Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Waltham Forest Council forced to refund Penalty Charge Notices

This time because of an unlawful yellow box junction.

What is extraordinary in this instance is that the council asked the Department for Transport if the yellow box was lawful ...and they were told it wasn't ... AFTER they had issued £thousands of tickets. Full story here

The case has enormous implications.

Environment cabinet member Cllr Bob Belam said: "The council is carrying out a thorough investigation to find out why this happened and will be taking steps to ensure that a similar occurence does not happen again.
"As soon as we discovered this error the council instructed our parking contractor to stop issuing tickets incurred by motorists at this junction and have cancelled all outstanding tickets.
"If anyone feels they have been given a fixed penalty at this box junction in error they should contact our parking section and a full refund will be made."
Notices will be placed in the council's WFM newsletter informing motorists they can get their fines refunded.
Cllr Belam said that a decision has yet to be made on whether the junction will be removed or merely altered."

Sorry Cllr Bellam. This is not good enough. It is not up to the motorists to contact you. You have the Registered Keeper details and the details of those who paid. If the two tally ... refund. If they don't (ie. if the driver not the Registered Keeper paid) then write to the Registered Keeper pointing out that a refund is due and can they inform the driver to ensure that an appropriate refund is made.
If there are any monies that cannot be refunded then it must be given to charity.

To get your refund call the council's parking department on 020 8496 3000.

The admission is that a council has been using a sign or road marking which has been confirmed by the Department for Transport as unlawful ... and the council has admitted that it has to refund the money.

Now consider the case of the unlawful (as confirmed by the Department for Transport) 1028.4 / 1032 hybrid parking/loading/disabled bays. Same principle.

Have you had a ticket in such a bay? Check out the Parking Appeals website and sign up to ensure that you have the latest info when councils are caught out.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Coming Soon to Parking Appeals ... "It's a Bad Sign"

As Parking Appeals grows we will be introducing a series of competitions on a monthly basis to highlight the shocking state of some local authorities signs and lines.

Here are a couple of early contenders ...

The first one is in Haringey and sent in by Belinda ... and purports to be a Disabled Bay.

Now you must ask the question ... "What is Haringey doing with all its surplus revenue from parking enforcement?"

Could you spot this at night?

Dangerous potholes go unrepaired, lines barely visible and it beggars belief that this bay is being enforced.

Second one of the day comes from Simon and this is of a bay outside the Royal Festival Hall. This time the London Borough of Lambeth.
Now Lambeth has some of the most heavily ticketed locations in the country and lots of missing or non-compliant signs.
Again, just how much of their parking enforcement surplus goes into ensuring that the signs are clear, unambiguous and LAWFUL.
What also must be remembered is that Parking Attendants should be noting down faded or missing restrictions in order that the Highways Department can then ensure that any necessary works are undertaken.
Or do you think that this gets left behind in the relentless pursuit of parking fine revenue?
If you have a contender then e-mail us the pictures to and title it 'It's a Bad Sign' and include the location.
Prizes for the best.

Red Lion Street, Camden ... had a parking ticket here?

Have you been ticketed in Red Lion Street in Camden, London?

The council is now aware that many of the borough's parking spaces do not comply with the law.

How do we know?

Because we are having ticket after ticket cancelled for motorists in such non-compliant bays AND our vehicle F1 NED CANNOT get a Penalty Charge Notice no matter how hard we try. On the odd occasion we have managed it is rather quickly cancelled.

And, the little give-away is shown in the picture on the left.

We parked at this location in Red Lion Street in an attempt to get a parking ticket, but as you can see it appears as though a Highways Inspector has spotted the error ... hence the 'x' highlighting the errors.

If you join the Parking Appeals website you will be able to spot exactly how and why the bay is unlawful and how you can successfully appeal.

There are hundreds of thousands of similar illegally marked bays across the country ... and the councils are aware of their legal requirements and are continuing to enforce bays that they know to be non-compliant.

It is not acceptable to break the law to enforce the law ... so join the growing band of motorists standing up to this abuse.

Parking Appeals now offers an annual membership for only £9.99 ... can you afford not to join?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Littering Fixed Penalty Notice ... Guilty. No butts

Now just consider this for a moment ... and we are all in agreement that littering is anti-social and must not be tolerated.

Read the Fixed Penalty Notice ... then consider this ... as the Registered Keeper of a vehicle ( and you may or may not have been the driver) you are now faced with the threat of prosecution and a £2500 fine ... because you nominated yourself to be the Registered Keeper of a vehicle.

