("Enclosed..." up to "accordingly".)

 

I would follow that with: "Please would you consider cancelling the charge on this occasion."

 

I think if you tell them how the legislation should be interpreted and why PCNs for this situation should be cancelled, you risk meeting with resistance to your arguments. They have their own stance on these cases, which come up all the time - I think a polite "please cancel" would have more mileage than setting the rules for them.

 

BD - I'm not questioning the validity of what you say - I agree with it all. Just a question of tactics.

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BD - I'm not questioning the validity of what you say - I agree with it all. Just a question of tactics.

 

Fair enough J. We often disagree on tactics but if we give our differing views then the OP will be able to make a more balanced decision which is to be encouraged. My tactics are usually to spell out the legislation and guidance due to the fact that many of those that consider appeals are not familiar with the laws and guidance and need educating. I did actually tone down the letter to be more gentle. If the council happen to be a smaller council then your softer approach has a good chance but I'm too cynical to think a larger more arrogant council will be so reasonable.

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This is where the adjudicators outside London have ruled differently (but this case shows a need to check the details):

 

A ticket displayed on the dash rather than the windscreen (NW05011)

The appellant, issued with a PCN for failing to display a valid pay-and-display ticket in a car park, appealed on the ground that their ticket had been displayed and that the Parking Attendant could have seen it if they had inspected the dash as well as the windows. The Adjudicator pointed out that, although the bylaw required a ticket to be "attached" to the windscreen, the tickets issued from the machine were not adhesive and could not be "attached" but had to be displayed on the dash. He further noted that, while the drafting of the bylaw referred exclusively to tickets being "paid for" by placing coins into a machine, signs in the car park indicated that parking was in fact free for the first two hours. The Adjudicator ruled that, as a result, the appellant's "apparent" failure to display a ticket for a period of free parking did not mean that a contravention had occurred.

The appeal was allowed.

 

It may help you. I wouldn't get too specific on where the ticket was - after all you cannot know for certain where it was when the CEO came along.


********************************************

Nothing in this post constitutes "advice" which I may not, in any event, be qualified to provide.

The only interpretation permitted on this post (or any others I may have made) is that this is what I would personally consider doing in the circumstances discussed. Each and every reader of this post or any other I may have made must take responsibility for forming their own view and making their own decision.

I receive an unwieldy number of private messages. I am happy to respond to messages posted on open forum but am unable to respond to private messages, seeking advice, when the substance of that message should properly be on the open forum.

Many thanks for your assistance and understanding on this.

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Thanks for that info Bernie, it's definitely something I will keep in mind. I have posted the letter BD drafted for me plus a copy of the ticket. I sent it recorded so I know when they get the letter. A few years ago, that particular car park did issue tickets that you could stick to the window screen. For some reason they changed them and now are just like pieces of paper with nothing to attach to so the only place to put it is the dashboard :(

 

@ J - Thanks for your advice but I think the letter BD did will suit the council concerned. They are known for being a royal pain as regards to parking offences unfortunately :( I think they have got worse since NCP took over in some parking places.

 

Once again, thank you all who have replied in this thread. I shall keep you updated on what happens next.

 

Trina

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It is very rare for any council to cancel a PCN on the first appeal. They like to play the long game so people become discouraged and pay up. Be prepared for a rejection (although you never know). I would be very surprised if they did not drop this before any adjudication. See what they reply with and then judge it from there.

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