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BREAKING NEWS: 4th December

Hackney Council accused of breaching government guidance on issuing parking tickets through CCTV 

The loading bay in Hoxton Street which is being monitored by CCTV

Above: The loading bay in Hoxton Street which is being monitored by CCTV ©Archant Community Media Ltd.

Hackney Council stands accused of breaching government guidance by not making motorists aware it is using CCTV to gather incriminating evidence before issuing PCNs (penalty charge notices).

A code of conduct advising local authorities on the appropriate and effective use of surveillance cameras was introduced in June. It states that when CCTV cameras are in use, motorists should be warned by signposting.

It adds: “Motorists may regard enforcement by cameras as over-zealous and relevant authorities should use them sparingly.”

However, in Hoxton Street – where parking tickets are being issued through CCTV footage – there are no signs telling the public of the fact.

The closest signs are over 500m away in Mundy Street, Fanshawe Street and Hoxton Square.

Read the full story.

Original Article in the Hackney Gazette:
by Emma Bartholomew, Senior Reporter. Wednesday, December 4, 2013

 

We appreciate your support in helping us to continue to fight for the end of this revenue orientated abuse of power.

Please support us by becoming a member if you can.

 

/news/hackney-council-accused-of-breaching-government-guidance-on-issuing-parking-tickets-through-cctv/

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Westminster City council agrees to refund up to £278,000 to motorists ticketed when the signage in 3 bays clearly said they could park for free.

This is a great success for us as we have pursued the council for several months. They would not have agreed to this without our intervention. The bays in question are located in the West End and are pay by phone in the day and switch to taxi ranks at night. Full details in news section.

Read the full story.

 

 

8th November 2013

Birmingham Bus Lane Fury – Thousands of motorists have been caught out by a new Road layout in Priory Queensway Birmingham.

Birmingham Bus Lane Fury Source: Birminghammail.co.uk

After a short distance the road turns into a bus lane and normal traffic must do a U turn. Motorists just don’t understand the restriction and simply continue down the road. It is reported that one motorist taking her child to the Birmingham children’s hospital has received 7 penalty charge notices.

We say that the council should immediately suspend enforcement and cancel the bus lane tickets issued. The signage does not look clear to us and we can’t see that signs warning of CCTV enforcement are in situ.

The fines are £60 each reduced to £30 if paid without fuss within 15 days.

 

Select Committee accepts our recommendations for parking reforms (and will be advising Government)

22th October 2013:

On 22nd October the Transport Select Committee published its findings into Local Authority Parking Enforcement. 
We campaigned strongly for a change in the law to stop local authorities using motorists as cash cows.

We submitted a 20 page report with over 100 pages of supporting evidence to the committee and we are delighted to see that they have referred to our evidence and made recommendations to Government as a result.

For example:



1.) They referred to our evidence that parking fines in London are substantially more than fines for speeding or shoplifting. They recommend that the Government introduces a "freeze" on parking fines

.

2.) We argued strongly for a 5 minute grace period at paid for parking bays. - they have recommended that a 5 minute grace period be introduced.



3.) We expressed concerns that, despite Westminster council's assurance to the contuary, that Bay Sensors will be used for parking enforcement. The committee found that in Perth there was a 750% increase in parking fines when they introduced Bay Sensors. They say "There is a risk that the introduction of parking bay sensors could discourage local authorities from taking a common sense approach to parking enforcement". 



4.) We told the committee that the loss of the 50% discount discourages motorists from appealing even when they know they did nothing wrong. The committee have suggested that if a motorist appeals all the way to adjudication and loses that they are given a 25% discount if they pay within 7 days. This is really good news as it will reduce the disincentive for a motorist to appeal.



Read the full story

 

OCTOBER 8th - SWINDON COUNCIL RELAXES PARKING RULES – The Sunday Times reports that Swindon have relaxed some parking rules and as a result are issuing far fewer parking tickets. They have also reduced parking charges. Over the past 2 years their revenue from parking has fallen by over £1m a year however the number of visitors to the town centre has increased from 5.47 million visitors a year to 8.16 million. In London Kensington and Chelsea council last year increased parking charges around Kensington High Street from £3 an hour to £4.40 an hour. They said they did this to increase income. With the Westfield shopping centre just 5 minutes drive away and parking charges of £2 an hour we know where we would shop!

27th September Wow at last great news for the mototist: CCTV parking enforcement could be banned from January!

Today Eric Pickles the communities secretary announces a 6 week consultation into ending cctv enforcement of parking contraventions. The consultation will also include proposals to reimburse motorists for their costs of appeal, a mandatory 15 minute grace period on paid for parking bays, stopping councils from using bailiffs to collect parking fines and allowing residents to have more of a say on yellow lines. There will be a consultation so please have your say.

We have campiagned for 10 years for this so it is really great news but the Government needs to go further, They should also end CCTV enforcement of moving traffic contraventions which is being abused by local councils and they should stop councils increasing parking charges by more than the rate of inflation for paid for parking and parking permits.

