Friday, July 20, 2007

Herron and Segal back on Talksport

Back on air with a new two hour slot to be arranged. Expected 7th August.

How's this for a cracking piece of parking?

Sometimes you just cannot get the hang of that parking thing.

Want to see someone having a hard time?

Click here

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Illegal Signs? More going down in Bolton

Another headline and another crack in the Bolton Parking dam. This time local campaigner Barry Moss, who accompanied me on my visit, exposes Bolton's flawed signing regime. All this information will be made available on the Bolton section of the Parking Appeals section in the coming weeks. To visit the site click here
Campaigner’s drive to stop 'illegal' parking fines

Bolton Evening News
Rob Devey

A CAMPAIGNER has taken photographs of 23 parking signs in Bolton town centre which he claims are illegal.
Barry Moss, aged 60, has also deliberately picked up five parking tickets after leaving his car over the parking bays and plans to challenge Bolton Council, which he says is unlawfully booking drivers.

More ...

Bolton Council good at 'misleading' motorists

Don't think that Bolton Council is just beginning to mislead motorists. They have alreay been caught out and censured by the Local Government Ombudsman.

Motorists ‘misled’ over parking fines
From the Bolton Evening News,

first published Wednesday 23rd Aug 2006.

BOLTON Council has been criticised by the Local Government Ombudsman over the wording on its parking tickets.
Government watchdogs found wording on information relating to the appeals procedure was misleading.
It means some people who might have otherwise lodged an appeal against a ticket were discouraged from doing so.
Now the council has issued new guidance in line with Government recommendations - but it could lead to some motorists launching retrospective appeals. More ...

Another report here at

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Newcastle Council supports the 'Toon' ... Black and White Parking Lines?

Yellow lines painted then blacked out
Jul 12 2007
by Rob Pattinson, Evening Chronicle

A LONE council workman painstakingly paints over double yellow lines put down just days earlier.
Armed with just a mini roller, it looks like back-breaking work covering over the yellow lines painted by the council without permission.

More ...

This blunder was reported in the Newcastle Evening Chronicle. I can recall a telephone conversation a couple of years ago with a certain Newcastle Councillor, when challenging one of Newcastle's off-street Fixed Penalty Charge Notices in the Magistrates Court. He said that they had 'had all of their lines, signs and TROs checked by consultants and they were all present and correct' so 'you won't catch us out like Sunderland Mr. Herron.'

My recent visits to Newcastle cause me to take a contrary opinion.The story above simply adds to my concerns ... UNLESS ... the same guy is coming back on Monday to add the white stripes."Council supports the Toon Army ... Newcastle Fans Parking Only"

Friday, July 13, 2007

Parking in Sunderland. Has the Council turned over a new leaf?

Or is it a case of global cooling?

Mr. X was issued with a PCN in Sunderland whilst parked outside the Civic Centre to ... pay a PCN!

He set his Blue Badge and thought he was okay. However, as can be seen from the photographs below the Parking Attendant thought otherwise.
It was pointed out that he should have seen the upright plates. The Council supplied evidence that the plates were there (see below).

One has to ask the question why the council would submit evidence in the form of undated photographs ... unless there was intent to deceive.

Check the trees in the first set ... covered in leaves. On the second set the trees are bare.

I will leave it to you for comment.

Free Parking in Blackburn? You better believe it.

After Bolton we decided to take a little detour and headed for Blackburn. Barry had previously chatted with the Parking Attendants who seem to be able to walk the streets without hats and without a tie ... mmmm! Not in full uniform when issuing PCNs?

We found a suitable location in Duke Street. As you can see in the photograph below the parking place is not wide enough to fit a vehicle in and is incorrectly marked.

Visit to find out the secret to successfully appealing a PCN issued in bays such as these and how to spot they are illegal.

To compound Blackburn's misery someone needs to point out to them that you can have single or double yellow lines. Triple yellow lines are not legal!

