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PCN from Greenwich Council citing contravention 12S


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I seem to be almost permanently employed challenging PCN's collected by the missus these days. I just wish she'd find a new hobby. The PCN describes this contravention as:

 

Parked in a residents' or shared use parking place or zone without either clearly displaying a valid permit or voucher or pay and display ticket issued for that place, or without payment of the parking charge (shared use bay)

 

All of which leaves us completely mystified, coz:

1. A valid permit for the zone is clearly displayed in the car's windscreen.

2. It is not a pay & display parking zone.

3. She confirmed on at least 2 occasions via tel/call to Bexley Council that our permit is valid in any local zone N parking area, even where this zone encroaches on an adjacent council.

4. She has parked in this road incident-free since the residents' parking scheme came into effect (around 10 years at least) - until now.

 

Any advice please?

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Hard to advise, as we don't know what happened. Really you need to speak to the council and enquire why the PCN was issued. At the very least, some photos would be helpful. Obviously, if she was entitled to park there, then the PCN was invalid and ought to be voided. On the other hand, there could be an issue which she wasn't aware of at the time - so you'll need to get the council to explain.

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Presumably, the 'issue' is the contravention cited as the reason for the pcn, which makes no sense at all under the circumstances. I will appeal it in any case, with a foto of the permit in support. My best guess is that the appeal will be rejected on the grounds that a permit issued by Bexley is not valid in Greenwich, contrary to advice given by Bexley Council staff.

 

So my question then is - where do we stand in that event? The missus didn't get a name, or request the advice in writing. She took it on trust that the advice was correct, but now regrets having no proof - with the possible exception of itemised telephone bills that show the calls made to the council. If the council now deny it, it's her word against theirs.

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Either the permit is valid there, or it isn't, or some other issue is in play - you really would be better off finding out why the PCN was issued - not just what it says on it, but the council's explanation - before you appeal. That contravention can cover a multitude of circumstances.

 

Suppose for example (I'm not saying this happened - just illustrating a point) say, the permit was not readable in the windscreen for some reason. Then, you'd be ticketed under that contravention, but an appeal on the basis that you were advised the permit was valid for use would be irrelevant and would fail. On the other hand, if you knew why the PCN was issued, you could explain what happened and give them a photocopy of the valid permit - which is then likely to succeed. But you need to know before you can write the appeal letter along those lines.

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I've not seen a CPZ which straddles 2 boroughs before, (albeit by only a handful of Bexley roads).

 

However there is some documentary evidence you can produce:

 

Bexley Guidance notes:

14. A Permit will enable the holder to park in any vacant residents parking bay within the specified Controlled Parking

Zone; between the restricted hours and days.

http://www.bexley.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=7237

 

One possible scenario is that the CEO didn't know that Zone N includes a few roads in Bexley, saw the permit was issued by Bexley and automatically issued a pcn.

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@ Jamberson - Yep, I sees exactly what ya mean. So......UPDATE. My hunch was correct. The wife called the council shortly after getting the pcn. She was told point blank that the reason for its issue was that a Bexley permit is not valid in Greenwich, and the contrary advice she'd received from staff of both councils in response to specific enquiries relating to precisely this matter was wrong.

 

Their attitude seems to be that we hafta pay for their mistakes. That's just gotta be wrong both in principle and in law. Surely, any court in the land would rule that info. from official sources can be accepted at face value, and relied on in good faith. If it subsequently turns out to be wrong, the loss should rest squarely on the shoulders of the source of that info., not the unwitting recipient who took every reasonable precaution to avoid exactly this situation. Quite apart from which, the Bexley Guidance Notes cited by Michael above appear to confirm precisely what my wife was told when she made her original enquiries.

 

Our permit allows us to park in any zone N space within our locality, and it is clearly visible. If it were not so, we would long since have been fined for that infraction in our own road (which is regularly patrolled), let alone adjacent Zone N roads. So bearing all that in mind, is it still your opinion that I should first confirm the reason for the pcn?

 

@ Michael - Thanks for that reference - interesting, & confirms exactly what the missus was told. I just don't see how Greenwich can imagine they have a leg to stand on.

 

One possible scenario is that the CEO didn't know that Zone N includes a few roads in Bexley

 

I assume you mean Greenwich?

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Hi. I didn't realise she'd already asked the question, but if that's the explanation they gave, then there's no point in asking again. It does sound from what you say as if you are allowed to park there. Could you give us the exact location?