Read more and our comment

 

Councils in London using illegal ticket targets

Despite the practice being illegal 2 councils have been exposed as having illegal ticket targets inserted into their contracts with private enforcement companies. Camden and Ealing are the two names in a BBC inside out report but we hear that several more also have ticket targets. The programme showed the pressure placed on civil enforcement officers (CEO's) to issue as many tickets as possible. One CEO even confirmed that he issued "dodgy tickets" in order to meet his target. Of course us motorists in London have known how revenue orientated the system is for years. Not so long ago Westminster Council was offering plasma TV's and a free car to the most productive wardens, more recently they give Argos points!! We have complained to the transport minister Norman Baker but he has written to say that the Government will not intervene even if councils break the law! Yes it is true although unbelievable.If a CEO carries out his shift and nearly all the vehicles are parked compliantly surely that is a good thing, surely this is what it is all about WRONG. It is a bad thing for a CEO, a bad thing for the private parking company and a bad thing for the local council. Ever wondered why some of the most inefficient councils have the most efficient parking enforcement? 

Kensington and Chelsea council ignores Government Guidance and clamps 8,167 motorists.

Kensington and Chelsea, Britains richest borough, is the only council in London and maybe even nationwide to clamp vehicles. The government has told local authorities that clamping is not appropriate and nearly all councils have stopped but K & C are living in the past and refuse to stop clamping on a massive scale. We have campaigned for 10 years to get councils to stop clamping, it is pointless as it only ensures that an illegally parked vehicle remains so for longer.If you are one of the motorists clamped then let us know and we will help you appeal. We think that K & C need to show why they have chosen to ignore Government guidance.

September 2013 - Boris Johnson's Transport for London stings motorists with  553,000 Penalty Charge Notices.

In the latest figures released showing the number of Penalty Charge Notices (PCN's) issued by London's councils and Transport for London (TFL) it is Boris's TFL which issued the most fines in London for the first time. They issued an incredible 553,000 pcn's in the year ending 31st March 2013 (figures just out) which was 67,000 more than last year. At face value that is £72m. TFL accept that they have been more ruthless and say that they have increased enforcement at peak hours. At a time when the Government is trying to get enforcement authorities to stop using the motorist as a cash cow TFL are happy to just issue as many PCN's as possible. In one loading bay in Finchley road they are issuing over 12,000 pcns a year. We have met them twice there to try and get them to spend money on making the restrictions clearer but rather than spend some money on better signage they spent over £13,000 on upgrading their enforcement camera - yes it is true. Shame on you Boris, you criticised  Ken for his "mountain of fines" and when you took office you reduced the number of PCN's in the first year but then increased and increased them.

July 2013 - Major High Court Victory for parking campaigners in Barnet north London..

On the 22nd July Barnet council lost a Landmark case. They had increased the cost of Residents Parking Permits by 150% from £40 to £100 and the cost of visitor's parking vouchers by 400% from £1 to £4. They said that they needed to impose the charges as they needed more money for highway maintenance. Basically this amounted to a tax on motorists so a group of residents les by David Attfield took the council to the High Court. Of course they had a very good case as the High court had already ruled many years ago in the case of Cran vs Camden that the act which allows councils to ompose controlled parking zones and charge for parking was not a revenue raising act.  Mrs Justice Lang said that the council acted unlawfully when they hiked up the prices of permits and vouchers. She confirmed that the 1984 Road traffic regulation act

"is not a fiscal measure and does not authorise the authority to use its powers to charge local residents for parking in order to raise surplus revenue for other transport purposes".

She awarded costs against the council. Of course the council has said that it will appeal. The people in the council who make the decision to appeal have nothing to lose financially as it is the council tax payers who foot the bill.

Had the council won local authorities across the country could have hike charges simply to raise revenue.

June 2013 - New "SUPER BAYS" in the West End have been catching motorists out   

Watch us on BBC News (from 1m 30s)

Westminster council is raking in up to £250,000 a bay each year in fines according to information provided by the council. The bays are pay by phone bays in the day time and although one sign says "all other times no charge" at 6.30 pm each day the bays become a taxi rank. There is a small yellow section on the top of a pay by phone sign but it is confusing.Of course the council are unrepentant as usual saying that the signage is "very clear"

We think that these must be the most proifitable bays in the country. We hear the council wants to roll out more dual use bays and we can see why!

June 2013 - A traffic warden has been jailed after telling police that he was run over by a motorist in Bridgenorth Shropshire when he wasn't. CCTV footage showed that he had made the whole thing up.The case went to a four day trial in May and the traffic warden was found guilty of intending to pervert the course of justice and jailed for 4 months. 

  

 

 

June 2013 - BBC Panorama exposes Hammersmith and Fulham as the most ruthless enforcer of moving traffic offences in the country. – No wonder they are able to keep reducing their council tax.

At one box junction in Bagley’s Lane Fulham the council have issued around 40,000 fines in just one year. However we have seen an adjudicator’s decision that would imply that many of the fines should not have been issued in the first place.
The programme exposed a “target-based, revenue raising culture at Hammersmith and Fulham where the emphasis is clearly on issuing as many penalty charge notices as possible. It also showed how the council is exploiting a sophisticated new camera system to fine motorists for moving traffic offences, such as stopping in a yellow box junction or making a banned turn.

