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What can we do to counter the council's parking fines/car removals/etc? ** Resolved **


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Hi, im not sure if this belongs here or in the general motoring forum but I just wanted to ask for advice with regard to what we can do to stand up against the councils and their ridiculous charges for parking offences?

 

I'm sick to the teeth of councils treating me like a criminal if I make a mistake like forgetting to return to my car on time or not renewing my parking permit. I understand it's my duty to do these things but the charges imposed by the council are excessive. We elect these "idiots" so why can't we do something which will at least puts a fairer system in place?

 

I've had a fair few tickets in my time for bus lanes, being late and I've also contested a few which I've won. I live in Brent in London and last week my mum in law stayed round. Normally we never forget to put a visitor's pass which costs £1. We did forget and the next day as she was going out she realised the car was missing. £230 later and after a visit to the pound she got her car back. It was a pretty stressful situation for her which isn't good as her health isn't brilliant. She's retired so £230 is a hell of a lot of cash for a simple mistake. Why the car was removed was another matter. There was no need but I guess it's a nice revenue earner.

 

Anyway, I'm sick to the teeth of these excessive charges. What I want to know is what can we do to take action against these idiots that impose these ridiculous charges and that we elect? I could be delusional but I thought I'd ask. :-)

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Realistically, nothing. It's a nice idea that we live in a democracy and "we" can change things, but in reality the local authorities have recognised a massive revenue stream in penalty charges, and they aren't going to let it go. The government is extremely unlikely to change the law - so we're stuck with it.

 

Best thing you can do as an individual? Be as meticulous as you can when parking, and if you fall foul, use your appeal rights.

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Hi, im not sure if this belongs here or in the general motoring forum but I just wanted to ask for advice with regard to what we can do to stand up against the councils and their ridiculous charges for parking offences?

 

 

Don't park where you are not meant to and if you need to pay or use a permit make sure its valid whilst you are parked. The vast majority of drivers do not get PCNs whilst others seem to collect them like they are going out of fashion which goes to show it is usually down to the drive. The majority of tickets are issued due to drivers ignorance or taking a chance and getting caught, you only have to look at the circumstances on this board and most drivers are in the wrong and claim they didn't know blue badge rules, you could not park on the footway, went to get change etc etc. The number of times I have heard people claim you are allowed to park for 5 mins on yellow lines makes me laugh, if people spent more time understanding the regulations then far less tickets would be issued. The reason the costs have gone up is because it has been shown that increasing the fine increases compliance and if you look at the cost of parking there is not much difference between the penalty for not paying for a days parking and paying. If the penalty for not displaying a ticket was only £10 why would people pay £15 to park for the day?

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Realistically, nothing. It's a nice idea that we live in a democracy and "we" can change things, but in reality the local authorities have recognised a massive revenue stream in penalty charges, and they aren't going to let it go. The government is extremely unlikely to change the law - so we're stuck with it.

 

Thats actually a myth Councils rarely make money from enforcement most just about break even, the revenue is from paid for parking.

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Thats actually a myth Councils rarely make money from enforcement most just about break even, the revenue is from paid for parking.

 

 

Really ? you might want to take a read over on http://www.notomob.co.uk !!!

 

They DO OFTEN make money on PCN's, as we have shown and proven.... not that they are strictly allowed to, but a 'excess' is apparently acceptable.

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Being careful about where you park does nothing to reduce the constant hassle. I work over 5 counties, parking in the town centres of every one. I am extremely careful about where I park the car - the thought of it getting towed, and being stranded with no way of getting home is enough to make me very careful. In the last 5 years, I have received repeated PCNs from 1 city council - or rather their private parking company, nothing from any of the others. (This is despite having once forgotten to display my blue badge in Oxford... where I should have got a PCN... and all I got was a note under the windscreen asking me not to forget in future).

 

Each time I have appealed. Each time my informal reps have been refused. Each time I have proved that I was legally parked, and eventually, not had to pay the fine - but I honestly believe that whether you get a ticket is more to do with whether the authority is treating parking enforcement as a way of getting extra cash, and very little to do with where, and how, you park your car.

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Really ? you might want to take a read over on http://www.notomob.co.uk !!!

 

They DO OFTEN make money on PCN's, as we have shown and proven.... not that they are strictly allowed to, but a 'excess' is apparently acceptable.

 

Rather than plugging another website maybe you can tell me how many Councils make money issuing PCNs??

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Rather than plugging another website maybe you can tell me how many Councils make money issuing PCNs??