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I don't blame you for that - I didn't know myself until I asked her. Initially, all she told me about that conversation was that she was told to take it up with Parking Services. Anyroad (pun intended), she was parked in Ellis Close, SE9, and I now have photos of the sign showing it as a Zone N parking area. They, and a photo of our permit (clearly displayed), will be used in support of our challenge, as well as Bexley's Guidance Notes referred to earlier. As I said above, she's been parking there incident-free since the start of the scheme.

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Here is a zoomable map of the controlled zones: http://www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/info/473/street_parking_-_zones/343/controlled_parking_zones/2

 

I see Zone N (Eltham) encroaches in to the neighbouring borough and Zone AW (Abbey Wood) straddles two areas. Very confusing !

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Ellis Close is comfortably inside the boundary of Greenwich zone N. I also have never heard of a parking zone which straddles two boroughs. If you have a zone N permit for Bexley, then that would only be valid for that zone, not any other zone which happens to also be called N, even if it's nearby. Do you have a corresponding map showing the boundaries of Bexley zone N?

 

Assuming it's not allowed for you to park there, then you're back with the telephone conversation and relying on that for your appeal, which is going to be difficult to prove.

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You may have missed a trick here Jamberson. This is not a case of 'another N zone '. It's the same N zone that includes our own road - Dulverton Road (also SE9), for which the permit is primarily used. It just happens to straddle two borough councils. In other words, there is no break in the zone - Ellis Close adjoins roads that are contiguous with all other roads within the same zone up to and including our own road, and even beyond towards Sidcup. We are well aware that if an N zone was also located in, say, Westminster or High Barnet, then our permit would not be valid.

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Greenwich has almost identical guidance:

Where will my permit or visitor voucher let me park?

Permits and visitor vouchers allow preferential parking and/or exemption from certain parking place controls during the operative hours of the controlled parking zone (CPZ) stated on the permit/voucher

http://www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/downloads/file/493/parking_permit_guidance_notes

 

Just appeal on the grounds that the contravention did not occur.

 

You were parked in zone N and were displaying a valid permit issued by Bexley for that zone.The permit guidance from both Greenwich and Bexley allows you to park anywhere in a CPZ if you are displaying a permit for that zone.

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You live in the Bexley end of the road, and apply to Bexley for your permit? And Bexley are issuing permits which allow you to park in Greenwich? I've never heard of anything like it, but if that's the case then fair enough - if you are certain.

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You live in the Bexley end of the road, and apply to Bexley for your permit?

 

Correct.

 

And Bexley are issuing permits which allow you to park in Greenwich?

 

Hmm, not quite. It allows us to park in Zone N, which straddles both boroughs. New Eltham lies partly in Bexley, & partly in Greenwich, but there are no signs that tell you where one boundary ends and another one begins. People can't be expected to know which is which, so rather than split New Eltham, they decided to make it a unitary parking zone. That is the explanation Bexley (and Greenwich) gave the missus when she sought clarification about where exactly she was allowed to park.

 

And, as Michael points out, also confirmed in the guidance notes issued by both councils. But since enquiring about the pcn, Greenwich (at least) now appear to be changing their tune. So yes, I'm pretty certain we have a good case for a challenge. But I hafta agree, it is an unusual arrangement, and quite possibly the reason for all the confusion and conflicting advice we're now getting from Greenwich.

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And Bexley are issuing permits which allow you to park in Greenwich? .

 

It does seem extraordinary, you would have thought that where the vast majority of Zone N is in Greenwich that they would handle applications for the handful of eligible roads that are in Bexley

 

But if you look at the drop down list here;

 

https://permits.bexley.gov.uk/pecuserservices/ZoneVerification.asp

 

sure enough, the list includes thoseBexley roads in Zone N (New Eltham)

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I filled in our details, but kept getting processing error 005. Shame - that would have been a useful list, coz Bexley are now also saying we hafta cough up. Shame we never got it in writing from the outset. Another one we might hafta put down to experience.

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This was covered on CAG here and maybe of use to you http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?374056-Contravention-Code-12

 

 

See the attachment for a photograph of the signs in that road

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The problem is that fighting it (and even winning) doesn't address the issue of the conflicting advice we've had from both councils. For example, if it's voided as a 'gesture of goodwill', what happens next time we park in the Greenwich part of Zone N during the controlled times? We're back at square one, and hello grounghog day. I think the only solution is to pay it now, then seek definitive clarification about where exactly we're allowed to park. Then if we get the proof we need, we can request a refund, no?

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You might be able to get a refund, but it could take a while. I'd strongly advise you talk to them, and clarify again why the PCN was issued. None of this makes much sense to me, and if they did make a mistake in issuing it, there's no sense in paying. I'd get clarification again, of why the PCN was issued, and if they say what they said before, appeal it.

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