The only evidence against you is not that you have been identified by a Police Officer, but because a lowly paid council official allegedly observed something being thrown from a vehicle that was registered in your name.

The onus is now upon you to prove your innocence rather than the council to prove your guilt.

Did the DVLA warn you that this was likely to happen when you agreed to be the Registered Keeper and filled in the V5C form?

Traffic Management Act will lead to chaos and confusion

... and now this prediction in the letter below from a councillor and portfolio holder.

Dick Turpin is ready to ride again and there will be many aggrieved motorists the length and breadth of the land. Perhaps the councillor would like to correct the word 'offences' and replace it with 'contravention.'

New parking fines hit by confusion

I wouldn't want either the borough's motorists or our award-winning parking attendants to get the idea that our enforcement regime will be either "lax or non-existent" when the new ranges of parking fines come in on March 31 (Gazette, January 31).

I expect enforcement to continue across all existing offences and I especially welcome the increased fine for illegally parking in a disabled space.
There is scope for confusion in some new offences created by the legislation, because of the way the Government has rushed this through.

For example, the act makes it an offence to park across a "dropped kerb", meaning the entrance to someone's drive. My problem is that a car parked across a dropped kerb may be the householder's own car or one parked by a visitor with the owner's agreement.
I would be livid if I got a ticket on my own car parked across my own drive, and I expect most residents would feel the same.

I can imagine ways we might avoid this and still ticket a car parked without the owner's consent, but any approach must be easy for everyone to understand.

The Government itself is still unclear about how it expects this to be enforced.
We are developing a new enforcement policy in response to the legislation.

Meanwhile, it is very much still business as usual from March 31, but with the new, higher charge of £70 for more serious offences and £50 for less serious ones.

But there will be no attempt to enforce the "dropped kerb" offence unless, and until, we are confident we can do this in a sound and sensitive way.

-Horace Mitchell, Cabinet member for planning and transport, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.

Is Your Speed Ticket Legal?

It seems like a Nottingham Councillor is stating that it is alright to break the law to catch someone breaking the law. This is the same attitude we have witnessed in relation to local authorities using illegal signs to enforce parking restriction.
'Good enough, nearly, and no-one should be misled' is simply not acceptable for signing. The law is strict and pedantic for obvious reason ... so there can be clarity and no ambiguity. Local authorities have no excuse for getting it wrong.

Richard Bentley states:
" If Councillor Barber cares to read my website then he will find that I stand for honesty, integrity and the full application of English law, not the systematic abuse by authorities who seem to think that they are above government and statute. No-one, especially local authorities, can consider themselves above the law."

Click here for an example of exactly how potentially dangerous wrong signing can be when a council places a Loading Bay inside a pedestrian crossing's zig zags inciting motorists to commit an endorseable offence and obscure motorists and pedestrian's vision. Who would be responsible for a child getting knocked down here?

Who is breaking the law then?

25 February 2008

Thousands of motorists in Notts have been wrongly convicted of speeding.

That's the view of an expert who says many of our road signs are not lawful. Richard Bentley said Nottingham was a "disaster zone" for signing.

Mr Bentley, a traffic signs consultant and expert court witness, said police and highways chiefs were aware of the problems but still prosecuted.

A damning dossier of evidence seen by the Evening Post includes:

  • An unenforceable 40mph limit on the A6514 ring road.

  • A type of 30mph speed sign that was supposed to be decommissioned in 1972.

  • Signs telling drivers they can travel at 60mph in a 30mph zone.

  • A sign telling cyclists to break the law by riding up a one-way street.

A High Court appeal has been lodged that could see thousands of people overturning convictions for breaking a 30mph limit on the A610.

Mr Bentley said: "By not having the right signs people are losing their jobs, their homes and their marriages, when an Act of Parliament prohibits them from having a conviction if the signing is wrong."

The city highways authority and police say any signs which are proven illegal will be changed, but will continue to enforce them until then

Check out Richard Bentley's Site here

The number of parking tickets set to escalate as the war on the motorist set to reach firestorm proportions

Be prepared for a massive escalation in the number of fines issued right across the country. No controls, no checks or balances. Adjudication bodies funded by, and financially dependent on the very industry they have to adjudicate upon. The Department for Transport neutered as councils attempt to 'dumb-down' the strict and pedantic requirements of the signing legislation, assisted by the adjudicators who are adopting the man on the Clapham Omnibus stance of 'well, it looks like a loading bay / yellow line / parking space ...' forgetting or ignoring the fact that the legislators have created the specific signing requirements for a reason.

