Saturday, December 12, 2009

More flaws in St. Alban's Traffic Orders ... who checked?

In applying to the Department for Transport fro Decriminalised Parking Enforcement powers a local authority is required to give assurances to the DfT that all lines, signs and Traffic Orders have been checked and made compliant ready for DPE.

The fundamental difference between DPE and the previous criminalised regime is that there is a shift from driver to keeper liability. The St. Alban's TRO retained the driver liability ... a fundamental flaw in a legal document which allowed the council to be unjustly enriched.
Any claims that 'anyone who paid accepted liability' doesn't and shouldn't wash with any investigation as it is a fundamental requirement that the council acts lawfully!

In advance of a formal complaint to the Police or court action from one of the victims, especially one who has suffered at the hands of bailiffs, it may be wise for the council to seek proper legal advice.

St Albans District Council under fire again for parking blunder
1:43pm Thursday 10th December 2009
By Manisha Mistry »

A REVIEW into the district council's parking enforcement which came under fire in October after a shocking blunder was revealed has discovered more flaws in the system.
The car parking working party, which met last night, discussed a report undertaken by the chief finance officer.

In October the Review revealed how the council's Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) was deemed invalid by an adjudicator at a Traffic Penalty Tribunal forcing more than £24,000 worth of unpaid fines to be waived.

Further to the details discovered at the time the fresh investigation has revealed the incorrect terminology in the TRO had been there since 2005 – longer than the council originally thought.
The officer comments: “The current problems have cost the council money and been damaging to its reputation.
“From the review it is clear that the problem of terminology in the TRO has been wrong since 2005 – when the new regime for off street parking was introduced."

Another damning finding highlights the lack of efficiency because there were no check lists and procedures which prevented this problem, or its reoccurrence.
A review of the workload was suggested and the creation of some clear check-lists.
At the time the technical error was discovered the chief executive at the council Daniel Goodwin apologised to residents.

Commenting on the results of the review, Councillor Julian Daly said: “This looks like something that did not need to happen.”
He mentioned a meeting of the council's scrutiny committee in 2007 which warned cabinet members to address the heavy workload of the council's engineering team which is responsible for the TRO.
Councillor Daly added: “Clearly this warning was ignored. The council is now paying the price both financially and in terms of its reputation for being accident prone.”

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