 

Maybe get off your miss information high horse and have a read, come back eating humble pie and correct your rubbish :)

 

 

Just for a taster - Westminster City Council - Golden Square London - Issues tickets for going straight across a jcn, that was a perfectly legal action.... ££££ (yes is a Moving traffic violation but still making ££) yes there were signs saying turn left - BUT no Traffic Management Order to authorise those signs / permit enforcement of them

 

Richmond Council - Have to refund over £1.1million in revenue gained due to using cctv enforcement vehicles that were not certified... £££ if there was no profit in parking enforcement they would not employ more ticket wardens than housing staff would they ? ermm yea thought so, no.

Edited by 2ltr16valve
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Don't park where you are not meant to and if you need to pay or use a permit make sure its valid whilst you are parked. The vast majority of drivers do not get PCNs whilst others seem to collect them like they are going out of fashion which goes to show it is usually down to the drive. The majority of tickets are issued due to drivers ignorance or taking a chance and getting caught, you only have to look at the circumstances on this board and most drivers are in the wrong and claim they didn't know blue badge rules, you could not park on the footway, went to get change etc etc. The number of times I have heard people claim you are allowed to park for 5 mins on yellow lines makes me laugh, if people spent more time understanding the regulations then far less tickets would be issued. The reason the costs have gone up is because it has been shown that increasing the fine increases compliance and if you look at the cost of parking there is not much difference between the penalty for not paying for a days parking and paying. If the penalty for not displaying a ticket was only £10 why would people pay £15 to park for the day?

 

I can appreciate what you're saying but im pretty careful and I get caught out. I had an accident a while back and I had a courtesy car. I didn't think about a permit or visitors permit and I got a ticket. I contested it and im still waiting to hear. I know why I got the ticket but I should be let off under the circumstances. Just requires common sense.

 

I can understand the penalty needs to be substantial but my mum in law having to pay £230 and it was removed even though it wasn't causing an obstruction or preventing people form parking where they live. Was this really necessary? No

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Maybe get off your miss information high horse and have a read, come back eating humble pie and correct your rubbish :)

 

 

Just for a taster - Westminster City Council - Golden Square London - Issues tickets for going straight across a jcn, that was a perfectly legal action.... ££££ (yes is a Moving traffic violation but still making ££)

 

Richmond Council - Have to refund over £1.1million in revenue gained due to using cctv enforcement vehicles that were not certified... £££ if there was no profit in parking enforcement they would not employ more ticket wardens than housing staff would they ? ermm yea thought so, no.

 

I'm not on a high horse I'm asking a sensible question....... how many Councils make money from parking enforcement?? Your statement means nothing even if they issue 20 million £'s of PCNs if it costs £30m to do so they are not making money are they? You obviously do not understand parking let alone any other business model. If parking was not enforced, no one would pay to park and no tickets or permits would be sold.....its not exactly rocket science.....is it?

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I'm not on a high horse I'm asking a sensible question....... how many Councils make money from parking enforcement?? Your statement means nothing even if they issue 20 million £'s of PCNs if it costs £30m to do so they are not making money are they? You obviously do not understand parking let alone any other business model. If parking was not enforced, no one would pay to park and no tickets or permits would be sold.....its not exactly rocket science.....is it?

 

So in essence what your saying is that LA's are using tax payers money to make a loss ? yea right ! LOL can I have what ur smoking please, seems to be a nicer world than this one.

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I can appreciate what you're saying but im pretty careful and I get caught out. I had an accident a while back and I had a courtesy car. I didn't think about a permit or visitors permit and I got a ticket. I contested it and im still waiting to hear. I know why I got the ticket but I should be let off under the circumstances. Just requires common sense.

 

I can understand the penalty needs to be substantial but my mum in law having to pay £230 and it was removed even though it wasn't causing an obstruction or preventing people form parking where they live. Was this really necessary? No

 

At the time you was towed the Council just see it as a car without a permit in a permit bay preventing those that have paid for a permit from parking. Usually at least 30 minutes is given afer the PCN is issued before towing so its not like they don't give you a chance to move.

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It's perfectly true that the PCN system viewed in isolation is not profitable. However it is necessary (in the sense of enforcement) to make the rest of the parking system profitable, so although the net profit from PCNs is negligible, it's part of a lucrative system of parking management.

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It's perfectly true that the PCN system viewed in isolation is not profitable. However it is necessary (in the sense of enforcement) to make the rest of the parking system profitable, so although the net profit from PCNs is negligible, it's part of a lucrative system of parking management.

 

At least someone here has a grasp of economics!!

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At the time you was towed the Council just see it as a car without a permit in a permit bay preventing those that have paid for a permit from parking. Usually at least 30 minutes is given afer the PCN is issued before towing so its not like they don't give you a chance to move.

 

Of course the council see it that way, except it wasn't preventing anyone form parking. All the attendants that walk up and down the road know that there is always space to park on the road. Thats why it's a load of nonsense.

