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Dear All,

 

After scouring your website (and the internet in general) for information and advise on a particular situation, if anyone can give some advice on the below, I would be very grateful.

 

On Weds 8 May, I parked my car on a road (London Borough of Camden) next to a ticket machine. I purchased a ticket, working out how much time I need and placed in on my dashboard.

 

I returned to my car 20 minutes later (in plenty of time) and saw a PCN attached to the windscreen. A Traffic Warden was standing next to the ticket machine (and my car) on the phone, reporting in the ticket machine as faulty using the phrase "rolling backwards". My ticket does say that it was purchased on Sunday 5 May and due to expire on Monday 6 May

 

I explained I had bought the ticket from that machine. He explained that the machine was faulty and I should write to the Council and the ticket would be cancelled. I made a note of his 'number' and the number of the ticket machine.

 

I duly wrote to the council explaining all this, quoting the Traffic Warden, his details and the details of the ticket machine and asking them to cancel the ticket. They refused, saying that as the ticket is dated on 5 May it must have been bought on that day. They also said there is no Traffic Warden with the corresponding number that I gave and that particular ticket machine has not been reported as faulty.

 

I have replied saying that on Sunday 5 May, me and my car were at my in-laws on the South Coast so I was not in London and could not have bought the ticket. Additionally, you can park for free on a Sunday therefore a ticket on 5 May (and 6 May as it is a Bank Holiday) is not required. Camden Council have refused to comment on these two issues and are upholding the fine.

 

Any advise as to how I proceed?

 

Bear.

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You can only follow the appeals process. Wait until a Notice to Owner is issued to you (about 5 weeks after the rejection letter) and then appeal again. This is the formal stage of the process. Ask them in your letter to check the maintenance logs for the machine and the notes on your PCN.

 

Also, although the CEO number you took might not show on their records, they will know who issued the PCN as it is also logged - so ask them to check his notebook for the day.

 

If they still refuse, you'll have to go to an adjudicator for a ruling.

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Silly me, of course they will have the warden's details. I am wondering if you might be one letter/number out which is easy when you scribble things down.

 

If you do have to appeal, hopefully you'll have something like a credit card receipt or petrol receipt which can prove you were miles away on the 5th.

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Dear All,

 

Thanks for all your quick responses. I really appreciate it.

 

The warden who I spoke to and called in regarding the faulty machine said he didn't put the ticket on the car - someone else did.

 

I must've taken down the details of this Warden incorrectly. Most annoying. I should've taken a photo on my phone. Hindsight - what a wonderful thing.

 

Interestingly, the council refuse to comment on the fact that I was not in London on the 5th May or the fact that that day is a Sunday and a ticket is not necessary. Thanks for the tip regarding receipts. I will look into that and I thought of acquiring CCTV of my car somewhere else on May 5 to prove I wasn't in London.

 

Thanks for your help. I'll keep plugging away.

 

Regards

Bear

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So you can't identify the CEO who remarked that the machine was faulty.

 

OK, but I would still expect the council to have the fault logged. Before you get the NTO and resume the appeal, why don't you just phone them and explain that you want to find out what fault log they have for that machine - I can't see they would refuse. This might help you as you would know better where you stand.

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I can't see how they can refuse either.

 

And why don't you try and find a friendly traffic warden and ask him if he knows what would make a machine run backwards?

 

I don't know where you live but in my nearest town most of the wardens are usually very helpful and some of them are really jolly! (Why do I think most people won't believe me?) Obviously I know from personal experience that in some towns they are simply horrible. Ours used to be like that so I think they have been on a "Be nice to the public" course.

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The whole proving the car or driver was elsewhere on Sunday is a complete red herring all that matters is where he was the day the ticket was issued. The simplest way to prove you are correct is to do a FOI of the number of PCN issued that week in that street. If what you are saying is correct every parked car would have received a PCN.

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The pcn was issued on Wednesday, 8th May because the ticket from the machine had a date of Sunday, 5th May. Bear has already said that he and his car were in Camden on the 8th. His point is that he couldn't have actually purchased any ticket on Sunday, 5th May because he was miles away, and hopefully can prove it.

