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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Ticketed (and embarrassed) for misunderstanding online permit renewal

I share this story with a certain trepidation about admitting to having been a dummie, but do so because it's unlikely that I'm the only one to have fallen foul of the new online permit renewal system. 

My last resident's parking permit expired on 10th April (yesterday). Having received a reminder, I duly renewed it online on 2nd April. I had at the back of my mind that I would end the process with a printed permit. However, at the end of the online process I wasn't presented with an obvious 'print permit' button or anything. I can't remember exactly why now, but I concluded that the permit would be sent.

This morning a neighbour dinged me on HoL's chat function to alert me to the fact that he'd seen a penalty ticket on my car. I reassured him that it was okay because I'd applied for my renewal. He responded that you can now print them. I thought, "Yeah, that's what I thought". Quite why I didn't question or challenge the failure to be offered a printed permit at the end of my online renewal, I'm not sure, but I didn't. I concluded that my original idea that I'd get a print-out was wrong and put the whole thing to the back of my mind.

Once I'd discovered the error of my ways this morning, I tried to print out my permit online, but was unable to. (I found out later that you only get one chance to do so. Could this be what happened to me; I missed my chance?). So I called the parking permits department and spoke to a helpful young lady who arranged to have a pdf emailed to me. That's now displayed. 

The lady at parking permits also mentioned that lots of people are having a problem printing the permits out. I'm sure some of them will have got tickets like me. That's why I'm risking embarrassment and posting on this. Needless to say, I'd feel aggrieved at having the penalty notice enforced for myself, but I also feel for the others who may have suffered the same fate. Can net-savvy, computer literate me really be the only one?

I'm also wondering about the timing of the ticket. My last permit expired at midnight. My ticket was issued at 08:47. I find it highly unlikely that the wardens inspect the details of every permit on every pass. So, I guess either there's a central flagging system where wardens are alerted to expiring permits or as individuals they're noting permits due for expiry. Whilst their efficiency is to be applauded (and we'd all be delighted if it was replicated in all parts of the Council), I'm not sure that jumping on law-abiding rate-paying residents for a minor infringement with such alacrity sends the right message or builds the right relationship.

It goes without saying that I've appealed against my PCN and I hope posting here won't count against me. Once that's dealt with, I'll no doubt be motivated to find out how widespread the issue of penalty notices occasioned by the new online system is and to beter understand the policy or practice which speeds a warden to my door only hours after my last permit expired.

 

Tags for Forum Posts: parking, parking permits

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Probably, John.

Hugh runs HarringayOnLine with what seems to me like an impressive uptime. When on the few occasions there's downtime, its brief.

Detailed HoL Uptime isn't available, but here's some background info – Linux (a UNIX-class operating system) appears to play a role.

I think Mr Flouch should let us know about the technology that lies behind the good service and delivered at a figure less than £817,000. Probably.

;-)

Well I can add that one year, a few years ago, when my resident's permit was up for renewal I was targetted for a PCN. That is, my resident's permit had run out and I received a ticket outside my house before 24 hours had passed. Sadly I have always thought that there IS a system where wardens are allowed to view data on locations where resident's parking permits are about to expire. Would be very interested to know if this IS the case.

With regard to the new printing system. I was able to print out my new resident's permit with no problems last December. There is also a button to save the PDF to your computer which I thought was a good idea.

 

Thanks, Laura. We'll see if we can get to the bottom of these eagerly issued PCNs.

I found my way through the system OK but was less than whelmed by the printed permit, compared to the flashing 3D ones of old. It would take me about 5 minutes to create in Photoshop (commissions not undertaken now I've fessed up). It must mean the wardens have to check the reference number vs system for each car, as there's no barcode IIRC. I wouldn't mind a posted non-forgeable copy being part of the set-up, tho I like the ability to do it last-minute.

BTW I saved the pdf, as I reckon my not-bad printout will not last a year in full sun, or even weedy N15 sun.

Agreed Pam, I couldn't believe such a flimsy bit of paper would be acceptable and not open to mass forgery, but it's been on  display in my car since early November with no problems thus far (famous last words...)

Earlier this month i had to renew my residents permit.

i managed to print my own permit...and save a copy of the pdf to my computer...but was surprised to note that i was able to go into the pdf and change all the information, such as reg number, had i wanted to.

surely this system is wide open to abuse?

Interesting question, Andy.

As well as posting on HoL, why not ask the Parking Service directly and post their reply? parking@haringey.gov.uk

(Tottenham Hale ward councillor)

Hugh, I did a similar thing recently. I renewed and printed out the permit 2 weeks before the expiry of the old one, but then forgot about it until I got a ticket 2 days after the old one expired. I wrote an email to the address on the back of the ticket and after about 2 weeks got a reply saying they were reviewing the case, then a letter about 2 weeks after this saying they were going to let me off the fine.

Pleasantly suprised!

Thanks for the reassurance on both counts, Lee.

As you say, if even you can fall into this trap, then anyone can.

Anyone who gets a parking notice in these circumstances, and who is unable to sort it out on the phone, is welcome to get in touch with me, and I'll make the appropriate representations to the parking service.

My phone is 07854 002 742 and my email is David.Schmitz@haringey.gov.uk

David Schmitz

Lib Dem Councillor, Harringay Ward

I hope you win your appeal.

I wish they'd be as quick to slap a ticket on the (rude word) that park in the disabled parking space outside my house either without a blue badge or with one that is clearly not theirs (running up the road after parking kind of gives it away).   

Lynette, could you please give – as accurately as you recall - when this happened and you had a conversation with the person at Haringey who said lots of people were having the same problem.

Anne Barwick’s comment yesterday suggests this may now have been tackled. Which is good news. But it still leaves the question of how long this was allowed to persist. My partner Cllr Zena Brabazon reminded me that she’d this problem about a month ago and they had to email the pdf file to let her print the permit. She spoke to someone who said the option to print the permit should have come up on screen. But it didn’t, so Zena thought there was a one-off glitch.  

What a waste of time! And money. Since, as well as convenience the online system is supposed to cut costs.

From what you wrote, it seems that people running the system knew it wasn’t working properly, but their managers failed to take effective and timely action.

(Tottenham Hale ward councillor)

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