Friday, August 31, 2007

Camden's Parking Fine Clampdown ... it's not legal

Camden has altered its Penalty Charge Notice twice inside the last year after losing adjudications ... the PCN was non-compliant.
Therefore, to pursue PCNs (and accrued monies) which were based on non-compliant PCNs is unlawful.

We will be shortly producing a report on the Camden situation and its implications for the council and fined motorists alike which will not only include PCN information but also examples of the many unlawful bays and signs and how to appeal PCNs issued in such circumstances.

Camden New Journal - by SARA NEWMAN Published: 30 August 2007

Dave London Boxing promoter caught up in parking clampdownSting operation part of six-month campaign to recover £10m unpaid finesA BOXING promoter was caught up in a council sting aimed at targeting drivers with long-running parking bills in the early hours of yesterday (Wednesday).

More ...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Hull's illegal tickets ... BBC Look North

This was lead story last night ...

BBC - Look North - BBC Look North

Had a Parking Ticket in Hull?

Well, the Council is going to be in a bit of a dilemma as their Penalty Charge Notices are not correctly worded. They follow the same format as the London Borough of Camden's did until a few weeks ago.

By stating 'You are required to pay...' they completely misrepresent the correct legal position as the 'you' may or may not be the registered keeper ( the person legally responsible for payment).

A recent PATAS case confirmed this and many local authorities across the country will now be fearing another 'Moses Moment.' This was the case of the two date issue regarding the validity of PCNs and cost councils £hundreds of millions in written off fines as they could not pursue non-compliant PCNs.

Check out the Hull section on the website for details of the background to the case.

BUT BUT BUT as Mr. Robinson in Brighton LOST a case on this very point the case is going to Judicial Review against NPAS in the High Court.

Why is it that one adjudication body PATAS (Parking and Traffic Appeals Service ...for the 33 London Boroughs) finds that such PCNs are unlawfully worded yet NPAS (the National Parking Adjudication Service ... for councils outside of London) thinks that they are correct.

The answer is simple ... NPAS have such a non-compliant PCN on their website as a sample PCN. You can see it here but just in case they attempt to change it as they did when the did not have a Date of Issue on the sample PCN after telling all the Councils in a Circular to check their wording I have posted a copy below.

For them to admit the PCN is non-compliant is a further admission of their incompetence. Time for some resignations I think.

Meanwhile, we await with anticipation for a response from Hull City Council to the letter below:

Parking Services
Hull City Council


Alfred Gelder Street



29th August 2007

Dear Sir / Madam

Re: Hull City Council's Decriminalised Parking Enforcement

I would be grateful for answers to the following questions:

1. On your website refer to:

'Parking penalty charges (or old excess charges) payment'

and go on to state:

"You can pay your Hull City Council parking penalty charges by any of the following methods:..."

As your Penalty Charge Notices also states:

" You are required to pay ..."

Hull City Council, in this respect, are misrepresenting the correct legal position regarding responsibility for payment. Under the 1991 Road Traffic Act it is the Registered Keeper who is legally responsible for the payment of the Penalty Charge not the driver. By making reference to 'you' you are creating a potential for prejudice as the 'you' may or may not be the registered keeper when the PCN is served by attaching it to the vehicle or handing it to the driver. It could well be that drivers may have paid PCNs after being misled by such wording when legally it was not their responsibility.

Therefore, could you please confirm that you will suspend enforcement forthwith pending the changing of the PCNs and correcting the website?

2. Do you plan to change the wording on your Penalty Charge Notices. If not please clarify on what authority you believe that you can deviate from the requirements of the legislation?

3. If you do intend to change the PCNs will you please confirm that all PCNs which have misrepresented the correct legal position will be refunded?

4. Could you please provide (treat as a Freedom of Information request if necessary):

(i) the number of Penalty Charge Notices issued to date (and income derived from those PCNs);
(ii) the number (and value) of PCNs currently unpaid;
(iii) copies of all communications (written, telephone, e-mail) internally between officers and departments of the council and externally with other agencies (National Parking Adjudication Service, Department for Transport, Government Office, other Councils) regarding the Penalty Charge Notices and any other such concerns regarding the validity, non-compliance of any other DPE notices;
(iv) copies of the background papers, consultations, prepared in advance of DPE and any communications (written, telephone, e-mail) internally between officers and departments of the council and externally with other agencies (National Parking Adjudication Service, Department for Transport, Government Office, other Councils) including a copy of the application to the DfT
(v) copies of any Special Authorisations obtained from the Department for Transport for any lines, signs or plates which do not comply with prescribed diagrams contained in the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002.

