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    • JimmyTheWig
    • By JimmyTheWig 14th Apr 09, 2:12 PM
    • 11,895 Posts
    • 11,424 Thanks
    • #2
    • 14th Apr 09, 2:12 PM
    • #2
    • 14th Apr 09, 2:12 PM
    I don't get how the "time plate to which you refer" is incorrect. If they can be different on different sides of the road (harsh, but I believe it is true) then surely the plate was correct and somewhat irrelevant to the case in point?
    • aris
    • By aris 14th Apr 09, 2:32 PM
    • 302 Posts
    • 69 Thanks
    • #3
    • 14th Apr 09, 2:32 PM
    • #3
    • 14th Apr 09, 2:32 PM
    Isn't this the equivalent of state sponsored extortion?
  • richb77
    • #4
    • 14th Apr 09, 2:36 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Apr 09, 2:36 PM
    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 14th Apr 09, 3:00 PM
    • 8,116 Posts
    • 42,310 Thanks
    MSE Martin
    • #5
    • 14th Apr 09, 3:00 PM
    • #5
    • 14th Apr 09, 3:00 PM
    I don't get how the "time plate to which you refer" is incorrect. If they can be different on different sides of the road (harsh, but I believe it is true) then surely the plate was correct and somewhat irrelevant to the case in point?
    Originally posted by JimmyTheWig

    In fact there was no time plate on the other side of the road, that was the only one on either side - the one with the "no parking after 8pm" was newly put up (this is by my office, so i was used to the old rules having been here four years) and at the entrance to the "restricted area" but it hadn't taken the old signs down. The whole thing was ridiculous.

    I've also got written to on the back of the blog by someone else who had the same thing happen - she's now told me she got her money back too.
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at

    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
  • davtom
    • #6
    • 15th Apr 09, 1:28 AM
    • #6
    • 15th Apr 09, 1:28 AM
    Nice to see they were prepared to admit they were wrong, and cancel the notice on that basis...

    <sarcasm mode off>

    Isn't it the case that every yellow line parking restriction should be covered by a yellow plate designating its hours of operation?
    • Mosh
    • By Mosh 15th Apr 09, 7:27 AM
    • 130 Posts
    • 69 Thanks
    • #7
    • 15th Apr 09, 7:27 AM
    • #7
    • 15th Apr 09, 7:27 AM
    How much do you want to bet that they've *not* gone back through the books to retrospectively refund the money of other people who coughed up the cash for the same thing?
  • mtudor
    • #8
    • 15th Apr 09, 8:11 AM
    • #8
    • 15th Apr 09, 8:11 AM
    I had a parking situation in London not so long ago. We were visiting a friend near Marylebone and were travelling by car from Guildford. We'd parked many times before on the road outside her house, where the restrictions are residents only Monday-Friday. It was a Saturday night, and it was dark when we arrived. We parked up as usual and then went out for the evening. At 10am the next morning (Sunday), we came down from the flat ready to leave and THE CAR WAS GONE!

    At first we thought it had been stolen, and then we noticed that the nearby signs had a sticker stuck over the normal time restrictions which now read "At Any Time". It makes you feel sick when you realise what has happened. Looking up and down the road, though, it was half empty. The cost... 60 fine and 200 (!!!) towing fee.

    We actually took the case to appeal because we believed that the towing was disproportionate action given the fact that no obstruction was caused and the road was half empty so there was no parking problem. We weren't actually attempting to contend the fine (hands up admission that a mistake was made on our part).

    Examining the times, the ticket had been placed at 9am and the tow occured at 10am. Not really much time to get in and prevent the towing. Actually, the parking guy we spoke to at the impound said that they are actually allowed to tow straight away and often the times on the ticket / tow form are altered to make it look more reasonable (more time between).

    We questioned a few of the residents that morning. The vast majority didn't know about the change, and the one that did said that it had been put in place a couple of weeks earlier, with very little notification even for residents - so much for "grace periods"!

    Anyway, to the point... we appealed the fine a couple of times to the council, and this was rejected. We then appealed directly to the independent adjudicator (instructions on how to do this were in the rejected appeal). This appeal was accepted. It was a long road (3-4 months) but we got the 260 back (even though we'd clearly stated that we were looking only for the 200 back).

    I think the process for appeals goes as follows:
    1. Send appeal.
    2. Council waits maximum time and rejects appeal without examining the evidence.
    3. Send independent appeal.
    4. Council ignores correspondence from independent adjudicator until eventually you win by default.

    So a positive outcome in the end. I think the worst thing about the whole situation was the insensitivity of the call centre staff when we phoned to find out where our car was:

    Them: "It's in the park lane impound"
    Us: "We don't live in London, where exactly is that"

    <Series of, "do you know where xxx is?", "no">

    Them: "You could always get a taxi!"
    Us: "We can't really afford that now you've just fined us 260!"

    We are now paranoid about checking signs anywhere we park, every time we visit, regardless of the parking situation last time. Often we check multiple times, it's quite sad! I think the problem in law sometimes is that people lose track of why that law is there. Is it to catch people who make a mistake, or to deter people from flagrantly flouting the rules (e.g. the motorist who gets fined for crossing the white line at traffic lights even though they didn't cross the junction itself - true story which thankfully ended in a court case and the motorist won!).