Off we went for a coffee and bumped into the PA who Barry had been speaking to some weeks earlier. She was very pleasant and was accompanied by a member of the back-office staff responsible for dealing with appeals.
They even showed us a copy of the Blackburn with Darwen Council PCN (looks a bit like a bus ticket) and we pointed out where and how it was illegal.
Then a call came over the radio:
" There is a vehicle parked in Duke Street. Under no circumstances should you engage in conversation with the two gentlemen who have exited the vehicle. All PAs avoid the vehicle except PA 23."
At this the niceties stopped and the two ladies scarpered. While Barry ordered the coffees I went back to the vehicle.

The hatless, or should that be hapless, Blackburn Parking Attendant was already there in the process of issuing the Penalty Charge Notice to the vehicle. I did point out the illegal bay. He did not see the funny side of the double yellow line restriction being underlined in yellow so no-one would miss it. Wonder how many PCNs have been issued here?

I got my PCN. If you want to know how and why the restriction at this location is unlawful and how to check out how to get refunds for PCNs already paid then visit

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Bolton Council's unlawful parking regime

All fun and games in Bolton on Wednesday.

The intention was to park in Cheadle Square and collect a PCN. I was accompanied by campaigner Barry Moss and Jim Keiller whose case has national implications and a reporter and photographer from the Bolton Evening News.

Barry had just exposed the fact that Bolton's pay and display machines did not contain the correct information and match the Traffic Order. His case was successful at the NPAS appeal.
Amusingly, the machine states that a pay and display ticket must be displayed ... but didn't say where. I had mine on my lapel. The signs also failed to indicate when the bays were in operation. Again, another error.
However, as soon as the car turned up the Parking Attendants vanished. Bolton Evening News were present and it took an hour to coax a Parking Attendant into issuing a PCN.

The PCN was issued, photos taken and off we went for a coffee.

Now what is also unique in Bolton is the situation regarding Jim Keiller. In Jim's case he made informal representations against a PCN (issued for failing to set his Blue Badge time clock correctly) which were rejected. He reluctantly paid the PCN. He then became aware that the PCN was unlawful (ie. did not have the two dates as required ... Moses v Barnet case) and asked the council for his money back.
They refused ... so he took his case to the Local Government Ombudsman and they insisted that they could not get invoved as he could appeal ... via the National Parking Adjudication Service ... once the Council reimbursed the £30, which they duly did.

A few days ago Jim received the cheque and a Notice to Owner allowing him to appeal a non-compliant PCN! A PCN the Council know to be non-compliant. You can see al the background papers at and a set of appeal forms can be downloaded for you to begin the same process in Bolton or your own local authority area.

Meanwhile, returned from coffee break to find another gaggle of Parking Attendants around the vehicle. The one who had issued the first PCN sloped off leaving the other two to issue, which they duly did ... for the same contravention in the same location within an hour or so. Talk about overkill!

The appeal and further commentary can be seen at

We then went to Blackburn ... and it gets even more surreal.

It's hard being a butcher in Rotherham

The latest ... 'Butcher faces Jail for selling a pound of mince' was covered by Tuesday's Daily Express

The Metric Martyrs Defence Fund had agreed to assist Rotherham Butcher Edward Smith who had been threatened with the seizure of his scales by Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council.

We respectfully requested that once the 28 day seizure notice expired that if they intended to carry out the threat that they ensured that Edward was able to have legal representation present to ensure procedures were carried out correctly.

They turned up on Tuesday at 9.45am. Principal TSO Margaret Statham and a male colleague. They did not give Mr. Smith any notice of their visit and he refused to hand over the scales. In true Schwarzenegger style they warned "Ah'll be back."

Calendar TV arrived shortly afterwards and were there when I arrived. Local BBC Radio also attended.

What appears now to be descending into farce, especially following the European Commission's announcement that they are abandoning the enforced metrication programme is the statement by Rotherham as to why they are continuing to enforce the legislation. Bear in mind that it is now seven and a half years since the regulations came into force, so where has the council been until now?

They claim that Mr. Smith, by selling in imperial, enjoys an 'unfair competitive advantage.'

The picture below shows Edward's shop ... at the busy time of the day ...

His is the one in the far corner ... Tesco's and Sainsbury's must be quaking in their boots.

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