I look forward to your response. Please acknowledge receipt of this letter and give an indication as to the timeframe for your response. Questions 1 - 3 can be taken separately to the FoI request.

Yours faithfully,

Neil Herron

12 Frederick Street

I've been mulct by the council for parking unlawfully

Thanks to Giles for this one ...
Not quite the sime ring but after witnessing what we have witnessed across the country 3 and 4 seem more appropriate.

Word of the Day for Saturday, August 25, 2007

mulct \MULKT\, noun:

1. A fine or penalty.

2. To punish for an offense or misdemeanor by imposing a fine or demanding a forfeiture.

3. To obtain by fraud or deception.

4. To defraud; to swindle.

Officials repaid such loans by mulcting the public in a variety of legal and extra-legal ways.-- William H. McNeill, A World History

The fact that major corporations don't have to pay their own way, and instead are able to enlist legislators to mulct common citizens -- and businesses with more modest Washington connections -- deforms the entire political system.
-- Doug Bandow, "The Bipartisan Scandal of U.S. Corporate Welfare"

State lawmakers and state courts . . . [have] ditched old common law rules so as to charge deep-pocket defendants with harms that were once considered other people's fault, thus making it thinkable to mulct automakers for the costs of drunk drivers' crashes-- Walter Olson, "Firing Squad", Reason, May 1999

Mulct comes from Latin multa, "a fine." Entry and Pronunciation for mulct

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Kingston Upon Hull Council about have their parking tickets exposed

Just been on Look North and BBC Radio Humber tonight as the Council's DPE regime gets thrown unceremoniously into the spotlight.

On Thursday Philip Nixon is going head to head with the Council over their Penalty Charge Notices at an NPAS hearing.

A recent case in Camden ruled that their PCNs were non-compliant and misrepresented the correct legal position by stating 'You are required to pay ..."

Hull Council has the same wording on its PCNs and I have a case pending against Bristol on the same point.

The full legal arguments will be posted shortly on but meanwhile the implications for Councils across the country will be that they will suffer another 'Moses Moment'

... where the High Court ruled last year that their PCNs were non-compliant on teh two date issue.

Most councils corrected the error but could not pursue non-compliant PCNs.

If the adjudicator rules in Mr. Nixon's favour then Hull will be forced to change the PCNs and will not be able to pursue those that do not comply.

The £multi-million question however is that if you have paid are you entitled to a refund. Our legal opinion confirms that you are and we are preparing the legal argument to that effect which will be released on the site within a month.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

How fast? Faster than PC Milton

No-one could ever condone this sort of speeding madness ... unless he is tried by District Judge Morgan (the guy who convicted Steve Thoburn of selling bananas by the pound) who cleared PC Milton of doing 159mph. More ...

Britain's fastest speeder faces jail after clocking up 172mph in Porsche
Dail Mail

24th August 2007

more ...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Councils profiting from clamping? How very dare you ...

... but where will all the money come from to fill the coffers if they cannot 'make a profit' from parking enforcement?
As long as 'for profit' companies are employed to handle local authorities parking (and clamping) and as long as local authorities are allowed to keep the money from parking enforcement then the abuse will continue.
whilst we applaud the guidance reducing the use of clamping the abuse will still continue.
If anyone was ever in any doubt as to why local authorities shift from criminalised to decriminalised parking enforcement then you need look no further than here

Meanwhile, this guy is looking for another job.

Councils told to stop clamping cars for profit
Sam Coates

The Times
16th August 2007

Parking wardens will be banned from clamping cars for single offences as part of the biggest overhaul of parking rules in more than a decade.
Under new regulations, councils have been told that they should not set targets for raising revenue from parking fines or the number tickets to be issued.
Clamps can only be used when a vehicle repeatedly breaks parking rules and it has not been possible to collect payment for penalties, Ruth Kelly, the Transport Secretary, has ruled.
More ...