    Anyway, just thought I'd share the experience that it is possible to win if you have a reasonable case - just don't be afraid to take it to the independent adjudicator!

  • mtudor
    • #9
    • 15th Apr 09, 8:22 AM
    • #9
    • 15th Apr 09, 8:22 AM
    Just a point of interest, has anyone come across Majicari . com before?

    Submit your story, people vote on the best story of the day and if you win they refund up to 60 of your parking ticket. You do get the odd people who are blatently in the wrong with their tickets (e.g. I parked on double yellow lines to get a burger from McDonalds and when I came back *shock* I had a ticket!) but for those who have tried the appeal route, it might be a different way to ease the pain.

    Though I would definitely say appeal first - we don't want to start letting the councils get away with unfair ticketing.

    This is a good read if you want to learn about some of the sharp practices of ticket attendants (though the site is a bit old now): www . doc . ic . ac . uk/~wjk/parking/walkabout.html

    (Sorry for the spaces in links, the site is trying to ensure I'm not a spammer!)
  • rtimmorris
    loading bays
    Help !

    I parked in a loading bay, went into the chemist, came back, and there's the ticket. ok., I was a bit longer than I should have been. I read somewhere that the loading bay must be at least 2.7mtrs wide (some 2002 Act), and sent in a letter asking for my money back. They said loading bays can be 2.2 - 2.7mtrs wide (some 2007 Act). Anyone got a confirmation for me?????? thanks
    • Heinz
    • By Heinz 15th Apr 09, 8:56 AM
    • 11,038 Posts
    • 4,449 Thanks
    I parked on a double yellow line outside Southend Hospital using my elderly Mother's blue badge (I was driving her to attend a hospital appointment, so the use of the badge was valid).

    Upon our return, I found a ticket alleging (offence code 1) I had parked in a restricted zone. I had - but with a blue badge so no offence was committed!

    I challenged the ticket and got the usual rejection and photo (showing my car parked on the double yellow lines).

    I wrote again pointing out the use of the blue badge, the fact that their photo showed it correctly displayed and that, as offence code 1 was alleged, the blue badge meant no offence had been committed.

    I received an, "On this occasion only ...." letter back - now stating my car was causing obstruction to the hospital entrance (not possible - it was over 150 yards away from the nearest hospital EXIT and 175 yards away from the nearest hospital entrance).

    They clearly aren't aware that obstruction is not one of the offences 'de-criminalised' and so council parking attendants cannot enforce it.
    Time has moved on (much quicker than it used to - or so it seems at my age) and my previous advice on residential telephony has been or is now gradually being overtaken by changes in the retail market. Hence, I have now deleted links to my previous 'pearls of wisdom'. I sincerely hope they helped save some of you money.
  • sotonsaverjen
    Permit Parking Tickets
    Just thought I'd add my story to the parking fines thread as it might help some people get their money back.

    I live in southampton and as a student I get permits for parking on the street where I live. I have a drive and usually use that but on this occasion my friend was staying and I decided to use a guest permit (the one day jobbies)

    You have to scratch off the date and write in your reg and display clearly, all of which I did. The signs up said permit parking only, which was also fine. Yet I still got a ticket...

    I rang up the council and the bloke said to write a letter, send off the permit and contest, and he put the fine on hold at the reduced rate of 25

    I then looked at my permit and realised I hadn't scratched the year off.... which, as it was tucked away at the bottom of the permit inbetween the other dates and months, was an easy mistake to make.

    So I wrote to the council, admitting my error, but also admitting that the permit wasn't clear and I had never used one before. I also caused no obstruction, was outside my home and had had the best of intentions in displaying the permit....

    They waived the fine, with a slap on the wrists and a free permit holder so I could ensure I displayed my permit correctly (even though that wasn't the problem!!)

    Anyway, moral is, even if you are wrong, have a go at contesting, especially if it is an honest mistake. I was polite and courteous in my letter and I think it paid off...

    My friend also did a similar thing and because she is dislexic, she got hers waived too (which is fair enough, if you knew what these permits looked like you'd understand why its hard to notice the year nestled inbetween NOV and 31!)
  • cocodude
    I've managed to overturn two out of three parking fines that I have received.

    The first was similarly crazy to Martin's original fine - I was given a ticket on a weekend where the restrictions were clearly weekdays only. I was parked next to my mate's car and managed to get my fine overturned OK. His, however, took at least 4 letters each way before it was overturned, with them claiming that cancelling my PCN was a mistake. The situation was so clear cut it hurt.

    The second was a little more justified. I was helping a friend move house, and believe you can park on a single or double yellow, or parking bay to load/unload, as long as there are no loading restrictions. I was in a parking bay and, with large items to load in the car, saw it get a ticket. I got the parking attendant to take photos of me by the car with my luggage, and took photos myself. I submitted my photos and managed to get the fine reversed.