2008 is going to be the year that motorists reach 'tipping point' and say enough is enough. Get a voice ... and join

Councils to use cameras to catch drivers
By David Millward
Daily Telegraph Transport Editor

Motorists face having to pay millions of pounds in fines after councils are given the power to use road cameras to punish minor traffic offences.

From the end of next month, town halls will be able to cash in on motorists drifting into bus lanes, ignoring no right-turn signs and getting trapped in box junctions. Even parking more than 19in from a kerb can be picked up by camera and trigger a fine of £60.

The new rules bring to an end the existing system where enforcement is left to the police, who are able to take into account the circumstances surrounding any offence. Transport for London and the local authorities in the capital have enjoyed this power for some time.

However, there have been complaints camera operators in control centres have issued tickets even when there is doubt the motorist's manoeuvre is illegal.

Motoring groups warned allowing councils to take over the enforcement of the traffic laws - and keep the proceeds - will lead to a surge in both the number of motorists being fined and the amount of cash being extracted from their wallets.

"My fear is that the bad councils will milk this," said Sheila Rainger, the acting director of the RAC Foundation. "There will be times when the need to raise money will take precedence over common sense."

The "decriminalisation" of parking - handing over enforcement to councils and allowing them to keep the cash - has already led to a surge in fines. Now there are fears allowing the same thing to happen for routine traffic matters will make life even worse for the motorist.
Several councils, including Manchester, Brighton and Hove, Nottingham and Sheffield, have already voiced an interest in taking on the new powers.

The change has been seen by critics as further evidence of what they regard as the "war on the motorist". It comes alongside a change in parking rules, revealed by The Daily Telegraph last week, which will enable councils in England and Wales to use remote cameras.

Barrie Segal, whose organisation, AppealNow, challenges thousands of parking and traffic offence tickets a year, warned motorists could find it hard to challenge any fines.
"You could get the ticket 28 days after the incident happened and if you travel the same road every day, it will be hard to remember what you are doing," he said.
"There are all sorts of reasons why people can stop in a box junction. Motorists can do so when turning right, but proving this could prove difficult. There could be other extenuating circumstances, such as making space to allow a police car or emergency vehicle to pass.
"I had one case where a London motorist was prosecuted for stopping in a yellow box, even though the photo shows that had he kept going he would have run two people over.
"If there is pressure to issue tickets because it's in a council's financial interests to do so, at the very least motorists won't be given the benefit of the doubt."

The changes have also alarmed Paul Watters, the AA head of roads policy. He said: "Some local authorities have shown varying degrees of ineptitude at dealing with parking enforcement so this doesn't bode well if they take on moving offences.
"Moving offences are very different to static ones. Mitigation may exist such as when a road closure or accident may necessitate an 'illegal' manoeuvre.
"There are many locations where traffic management arrangements are incredibly complicated or perhaps out of date. Sticking cameras up will be cheaper than 'fixing' a bad junction. What hope for unfamiliar drivers in an area using CCTV enforcement - they get home perhaps hundreds of miles away and a week later get a ticket?"
Mr Watters added: "How can they validate the legitimacy of the ticket - the CCTV image may show the offence but will it show that the sign was there and readable?"
"This type of enforcement could in some instances lead to bad driving, with drivers more worried about absolute adherence to road signs than the and people around them."

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Free Membership of Parking Appeals website for Jack Duckworth

Jack Duckworth given Parking Ticket

Bill Tarmey who plays Jack Duckworth in Coronation Street has had a parking ticket appeal refused by Tameside MBC.

He was given the PCN whilst appearing at a charity event (World Diabetes Day) at the Town Hall for parking in a space reserved for those 'performing civic duties.'

A council spokesman said:
"Although we very much appreciate the local charitable work that Mr. Tarmey gets involved in, on this occasion he was at the Town Hall at the invitation of Thameside Hospital and so we cannot waive his ticket on the grounds that he was performing civic duties it would be unfair to treat his case differently to any other where someone has parked in these spaces inappropriately."

Bill has refused to rule out requests from charities in the future but "if they are connected with local government or the town hall then I will think twice."

So there you have it. No discretion at all. Leaves a sour taste in the mouth. All that good work but rules are rules.

Well, Parking Appeals have offered Jack Duckworth (aka Bill Tarmey) an honorary lifetime membership of the Parking Appeals website and will handle all his ticket appeals in the future so he can be free to carry on with his charity work without being plagued by the modern day Dick Turpins and the back-office jobsworths.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Not long before you get F1 NED on the tube ... just you wait

The following story is reported on the BBC website. Our controlling masters and those in 'job justification' positions have now come up with this idea.

As the motorists in London are being F1NED off the roads and driven onto public transport TfL are looking at another revenue stream

This time it is ...

