Sunday, January 10, 2010

Storm Clouds gathering over Bolton

Barry Moss is just an 'ordinary,' 63 year-old retired roofer. However, he is passionate about justice and fair play and due to his dogged determination he is very soon going to be before the High Court with what could be a pivotal moment for Britain's motorists.

Barry (left) first hit front page headlines in Bolton in 2007 when he represented his daughter-in-law at a parking tribunal
The case made front page of the Bolton Evening News and now, three years later and after more campaigning and investigating by Barry and evasion and obfuscation by Bolton Council it looks like the issues which Barry and others have uncovered have serious financial implications not only for Bolton but also for every other council in the country who have used road markings which did not comply with the law.

Further investigations revealed massive failings in Bolton's on-street as well as off-street bays and more headlines followed.
The Bolton Evening News broke this news in November 2007

"A report to councillors yesterday conceded that most bay markings did not comply with the Traffic Sign Regulations from the Department for Transport, highlighting problems including the bay lengths and dimensions of white line markings."

There followed another National Parking Adjudication Service decision this time by respected adjudicator, Mark Hinchcliffe which included a statement from John Munns at the Department for Transport in which he remarked that that the bay in question was 'unlawful.'

The implications of Barry's case are enormous and he is seeking a declaration from the High Court that there are unlawful items of account in Bolton's accounts and, as such, these will have to be refunded. This will impact on all similar cases across the country.
You can support Barry's case at The Motorists Legal Challenge.

In allowing the appeal the adjudicator reinforced the decision of adjudicator Gary Hickinbottom (now a High Court Judge) in Burnett v Buckinghamshire County Council where he concluded (note TSRGD 2002 has replaced TSRGD 1994):

Furthermore, although not relevant to this particular case (in which there was no sign at all), not only must the traffic sign must be present, it must also comply with The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 1994 (SI 1994 No 1519) (“the 1994 Regulations”) (Section 64(2) of the 1984 Act): and the 1984 Act makes clear that the signing of parking restrictions etc. by a local authority in pursuance of its powers under the provisions of the 1984 Act with which we are here concerned must comply with those regulations (Section 68(2)).

There is an express prohibition of signs that do not comply (Section 64(4)).

The 1994 Regulations are over 350 pages long and, in meticulous detail, they provide for every particular of permitted signs - including the type, size, colour and dimensions.

Consequently, in summary, as a condition precedent of a local authority enforcing a parking penalty as a breach of a TRO made under the 1984 Act, the obligations of the motorist must be properly signed in accordance with the detailed provisions of the 1994 Regulations."

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