Friday, May 24, 2013

Islington council in trouble again over £30m worth of tickets.

A parking adjudicator has overturned a penalty charge notice (PCN) issued by the London Borough of Islington because wording on the ticket did not properly explain the representations process. Also, the controlled parking zone where the owner’s vehicle was ticketed was not adequately signed, said adjudicator Michael Lawrence.

Driver Sai Wong appealed to the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service (PATAS) against the £130 ticket, issued for parking on a single yellow line in Chapel Market last December.

Supported by his representative, parking campaigner Albert Herbert, he argued that the PCN did not explain how representations should be made in response to a notice to owner. “Non-compliance with the regulations quoted mean that there has been a procedural impropriety,” said Lawrence.

The adjudicator also learned that some of the CPZ signs were covered up with plastic sheeting. “Normally it is sufficient for an authority to produce a map of the zone in question, showing the location of the CPZ signs on the boundary of the entrance points and a specimen of the type of sign to be found there,” said Lawrence. He found that though Islington had produced a map of the zone they had not marked on it where the signs are.  

An Islington spokesman said: “The wording was introduced in 2008 and our legal advice confirmed it complied with national regulations. The decision in this case is based on the adjudicator’s opinion. We are happy to check the wording is as clearly phrased as possible but our legal advice is clear. Our parking tickets are valid. There is no question of tickets dating back to 2008 being refunded.”

A London Councils spokeswoman added: “There is no specific standard wording for a parking PCN under the Traffic Management Act (TMA) 2004, although there are fundamental details in legislation, specifically the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) General Regulations 2007 and The Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) Representations and Appeals Regulations 2007, which have to appear on the PCN.”

Under the TMA London Councils produced model document templates for PCNs, which were made available to all London authorities, she said. “Whilst these were checked by our legal team, all authorities were advised to seek their own legal advice before using them and it is up to each local authority to decide if they want to use them or create their own.”

Islington’s spokesman said the council would be appealing against the adjudicator’s decision.

A different PATAS adjudicator will hear Islington’s appeal. If this adjudicator also finds against Islington, the only further route open to them would be an appeal to the High Court through a judicial review. Unlike a PATAS review, a decision made at judicial review would set a legal precedent.

It is alleged that 600,000 PCNs, valued at £30m, could be affected because of the wording error.



Rita the Meter Maid said...

Squeaky Bum Time at Islington Town Hall.

Will London's first. 20MPH borough be London s first bankrupt one?

Fighter said...

Why a different ajudicator?

Can you ask for a different magistrate?

These people don't give you one minute over or any leeway whatsoever, lets screw them into the ground.

Anonymous said...

One rule for them and a different one for us

marie said...

its all a thieving joke i'd say!! I got a PCN because the parking telephone assistant for mobile parking in Barnet had put one digit wrong in my registration details when paying for parking which caused me to get a ticket and then when appealing, i was told i still have to pay the fine.