 

Its very nice of the council to allow drivers 30 mins but pretty useless when you havent even realised you're committing an offence.

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@Horseman, is your mum in law interested in appealing?

 

I've extensively researched the laws behind council towing and it seems for the last 18 years (when decriminalised parking enforcement commenced) council's have acted beyond their powers. They have no lawful right to insist the PCN be paid immediately on collection, they have no lawful right to retain a vehicle until the removal and storage charges are paid nor have they any right to apply the appeal process they did (it's the incorrect one).

 

I can provide an appeal letter if you are interested but you will have to play the long game as council's won't readily admit 18 years of maladministration.

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Hi and thanks for the offer of help. I didn't have think I had any grounds for appeal after having a quick look but I would be happy to try. When you say the long game, do you mean a series of letters to and fro to test the waters to see how it goes?

 

 

Also, I just wanted to add that the purpose of this thread was to see if there was anything we could do collectively so that local politicians can actually do what local residents are in favour of rather than what they think we want. I know its a big issue and probably not simple but I just wanted to see. I mean something like what we saw with the news of the world and the role that Twitter played in getting people (advertisers) to take notice. These days it is much easier to talk collectively to organisations than it was in the past where it is one to one and puts you at a disadvantage. Just an idea.

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You can use the appeal below. All you need do is copy and paste it into a letter or email and make sure you quote the PCN reference number

and sign it at the bottom. Keep all text formatting as displayed below for emphasis. Expect the council to reject but hopefully an adjudicator will see sense and require the council to return all monies paid. You've absolutely nothing to lose. I'm happy to write all letters all you need do is send them off.

 

Dear Council

 

I appeal against the penalty and removal charges levied against me on the grounds of procedural impropriety.

 

The removal and storage charges levied upon me by the council are set by virtue of Schedule 9 of the Traffic Management Act 2004. Paragraph 1(1)(b) contained within Schedule 9 makes it explicitly clear that these set charges apply only where a council is imposing a charge enabled under s.102 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.

 

1(1)This Schedule provides for the setting of the levels of-

(a)penalty charges, including any discounts or surcharges,

(b) charges made by authorities under section 102 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 for the removal, storage and disposal of vehicles found in areas that are civil enforcement areas for parking contraventions

 

Where the applicable charges for removal and storage fall under s.102 RTRA 1984 then there is no statutory requirement within a Civil Enforcement Area for a person to pay any charges before the vehicle is returned to them. For clarification the applicable parts of s.102 RTRA 1984 can be seen below.

 

102(1)The provisions of this section shall have effect where a vehicle—

(a)is removed from a parking place in pursuance of an order to which section 101 of this Act applies, or

(b)is removed from a road, or from land in the open air, in pursuance of regulations under section 99 of this Act.

 

102(2A)If the place from which the vehicle is removed is in an area that is a civil enforcement area for parking contraventions, the enforcement authority is entitled to recover from any person responsible such charges in respect of the removal, storage and disposal of the vehicle as they may require in accordance with Schedule 9 of the Traffic Management Act 2004

 

102(3)Any sum recoverable by virtue of this section shall, in England or Wales, be recoverable as a simple contract debt in any court of competent jurisdiction or, in the case of a sum not exceeding £20, summarily as a civil debt.

 

In summary s.102 is saying that where a vehicle is removed for a parking contravention then the enforcement authority is entitled to recover from the "person responsible" (note it is not limited to the owner) their charges in respect of the removal and storage of the vehicle and should these not be paid then the enforcement authority can take the person responsible to court to recover their charges.

 

What s.102 does not say is that any outstanding penalty charge is to be paid on collection or that the enforcement authority can retain the vehicle until the penalty, removal and storage charges are paid. Of course the council can ask for the removal and storage charges to be paid on collection but if a person is not willing to pay then the council must return their vehicle and commence court proceedings. This process is quite correct for a civil matter. Payment of the penalty charge however must be in accordance with the statutory provisions of the TMA 2004 as is proper where a regulation 9 PCN is served.

 

In regard to my vehicle the council incorrectly applied those charges specified under s.101A RTRA 1984 and yet this section has no relevance to those charges set by Schedule 9TMA 2004. Even if we were to ignore this fact it is important to note that the charges under s.101A only apply to the owner of a vehicle that was presumed abandoned due to it having the appearance of being so either at the time of removal or sometime later while in storage. By "appearance" it does not necessarily mean the vehicle looks dilapidated. It can mean that the vehicle is pristine and road worthy but for some unknown reason no one had come forward at an earlier stage to take custody. As my vehicle never had the appearance of being abandoned the charges under s.101A RTRA 1984 can never apply and consequently nor can the appeal process provided under regulation 11 of the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) Representations and Appeals Regulations 2007 and yet this was the appeal process administered.