The programme has obtained hundreds of emails between employees at the
London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham which show staff being congratulated
on increasing the number of fines being handed out to motorists.
Comments in the emails include:

"Another record month, guys. Well done."
"Well done. Another increase...holidays, as expected, bring back the
traffic"
"Another good month last month. That's despite the systems problems we had.
So well done to everyone."

We at www.penaltychargenotice.co.uk say that this abuse of powers has to be stopped. Staff should be congratulated for ensuring that motorists comply with the regulations by putting up clear signage and not enforcing minor transgressions of the rules. The government has to intervene. They need to take all the fine income away from councils so the financial incentive is removed and only the incentive of smooth traffic flow remains. We have made representations to the transport select committee on this.

June 2013

The Transport Select committee are looking into Local Authority Parking enforcement. We have submitted a substantial amount of evidence. On 10th June they heard evidence from a number of organisations including the AA, RAC and the National Motorists Action Group. We hope that they will eventually make some recommendations to the Government which will help change the current system where local authorities seem to be profiting from over - zealous and sometimes illegal enforcement in the name of revenue raising.

 

 

 

June 2013

New parking bay sensors could be a trip hazard.

Dangerous Parking Sensors

West End pedestrian accident claims set to rise as 3,000 parking bay sensors are installed by Westminster City Council

 
West End residents and shoppers will need to be extra careful when stepping off the kerb to cross the road when 3,000 parking pay sensors are installed in the road over the next few months as part of a plan to increase the Council’s profit from parking income by over £500,000 a year.  According to a Westminster Council report;
 
“Trip hazards caused by ground sensors could potentially lead to claims against the Council. The specification for the sensors will set out the minimum acceptable profile above the road surface, and will stipulate that road mounted sensors should be as flush as possible with the carriageway. Sensors will sit outside of the footway, within 1 metre of the kerb. In this way it is hoped that claims will be kept to a minimum.”
Government highways regulations say that the maximum height of a road stud should be between 6mm and 20mm but the council’s sensors project 28.5mm.
 
We say the council are putting profit above safety and urge them to have an urgent rethink.
 
 

May 2013 : PenaltyChargeNotice.co.uk was recently featured on BBC Watchdog.

The team investigated the rise of council parking fines, and claims of illegal tickets. Watch the Parking Ticket BBC Watchdog feature.

If you missed this episode you can watch additional featured clips on the BBC Watchdog website.

 

May 1st 2013 - Council refuses to refund around £1m taken illegally from motorists.

Islington council refuses to automatically refund motorists after it accepted that it should never have issued the fines in the first Place.

Around 11,000 fines were issued at the width restriction in Drayton Park designed to stop large vehicles from using the road. However the alterations to the road late last year did not have the proper consents

The council has accepted that they were wrong and therefore not entitled to the money. They have said that they cannot automatically refund motorists as they don’t have their details. We find this very hard indeed to believe. All the fines were issued over the last few months via CCTV so the council would have had to request the driver’s information from DVLA in order to post the fines to them. How convenient to say that they don’t have the details. They have agreed to refund motorists who go to the hassle of writing in!

 

March 18th 2013 - 10 Minutes Grace period for motorists in high streets says Eric Pickles the local Government Secretary.

Mr Pickles has obviously realised that one of the reasons that shops are suffering is due to the rigorous parking enforcement policies of local councils. He is right of course as, rather than support businesses; many councils seem to be milking their customers for as much as they can. Often with hidden CCTV cameras.
Of course such a grace period is unlikely to be implemented without primary legislation as we can’t see any council forgoing much needed revenue in order to help motorists and local businesses.
Mr Pickles said he also wants to end the “over-zealous culture of parking enforcement” We say that this is never going to happen without legislation. A few years ago the labour government introduced statutory guidance to all local authorities on parking enforcement. We haven’t seen one London authority which abides by the guidance on the use of CCTV cameras.
 

See us on BBC London news (from 17.26).

 

February 2013 - Massive shortfall in number of motorists using new private parking adjudication service. P.O.P.L.A.

The new adjudication service which deals with private parking tickets is experiencing a massive shortfall in the number of motorists using it. Only 1,342 motorists used it in the first 4 months equating to an average of 4.026 a year which is way short of the 23,000 envisaged. The funding model was based on this figure and the service could lose hundreds of thousands of pounds as a result.

We did write to the transport minister Norman Baker voicing our concerns at what would happen but he went ahead with it anyway. We do not think motorists trust the service which although said to be "independent" is actually funded by the private parking companies themselves. We also think that the website does not state the full facts on what grounds a motorist can appeal. We think that only a truly independent service should be put in place.

February 2013 - Up to 350,000 Penalty Charge notices issued in London in suspended bays may be unlawful. These fines have a face value approaching £40m –

Worse still many councils in London continued to issue fines in suspended bays in full knowledge that the signage was unlawful and 16 boroughs in the capital are still issuing fines in suspended bays without authorization including Westminster City Council.

Parking Notice Expired 2009

 

Councils in London can suspend many thousands of bays over the course of a year so the fines are a big money-spinner.