    The only one I didn't manage to get reversed was when I accidentally parked in an unclearly marked disabled bay. I tried to argue my case once but it got rejected. I didn't have time to take this further because of time pressures (exams) so paid them 28.50 (30 minus the 1.50 parking fee I'd already paid). I guess they wrote the 1.50 off and that was the end.

    Don't let yourself be pressured by these letters!
  • alanino64
    Parking ticket on Good Friday !
    Arrived at a small pay n display car park nr Croydon, and just checked the meter which read "Sundays and Bank Holidays are free". Thinking this was ok, as it was Good Friday, went about my business of looking at all the empty stores on the hight street.
    Anyway, upon my return I found that I had received a parking ticket! Well not only me, but most of the cars in the car park!!
    I phoned the local council, and ....eventually.... I was told that Good Friday is not a Bank Holiday and that it was a 'national holiday' / 'holy day'.

    Anyway, thought I would pass this on - did anyone else get caught out?
  • Rosey2
    Have you ever come across this before... I park in a road in Bromley, pay the ticket, display it. And a month later receive a letter from Bromley Council demanding 120 because I was served a notice (and I most certainly was not) for not paying and displaying. Unless you keep every single ticket, exactly how can you disprove this? Fortunately, the ticket was still languishing in my car, by chance, so I've sent it off and am awaiting their response...
    • MKB
    • By MKB 15th Apr 09, 12:33 PM
    • 63 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    Try Birmingham where there are no signs by single yellow lines. The whole central area is a controlled zone, and you are supposed to see and assimilate all of the parking time information as you whizz past at 40mph on entry to the zone half a mile or more outside the city centre. Even now, as a local, I'm not sure whether parking is allowed in the evening after 6pm or 6.30pm.

    What makes this worse is that, a few years ago, Birmingham sneakily changed the parking times to prohibit single yellow parking during the daytime on Sundays. This catches out many non-locals.

    On a Sunday morning and afternoon, you can see Traffic Wardens (or whatever they're called these days) going around the near deserted nightclub and theatre district off Hurst Street, slapping tickets on vehicles parked on single yellows.

    So anyone who parked legally on a single yellow during the very busy and heavily congested Saturday night period, and then, sensibly, decided to leave their car overnight having opted for a few drinks, finds themselves unwittingly punished.

    If the city councillors had any moral scruples, they would realise it is only fair that the parking times should be displayed next to every single yellow line.
    • Buzby
    • By Buzby 15th Apr 09, 12:48 PM
    • 8,201 Posts
    • 3,011 Thanks
    Help !

    I parked in a loading bay, went into the chemist, came back, and there's the ticket. ok., I was a bit longer than I should have been. I read somewhere that the loading bay must be at least 2.7mtrs wide (some 2002 Act), and sent in a letter asking for my money back. They said loading bays can be 2.2 - 2.7mtrs wide (some 2007 Act). Anyone got a confirmation for me?????? thanks
    Originally posted by rtimmorris
    One you won't like - it is a LOADING bay - not a 'shopping' bay. Nipping into the chemists isn't a legitimate use of such a bay, so querying the size of said bay might be an interesting diversion, using it for the purposes you described won't result in cancellation!
  • powerfulone
    Dacorum Council - Nice people!
    I was fined earlier in the year for exteding my stay in Tring. It seemed natural to me to put a few more coins in the meter as we fancied a dessert at the restaurant - but when we got back bang! there was a fine. I complained to them about it (by email which was an option mentioned on the ticket). A week later they cancelled the fine but said they would not cancel it again. So writing a letter is well worth it and saved me 30. Plus there is nothing to lose as you get an extension on the deadline for both the cheap payment and the full payment. Yes I did break the rules, but the rules defy common sense! No one knows exactly how long they'll be so why charge for meter feeding. They could have an option for "extra hour extension" on the machine that would be a good idea.
  • purplelotus
    Don't Bank Holidays count as Sundays? e.g. if it says no parking Monday - Friday and it is Bank Holiday Monday...
    Give blood. Use a mooncup.
    But ensure the two are not connected!
  • Lyndyloo22
    Reclaimed tow-away charge
    On a related subject to your parking fine thread - last September I parked on a street in Wapping to help my daughter move into her new flat. The only parking meter visible would not take our money so we went looking for another meter that did work. We followed the arrow shown above the meter but despite our best efforts, couldn't find one. We even tried phoning the telephone number on the meter but despite three attempts there was no answer. Eventually I put a note in the windscreen of my car and left it. When I went to retrieve my car it had vanished! There followed several anxious telephone calls to see if it had been stolen or towed away, and eventually tracked my poor car down to the Poplar Pound. It cost me 270 to retrieve it, plus taxi to the pound (about 5 miles away) and a lot of worry and stress. I decided to appeal the fine as looking on Wapping Council's website, I saw that the various locations of the meters were all in the opposite direction to where the arrow pointed on the out-of-order meter. I sent a photo of the meter, a printout of the website showing the meters and a copy of our phone bill to show we tried to phone the authority. All of which resulted in the council, eventually, refunding my money and the sign about the parking meter has now vanished! I would say it is always worth a little effort to try and appeal these fines - many of which are wholly unjustified!
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