 

It is clear not only that the council has committed a procedural impropriety but has also acted beyond their powers. Firstly, by insisting the penalty charge be immediately paid when s.102 does not permit this and when statute explicitly provides for a 28 day payment period. Secondly, by retaining my vehicle until I had paid the penalty, removal and storage charges when no right to retain exists (the right to retain was removed when s.68 RTA 1991 commenced) and thirdly, by administering an appeal process that only concerns the recovery (either prior to disposal or following) of those vehicles that were by appearance presumed to be abandoned.

 

The council will find that the TMA 2004 makes no provision for only the imposed penalty charge aspect of a regulation 9 PCN to remain valid while the associated statutory rights and processes are null and void and yet this is exactly what the council has done. There is no such entity as a “partial” regulation 9 PCN, it either applies in full or it is a nullity. Had the council correctly applied those charges regulated under s.102(2A) RTRA 1984 then the rights and procedural processes associated with the regulation 9 PCN would not have been interfered with. This is clearly no coincidence but the measured intent and design of Parliament. I trust the council will have the integrity to acknowledge their errors and to act appropriately by returning all monies paid.

 

Yours respectfully

Edited by TheBogsDollocks
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I love it - good work TDB.

 

I have a query though - if the vehicle owner has not asked for the car back without pre-payment, and asserted this right, then haven't they volunteered to pay rather than been forced? Couldn't the council defend a case on the basis that the owner was not literally compelled to pay?

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I love it - good work TDB.

 

I have a query though - if the vehicle owner has not asked for the car back without pre-payment, and asserted this right, then haven't they volunteered to pay rather than been forced? Couldn't the council defend a case on the basis that the owner was not literally compelled to pay?

 

As far as I'm aware those at the car pound will refuse to release a vehicle unless the PCN and removal, storage charges are paid in full so the owner is compelled to pay if they want their car back which they will to avoid any further storage charges.

 

Councils apply s.101A RTRA 1984 in all cases where a vehicle is removed and a person comes to retrieve it but s.101A is only applicable where a council has preceived a vehicle to have the appearance of being abandoned. This is clearly evident if you study Part III of the 1986 Removal Regs.

 

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1986/183/contents/made

 

Pay particular attention to reg 16. Even though it makes reference to s.101(4) RTRA 1984 this section was the precursor to s.101A. Evidence of this can also be seen under regulation 18 of the Traffic Officer Regs. These regs basically mirror the 1986 regs except they apply to traffic officers.

 

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2008/2367/contents/made

 

As most removed vehicles do not appear abandoned then councils should not be applying s.101A to them. As such there is no right to demand instant payment of the PCN nor any right to retain until all charges are paid and no right to administer the appeal process provided under regulation 11 of the 2007 Appeal Regulations. There has been 18 years of maladministration all because someone somewhere took the RTA 1991 at face value rather than look closely at what is was really saying.

 

What should be happening is that the penalty charge should be paid or appealed just as the PCN advises and the process should follow that as prescribed by the TMA 2004. Whereas any applicable removal and storage charges if not paid voluntarily then the council must decide whether to commence court proceedings. It is no coincidence that the right to retain was removed the moment decriminalised parking enforcement commenced and no coincidence that the application of s.102(2A) in no way interferes with what the TMA 2004 says must follow the service of any regulation 9 PCN.

 

Understandably councils will not willingly concede 18 years of maladministration and even the adjudication service will not like the fact that they've been complicit in this by failing to pick up on it.

Edited by TheBogsDollocks
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You can use the appeal below. All you need do is copy and paste it into a letter or email and make sure you quote the PCN reference number

and sign it at the bottom. Keep all text formatting as displayed below for emphasis. Expect the council to reject but hopefully an adjudicator will see sense and require the council to return all monies paid. You've absolutely nothing to lose. I'm happy to write all letters all you need do is send them off.

 

 

Thanks, I will give this a go. Ill send a copy to the mother in law so she can sign it.

 

Before I do this what are the potential ramifications of sending this letter?

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Thanks, I will give this a go. Ill send a copy to the mother in law so she can sign it.

 

Before I do this what are the potential ramifications of sending this letter?

 

The potential ramifications for your mum in law is that she may get a full refund. The potential ramifications for the council is that they discover they have acted unlawfully for the last 18 years and have to re-examine their methodology behind vehicle removal. What is likely to happen is that the council will reject the appeal and claim they are acting lawfully. The next step is to appeal to the independent adjudicator by submitting another letter (that I will write for you) and then we hope you get an adjudicator who actually has some understanding of the associated laws and gives the appeal proper consideration.

 

Your mum in law has absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain. Just make sure the appeal is received by the council within the 28 day period.

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