In January 2010 an adjudicator ruled against Camden council on the basis that the sign was not compliant and so the contravention could not have occurred

As there are no set designs for parking suspension signs The Department for Transport (DfT) must approve the template before it is used on the public highway. So each council must get its own design approved.

It has been reported that the following councils still have no DfT authorisation for their signs: Greenwich, Southwark, Westminster, Barnet, Bexley, Bromley, Croydon, Ealing, Enfield, Hillingdon, Kingston-upon-Thames, Merton, Redbridge, Sutton and Waltham Forest.

The following councils received authorisation in 2010 or after: Camden, Hackney, Lambeth, Harrow, Wandsworth, Havering, Barking and Dagenham, Brent, Newham, Hounslow, Lewisham and Haringey.

In January 2010 an adjudicator ruled that

"In the absence of a compliant sign the vehicle was not in contravention and the appeal must be allowed.

"No doubt the council will give consideration to obtaining the secretary of state's authorisation."

 See our comprehensive section on suspended bays for more information. Simply enter contravention code 21 in the box at the top of the page. 

 

Wandsworth Council starts enforcing an access only restriction and issues £169,000 of penalty charge notices in 3 weeks! -

Hundreds of motorists have received fines for driving into Battersea Square including parents and teachers of pupils at St Thomas's school, residents and owners of businesses. We have investigated the restriction and noticed that there is only one sign where the restrcition commences. By law there should be a sign on each side of the road. At a public meeting in mid November the council agreed to suspend enforcement and refund motorists who have received penalty charge notices. We applaud the councils common sense decision.

November 2012 - New parking bay sensor technology is being deployed by Westminster City Council at a cost of £15m.

The council says that, working in conjunction with an App, it will enable motorists to find available parking spaces. What they neglect to mention is that the sensors are made by a parking enforcement company and are called "meter eyes" Basically when you park the sensor knows it and when you have stayed beyond the maximum time they send a signal to the nearest civil enforcement officer to rush round and slap a ticket on your windscreen! When we dig even deeper we discover that the council will be using the information fed back to them to raise parking charges.Why can't the council just be honest and tell us the real reason up front. We think they are basically highway bandits. Edinburgh council also uses the technology.

New private parking appeals service was slammed by country's chief parking adjudicator in a letter to the transport minister in April

From the 1st October 2012 the government has made the registered keeper of a vehicle liable for a private parking ticket. (unless they provide the details of the actual driver) However they said they would only do this if a new “independent” private parking adjudication service was in place. The current national parking adjudication service outside London was asked to tender but they refused. The chief parking adjudicator Caroline Shepherd raised concerns to the transport minister, Norman Baker, that the proposed service would not be independent but she confirmed that she was committed to a service that “gives confidence to the motoring public that their appeals and complaints will be determined independently, impartially and fairly”

So the British Parking Association instead gave the contract to P.A.T.A.S which are the current London based parking appeals service for London Councils.

However the new service which will be called P.O.P.L.A (parking on private land appeals)  will not allow personal appeals and motorist’s cases will not be handled by qualified adjudicators rather by “assessors”
Se our very comprehensive section on private parking tickets for assistance on private parking tickets and full details of all the new rules.

September 19th - Clamping and towing on private land to be outlawed from 1st October but beware - private parking tickets.

Instead private companies will issue private parking tickets to vehicles. The Government has now made the keeper of the vehicle liable to pay the penalty even if they were not driving at the time unless they name the actual driver.  We have the most comprehensive section around on private parking tickets including all details of the new rules, how to appeal and even summarised court cases. Simply click the link at the top of the page.

September 15th - Five Million parking fines issued in London in a year

In fact the number of fines has increased for the first time in 4 years. We say that the over-zealous enforcement of often minor transgressions of the rules by local authorities is more to do revenue raising than anything else. Often councils regarded as inefficient generally have very efficient parking enforcement departments. Take Brent which managed to issue over 42% more parking fines in the year to over 148,000. Hammersnither and Fulham manged to issue over 100% more fines for moving traffic offences. Even Westminster council managed to squeeze a further 4.5% to a whopping 482,000 tickets. When will it all end. The transport minister has told us that he won't intervene even if councils parking policies do not comply with the law! Yes it's true councils can break the law and the Government won't do anything about it. So much for ending the war on the motorist!

 

 

August 2012 - Penalty Charge Notices issued in L.B of Newham ruled illegal

An adjudicator has ruled that the council's cctv penalty charge notices are illegal as they do not comply with the strict requuirements of the Civil enforcement of parking contraventions (England) representations and appeals regulations 2007. This is because they do not comply with paragraph 6 which states "where the recipient of a penalty charge notice makes a request under paragraph 5, the enforcement authority shall comply with the request within a reasonable time.Paragraph 5 refers to the right of a recipient to view footage of the alleged contravention. The adjudicator also said that the PCN does not inform the motorist that the CCTV footage will be made available at one of the offices of the local authority as specified by the motorist. It only refered to the East Ham local Service Centre.

