Author Topic: Sefton council - PCN code 12 (parked in restricted street) - Kensington Road - do I have a chance at fighting this?  (Read 113 times)

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poordisableddriver

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Hi everyone.



For some time now, I've been parking at a street near my GP's surgery as the car park is frequently full. I've never had a problem, as I'd checked there were no parking restrictions. However, the council seems to have recently added them, as I got a penalty charge notice (PCN). I'd nipped in to Asda to get some medication as I was in pain and it was the only pharmacy open on a Sunday afternoon. As far as I was aware, as the company that owns the retail park hadn't updated the website, the parking wasn't free in the retail park so I parked on the side street that I'd used many times before. I returned to the car shortly afterwards and my friend noticed a PCN on my car.




I appealed, council refused appeal (text of letter is after photos).




Even the photos the council used show the sign is a significant distance from the parking bay - my car is that dot in the distance on the right. There was also no sign on entry to the street in the direction that I was driving. The sign the council photographed on the right is behind a hump with no arrow and even if I'd noticed the sign, it appears to be for that side of the street.




There was, I discovered later, a sign on the other end of the road (the end which I hadn't drive through), shown on their photo on the left, pointing towards where I'd parked, but obviously I wouldn't have seen it as I hadn't driven that way and it was also nowhere near the car.










There was one opposite the one on the right, as shown by my photo, is hidden by a tree that the council has not bothered to prune (Sefton council neglecting Southport - until they want to make money - is common).









That photo is taken from (a significant distance) behind the car, on the left (so if I was filming a video, and I moved to the right, you'd see the car as shown above or as shown below). It's opposite the sign shown in the council photo (the one shown on the right).<br /><br />




There was no other sign nearby. The sign in the photo below is roughly opposite the obscured sign in the photo above, just to give more of an explanation of the above photo.









My car is a massive car (grand voyager) and you could fit at least 5 cars behind it there.




There are no signs, heading in that direction (my car is on the right), until you get to the end of the road (again, not where I'd entered):









The council has refused my appeal based on this:




'I refer to the representation made by you in connection with the issue of the above penalty charge notice.




Your comments are noted with regard to the penalty charge notice issued to your vehicle and I can confirm that the reason for issue of the notice was that your vehicle was parked in a lined and signed resident privileged parking space without a valid permit on display.




I understand that you state you where unaware of the restrictions in place however any vehicle observed not displaying a valid permit after a five minute observation period will be issued with a penalty charge notice. If a permit is not available for your use then you should have sought alternative legal parking nearby. It is the responsibility of the driver to make themselves aware of all restrictions in place before leaving there vehicle parked and unattended. I feel there are appropriate signs to alert you of the restriction and therefore I am satisfied that the contravention occurred and do not find the grounds of your appeal warrant cancellation of the charge.
'





which was in response to this:





'Dear Sefton Council,



 
I am writing to appeal against the penalty charge notice (PCN) issued to me today, number SF06034079.



 
I had parked in what appeared to be a marked out area for free parking, being careful to avoid blocking any driveways, in order to get some medication for my disability. When I returned to the car (as the PCN shows, it was issued within 10 minutes), my friend found a PCN on my car. This PCN is unfair and invalid and I am therefore writing to challenge it.



 
I have attached photos as evidence. These show:



 
1. That there were no signs at either entrance to Kensington Road, facing traffic, warning of restricted parking.
2. That there were no signs in the area where the car was parked, either on the side that the car was parked on, or the opposite side.
3. The only signs were as follows: 2 signs away from where I parked - one on the right but a significant distance from where I parked, the other on the left and also a significant distance from where I parked and obscured by a tree, neither with any indication that the restrictions applied to the area where I was parked, a significant distance away. 1 sign with an arrow (the only one) that, as the direction of my car shows, I could not reasonably have been expected to see as it was at the other entrance to the road than the entrance I drove in, and, like the other signs, a significant distance away from where I parked.



 
It would not have been reasonable to have expected me to see any of those signs.



 
There was also no sign where I entered the road.



 
Where I parked, there was no sign on either side of the road. Drivers cannot be expected, in a place where parking appears to be free, to play a ludicrous "game" of "hunt the signs just in case the council is trying to sting disabled people for money just before a local election".



 
I am therefore appealing on the following grounds:


The permit zone (and therefore the PCN) does not comply with The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016, part 3 of schedule 5, as there was, as the photograph shows, no sign at the entrance to the zone where I entered. The regulations make it clear there must be a sign at each entrance.
2. Of the signs that did exist (none of which were at the entrance where I entered the road), they were not, as required, clear and unobscured signs within a reasonable distance (three car lengths) away from the area where parking was restricted.
3. There were no signs where I parked nor within a short distance.
'



Where do I stand? Is it worth waiting for the Notice to Owner and making further representations, risking paying the higher fine (which, despite what some muppet magistrate once said, absolutely should be illegal as the Bill of Rights 1688 is unambiguous about fines, there's no "unless you can appeal" in the text)? Or do I not have a leg to stand on?