 

Hopefully a FOI request about the number of tickets issued in that particular bay will help.

 

On many tickets from a machine the expiry time is shown in larger figures and the date in much smaller ones, so a lot of people check the expiry time, but are not really concentrating on checking that the date is right. People automatically assume that a ticket machine will show the correct date.

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The pcn was issued on Wednesday, 8th May because the ticket from the machine had a date of Sunday, 5th May. Bear has already said that he and his car were in Camden on the 8th. His point is that he couldn't have actually purchased any ticket on Sunday, 5th May because he was miles away, and hopefully can prove it.

 

 

So if I drive up to Birmingham today and stick an old pay and display ticket in the car that means I wont need to pay any PCNs? Its highly unlikely the PD will have his VRM on so could have been purchased by anyone on Sunday for any car.

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It would be interesting to find out whether it is actually possible to purchase a ticket on a Sunday when parking is unrestricted. Some ticket machines are programmed so that it's not possible.

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It would be interesting to find out whether it is actually possible to purchase a ticket on a Sunday when parking is unrestricted. Some ticket machines are programmed so that it's not possible.

 

or 'go backwards'!

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Where would he get an old ticket? Unlikely to find one floating around in the gutter three days later.

 

He was only parking for 20 minutes. It can't have cost more than £2. Do you think he scoured the bins and gutters for an hour hoping to find an old ticket to stick on the car so he could get 20 minutes free parking?

 

Or maybe he and his friends hang on to all their old pay and display tickets so they can ring around and ask if anyone has got an old ticket for X street for, say 3.00-3.30 p.m so they don't have to pay for 20 minutes parking. As you say, the ticket could have been bought on Sunday by anyone for any car, but most people wouldn't have been buying a ticket on Sunday, 5th anyway because they didn't need to as it was free parking. That makes it even more unlikely that Bear happened to have an old ticket purchased three days earlier for the exact time he was parked on Wednesday, 8th.

 

If you drive up to Birmingham today and stick an old ticket on your car, you'd have to match the exact time on the ticket to the time you wanted to park there and hope they wouldn't notice the date. In a 20 minute window for a particular parking bay I would think that might be pretty difficult.

 

Anyway, wardens will check on the date of the pay and display ticket even if the driver doesn't so it would be a very stupid thing for anyone to do in order to avoid paying for 20 minutes parking.

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or 'go backwards'!
Agreed, but equally if they are programmed as I suggested (which you haven't disputed that it could be) it doesn't explain how he managed to buy a ticket dated for a Sunday on a Wednesday
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Anyway, machines do go wrong. I've put money in which has been taken and not given me a ticket. That's happened to lots of people. I had a P&D ticket once with completely the wrong time - two hours earlier and very luckily there was a warden around who had seen me park. I told him and he gave me his number and said he would report it and asked how long I was going to be. The ticket showed how much I had paid for and I left a note on my car saying I'd paid to park until xxx time and Warden No. 1234 had given me permission to park because the machine was faulty and had printed the wrong time. The warden said the fault was probably due to vandalism.

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One shouldn't take the CEO comments as gospel. It might have just been a casual remark, but the issue is, there was something or other wrong with the machine.

 

There might have been other functioning machines nearby, so a FOI request would need to be specific to this spot, not the whole street. It is likely that other similar PCNs exist, if the council has the wherewithall to cross-reference it. Also, the CEO notes might be informative if they bother to look.

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One shouldn't take the CEO comments as gospel. It might have just been a casual remark, but the issue is, there was something or other wrong with the machine.

 

There might have been other functioning machines nearby, so a FOI request would need to be specific to this spot, not the whole street. It is likely that other similar PCNs exist, if the council has the wherewithall to cross-reference it. Also, the CEO notes might be informative if they bother to look.

 

Completely agree with you.

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Where would he get an old ticket? Unlikely to find one floating around in the gutter three days later.

 

He was only parking for 20 minutes. It can't have cost more than £2. Do you think he scoured the bins and gutters for an hour hoping to find an old ticket to stick on the car so he could get 20 minutes free parking?