July 22nd - Adjudicator finds against Camden Council at notorious £5m trap -

In June last year we exposed this ridiculous "no motor vehicles" restriction where the council has issued over £5m of penalty charge notices in the last 5 years. The restriction in Grafton road used to be enforced by rising bollards but the council decided that a camera was a better way to go. Whereas the bollard would not let a motorist break the restriction the camera system allows tens of thousands of motorists to carry on through and then receive a £130 fine in the post!. Last year we went on tv and radio as well as in the national press to highlight this. The councillor at the council responsible said the restriction was "ridiculous" and that she would take immediate action. However one year on the council continues. Now an adjudicator has ruled that the signage is non compliant. The council are asking for a review of the decision and if they lose we say they should pay back the millions of pounds that they have taken. A council report also confirms that they know it is confusing for motorists by leaving the old bollard system in situ but they have never removed it. we wonder why? Details of the decision are in our moving traffic adjudicators sectiion.

July 11th - Camden traffic wardens on strike for 48 hours!

They are complaining that the only get paid £8.08 pence an hour which is below the London Living wage. NSL, the company that employs the wardens, is drafting in wardens from other boroughs although it is still expected that the council will lose a fortune in fine income.

Illegally parked Wirral spy car in collision with bus!

25 June 2012

Illegally parked Wirral spy car in collission with bus!

 

A traffic warden who was sitting in the car which was parked on a yellow line and with 2 wheels on the kerb opened the door just as a bus was coming!

A spokesperson for the council said: "A CCTV vehicle operated by NSL was involved in a minor road traffic collision with a bus whilst carrying out parking enforcement activity on behalf of Wirral Council. "Nobody was injured, although both vehicles were damaged and were taken off the road for repair.”

"A replacement CCTV vehicle has been deployed by NSL so there will be no gap in the provision of parking enforcement services."

The vehicle is a Smart car fitted 11ft 'periscope' camera.. Its primary use is to catch and fine errant motorists who park on zig zag lines outside schools, but it also being used to snap drivers who stop on double yellow lines near to cashpoint machines.
In response to concerns that the vehicle was parked illegally the council spokesman said: “In order for the camera car to carry out its work safely, the car has special dispensation to park in some areas, when necessary, when undertaking enforcement activity. This is reviewed on a case by case basis.”

 

Westminster council employs 30 new wardens and Hackney installs confusing Olympic signage

30 May 2012  | Watch us on bbc.co.uk/news

Watch us on bbc.co.uk/news

Westminster council have taken on an additional 30 traffic wardens to increase the total number to over 300. The new wardens will be enforcing nightime controls and will be issuing £130 penalty charge notices. The council are in a win win situation as the wardens are being paid for via a grant from the greater London Authority and TFL. What we do not understand is why the wardens are starting on the 5th June around 8 weeks before the Olympics!

Meanwhile Hackney council has installed ridiculous new signs that are incredibly confusing. It looks like many motorists will be receiving tickets as they will be confused by signs next to each other - one saying the zone starts and the other saying that the zone ends!

 

20th April 2012 - Transport for London issues 11,880 tickets in one year in a small stretch of road with illegal signage.

The road is Finchley road London NW3 and transport for London have issued £1.5m of fines in the last year alone. We met them there 3 years ago to point out that their signage was confusing and illegal. They stopped enforcement for a while but then started up without making any alteration to the signage. They must know that the signs are confusing due to the number of tickets they are issuing. Many of the signs point the wrong way. This is disgraceful conduct on the part of TFL. Even more unbelievable is that rather than install compliant signage which would cost a few hundred pounds they are installing a 4th Camera at a cost of thousands of pounds to catch even more motorists. See full piece in the London Evening Standard

 http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/transport/15m-fines-on-100yard-stretch-of-road-7664630.html

 

April 2012 Car Clamping Firm director prosecuted 

The director of a car clamping company has been ordered to pay £4,870 in fines and costs after being found guilty of two breaches of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations, he was acquitted of a third charge at Enfield Magistrates Court today (March 27).

 

A former  director of City Watch Parking Enforcement Limited was prosecuted by Enfield Council's Trading Standards Team after an incident involving a City Watch Clamper in a car park at the rear of some shops in Savoy Parade, Southbury Road, Enfield, on August 27. He was ordered to pay £750 for each offence, £3,370 costs and a £15 Victim Surcharge

He was found guilty of:

1) Failing to indicate in a clear manner which parking bays in the car park were available for pay and display use, which caused or was likely to cause the average consumer to take a transactional decision which they would not otherwise have taken and;

 2) Failing to indicate in a clear manner that there was an extra 5% levied on the clamping fee for credit card payments, which caused or was likely to cause the average consumer to take a transactional decision which they would not otherwise have taken,

 But he was found not guilty of:

 1) Engaging in an aggressive commercial practice, namely clamping a vehicle and refusing to release it unless the motorists paid the fee demanded, in circumstances where:

 a.       The motorist was not first afforded a reasonable opportunity to purchase a pay and display ticket and

b.      It was in any event not indicated that a charge was payable for parking a motor vehicle in the relevant space or that a permit was required to park a motor vehicle in the relevant space

 Enfield Council's Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Chris Bond, said: "This car clamping firm were behaving in an illegal manner and the news Enfield Council has successfully prosecuted them for their abysmal business practices will no doubt be a cause of celebration for motorists everywhere.