The DfT consultation can be accessed here ... closing date 31st October 2007

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Even the Police get F1 NED

If the rules are so opaque that the Police get F1 NED at this rate then there obviously needs to be an overhaul of the system.

Met Police 'fined £900 a day' for driving offences

Press Association ... Publisher: Jon Land 12/08/2007

Police drivers in London are fined almost £900 every day for offences including parking illegally, speeding and ignoring bus lanes.

Sorry we scrapped your car

The more powers that are handed to these incompetent individuals the more you will see horror stories such as this.

... and making 16 year olds Community Support Officers with the power to issue fines just really shows how this Government is losing the plot!

Sorry, we accidentally scrapped your car
11 August 2007

A BUNGLING council has apologised after it wrongly scrapped a family car that was parked outside a Suffolk home.

More ...

Monday, August 13, 2007

Parking in Camden? Want to know where it's free?

A visit last Thursday to Camden to expose their illegal parking spaces and non-compliant PCNs proved to be entertaining to say the least.

What we intended to highlight was the fact that many of the parking spaces are illegally marked and therefore cannot be enforced. These areas constitute 'free parking' and if a Penalty charge Notice is issued it can be successfully appealed.

We did manage to collect a PCN after some two hours and it now appears as though Camden have amended their PCNs after repeatedly losing adjudications. Since you do not alter a 'correct' PCN to make it 'more correct' these alterations are an admission of non-compliance.

More details to come but meanwhile, if you have had a Camden PCN which is still going through the enforcement or appeals process we have the info which will help you successfully appeal that ticket.

Britain 'sold down the river': what life under the EU treaty could be

Sitting at home on Saturday morning reading the Mail I began to read the following article... and then spotted that it was me Andrew Roberts was referring to. Looks like standing up to the unelected and the unaccountable over the years has put us top of the eurosceptic hit list and it's likely that we will have to stick our oar in to the European Constitution referendum battle to ensure a successful outcome ... as I do not intend to spend my retirement in a Greek prison!

Meanwhile, the pressure on Gordon continues to concede to the Labour manifesto pledge of a referendum. For daily updates and analysis see

Britain 'sold down the river': what life under the EU treaty could be like
by Andrew Roberts
Daily Mail 11th August 2007

"As they sat on the concrete benches in the forbidding "special" unit of Paddington Green police station, the five Englishmen considered the charges against them and how they had got there.
They were being treated little better than terrorists - but perhaps that's how they were genuinely perceived by the Belgian and Greek police who had arrested them. ... "

It was, perhaps, unnecessary for the armed response unit of Europol's Special Branch to have smashed down their doors at 3am to arrest them, but that was pretty much standard practice with anyone who was suspected of committing crimes "likely to be prejudicial to the good-standing of the Union"....

The leader of the band of men, Neil Herron, sat alongside Hackney trader John Dove, Cornish greengrocer Julian Harman and Camelford fishmonger Colin Hunt. "

More ...

Drivers lose the plot overnight in Derby

Well, that can be the only explanation for the tenfold increase in revenue from parking fines can't it?

Or could it be that since they went 'decriminalised' last year and were allowed to keep the revenue raised that a different attitude has prevailed.

May I take an opportunity to warn Derby's businesses ... you will be presecuted and your customers will be driven away while your council uses this latest stealth tax to fill their financial black holes.

More ...

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Advanced Stop Line ... Update from Les

As ever, Les is on the money ...

7th Aug 2007

Advanced Stop Line

I had a discussion with the Met Police Traffic Policy Unit today and learnt something.

The police do have the power to issue a three point penalty and fine to motorists that stop in the advanced green box reserved for cyclists behind the stop line at traffic lights. It seems that the reason that you never hear of anyone being prosecuted is because the police use their discretion, being that it is generally considered such an unreasonable law - expecting a motorist to get across what can sometimes be a distance of four metres or more between a traffic light going from amber to red.

I asked if the police would be having any input into Livingstone the dictator's plan to issue £120 fines to people who might get trapped in these green boxes?

The answer?

"We enforce the law, we don't make it."

I also took the opportunity to speak with a white-cap traffic cop on this matter a few days ago. He agreed that the stress of a possible £120 fine for getting caught in the advanced stop area will cause erratic driving behaviour - that will lead to an increase in accidents.

