Sunday, December 8, 2013

Parking tickets - a few pointers for fighting them and winning.

We've all had those annoying parking tickets in the past, but how many of us fight back rather than just pay the ticket and carry on? It is certainly worth doing, and I hope that some of the contents of the following two letters may prove useful as pointers to others who are sick to death of the parking Gestapo. The first letter is my appeal against an absurd penalty on an empty street in Southwark while visiting my daughter in her student digs at Guy's Hospital on a Saturday evening, while the second is my response to Dartford Borough Council who attempted to imply that the law didn't apply to them but did to me, and offered to waive half of the charge when my friend parked my Jeep 'illegally' overnight a year ago. Don't be put off by mealy mouthed excuses or offers which they are not legally entitled to make. Good luck, and keep fighting!


8th December 2013


Southwark Parking Services,
Admail 4197
London SE1 1ZA

Dear Sir/Madam,

Ref: PCN SO34512069 Mercedes E320 PXXX XXX
Weston Street is supposed to be marked with a single yellow line and a pay and display bay. Sadly, both the yellow line and the line marking the edge of the pay and display bays were obliterated. Where the single yellow line was visible, it was incorrectly terminated and failed to end with the necessary termination bar, while the parking bay marking was missing with only vestiges of white paint on the road. As you will be aware, the London Borough of Southwark is required to comply with the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 and your failure to do so is contrary to the requirements of Section 18 (1) (b) of the Local Authorities Traffic Orders (Procedure)(England and Wales) Regulations 1996, which require of the local authority the 'maintenance of the signs for as long as the order remains in force'.  This is not the case in this instance as the signage is clearly defective, and therefore no order can remain in force if it is incorrectly marked or signed.

For your benefit, I would quote to you the precedent from the High Court set in Davies v Heatley  [1971] R.T.R. 145, which clearly states the following:
"Because by s.64(2) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 traffic signs shall be of the size, colour and type prescribed by regulation, if a sign the contravention of which is an offence contrary to s.36 is not as prescribed by the regulation, no offence is committed if the sign is contravened, even if the sign is clearly recognisable to a reasonable man as a sign of that kind"

I have photographs taken at the time and duly timestamped which show the deficiencies of the road markings and these are attached.
I would also ask that you inform your civil enforcement officer that although he thought he was hiding from me as I left my vehicle, it is difficult to hide a man in a dayglo vest riding a moped, and if this is the policy of LB Southwark I would like to point out that grown men in dayglo vests peeping around corners simply serves to make them look ridiculous.

I look forward to your timely confirmation that the PCN has been cancelled, and until such time, I remain,
Yours faithfully,

Mark Croucher


 15th December 2012

Parking Services (Appeals)
Dartford Borough Council
Civic Centre
Home Gardens
Kent DA1 1DR

Dear Sir/Madam,

Your ref: KD00741153 Jeep Cherokee PXXX XXX

Thank you for your letter of the 5th instant. My apologies for the delay in responding, but I reside for most of the time in Belgium, and it takes some time for correspondence to reach me. To deal with the points you raise in order:

I understand that Dartford Borough Council has to rely upon Kent Highways or the utility companies reinstating yellow lines after roadworks. This is however immaterial to the matter at hand.

You state that the intent of the road marking was clear, and that the way in which the vehicle was parked meant the driver would have been unaware of the defect in the line. Both of these points are immaterial, and I refer your attention once again to Davies v Heatley, which clearly states:

" no offence is committed if the sign is contravened, even if the sign is clearly recognisable to a reasonable man as a sign of that kind"

You then state that the vehicle was parked "fully on the clearly defined double yellow line with a Tbar". This was not the case - the vehicle was parked fully on an incomplete yellow line which contravened the requirements of the legislation quoted in my previous correspondence.

From my point of view, the situation is simple. Any minor infringement of parking regulations is zealously enforced by Dartford Borough Council in their never-ceasing quest to raise revenue from motorists, and few if any excuses are accepted. Given that, I fail to see why motorists should accept excuses from Dartford Borough Council when it fails to ensure its statutory obligations regarding road markings are not fulfilled. Your offer to 'waive' £35 of a charge you were not legally entitled to levy is therefore declined, and I would ask again that you send the refund of the £35 which has already been paid in error by the driver of the vehicle direct to Mr Kamal Latif of XX XXXXXX XXXX, Dartford.

Finally, I would note that it is customary to sign correspondence with a name which, unless I am addressing Mr or Mrs Parking Services, you have not done. I would also note, as I am in the mood for pedantry, that the closing salutation should be 'yours faithfully' and not 'yours sincerely'. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future, and until such time, I remain,

Yours faithfully,


Mark Croucher

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