 "Car clamping firms need to understand that they provide a service, but their actions are always under the closest scrutiny because of the negative publicity the most extreme cases of clamping attract, we are willing to work with properly registered and reputable clamping firms but this case clearly shows we'll do whatever it takes to stand up for motorists and reign in the worst excesses of irresponsible and reckless clamping companies."

 

We say that this should send out a clear message to clampers that their behavior will no longer be tolerated.

 

 

Bournemouth council fine a motorist who pulled over to help a pensioner who had fallen.

Bournemouth council, one of the country's most ruthless, refused to cancel a motorist's penalty charge notice after he explained that he pulled over on a bus stop after seeing an old lady fall over. Mr Jury said "I cannot believe it, I think the council has gone mad. In fact like other council's Bournemouth council is learning fast how much money it can rake in by using CCTV cameras to issue parking tickets. This is the same council that is now issuing 4,500 tickets a year from its CCTV smart car.

Oxfordshire council paints double yellow lines across road junctions and triple yellow lines at the kerb.

Amazingly the council has changed the rule book. They have installed new road humps with double yellow across them.! The department of transport has said that double yellow lines should be painted parallel to the kerbside and not across the road at 90 degrees to the kerb! Of course the lines have no meaning in law and can be very confusing for motorists. The council should remove them immediately in our opinion. You can see the bbc news piece here. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-17201734

March 2012 - Motorists receive parking tickets as parking bays shrink.

As cars increase in size and councils try and squeeze in more bays motorists are getting caught in a pincer movement. West Dorset, Hackney and Merton are councils that have shortened bays. Some councils will only issue a penalty charge notice if the cars wheels are outside the bay markings although we have heard of others that count the car overhang as well. We are not sure whether an overhang can be counted legally so let us know if you have had a bad experience! Of course as more and more motorists park compliantly councils have to look at other ways to issue tickets. Of course the transport minister Norman Baker supports limited size of bays. he is the same minister that wrote to us to confirm that he wouldn't take action even if a council's parking policies did not comply with the law!  We thought the government was going to end the war on the motorist.

March 2012 - Traffic wardens in London borough go on a 2 day strike.

Traffic wardens in Ealing have gone on a 2 day strike in protest at the sacking of a colleague. Mr Bhardwaj was sacked from his post by NSL services. The company says that he was sacked for falsifying paperwork and idling at work, Which Mr Bhardwaj denies. 

Mr Bhardwaj, 36, who has worked as a parking attendant for five years, said: "Just two months after taking over, NSL started bringing in the quota. We have to issue 1.5 tickets an hour, that's 10 to 15 a day. We can't issue more tickets than there are to give out. We can't make them up.

"If you don't bring in that number they start bullying you and then terminate your employment. More than 10 staff have had their employment terminated and 30 have been disciplined in the past two months."

The council says that "NSL has reassured us that allegations of quotas being used are completely untrue. We expect the highest standards from all civil enforcement officers to ensure parking regulations are enforced consistently, professionally and legally."

However we have seen proof that rewards are given out in Westminster in the form of Argos points to wardens issuing more than the beat average.

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Older News

 

November 2010

Parking Fines Set to Double!!

Traffic wardens earning over £50,000 a year!

Transport for London to introduce parking charges on London's red routes

Westminster Council cuts £2m from it’s social services budget and investment £1.95 in yet more traffic wardens

 

September 2010

Volunteer biker gang foils Westminster CCTV car fleet!

Parking officers told to issue illegal tickets!

Parking fines could increase to £140

 

 

Wheel clampers face private land ban (17th August 2010)

Wheel clampers are to be banned from operating on private land in England and Wales, the government has said.

The legislation, to be introduced in November, will introduce penalties for anyone clamping a vehicle or towing it away on private land.

Read the full story on the BBC.co.uk/news (Opens new window)

 

Duchball Rally 2010 
PenaltyChargeNotice are proud to be supporting this years event.

The Duchball Rally 2010. Good luck to all those cars running - great cause!

PenaltyChargeNotice.co.uk are proud to be supporting the Duchball Rally 2010. Read more...

Related links:

www.duchball.com - the official site of the Duchball Rally.

www.justgiving.com/duchballrally - Donate to Duchball Rally

http://www.actionduchenne.org - Action Duchenne is the only national Charity that exclusively funds research for a cure and promotes campaigns for better medical care for Duchenne and Becker Muscular Dystrophy.

 

 

The £2m traffic camera which has snared 16,123 drivers in three months

Britain's most profitable traffic camera has raked in almost £2 million in just three months after catching out motorists confused by a diversion.

The single camera is earning a staggering £150,000-a-week from unwitting drivers who stray into a street filled with temporary bus and taxi lanes.

The camera earns as much in a week as England and Chelsea football star John Terry – the country’s best-paid footballer – and is driving motorists mad.

 

 

If it stays in place for 12 months, the camera – in Victoria, Central London – is on track to issue fines totalling a staggering £8 million.