I have made an appointment to see my MP about this very matter. Things don't change on their own it requires that we get involved.

If you don't want to pay hundreds of pounds a day in fines or become involved in an unnecessary accident you may want to speak with your MP.

If you are happy to be ripped-off and lose your driving licence.......................then just do nothing.

154: Advanced stop lines. Some junctions have advanced stop lines or bus advance areas to allow cycles and buses to be positioned ahead of other traffic. Motorists, including motorcyclists, MUST stop at the first white line reached, and should avoid encroaching on the marked area. If your vehicle has proceeded over the first white line at the time the signal goes red, you MUST stop at the second white line, even if your vehicle is in the marked area.
Laws RTA 1988 sect 36 & TSRGD regs 10 & 43(2)

Should I stay or should I go? Watch out for the almighty 'Clash'

This has been forwarded by Les of Parking Rip-Off.

Another set of cameras. Another series of fines. When will this madness end?

There seems to be no end to the misery Ken Livingstone is willing to inflict on the population, in order to generate cash.

The latest is a proposal that is so illogical, so unreasonable and so dangerous that it could only have come from someone who has never passed a driving test, who does not have any practical knowledge of driving and cannot drive a motor vehicle, or as I recently learnt, is also unable to ride a bicycle (the BBC offered to pay for Livingstone to have cycle lessons if they could record the sessions, but he declined).

If this proposal goes ahead to fine motorists £120 when they stop in the advanced green box for cycles at traffic lights, all drivers will be presented with a panic 'no-win' situation at every set of traffic lights. When the traffic lights turn to amber for a very brief period before red, a motorist will either have to slam their brakes on hard to avoid entering the advanced area, or accelerate hard to get over the distant line to the other side before the light turns red. Neither of these options are safe and could result in a massive increase in accidents, injuries and possibly deaths at traffic light junctions - it will be nightmare.

Those of us who can realise the obvious danger may want to contact their MP.

Read the news story

Please give feedback if you wish.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Parking Fine 'Extortion' ... Wecome to the future

Parking enforcement on private land is about to escalate into an even bigger money making scam.

Fury at parking fines ‘extortion’
By Samrana Hussain

BEWARE: David Anson, manager of children's play centre Giddy Kippers, is warning visitors about the £90 penalties
BUSINESS park bosses have been attacked for 'extorting' money from motorists after setting up 'spy' cameras to catch people parking on their land.

A Council exercises parking common sense ...

...and realises that the tourists the area depends on so heavily should not be driven away by draconian parking enforcement.

The council in question is Allerdale in the Lake District. We have already had one successful adjudication where NPAS 'bottled out' of finding their paperwork non-compliant and gave us the decision on a technicality allowing them to 'ignore' the non-compliant paperwork. We are awaiting a response from the council as to whether they took on board what was submitted in the appeal and amended their paperwork.

Meanwhile, to read how they are now being sympathetic to the parking problem read here

Thursday, August 02, 2007

One for the road ... and a Parking Attendant's dilemma

To ticket or not to ticket?

Colour of vehicle? Make and model? Registration Number?

How to really avoid that ticket

This motorist decided to make sure that he was 'off-street' to avoid the ticket

Trying to avoid a ticket ... top tip.

The lengths some people will go to to avoid those tickets.

However, the Parking Attendant will still issue as the vehicle appears to have crossed the double yellows to park!

Back from the land of no parking attendants

Booked a last minute deal to Mauritius a couple of weeks ago and really needed a holiday after suffering Heathrow Airport pandemonium, delays, chaos and security shambles.
I am still not sure why 101ml of fluid in one container could be confiscated but two containers with 99ml can be taken onto a plane ... as long as it is in a clear bag!
Perhaps it is beyond the wit of Al Qaeda to work out that you can add the two (or more) amounts together.

Mauritius is a beautiful place and despite its independence still has a great deal of British influence ... ie. driving on the left and identical road signs. The island is also covered with double and single yellow lines in the towns and villages yet in all the time we were there there was not one Parking Attendant or Traffic Warden.
However, one taxi driver did say that the Police often stopped vehicles for speeding ... to top up their meagre wage, and 5 euros usually did the trick.

I called to the office to pick up the post and no sooner than the engine had been turned off a Parking Attendant appeared.
Welcome home.

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