It doesn't seem fair to expect drivers to hunt for signs, but what do people think based on their experience? Have I got a chance?



By the way, as I've parked there for so long - always making sure not to block driveways regardless of whether they have H markings - and the white lines seem to have been repainted, I think those signs are new, which means the council intentionally hid one behind a tree, which makes them especially scummy.



Thanks.

PCN:



Street view from Google maps:

https://maps.app.goo.gl/FNrkxENeC7MofRr66
« Last Edit: April 20, 2024, 01:15:50 am by poordisableddriver »

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Incandescent

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The bottom line is that you parked in a marked out bay. This means there will be a sign giving the conditions for use of that bay, and you are under a duty to look for that sign. Did you ?  If the marked bay had no sign(s) then the contravention did not occur.

Please show the back of the PCN, as the "small print" may contain a fatal error, (content of PCNs is defined in law).

Please also repost your GSV link so it is exactly where you parked, (please tell us where on the view).

Are you a BB holder, because you haven't mentioned it ?

poordisableddriver

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The bottom line is that you parked in a marked out bay. This means there will be a sign giving the conditions for use of that bay, and you are under a duty to look for that sign. Did you ?  If the marked bay had no sign(s) then the contravention did not occur.

Please show the back of the PCN, as the "small print" may contain a fatal error, (content of PCNs is defined in law).

Please also repost your GSV link so it is exactly where you parked, (please tell us where on the view).

Are you a BB holder, because you haven't mentioned it ?

Thanks for the response.

In Southport, there is often a marked out bay - just like the one in the picture - that can be used for 1-2 hours. I looked to see if there were any signs and none were visible from where I parked my car, nor from where I entered the street (the one with the arrow in the above post is on the opposite end of the street from where I entered).

Back of PCN:



Google Street view - I was in front of the white posts (car would be facing towards you when viewed from this angle). Google says it's number 9 Kensington Road:

https://maps.app.goo.gl/9Si358gJtNSVeokz7

Pic added to make it clearer (area roughly marked in red):



And this is the view from behind where the car was:



Oh and no blue badge, council ignored mountains of medical evidence.

Thanks

Incandescent

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A sign ! But it's by the narrow section so does it apply to the bay you were in ? Council will no doubt claim it does.
https://maps.app.goo.gl/4NSkvEXZ1pbWAZRG9
and another sign at the other end of the bay which is unequivocal.
https://maps.app.goo.gl/E3b3rjSKBHdsPZmv6
To be honest, your case doesn't look hugely strong, I'm afraid. It seems that a reasonably diligent motorist would have seen these signs and anyway, it's your duty to look for a sign if you're in a marked-out bay. Sorry if this isn't what you wanted to hear, but the council are unlikely to give way, so you'd end up at the Traffic Penalty Tribunal with the full PCN penalty in play, and this doesn't look like a slam-dunk win.

poordisableddriver

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A sign ! But it's by the narrow section so does it apply to the bay you were in ? Council will no doubt claim it does.
https://maps.app.goo.gl/4NSkvEXZ1pbWAZRG9
and another sign at the other end of the bay which is unequivocal.
https://maps.app.goo.gl/E3b3rjSKBHdsPZmv6
To be honest, your case doesn't look hugely strong, I'm afraid. It seems that a reasonably diligent motorist would have seen these signs and anyway, it's your duty to look for a sign if you're in a marked-out bay. Sorry if this isn't what you wanted to hear, but the council are unlikely to give way, so you'd end up at the Traffic Penalty Tribunal with the full PCN penalty in play, and this doesn't look like a slam-dunk win.

The first one seemed to both me and my friend as though it appeared to be for the other section of road, past the hump, not the marked bay.

The second one was at the end of the road, not visible from where I was parked (and I didn't drive past it as I drove from the other end of the street).

Both were many car lengths from my car - I didn't see any of them until I hunted for them after getting the PCN - does that make any difference? Doesn't seem fair to me that I'd be expected to hunt for them, when on other streets with pay and display parking they're opposite the bay (whether on the side where the bay is or the other side of the road).

Incandescent

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If you park in a marked bay, you have a duty to check for the conditions for the bay, which means looking for the sign. Now whether the signage is adequate is another matter. I suggest seeing if anybody else has a contrary view to me, but I have to say the discount looks your best option, but first submit reps stating the sign you saw was not by the bay therefore you assumed you could park there. State that if there had been a sign in the middle of the bay, it is likely you would have seen it and parked elsewhere.

cp8759

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@poordisableddriver at the moment we have no idea if the council has even prima-facie evidence of a contravention, I'd also like to check the traffic order but we've been given nothing to work with.
I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law. Section 6 of the Interpretation Act 1978 applies to everything I post as it would apply to an Act of Parliament. I am a Conservative councillor, this means some people think I am "scum". I practice law in the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, London Tribunals, the First-tier tribunal for Scotland, and the Traffic Penalty Tribunal for Northern Ireland, but I am not a solicitor nor a barrister.

