Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

I received a PCN for parking outside Barclays on a Saturday morning. The PCN is based on a camera. I had thought of challenging it on the technicality that the PCN shows the duration from 0836 to 0836 ie zero.

However, I notice that if I pay within 21 days the fine is reduced to 50%. BUT if I challenge it and the challenge is refused I have to pay the full amount regardless of how soon I pay up.

In the past, the count down to 21 days was halted until the challenge was examined and resumed only after a refusal was notified.

Am I brave enough to risk a further £50 in challenging ? Probably not. Is this the Council's way of deterring challenges ?

This also seems to contradict the article in Haringey People which says " If a PCN can't be cancelled, the council must tell you why. You must then pay the fine (you can pay at the discount rate if you challenged the PCN within 14 days).

Anyway, people, be aware that there is a camera 50 yards north of Barclays which issues parking notices.

Tags for Forum Posts: penalty charge notices

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Maybe the councils' policy has changed, but if you wrote to them within 14 days outlining your situation, you would still only have to pay £50. I have done this countless times in eleven years, when I have genuinely had a case and had the decision overturned.
I'v done that too but the PCN definitely now says that if your challenge is rejected you have to pay "the full amount". This may be bad wording and I'm going to the parking office this week to check.
Will post the outcome.
An apology to anyone who read the two responses I posted last night (28 August) to John_D’s question. The second was to correct an error in the first. After rereading them, I’ve deleted both and rewritten my post. John_D asks a key question about the “countdown period” during which PCNs (parking fines) can be paid at the half rate. This needs a full clear answer from Haringey Parking Service, so I’m sending them a formal councillor’s Inquiry. I will post the answer I get.

In the meantime, the following general points may be helpful.

Let me start by saying that I don't know the markings on this particular stretch of road. Nor do I claim to be an expert on parking regulations – though I've been learning :-)

It seems that John_D is saying he did park somewhere he probably shouldn't. In which case, the Parking Adjudicator might not be too sympathetic to his appeal.

But if anyone is looking for reasons for disputing a PCN I suggest they start by making a basic check. Many people assume local council staff know what they're doing with traffic signs and lines; and that if they make a mistake they're also willing to correct it quickly. That may be true in some places. But not (yet) in Haringey; nor in many more councils which have made little or no effort to correct those which are non-compliant - despite being fully aware of them.

So do check that particular lines and signs comply with the Department for Transport Regulations and the DfT Signs Manual.

I completely agree with John_D that the game of 'double-or-quit', with a countdown period is unfair to motorists - especially people who are least able to pay.

He and Birdie_Too describe the two stage process of challenging a PCN. The first stage is making a "representation" to Haringey Parking Service explaining why a PCN is unfair. The Council's website gives a helpful checklist.

However, as John_D explains, there is a contradiction between the advice in the Haringey People article in July 2008 and the wording on his PCN - and on the Council’s website. The former suggests the situation as set out by Birdy_Two, that if someone makes a representation within 14 days, the countdown stops until the representation is either accepted or rejected. If the latter you could still pay at the half-rate.

If your representation is rejected you can still appeal to the Parking Adjudicator. Unfortunately this is where the system is worse than it seems.

The best chance of success in appeals to Adjudicators is for people going in person. (You can also appeal in writing.) But this could mean taking time off work and maybe losing money. You probably won’t have a lawyer; but the local council may send one. And of course, their representative will have experience and expertise on the regulations which you don't. Then, drivers sometimes arrive for a hearing and find their local council doesn't bother to show-up. So they win; but with a great deal of hassle and possible loss of time and earnings.

Another drawback of the Adjudicator system is that only a tiny number of parking appeal decisions are published. And even these are not precedents which bind local councils. So let’s say an Adjudicator previously cancelled a parking or traffic ticket because the lines and signs did not comply with Department for Transport regulations. And you’ve now got a ticket in the same spot.
1. You are unlikely to be able to find out about previous decisions;
2. There's no guarantee that the local council has corrected the errors.

This may sound daft, but it's exactly what happened with the yellow box marking at the junction of Green Lanes and Warham Road. There were two successful appeals and in the second case, Haringey didn't even brief its own lawyer that the first appeal succeeded because the box was incorrectly marked!

You may wonder why as a local councillor, I may seem to be suggesting that people should "get-off" - even on a technicality. It comes down to two things: fairness and trust. The system should be fair and transparent and be seen to be so. We should all be able to trust our local council to follow the rules scrupulously, especially when - as here - they are extracting millions of pounds of our money in traffic and parking fines. A system which is widely seen as opaque and deeply unfair is corrosive of the trust between ordinary residents and their elected councils.

The Department for Transport’s own research found that the vast majority of motorists want clarity and certainty about parking and traffic rules.

A final point: there's a 'green' argument that it's better just to walk to the bank. I know some people can't. I also appreciate the counter-argument: that we need to think laterally and imaginatively and try to balance the needs of local businesses against those of residents and bus passengers. If we don't, then we'll help kill local high streets and deliver even more customers to the retail parks and malls which offer free parking.
Alan, thanks for your comprehensive post.

Situation was - yes I admit to the parking offence. I was on my way to Maidstone so it wouldn't have made sense to walk to the bank, walk back home and then drive past the bank on my way out :-). The irony was that the Barclay's ATM was faulty so I had to go to Sainsbury's anyway :-)

At the Parking Office today a nice lady manager confirmed that the period when you pay the reduced 50% rate had been extended for CCTV generated PCNs from 14 to 21 days.
She agreed that the information given in the July Haringey People was out of date and contradicted that given on the PCN.

When I pointed out that the wording of the PCN said that if I made a "Representation" within the 21 days and it was unsucessful I would then be liable for "the full amount" she said that she would interpret the "full amount " to mean the "full amount of the reduced amount applicable if contested within the 21 days" and the "full amount of the full amount if not contested within 21 days "

In the end, I chickened out and decided that my justification for appealing was somewhat specious and really didn't want to risk a further £50 on her interpretation of the confusing wording. I would like to repeat though that she dealt with my query in a very pleasant manner.
Actually - just a thought -

Since the Parking Office itself is not sure what the wording of the PCN means, wouldn't it be a nice gesture and only fair for the Council to cancel and refund all penalties since the new system came in on the grounds that people have been deterred from appealing ?
Are you sure this isn't in fact a fine for being in the bus lane during its operating hours? I got one in exactly the same place a couple of years ago because I had pulled over to answer my phone. It was clearly marked as a bus-lane contravention. Having said that, I don't know that it makes any difference, because if they catch you on the camera you have no comeback really.
I was in a parking bay but out of permitted hours "where waiting and loading/unloading restrictions are in force"



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