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A happy Update on Caroline's parking problem

On 19 Aug 2009 at 10:33am Caroline wrote:
Hello - this message if for the regular readers who joined in my discussion about my parking issue back in June - who might be interested to know the outcome was a happy one! (I parked in a residents bay believing it to be a pay and display - so paid and displayed, and got a ticket for parking in a residents bay)
I appealed - got the standard letter back saying that my appeal was rejected- Pay £35 in the next two weeks. I decided to appeal further (thereby raising the charge to 70)
I made representations to East Sussex County Council. I have pasted highlights of my letter below for anyone else who wants to use it in their appeals!
"I am making representations on the following grounds: The signs were not clear enough, and allowed for mistakes to be made.

I am a visitor to Lewes, already disadvantaged trying to park legally in an unfamiliar town. I cannot return to Lewes to investigate the original consultation maps, or to re-photograph the area in which I was parked to ascertain the clarity or legality of the signs. However, if visitors to Lewes are able to make genuine mistakes when trying to park legally, the signs are clearly not sufficient, regardless of whether they meet council approval"
The photographic evidence provided by the issuing CEO shows clearly the ticket that I paid for in good faith. This is surely evidence enough to demonstrate that I acted in a manner in which I believed was legal.
A non- punitive scheme would take extending circumstances into account, allowing for first-time offences. I recognise the circumstances under which I was issued a PCN were legitimate, but the fact that my initial appeal was rejected has criminalised my actions, and I am left offended and bewildered.
I am therefore asking that this charge be cancelled"
I also CCd it to the MP Mr Norman Baker as I thought it might strengthen my appeal.
I received a letter from East Sussex County Council within a week telling me they had reviewed the situation and were cancelling the PCN.
a happy outcome -! but the time and energy that had to go into writing those letters! Well, the good thing that came out of it all is that while researching parking offences in Lewes I discovered this forum and got to chat to you lovely people.
On 19 Aug 2009 at 10:50am Geoff wrote:
Excellent. Something for our less constructive friends to think about. ESCC wouldn't have cancelled the ticket if they didn't know they were wrong and you were right.. NCP?ESCC are nasty money grabbing desperados who do not have the majority of residents, justice, fairness, and even the law on their side.
My favourite line refers to the signs, which do not meet the requirements of the consultation documents anyway which state that there should be 'residents only' spaces
Hoorah! Good on yer!
On 19 Aug 2009 at 12:44pm Mystic Mog wrote:
Well done. It might be worth rrying to get this in to the sussex express. However they seem to extra timid when it comes to saying anything against ESCC. If not the Argus.
On 19 Aug 2009 at 4:42pm COUNCIL BOD wrote:
well done nice to see someone win for a change
On 19 Aug 2009 at 5:11pm Rozzer wrote:
Excellent result - well done for persevering. The result should also help others in future.
On 19 Aug 2009 at 5:26pm Berry wrote:
Wow Geoff take a chill pill lol
On 19 Aug 2009 at 6:41pm Keeley wrote:
well done caroline glad that they decided to be nice!
On 19 Aug 2009 at 10:29pm Spinster Of This Parish wrote:
I am suprised that ESCC replied to your appeal within a week - it took them six months to reply to mine (admittedly my case was much more complex - I was booked for failing to pay and display a ticket in a permit zone only, despite displaying a valid permit for the area!!!)
But WELL DONE - and enjoy your £35
On 19 Aug 2009 at 10:48pm Geoff Again wrote:
I'm beyond a chill pill with this lot. 5yrs on, our councillors keep saying they will do something, and sweet FA. The scheme is robbing money from people too threatened/busy/intimidated/scared/confused to challenge it, and it isn't even based on a legal consultation.
Maybe its the August weather, but I'm simmering. how long are we going to put off visitors like Caroline, with this? We want p[art her from her cash in a nice way with tea shops, and castles, not rob her blind.
SOTP. they were probably trying to evolve quick enough to reply using the written word.
On 19 Aug 2009 at 11:25pm Lopster wrote:
I am starting to symapthise with you Geoff - heartiest congrats to Caroline
On 20 Aug 2009 at 7:56am sashimi wrote:
Geoff, if the scheme is illegal because it was not put out to consultation properly, then won't ESCC have to refund all the parking fines they have collected since it began. That's good news for those who've been fined. But it must means millions on the rates for the rest of us to pick up. Well done those Tory, Lib Dem and Labour councillors who voted it through.
On 20 Aug 2009 at 11:17am Geoff wrote:
Sashimi, if you look at other examples of councils failing to follow correct procedure, and ending up with illegal schemes, you will see various ways they have dealt with the problem of their own making, depending on honesty.
I don't know any that have rsulted in full refunds, though one recent example in Surrey, resulted in free parking throughout the town until they resolved the mistake.
Tory, Lib Dem, Labour voted it through, though I wonder if initially they even knew what they were doing. What iunsense me is that they have done absolutely nothing whatsoever to get the thing sorted out, yet keep telling us that they will. It seems to me that they are either incompetent, or unwilling.
In the meantime, people like Caroline have to exhaust themsleves fighting their own battles. (and yes guess what I am doing at the moment,.....challenging a ridiculous parking ticket!)
On 27 Aug 2009 at 6:17pm carlotta wrote:
Wonder why they cancelled it?
On 30 Aug 2009 at 10:46pm J colquhoun wrote:
It seems to me that councils nationwide seem to run dodgy parking schemes. As a former Lambeth resident I was caught by the 'bonuses for more tickets' incentive scheme for traffic wardens, which resulted in the wardens issuing tickets randomly to get as many issued as possible (in my case for parking legally on school markings post 4.30pm when the restriction lifted, to be told I was parking on a yellow line for which the warning notice appeared 100 yards away AROUND THE CORNER on a different street...!) How I laughed when we heard the news that the company who ran the scheme for Lambeth council had mysteriously lost two thirds of its staff when they asked to check their work permits, passports and visas. It appears the company had been employing a substantial amount of illegal immigrants who did not turn up for work the next day. The council has now reviewed its parking policies and most tickets that are appealed are successful.
If it's any conoslation at all, the parking prices in the car parks are incredibly cheap in comparison to my former locality (brixton). Many of the pay and displays in and around cost 20 p for ten minutes....
On 3 Sep 2009 at 4:37pm Yeehaa wrote:
There are no bonuses for more tickets schemes, its illegal but is a popular rumour.
On 9 Sep 2009 at 6:24pm Cherry Pie wrote:
Wonder why they cancelled yous?

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