Quote from: 'Gumph' date='Thu, 19 Jan 2023 - 10:23'
cp8759 is, indeed, a Wizard of the First Order

Incandescent

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@poordisableddriver at the moment we have no idea if the council has even prima-facie evidence of a contravention, I'd also like to check the traffic order but we've been given nothing to work with.
Well, here's the TRO list for Sefton held by the TPT. I had a quick look and didn't find Kensington Road; all the orders seem to be by individual street. Maybe the OP could trawl through it ?
https://tro.trafficpenaltytribunal.gov.uk/sefton/

cp8759

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The most recent order on the TRO library is eight years old, the only reliable way to get hold of the current order is to request it, which I have done.
I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law. Section 6 of the Interpretation Act 1978 applies to everything I post as it would apply to an Act of Parliament. I am a Conservative councillor, this means some people think I am "scum". I practice law in the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, London Tribunals, the First-tier tribunal for Scotland, and the Traffic Penalty Tribunal for Northern Ireland, but I am not a solicitor nor a barrister.

Quote from: 'Gumph' date='Thu, 19 Jan 2023 - 10:23'
cp8759 is, indeed, a Wizard of the First Order

poordisableddriver

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@poordisableddriver at the moment we have no idea if the council has even prima-facie evidence of a contravention, I'd also like to check the traffic order but we've been given nothing to work with.

I posted everything that the 'read this' post asked for and the follow-up posts. I then tried to find the TRO for Kensington Road but couldn't. I'll call Sefton Council tomorrow to try to get it.

cp8759

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I posted everything that the 'read this' post asked for and the follow-up posts. I then tried to find the TRO for Kensington Road but couldn't. I'll call Sefton Council tomorrow to try to get it.
The guidance clearly tells you not to redact the PCN number and number plate, but neither are visible in your post?

Don't worry about the traffic order, I've requested it already (I very much doubt you'll get anywhere by just phoning the council, it's unlikely the person answering the phone will have the faintest clue about what a traffic order is).

If we could have the PCN number and the number plate that would be helpful.
I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law. Section 6 of the Interpretation Act 1978 applies to everything I post as it would apply to an Act of Parliament. I am a Conservative councillor, this means some people think I am "scum". I practice law in the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, London Tribunals, the First-tier tribunal for Scotland, and the Traffic Penalty Tribunal for Northern Ireland, but I am not a solicitor nor a barrister.

Quote from: 'Gumph' date='Thu, 19 Jan 2023 - 10:23'
cp8759 is, indeed, a Wizard of the First Order

poordisableddriver

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I posted everything that the 'read this' post asked for and the follow-up posts. I then tried to find the TRO for Kensington Road but couldn't. I'll call Sefton Council tomorrow to try to get it.
The guidance clearly tells you not to redact the PCN number and number plate, but neither are visible in your post?

Don't worry about the traffic order, I've requested it already (I very much doubt you'll get anywhere by just phoning the council, it's unlikely the person answering the phone will have the faintest clue about what a traffic order is).

If we could have the PCN number and the number plate that would be helpful.

Yes, I found that very strange, as it has nothing to do with parking (unless the number plate is wrong on the ticket, which it isn't) so for safety and security reasons, I didn't include it. Appreciate your help anyway, having got other feedback, I've made a decision on appealing.

cp8759

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Yes, I found that very strange, as it has nothing to do with parking (unless the number plate is wrong on the ticket, which it isn't) so for safety and security reasons, I didn't include it.
What do you do for safety and security when you drive your car down the road with your number plate on display for all to see. The reason we ask is so we can get the council photos and form a view as to whether the council photos discharge the council's burden of evidence, and also to check the traffic order to see if the provisions of the order match up to the road markings and signs.

Appreciate your help anyway, having got other feedback, I've made a decision on appealing.
Good luck!
I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law. Section 6 of the Interpretation Act 1978 applies to everything I post as it would apply to an Act of Parliament. I am a Conservative councillor, this means some people think I am "scum". I practice law in the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, London Tribunals, the First-tier tribunal for Scotland, and the Traffic Penalty Tribunal for Northern Ireland, but I am not a solicitor nor a barrister.

Quote from: 'Gumph' date='Thu, 19 Jan 2023 - 10:23'
cp8759 is, indeed, a Wizard of the First Order

cp8759

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I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law. Section 6 of the Interpretation Act 1978 applies to everything I post as it would apply to an Act of Parliament. I am a Conservative councillor, this means some people think I am "scum". I practice law in the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, London Tribunals, the First-tier tribunal for Scotland, and the Traffic Penalty Tribunal for Northern Ireland, but I am not a solicitor nor a barrister.

Quote from: 'Gumph' date='Thu, 19 Jan 2023 - 10:23'
cp8759 is, indeed, a Wizard of the First Order