Yellow boxes calm Tube platforms

The boxes are designed to prevent passengers blocking doors. Road-style markings have been introduced at London Underground stations to stop passengers crowding around train doors.
The yellow box junctions have been painted on platforms at 10 stations on the Jubilee Line.
Transport for London is running the trial to find out if platform markings can cut passenger congestion.

More here

Once you create the villain (those who stand in the boxes) you have now created the justification to fine them. In time the yellow boxes will be CCTV monitored and 'Civil Enforcement Officers' will be radio linked to the operators and will fine the offenders.

You are now living in Orwellian Britain.

Oh how we laughed at Rowan Atkinson and Griff Rhys Jones in the Not the Nine o'Clock News sketch where the guy had been arrested buy an overzealous cop for 'walking on the cracks in the pavement' and 'wearing a loud shirt in a built up area.'

Let's hope the 'job justification' officials don't watch UK Gold.

Another clamping horror story ... this time a hearse

Illegal in Scotland. Outlawed as theft and extortion yet we 'tolerate' it in this country. Our politicians quietly turn a blind eye. It's about time that was changed especially when we see horror stories like this ...

Hearse and mourners' limousine clamped as undertakers prepared to take coffin to funeral
21st February 2008
A hearse and mourners' limousine were clamped as undertakers prepared to take a coffin to a funeral - and then they were held to ransom for £200.

The undertakers had left their cars for a few moments while they went to a nearby chapel to check on the arrangements for the funeral.
But when they returned, their cars had been clamped and the company responsible was demanding £200.

First enforceable 20mph limit in a London Borough ... now just watch

The lunacy continues.

More cameras, more fines. 20mph average speed zones ... and are the cars calibrated to take into account a margin for error or is the accuracy at 20mph not good enough on speedos?

It looks like whole new range of fines are set to be rolled out and even if you thought you were doing less than 20 you speedo may just be a little bit out and BANG ...another fine.

We will be marketing a device at Parking Appeals soon which will be essential for every car driver.

Meanwhile, read this load of Bullock's.

First London borough set for blanket 20mph limit
David Williams, Motoring Editor
Evening Standard

Lewisham is to become the first London council to launch a 20mph speed limit on virtually all roads.
The limit would replace the current 30mph maximum, under plans inspired by the Green Party.
The council's sustainable development select committee has voted in favour of the scheme, which will make Lewisham a guinea pig for the rest of the capital.
Borough mayor Sir Steve Bullock has endorsed the plan, which is the brainchild of Green councillor Sue Luxton.

More ...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Standard Journalist 'Mugged' in Lambeth

Another parking ticket and car 'theft' victim. Another horror story. This time its Ross Lydall from the Evening Standard.

I've become another mugging victim in Lambeth
18th February 2008

I was brutally mugged yesterday in Waterloo.
The assailants took my beloved red Mini and then fleeced me of £260.
I knew who they were but there was no point reporting them to the police. It was all strictly legal - I was another victim of Lambeth council, and London's vicious parking regime.
More ...

CCTV evidence can lead to parking fine

We warned everyone that this was going to happen and that Decriminalised Parking Authorities and their agents were out of control.
The new legislation increases their powers and further disadvantages the motorist.
Justice and fairness will be thrown out of the window as the motorist will have to prove that an alleged contravention taking place weeks earlier did not occur.

The resistance amongst motorists is growing with Parking Appeals now slashing membership to £9.99 a year.

Neil Herron states:
"We expect the number of Penalty Charge Notices issued to escalate after 31st March. Parking Appeals will continue to provide invaluable information and advice to penalised motorists, and will continue to expose the lawless activity of local authorities and thei agents."

CCTV evidence can lead to parking fine
By David Millward, Transport Editor, Daily Telegraph

Millions of motorists are likely to incur parking fines without realising it after being caught on CCTV.
From March 31, councils across England and Wales will have the power to use remote cameras to enforce parking laws, then send tickets by post.

The move comes alongside other changes that will allow parking attendants to issue tickets as soon as they say they have seen a car illegally parked, without having to put them on the motorist's windscreen.

Motoring groups said last night that both changes will lead to a surge in the number of questionable tickets being issued, with drivers facing fines even when no offence has been committed.

The arrival of a ticket by post, sometimes weeks later, will also make it harder to collect evidence to mount a successful appeal.

