Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Looks like another batch of Parking Ticket refunds are on the way

Martin Macdonald
Traffic Management Division, 3/21Department for TransportGreat Minster House76 Marsham StreetLondon SW1P 4DR
Tel: 020 7944 2484
14th February 2006.

Dear Martin,
I have amassed information from most of the local authorities operating DPE regimes outside of London who have issued Penalty Charge Notices to vehicles parked on Taxi Ranks (Hackney Carriage Stands). A considerable number created their Taxi Ranks under the 1976 Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act but have not backed it up with a suitable TRO made under the 1984 Road Traffic Regulation Act.

1. Can you confirm that if a such a Taxi Rank (Hackney Carriage Stand) has been made, then it is unenforceable under Decriminalised Parking Enforcement powers unless it is backed up by a suitable Traffic Regulation Order made under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984?

2. Can you confirm that monies recovered by Local Authorities from PCNs issued erroneously in such circumstances should be refunded?

3. Can you confirm that the Department for Transport is looking to address this matter with corrective legislation? If so, by what date?

4. Can you confirm how and when this was first brought to your attention?

5. Do you have a comprehensive list of the number of Local Authorities involved in making such errors and the amount of unlawfully derived income they have received?

6. If a Local Authority has made such errors then what is the status of their Special Parking Area / Permitted Parking Area?

7. What procedural changes are the Department for Transport now making with regard to checking DPE applications, especially into the validity of their TROs?

8. What checks have been made previously by the DfT into the validity of Local Authorities TROs in any DPE applications submitted in advance of the Secretary of State granting the necessary SPA / PPA?

I intend to issue a press release at 10am Thursday 16th February, 2006 and would be grateful for a response, even a partial one on the substantive points, prior to that. I am aware of the contents of the e-mail sent in response to a similar query by Wayne Pendle.

I would also be grateful for confirmation of receipt of this e-mail.

I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,

Neil Herron
The People's No Campaign / Metric Martyrs Campaign
12 Frederick Street
0191 565 7143
07776 202045

ps. I am still awaiting a response from a colleague of yours, Clint D' Souza, with regard to clarification of the legislation with regard to PCNs issued to Blue Badge Holders parked in Loading Bays. I have copied him into this communication for information.

cc. Owen Paterson MP Shadow Minister of State for Transport
cc. Paul Rowen MP Liberal Democrat Transport spokesman
cc. Clint D' Souza, Department for Transport.

1. Hackney Carriage orders are made under the 1976 Act, they enable taxis
to stop in designated areas and PLY for hire. Traffic signs are as in
accordance with the RTRA (currently 1984)The offence of stopping in a hackney stand is enforceable by a police officer (not a traffic warden nor a parking attendant)

2. A TRO is made under the RTRA (currently 1984) this order can either restrict the stopping or waiting except taxis. It does not permit the PLYING for hire, this is outside of the regime of the RTRA( being in the 1976 Act)This offence is enforceable by police, traffic wardens and parking attendants

3. There is no legal reason why both types of order cannot be in force simultaneously

4. The traffic signing is interesting, up until 1994 then the only available signage was the 'no stopping on carriageway' (the clearway sign) with a small plate 'except taxis'In 1994 yellow upright signs were introduced and the previous cleaway sign was discontinued, but could remain in use if placed on the highway prior to 1994 until 1st January 2005.

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