Saturday, January 16, 2010

Credit where credit is due

Exposing illegality and bad practice is essential to ensuring that parking enforcement is seen to be fair. However, it is often the case that individuals' actions at the lower end of the enforcement ladder don't get placed before the decision makers and senior management.
When it does, the actions of those key personnel are a critical. Therefore, praise to Kevin Goad at Westminster Council who acted swiftly and cancelled the PCN when the following was brought to his attention.

Dear Neil ... "I was waiting for my daughter to arrive into Paddington. As a disabled driver I asked a traffic operative where the nearest disabled bay was. He pointed the other side of the road. I duly parked and waited in the car for a while. The warden passed me with a colleague. He saw me said nothing and walked on.

A short time later I left the car to use a loo in a cafe on the other side of the road. When I returned the warden was issuing me with a ticket and pointing out it was a pay by phone bay. I remonstrated that he had led me into this bay and then discovered that he - an African man - had a poor grasp of English.

I went to the parking adjudicator and she recommended the council review the case because of mitigating circumstances.
Subsequently the council decided to ignore the adjudicator's recommendation and is intent on prosecuting me and demanding £120.00 payment.
In their letter of rejection they claim that the disabled bay was next to the pay by phone bay that I was parked in and that I should have read the sign. In fact the adjacent bay was occupied at the time so I couldn't have physically parked there. When I remonstrated with him he smiled as though it was a joke. I suspect the attendant wilfully misdirected me.
I don't believe parking wardens should be in the business of leading motorists astray to increase parking revenue. Westminster tell me I have no choice but to pay the £120.00. Is this right?

It isn't and wasn't right but the adjudicator does not have the power to exercise discretion, only refer it back to the council. It then goes back into 'the machine.'
Fortunately, we were able to intervene and ensure that justice was done.

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