Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Another PATAS decision supporting strict compliance with the law

Yet again we have a PATAS adjudication which confirms that there are mandatory signing requirements.
Well done to Ian Osang for his dogged determination to expose this injustice.
My question to Waltham Forest council highway officers is "You are aware that the signing at this restriction appears not to be fit for purpose given the number of motorists receiving penalties. What action have you taken to address or rectify this?"

WALTHAM FOREST: Motorist claims council could owe thousands after appeal victory
Tuesday 11th May 2010
By Sian Harrison »

A MOTORIST who won an appeal against a penalty notice for an "illegal" right turn claims the council could be forced to pay out thousands of pounds.

Ian Osang was given the penalty charge notice (PCN) after being photographed by one of the council's mobile camera cars turning right from Lea Bridge Road into Essex Road in June last year - a manoeuvre council enforcement officers said was illegal because of a sign fixed near the junction.
However, following an appeal to the Parking and Appeals Traffic Service (Patas), the penalty has been ruled invalid on the grounds the sign is in the wrong place.
Mr Osang, of Campus Road, Walthamstow, said he now believes the council may have to refund motorists who have been given PCNs for the same contravention at that junction.
He said: “It was patently obvious that this penalty had no legal validity, so it was reassuring to be vindicated.
“The implication of this decision is the council have now got to refund thousands of pounds.”
The ruling from Patas states the sign indicating there is no right turn allowed is opposite the no entry signs at the junction - not opposite the entrance to Essex Road as it should be.
Mr Osang initially raised his objection to the PCN with the council in July last year, but he referred the matter to Patas in October after the council insisted the notice was valid.
Having done his own investigation, the 42-year-old accountant found there were 2,313 PCNs issued at that junction during the past 12 months, which equates to £138,780.
He added: “It is a point of principle. Although the fine was only £60, it was clear there was no legal validity to it.
“People are now entitled to have a refund for any notice that has been issued at this junction.”
Mr Osang is now considering taking legal action against the council to compensate him for the time he has spent fighting the notice.
The Guardian is awaiting a comment from the council.

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