Sheila Rainger, acting director of the RAC Foundation, said: "We are worried that these changes will make it even easier for councils to use parking as a cash cow."
Under the new plans, town hall staff in control rooms will monitor CCTV cameras trained on high streets to issue tickets the second a car parks on a yellow line or overstays at a parking meter.
Motoring groups fear this could happen even when drivers have stopped legally. Under some circumstances, motorists can wait on single yellow lines to let passengers out or unload goods.
But this has not stopped CCTV operators in London, where councils have been allowed to use cameras for some time, issuing tickets anyway.

Barrie Segal, whose organisation AppealNow challenges thousands of fines a year, claimed abuse of the system was rife in the capital.
"I have had calls from scores of taxi drivers who have been given tickets as a result of being caught by a CCTV camera while letting passengers out," he said.
"They had stopped quite legally and the camera operator must have known this.
"Another case I dealt with concerned a motorist who stopped to ask a policeman directions. His car's hazard warning lights were flashing and his engine was not switched off, yet he got a parking ticket."

The new regulations will not only be seen by critics as intensifying the war on the motorist but also fly in the face of advice given by the country's parking ombudsman just over a year ago.
Caroline Sheppard, the chief adjudicator or the National Parking Adjudication Service, said drivers should be allowed a few minutes grace to find change for a parking meter.
There will be no obligation on anyone issuing a ticket remotely to follow this guidance, however.

Motoring groups united in voicing concern about the changes.
"The new parking rules from April 1 will lead to a dash for cash on the part of some local authorities," said Paul Watters, the AA's head of Roads and Transport Policy.
"From that date CCTV cameras can be used to enforce parking restrictions which will make it appear easy to enforce parking bans and dole out tickets.
"Using CCTV will be unpopular because it is a blunt instrument. A CCTV camera cannot spot a blue badge, note down a tax disc number or always spot loading or unloading."
"Drivers also first hear of an offence from a notice to owner some weeks later rather than receive a penalty notice immediately so will not easily recall the offence or the validity of the ticket.

Hauliers said they were horrified by the shake-up. "The extent on fines for companies delivering in London is already outrageous," said a spokesman for the Freight Transport Association.
"You are already getting fines running into millions of pounds for individual companies. This move will add far more to the cost of British industry.
"It's preposterous that it is already impossible to make deliveries within a legal framework.
"At least a motorist has the choice of taking public transport, you can hardly deliver barrels of beer by bus.
"Councils don't help by giving planning permission for shops which need deliveries and then raking in cash by fining delivery companies for parking on the yellow lines they have painted outside."
MPs also voiced their concern. "They need to be looking at ways of keeping the traffic moving and not just looking at ways of hitting the hard-pressed motorist," said John Spellar, a former Labour transport minister.
The all-party Transport Select Committee has already expressed doubts about the way in which parking controls are enforced especially in areas where attendants dishing out tickets are set quotas.
"There is no problem with CCTV if it is linked to sensible parking policies," said Graham Stringer, a Labour member of the committee. "But if companies are given targets, this could lead to tickets being issued which are completely inappropriate.

New parking rules may make appeals harder ... Which? Report

New parking rules may make appeals harder
Councils will be able to issue tickets by post

New parking charge rules could make it more difficult for motorists to appeal an unfair ticket, Which? Legal Service warns today.
The new regulations will allow councils to issue a parking ticket by post for contraventions caught on CCTV, or if a motorist prevents a ticket being issued at the scene.
But our lawyers say the rules - which come into effect on 31 March - could make it harder for motorists to gather the necessary evidence to appeal against tickets they think have been unfairly issued.
Parking tickets

Which? Legal Service senior lawyer Joanne Lezemore said: ‘At the moment a penalty charge notice has to be given to the person believed to be the driver at the time of the offence.
‘The new parking regulations mean that you could wake up one morning to find a ticket in your post, which makes it difficult to collect evidence if you want to appeal.’
When challenging a ticket, it's useful to have evidence such as photographs that show, for example, your car's position at the time.
Recent figures from the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service showed London motorists had won more than two thirds of appeals.
Almost a third of these weren't even contested by the council, and it’s a similar picture elsewhere in the UK.