 

Or maybe he and his friends hang on to all their old pay and display tickets so they can ring around and ask if anyone has got an old ticket for X street for, say 3.00-3.30 p.m so they don't have to pay for 20 minutes parking. As you say, the ticket could have been bought on Sunday by anyone for any car, but most people wouldn't have been buying a ticket on Sunday, 5th anyway because they didn't need to as it was free parking. That makes it even more unlikely that Bear happened to have an old ticket purchased three days earlier for the exact time he was parked on Wednesday, 8th.

 

If you drive up to Birmingham today and stick an old ticket on your car, you'd have to match the exact time on the ticket to the time you wanted to park there and hope they wouldn't notice the date. In a 20 minute window for a particular parking bay I would think that might be pretty difficult.

 

Anyway, wardens will check on the date of the pay and display ticket even if the driver doesn't so it would be a very stupid thing for anyone to do in order to avoid paying for 20 minutes parking.

 

You would be amazed at what people do to avoid paying but at the end of the day we haven't seen the PD, nor the PCN or any other paperwork just the OPs version of events. If the ticket was from several days before the contravention is unlikely to be parked with an expired ticket so the old ticket details may not have even been recorded at the time of the PCN.

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  • 3 months later...

Dear All,

 

Thank you very much for your advice and here's some good news.

 

After approximately 5 months, the PCN has BEEN CANCELLED! Who would have thought?

 

To reiterate and to assist anyone who has a similar issue, I purchased a ticket from a Pay and Display ticket machine but the machine was incorrectly programmed with the date and time, hench a CEO issuing a ticket.

 

I took the number of the machine and the CEO officer reporting to faulty machine and wrote to the Council asking for the ticket to be cancelled. They refused stating the CEO was NOT working that day and that particular machine was NOT reported faulty.

 

I contacted the FOI Act for the Council in question asking for a list of CEO's working that day and a list of machines reported faulty. Interestingly, I inadvertently added a letter to the CEO's number, hence why my initial response for him working that day was negative. Also, the FOI stated that that machine was not reported faulty.

 

I paid the nominal £40 fine in order to avoid it escalating

 

I wrote again to the Council reiterating that this CEO was working that day and that said machine was reported faulty. Again, the response received was negative and the PCN was upheld and as I had paid the £40, "the matter was closed" as far as they were concerned.

 

I, then again via FOI asked for dates that the ticket machine in question was reported faulty. This time, the FOI confirmed that the CEO was working that day and that ticket machine WAS reported faulty at that time.

 

This time instead of writing to the Parking Department, I made an official complaint regarding the Council Employees who had contacted me stating:

a) there investigations had not been thorough enough

b) they had lied

c) was there an issue of a cover-up as the FOI released information they had denied existed.

 

I did not outwardly threaten legal/media action, but I did suggest that I was deciding what further action to take as being lied to and denying me the correct information is a serious matter.

 

Within seven days I received a response from the Council stating that the Departments' investigations had not been thorough enough therefore the nominal amount I paid will be refunded.

 

Bizarrely enough, today my husband received a Notice To Owner letter demanding the full £80 ie. the fact that I have paid the £40 had not been recorded. Hmmm....

 

Anyhow, was small victory..........

 

Many thanks for all who have assisted and advised in this matter.

 

Regards,

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Bizarrely enough, today my husband received a Notice To Owner letter demanding the full £80 ie. the fact that I have paid the £40 had not been recorded. Hmmm....

 

I suggest you reply to the NTO, since it seems that the left hand of Camden Parking Services doesn't know what the right hand is doing. Tick the NTO should not have been served as the penalty has been paid etc.

 

Enclose a copy of the council's letter agreeing to a refund.

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I'm not sure that's right. If the upshot is that you received your payment back, the case could be classed as live again, in which case you will have to appeal.

 

The line of appeal is straight-forward - tell them that the machine was faulty, and point them to any evidence, and that given the history of this case, a rejection of your appeal would be viewed as vexatious and the matter referred to adjudication.

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