Lucrative: How the traffic camera at Victoria earns its £150,000 a week

Read more...

 

Council found guilty of unfair practices in parking appeals and parking tickets cancelled! (7th July 2010)

Camden council have been found guilty by a parking adjudicator of deliberatly removing evidence from the information given to motorists at appeal. As a result of the council not making a full and proper disclosure the motorist's ticket was cancelled by the adjudicator. This has happend on more than one occassion and it is thought may apply to many thousands of cases where the motorist lost at appeal.The motorists positon was prejudiced because information which the motorists could have used as a basis of appeal had been removed be Camden. Ironically Camden has one of the best records of winning at adjudication!In a landmark parking tickets decision a Parking Adjudicator has held that Camden Council have acted unlawfully and failed to make full disclosure of evidence to motorists when cases are submitted to the Parking Adjudicator. Read more...




Up to 1.5m drivers may have been fined illegally for certain moving traffic contraventions in London. (25th June 2010)

In an appeal to the adjudicator handled by campaigner Barrie Segal it was found that a motorist's penalty charge notice was invalid as it refered to "failing to comply with a sign" when in fact the sign itself was not authorised for use. Under the TSRGD 2002 regulations certain signs are shown but they are not specifically authorised for enforcement under the London local authorities and transport for London act 2003 and the excluded signs can therefore not be enforced.

The affected signs are prohibited turn, prohibition on certain types of vehicles and pedestrian zone restrictions. See our individual contraventions for further details.



Watch us on BBC London - 1.30pm & 6.30pm today.bbc (11th May 2010)

"Drivers in London are paying out thousands of pounds in fines, because of unclear road markings and signs, a motorists group claims." news.bbc.co.uk

BBC-11-05-10/pcn-news

View the story and video on news.bbc.co.uk



 

Wilton Road: Transport for London issues up to 2,500 penalty charge notices a week at confusing site next to Victoria station. (May 2010)

Transport for London have banned motor vehicles(except taxis and buses) from a very main road next to Victoria station. Whilst they do have signs many motorists do not see them as the restriction starts on a sharp ben when motorists are concentrating on the road and other vehicles. We pointed out to TFL that the restriction would be very confusing for motorists but rather  that have a traffic warden on site at the location to direct traffic they have decided to have staff issuing tickets via a CCTV camera to motorists. At face value they are issuing up to £250,000 of penalty charge notices every week.

All over London motorists are falling victim to confusing and even silly restrictions which are enforced using CCTV.

If you have received a penalty charge notice at this location it may be invalid. Adjudicators have confirmed that the enforcing authority should show the sign that you are alleged to have contravened. The penalty charge notices that we have seen issued at this location do not show the sign that is alleged to have been contravened so the contravention may not be proven.



Motorist wins boxing day appeal against Kensington and Chelsea Council

Alexey and Elena Andreev received a ticket on boxing day after parking at a pay and display machine wjich clearly stated "public and bank holidays no charge" Because boxing day fell on a Saturday the councils and many others across the country said that boxing day wasn't a public holiday. Kensington and Chelsea council closed their leisure centres and libraries on Saturday the 26th December because they said it was a holiday but decided to charge for parking and enforce single yellow lines because they said it wasn't.

Shortly before christmas we drew this to the attention of the press and were also interviewed on BBC news. Despite this many motorists did receive tickets and many inserted money into machines. The adjudicators said that "I find that the words on the machine are sufficiently ambiguous to confuse a motorist when parking on a boxing day that falls on a Saturday as to whether charges are required." "If the authority wishes to enforce charges on boxing day when it falls on a Saturday the machine should clearly state so"

We say that Kensington and Chelsea should refund motorists for both the tickets that they issued and also for the charges that they took from motorists. However asthere is a lot of money at stake we assume that they, and other councils, will keep the money raher than refund confused motorists even in view of this decision.



Westminster council agree to place clearer signage on their hidden cameras. (March 2010)

After intense pressure from us Westminster council have now agreed to install clearer signage in areas where it is carrying out CCTV enforcement of parking and traffic contraventions. We applaud their decision to make it easier for motorists to see where CCTV enforcement is being carried out. We still don't agree with CCTV enforcement as it affects businesses, upsets motorists and is against the statutory guidance which the government has issued.

 

Westminster council in London has just switched its network of over 100 parking cameras cameras back on. (March 2010)

BBC-09-03-10/pcn-news

They have been off for a year as they didn't meet the department of transports quality standards. We ask ourselves why have these cameras been upgraded and switched on. Has congestion got worse in the last 12 months - NO. The government have told councils that they should not really be using CCTV unless it is impractical to use traffic wardens.

Read more...    View the story and video on news.bbc.co.uk

 

Enforcement of Diplomatic bays could have been illegal. (Feburary 2010)

There are 344 Diplomatic bays in London of which 198 are in Westminster and 134 in Kensington and Chelsea. Because Diplomatic bays are not "standard bays" special permission is required from the department of transport.

Read more...