The latest figures available from the National Parking Adjudication Service show 29% of appeals were not contested by the council, and a further 27% were won by the driver despite a council's argument.
Ms Lezemore said: ‘If you receive a ticket that you think is unfair, it is still well worth appealing as statistics show that many tickets do get overturned.
‘Act quickly, put it in writing and gather as much evidence as you can for the best chance of success.’
You can find more about your rights, and how to challenge a ticket, in the parking fines section of our website.
Alternatively, you can visit

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Clampers 2 ... the public fight back

There often comes a point, known as the 'tipping point' where people just say ... 'no more.'
The following story is one case in point, and we will see more and more of this until the Government gets a grip of an out of control, lawless 'industry.'
An industry outlawed in Scotland because the practice, in the case of Carmichael v Black was shown to be extortion and theft.
An industry where there is no scrutiny, regulation or control.
Read the story of how one group of residents decided enough was enough.
Daily Mail 19th Feb 2008
Furious drivers turned the tables on clampers when they trapped them in a car park for three hours until they released eight cars which had been clamped.
Residents on a complex of newly built flats woke up to find two men busily putting wheel clamps on any cars which did not have a parking permit.
Angry drivers phoned family and friends to drive over and block the entrance to the car park - so the clampers were stuck inside.
Vincent Martin 36, a taxi driver who lives in the exclusive complex in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, said: "I woke up at 8.30am and I heard a commotion going on so I threw some clothes on and went outside.
"I saw there were two men dressed in black in a van. They were really big, bald-headed guys and looked really intimidating.
"They had clamped about seven or eight cars and the drivers were out there shouting and crying.
"Luckily I'd got my permit and already put it on but some people were saying they had not received theirs.
"People missed work and hospital appointments."

Signs dotted around the car park warn residents they face an £80 parking ticket or £125 clamp release fee if they do not display a permit while in an allocated residents' space.
Mr Martin said he had got several letters warning that enforcement action was starting but some residents claimed they had not received them.
The problem appears to have started when Ringley, the flats' managing agents, sent out letters to the residents' old addresses, who were then unaware when the scheme would begin.
He added: "When I went off to work, there were cars blocking the entrance. They were determined not to let the clampers out.
"They were trapped there for three hours until they eventually took the wheel clamps off.
"The people certainly turned the tables on the clampers - it's one in the eye for the clampers."
Workers from London Parking Control clamped eight cars in an area for allocated residents' parking which is controlled by Ringley.
Some residents paid to have their cars released but others refused to hand over the £125 and drafted in help from their family and friends.
Five cars blockaded the arched entrance to the flats. After a tense five-hour stand-off, the management company backed down and called off the clampers.
A spokeswoman for the London Parking Control said: "We are still looking into the incident and liaising with our client, Ringley."
Lisa Stiles, 29, said she was forced to pay the fine to get her four-month-old daughter Ella to Southend Hospital for a check-up for eczema.
She said: "It was very upsetting to pay all that money. I'm on my own and can't afford it."
In a letter to some residents, Ringley said it decided to introduce the clamping measures because of "problems with car parking" on the estate, which was opened in May last year.
Scott O'Brien, 20, who was clamped said: "I'm disgusted. I was parked in my designated space and I didn't receive a letter or permit or anything.
A cheer went up among the parking protesters and the barrier of cars were moved to let the clampers out.

Gordon Brown in EU Flag Row

Page 2 of the Daily Star on Sunday ...


Brown wants EU flag to fly
17th February 2008
By Stephen Paul

LAW changes have been pushed through by Gordon Brown so the Union Flag over Downing Street can be pulled down and replaced with that of the European Union.
And fuming Tory MPs fear that our treasured flag could be replaced by the blue banner with 12 gold stars as early as May 9.

The Daily Star Sunday has obtained evidence that the Prime Minister has already tried unsuccessfully to replace the Union Flag over Downing Street with the EU banner.
An application to Westminster City Council asked for “consent to fly the European flag on May 9 2006”.

It was made by Number 11 when Mr Brown was Chancellor.

The date – Europe Day – marks the anniversary of the creation of what is now the EU in 1950.
But we can reveal that rule changes buried in Government consultation documents last summer gave the EU flag the same status as a national flag.

And that means this Europe Day will be the first one where Downing Street will NOT need to ask permission before flying the EU flag from its rooftops.

Eric Pickles, inset, Conservative Shadow Secretary of State for Local Government, said: “We already knew that Gordon Brown had raised the white flag of surrender to the EU Constitution.
“Now he has been exposed as trying to fly the EU flag over Downing Street.
“Every day under Labour, British identities and traditions are being eroded and the front door opened to a European super-state.”

Other parties are also furious. Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, said: “If anything illustrates this Government’s commitment to driving this country into a nation called Europe then this is it.”

Anti-EU campaigner Neil Herron, who has fought an eight-year battle over the right to sell fruit in British weight measures, said: “It’s an absolute disgrace.
“The EU is not the country nor is it the nation state. The flag should remain subordinate.”

Old laws meant only national flags could be flown without planning permission but as of last summer all flags can now be flown.

Council's Car Tax Blunder

Bungling Blackburn with Darwen Council officials 'forgot' to put the new tax disc on the Mayor's car and the Lancashire Evening Telegraph had to bring it to their attention.

