Monday, September 15, 2008

Somerset - Traffic management Act PCN found unenforcable

Taunton Deane Council has become possibly the first Local Authority to lose an adjudication due to its tickets not complying with the requirements of the new act.

Anyone with a similarly worded ticket from Taunton Deane (issued prior to the date of the adjudication 06 August 2008)can appeal on the same grounds and quote the case reference as a persuasive argument. (see Information - Key Cases - Taunton Deane v Saxton). It may also prove worth checking any other Somerset District tickets to see whether they contain the same errors).

The Council should drop all pending tickets knowing they have a fatal flaw but will it?

The Somerset County Gazette broke the story & the BBC also ran it.

The Traffic Penalty Tribunal, concluded the penalty charge notice was “defective and cannot be enforced”.

Mr Saxton said: “I won because the council didn’t give the full information it should have on the ticket.

“Every ticket issued locally must be the same, so they must be illegal as well - there must be any number of people who could get their money back.”

Adjudicator Deborah Gibson found in Mr Saxton’s favour because the ticket did not carry a statement saying the council would consider representations made by the recipient before an enforcement notice was sent to the vehicle owner.

She added that it was insufficient to simply imply that those representations would be considered.

A Deane spokesman said officers were surprised by the decision as they believed they had followed the guidance for councils.

She added: “We’ll take this decision into account in any cases where enforcement action is being taken.

“We’ll also review the wording on the penalty notice.”

BBC reported

A council has been forced to reword and reprint its parking tickets after a court ruled its previous wording was incorrect.

Motorist Paul Saxton took his case against a parking ticket issued by Taunton Deane Council to arbitration.

He won the case because the tribunal ruled the ticket was invalid because the wording 'did not comply with current legislation'.

The ruling means many people recently ticketed may now be exempt from fines.

Mr Saxton had pulled into a taxi rank in Taunton to take a phone call when a warden dropped a ticket through his open window.

John Lewis of Taunton Deane Council said : "The adjudicator has ruled that the ticket was defective in Mr Saxon's case and the penalty tribunal has said that each case is looked at on its merits so we will be looking at each case individually."

The council has now reworded its tickets but it may have to write off thousands of pounds in unpaid fines.

Solicitor Tim Hayden told BBC News: "I think those who have currently got parking tickets could appeal and could lead that on the wording that this judgement has provided."

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