 

Westminster council have in principle decided to introduce parking charges until midnight in the central area and to stop parking on single yellow lines until midnight. they will also be increasing parking charges to up to £5 ph. (January 2010)

At a cabinet meeting at Westminster held on the 18th Jan they decided, in principle, to extend the charging and enforcement hours of the central controlled zones to Midnight Mon - Sat. They also decided to increase parking charges in most areas including a 100% increase in St Johns Wood and up to £5 ph in central London. This means that in central London which could include the F zone south of Marylebone Road as well as all other zones except B and C (which are north of Marylebone Road) motorists will have to pay up to £5 ph until midnight and will no longer be able to park on single yellow lines after 6.30pm as they to will operate until midnight.  What does this mean. (except a massive increase in revenue for Westminster.

Many people will no longer visit shops, restaurants theatres, cinemas etc in the evening so many of these may well close.

Read more...

 

Warning - Boxing Day parking controls (updated 23 December 2009)

Some councils such as Westminster Council and Kensington and Chelsea Council in London are charging for parking on Boxing day even though their signs say no charge on public holidays. We assume that they don't regard boxing day as a public holiday this year because it falls on a Saturday. Funny that because their libraries and Leisure centres are closed on Boxing day as "it is a Public Holiday".

All that is going to happen is that thousands of motorists are going to have their Christmas's tarnished by a £120 ticket.

Is your local council charging for on-street parking and imposing fines on Boxing Day?

Read more...

   

Westminster council internal report refers to ticket targets of 736,000 this year, loss of revenue, £11.4m surplus for the year,productivity levels and business plans! (November 2009)

The report sought permission to spend around £800,000 upgrading their CCTV enforcement network which didn't meet government quality standards. The report said that without the upgrade Westminster will loose £1.9m in income. The law is clear in that parking enforcement is not to be used for revenue raising. It is for traffic management purposes and yet these words can be found no where in the report. What a country we live in.

 

CCTV issued parking fines cancelled as council did not place sufficient warning signs telling motorists that CCTV enforcement was in operation. The traffic appeals service also said that CCTV use should be used sparingly as stated in the government guidance issued in March 2008. (August 2009)

 

We think that this case in Wirral has implications for councils such as Westminster and Camden in London who issue hundreds of thousands of parking tickets each year from an army of CCTV cameras.

For details of the article featured in the Sun click here (external link).

 

UPDATED: Westminster council pilots new scheme to allow anyone to park in residents bays. (Updated September 2009)

They say it is a residents visitor scheme but the smallprint discloses that anyone can pay and park in the new shared use bays.We say they are taking valuable space away from residents so they can earn more money from residents bays. We were interviewed on BBC London news today 23rd June 09.

Also the signs are positively misleading for motorists and we have brought this to the attention of the council and the department of transport. Pay by phone customers can only pay to park from 10am - 4 pm . They can't park between 8.30 am - 10.00am and 4pm - 6.30 pm. But the street signs simply say chargeable hours 10am - 4 pm. Read more...

  

UPDATED: Camden's Tickets ruled invalid (Updated September 2009)

Greedy Camden council's tickets from the beginning of this year included a surcharge when making payment by credit card. One of the statutory grounds for appeal is that the penalty charge exceeded the amount applicable in the circumstances.

Read more...


 

When everyone is feeling the pinch in the worst recession for generations and the government is trying to help, Westminster Council has increased parking charges in some areas by between 10% and 33%. (August 2009)

They are already making millions more from the introduction of pay by phone parking and obviously have no regard for anyone except their coffers. And the Conservatives say they will give more power to local government. We say they are greedy and should be renamed WESTMONSTER Council instead.

 

Diabolical enforcement of moving traffic contraventions by Islington Council. (May 2009)

So you are driving along a road and suddenly there are 2 one way signs facing you.The road markings indicate that the road is 2 way, and there are no road markings informing drivers that they must turn right into the side road or do a U turn. In our opinion this is entrapment in the name of revenue raising.

Read more...

 

 

The M11 speed camera that has resulted in a near doubling of accidents. (Updated November & September 2009. First published January 2009)

What may well be one of the most profitable speed cameras in the country is actually causing accidents and injuries and yet Essex Police are refusing to remove it. 

The Camera was installed in May 2001 on a busy stretch of the M11 between junctions 4 and 5 of the southbound carriageway. The speed limit reduces from 70mph to 50mph without prior warning, the carriageway narrows from 3 to 2 lanes and just beyond is a speed camera. In February 2008 we  witnessed the aftermath of a 3 car pile up immediately in front of the camera. It was obvious that it was the camera that caused the accident because cars were having to reduce speed and merge and then of course some motorists slamm on their brakes when they pass the camera. So we asked the department of transport for the accident and casualty statistics. The camera was installed in May 2001. In the first 5 months of 2001 (pre speed camera) there was one slight accident with 1 slight casualty. Read more...

 

Appeal against Westminster Council’s use of CCTV for enforcement of parking/waiting restrictions upheld as Westminster council did not even contest it. (November 2008)

Harrow cancels penalty charge notices as they are ruled unenforcable by an adjudicator. Read more...

Westminster Council’s parking tickets on single yellow lines are unenforceable?! Read more...

 

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