Coun Rigby said: "Unfortunately the disc had not been placed in the car. This has now been rectified."

Now consider all those motorists who have received Penalty Charge Notices for failing to display a Blue Badge or pay and display ticket correctly. It looks like they can simply repeat the Mayoral defence in future and ask for discretion to be applied.

Blackburn's latest blunder was covered here in the Lancashire Evening Telegraph.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Clamping Story 1 ... Happy Clampers and Rubber Fetish Bondage Contract

Are they really happy clampers or do they just like the smell of dominated rubber?

The happy clampers: Guards laugh as they lock up job seeker's car within seconds of it being parked
Daily Mail 14th February 2008

Laughing gleefully, two clampers celebrate locking up an unemployed man's car just 34 seconds after he parked outside a Job-Centre.
Robin Crossman, 26, left his Volkswagen Jetta on an empty Texaco garage forecourt so that he could call in next door to pick up some jobseekers' forms.
But unknown to him he was being watched by two car clampers hidden in an unmarked white van at the back of the petrol station in Trowbridge.

Within seconds of his leaving the car they had blocked it in and were fitting a yellow clamp to the front right wheel.
When Mr Crossman emerged only one minute later from the JobCentre, which has no parking of its own, the clampers laughed in his face before demanding a release fee of £130.
Faced with the threat of being towed away, Mr Crossman had little choice but to pay up on the spot.
Later he said: "These people are just muggers in uniforms, bullies abusing their power.

"I wasn't aware of the rules and I didn't see the signs but they pounced on me anyway. When they got back in the van they were laughing their heads off as if to say 'We got another one'."
Six months ago, Texaco engaged clamping company Able Parking Services to stop drivers parking on a section of the forecourt adjacent to the JobCentre.
The clampers have become infamous in Trowbridge after claiming a string of victims in recent weeks.
Among them was 25-year-old Christie Southall, who pulled on to the garage forecourt after her friend's baby was sick.
She said: "It was daylight robbery."
Able Parking Services insists it is operating legally with a licence.
Spokesman Peter May said: "The petrol station staff have problems getting their tankers on the forecourt because of the JobCentre visitors blocking access.
"This is not a car park for the JobCentre. It is a private property and as soon as you park here you agree to pay the release fee."
The manager of the Texaco petrol station refused to comment.


Well, it appears as though we are dealing with contract law rather than trespass. It is not a parking matter covered by any Road Traffic legislation, therefore the signs which you see adjacent to where the clamping is in operation create the 'implied contract', breach of which creates the penalty or clamp.

So try this ... place a card prominently in the window of your car which states:






Sunday, February 17, 2008

Medway Council now under the spotlight with 'non-compliant' parking notices

An appellant joined the Parking Appeals website after receiving a Medway Council Penalty Charge Notice and subsequent Notice to Owner. Setting aside the flaws in the parking restriction, the Notice to Owner was 'non-compliant.'

The Council have been put on notice that all Notice To Owners MUST be withdrawn with immediate effect. Then comes the big matter ... how many have suffered at the hands of the council and the non-compliant notices?

The first round of the story by Hayley Robinson from the Medway Messenger is covered below:

Millions wanted in parking fine fight notices are 'legal'

• Parking charges 'illegal', say campaigners by Hayley Robinson

CAMPAIGNERS say hundreds of thousands of parking tickets issued to motorists in Medway could be...Full Story...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Parking Fines set to escalate with 'licence to cheat.'

The Daily Mail reports the fact that with the new parking rules which come into force on 31st March 2008 the number of "unfair" parking fines issued to drivers will soar.

Parking Attendants will be allowed to ticket on sight and motorists will no longer be able avoid a penalty by driving off before a parking attendant has a chance to ticket their vehicle.

If the Parking Attendant claims he had already started writing the ticket, drivers will be sent the penalty charge notice in the post.
The new rule is included in the Traffic Management Act 2004, superseding the Road Traffic Act 1991, which stated attendants needed supporting evidence, including photographs and a note of the tax disc number, to prove they witnessed a contravention.

Read the full article here

You have been warned. This will lead to wholesale abuse. However, we will soon be launching a product which will allow you to prove your innocence.

Mayor's Tax Disc Gaffe ... Another Fine Mess in Blackburn

The Lancashire Evening Telegraph reports on the latest Blackburn blunder, this time involving 'failure to display.'Everyone in Blackburn in future who gets a Parking Ticket for a similar mistake simply print off the article and ask for the council to apply discretion.

