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Bus lane penalty charge - I was 60 miles away!


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I got a letter on xx/xx/xx saying that I have to pay £100 penalty charge for being in a bus lane in London. At the time, I was 60 or so miles away & asleep in a hotel.

This has been going on for a while now & I'm really fed up with it & I want to charge them for my time & expenses for dealing with this because all they do is send me standard letters & demand money for something I didn't do and they STILL have not shown me any proof of what they are claiming!

In the first letter I received, they said that I had ignored their first letter in which they attached photographs of my car in the bus lane (impossible). I never received that letter so I called them & followed up with the following letter (the names have been changed to protect the idiots ;)).

 

RE: Penalty charge notice XXXXXXXX

 

Dear Sir/madam,

 

Further to my telephone conversation today with xxxx, at xxxxpm.

 

I received an enforcement notice on 12/01/07 for an alleged contravention of being in a bus lane in xxxxx (xx) on xx/xx/xxat xxxxxam.

I was advised by xxxx at your offices that I had been sent a penalty charge notice which contained photographs for the alleged contravention on xx/xx/xx.and again on xx/xx/xx.

I did not receive either of these penalty charge notices & photographs, the first I knew of this alleged contravention was this enforcement notice that I received on Friday.

 

I can tell you that the above alleged contravention could not possibly have been made by myself, or my car as I was at a function in xxxxxxx at the time. I can obtain verification from the hotel in which I was staying during this time.

They will also verify that my car was in my possession because they record details of all cars that use their private parking facilities.

 

Please advise how we can resolve this matter.

 

Yours sincerely

They then replied with what looked like a standard letter saying that having considered the facts surrounding this case, they are not satisfied with the evidence provided (I never sent any evidence). They placed my case on hold for 14 days & demanded that I send a copy of my log book, 2 photos of my car front & back and any other evidence to prove where my car & I were at the time of the alleged contravention.

I could have sent these plus I also now have a copy of a printout of the hotel car park records to show that my car was in their car park, but I was so angy, I sent them the following letter first.

 

RE: Penalty charge notice XXXXXXX

 

Dear Sir/madam,

 

I am writing in response to your recent correspondence regarding the above penalty charge notice, a copy of which is attached.

 

You stated in your letter that you are not satisfied with the evidence that I had provided. I didn’t actually send any evidence, I simply told you that it could not have been my car because I was not in XXXXX at the time of the alleged contravention.

 

I have still not received any evidence whatsoever from you in relation to this allegation. If you could send me some photographs and any other evidence you have, I will be happy to supply you with photographs of my car, my V5 certificate and records from the hotel parking services where my car was parked at the time of this alleged contravention.

 

I reserve the right to charge you for my time & costs in dealing with this matter.

 

Yours sincerely

Today I letter titled Notice of Rejection of Representations

 

 

Its a rather long letter, but it basically states that my grounds for representation against the penalty charge have been carefully considered & rejected by the council. They now give me 28 days to either pay the charge or appeal to Parking & Traffic Appeals Service for my case to be heard by an independent parking adjudicator. A form was enclosed. Failure to pay or appeal will increase the charge by a further 50%. They said that the adjudicator may award costs to either party if he considers that the other has acted in a vexatious or frivolous manner, although the awarding of costs is not normal practice.

 

Now I am really pxxxxx off . I will now fill in the form & I may even have to attend a hearing.

Sorry for the long post, but what can I do? Surely they can't just send penalty notices out with NO evidence & put innocent people through all this trouble & not have to compensate them for all the time & trouble.

Any help appreciated.

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Who has issued this penalty notice? It must be either a local authority or Transport for Lefties, sorry, Transport for London.

 

As they are not using any common sense it seems the only option is to go for a PATAS appeal. You have evidence from the hotel that your car was 60 miles from where the contravention has occured so that is in your favour. What I suggest you do is to chase up the photos of your car as there is always the possibility that they may have read your registration incorrectly. Once you have the photos you can then see if it is the same colour and make and model as your own. You will then need to report this to police so they can put an information report on to the police national computer.

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It is Ealing Council Parking "Services"

I have asked them twice for the photos that they have, but all I got is these standard letters. They have not once addressed my request for proof. I will write & ask for them again. Should I send them the evidence to prove where I was? Out of principle, I don't think I should until they send me their photographs, but I will if it saves hassle. I also want to charge them for my time & expenses. This has taken a fair bit of my time to deal with & all they keep doing is telling me that they don't accept my evidence so pay up or we'll take it further.

 

The form enclosed with this letter is a PATAS form so I guess I just fill this in & send it off?

 

Thanks for the reply.

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I would immeditaely report to the police that your car may have been cloned.

 

If this is the case, it may save you further trouble and help get bus lane people off your back. If it hasn't been cloned and the bus lane people are just being morons, hopefully it will still help get them off your back by forcing them to come up with some photos etc.

Post by me are intended as a discussion of the issues involved, as these are of general interest to me and others on the forum. Although it is hoped such discussion will be of use to readers, before exposing yourself to risk of loss you should not rely on any principles discussed without confirming the situation with a qualified person.

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You will need to complete the PATAS form and send it in as Ealing are playing silly buggers. It might be worth getting in touch with this fellow:-

 

Money Box Junction

 

His speciality is box junctions but he has experience of dealing with local authorities and TfL.

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