Tax disc gaffe on mayor's limo
By Nafeesa Shan

PARKING protesters have accused council bosses of double standards after they forgot to replace the tax disc on the mayor's limousine.The tax disc on the black BMW expired on January 31 and was replaced for 12 days until the Lancashire Telegraph informed Blackburn with Darwen Council that it had expired.The car which has a registration CB1, used on official visits by the Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen Coun Maureen McGarvey, was driven on at least 11 occasions without displaying the correct disc.
More ...

Friday, February 08, 2008

Will there be a queue round the block for this job?

From Whitehall Pages and the Guardian

Job: Manager - Parking Services, SUNDERLAND CITY COUNCIL

Posted: 27 Jan 2008
Reference: 6165
Location: City of Sunderland
Industry: Environment - General,
Government - Local government
Contract: Permanent
Hours: Full Time
Salary: £40,101 to £45,385 Per Annum

More details here

"We are committed to the training and development of all our staff and can offer excellent opportunities for you to improve your skills and qualifications in a supportive and challenging environment."

How challenging could this environment be? Well, there has been some history ...

Watch the documentary here

The Power of the Jury

As the Metric Martyrs eagerly anticipate the committal hearing for Hackney Market Trader Janet Devers to set a date for her trial by jury we are reminded of the power of the jury in the case below.

A pensioner, driven to protest after his calls for a public inquiry into a 26 year planning dispute were ignored, had admitted criminal damage but was found 'not guilty' by a jury.

It all started when an industrial park sprang up around the bungalow he was building by hand just outside Llandovery.

He claimed that his life has been made a misery and it all goes back to an illegal decision to allow that lorry park next to my home.

But the jury found him not guilty of causing criminal damage, and also cleared him of threatening to carry out a further attack.

They had heard him represent himself at the trial and argue that he was justified in protecting his home.

What is highlighted here, again, is that some people, ridden roughshod over by council officials are driven to extreme measures in order to rectify that injustice.

The jury heard the arguments and delivered its verdict.

Carmarthenshire Council said the verdict was "beyond belief" and "not a good day for the justice system."

Unfortunately, this IS the justice system and the jury dispensed JUSTICE.

When Janet Devers comes before a jury in her Crown Court trial accused of selling goods by the pound, alleged offences committed days after the Vice President of the European Commission claimed it was perfectly lawful to do so in statements which made the front pages of the biggest selling national newspapers, let us hope that JUSTICE, and common sense prevails.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Police and Hackney Council staff in the news again ...

... and this time a man is dead.
Read the BBC report here about how a pensioner died after being forcibly evicted from a Hackney property.
Perhaps a moment of reflection for heavy handed officials across the land ... just remember that the person you are dealing with has worries, concerns, feelings and family. Just pause and think for one minute ... 'What if this was my Dad?' or in the case of Janet Devers whose scales were unceremoniously seized, 'What if this was my Gran, trying to earn an honest living on an open air market at the age of 63?'

The other story involves another misuse of the DVLA data base which led to the death of another pensioner, this time after a parking dispute.
A pensioner's fatal heart attack was "highly likely" to have been caused by a brick being thrown through his window, a court has heard. BBC report here
The three defendants (left) have admitted conspiracy to cause damage to property.
Now consider the post about access to the DVLA data base by anyone who wishes to set up a 'Parking' company. What could they do with that information?

New Zero Tolerance Speed Cameras to be introduced

Known as the LLR100 AFP Device they are the new zero tolerance measure to deter speeding drivers once and for all.

It is anticipated they will be introduced on 1st April this year.

Coincidentally, this is the same day that the new Traffic Management Act 2004 comes into force which allows Civil Enforcement Officers, as they are now called (because Parking Attendants have such a bad name) to issue Penalty Charge Notices by post. They no longer have to attach the PCN to the windscreen or hand it to the driver.

The first you will ever know that a ticket has been issued will be two weeks later when it drops on your door mat.

Now only one of these stories is a joke.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Woman faces trial over apple core ...

A woman is to stand trial at crown court for allegedly throwing an apple core out of her car window.
Kate Badger, from Cornwall Road in Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, refused to pay a £60 on-the-spot fine after the alleged incident in March last year.

More here

So now a Registered Keeper of a vehicle is to be legally responsible for any alleged contravention by a passenger?
If it is the case that the incident was witnessed and a registration number noted then what evidence is there that the registered keeper was the alleged offender?

When you nominate yourself to be the registered keeper of a vehicle should the DVLA not inform you that you will now be legally and financially responsible for any civil contraventions committed by any other user (or passenger in cases like this) of that vehicle?

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