On 19 Jun 2009 at 5:37pm Caroline scott wrote:
I had a lovely day out for my mothers 60th birthday. We drove the hour and half to Lewes, and we went and painted plates somewhere called fireworks (fantastic place) went for lunch at the incredible place called bills. It was absolutely CHUCKING it down with rain, but we didn't let that spoil our day. We left, sadly, very subdued, as when i returned to my car to find a parking ticket. I couldn't believe it - i bad followed the advice of the signs around me and paid my money at the machine, and had parked properly in the bays. When i saw that the reason for the contravention was that i was parked in a residents bay, I looked around - oh yes! there the little sign is, i had indeed parked in a residents bay. It wasn't immediately evident, and particularly given the weather I decided not to stand around looking for a sign that i didn't know existed! Well, I thought, it was a bit harsh, but the warden was doing his (no doubt minimum wage) job, so i went home in a disappointed mood, but with the hope that at least I had a reasonable case for appeal. I was a visitor, and parked in good faith. My ticket was displayed, and they hadn't really make much effort to make the distinction between this bay and others. So i appealed to their better judgement. Alas! Time wasted. The signs do, after all, meet the required standards, (their own standards that is). So, I will pay my parking fine, but my day out in Lewes leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, and I dont think I will risk making the same mistake by trying to park in Lewes ever again!
On 19 Jun 2009 at 5:53pm Spongebob wrote:
Caroline, please don't be put off. There will be a lovely new tesco soon which already boasts a super costa coffee. You can park for free, do your weekly shop, have a coffee and then walk into the town to enjoy the antique shops, building societies and banks, hairdressers, estate agents and charity shops.
On 19 Jun 2009 at 5:58pm Ed Can Do wrote:
Whilst that is pretty harsh, the signs distinguishing between resident and paid bays in Brighton and in fact pretty much every town I've driven too recently are about the same size. I find the easiest way to tell from a distance is that the resident bay signs have only three words on whereas the paid bays have times as well so even driving past without stopping a quick glance up at the signs lets you know what you're in for.
It's true that the Lewes parking scheme has many faults but I would question whether this particular grievance was unique to Lewes. Have you tried parking in London recently?
On 19 Jun 2009 at 6:27pm Cynical wrote:
There's something about this post that just doesn't ring true. Anyone else suspicious?
On 19 Jun 2009 at 6:36pm Decent Citizen wrote:
Hmm! I smell a rat.Someone promoting Tescos perhaps?I see N Nora (Nosy) is back on the Tesco thread.
On 19 Jun 2009 at 6:48pm Want to be parking attendant wrote:
Yes complete utter rubbish. I know that an appeal would have gone through on this one as a ticket was paid so it would have been quit obvious that the person had made a genuine mistake no questions asked the fine would have been lifted. Its just a wind up again a bit like the angry dad one was.
On 19 Jun 2009 at 6:54pm Decent Citizen wrote:
Some on here soak it up like a sponge!! I knew immedietly it was utter rot.Just like as you say Angry Dad and I recall the nasty post about traffic wardens.
On 19 Jun 2009 at 6:56pm frankie wrote:
Strange how would someone visiting lewes even know this forum existed?
On 19 Jun 2009 at 6:59pm Decent citizen wrote:
On 19 Jun 2009 at 7:18pm Thirty Quid Light wrote:
The bit about 'making a genuine mistake' and thus your appeal is upheld. I did exactly the same thing when the scheme was introduced and got the same reply when I appealed. 'Want to be a parking numpty' is the wind up post.
On 19 Jun 2009 at 10:30pm Geoff wrote:
Anyone familiar with our parking scheme knows that visitors regularly misread the signs, and are regularly fined with no mercy. We all know this is not good enough, and the parking scheme is not supposed to be punative. This visitor (and i shall assume this is the case) should clearly have been let off, with a letter explaining to her that she has now been made aware of the crappy little signs, (which are pressumably so small, so that our Conservation Area is not even worse affected.) and that on this occasion she is let off the fine. All ESCC are doing is advertising to people reasons to not come to lewes, and these people will tell there friends of the negative experience, not the positive one. This conceptonly requires a basic understanding of advertising, but sadly ESCC do not seem to have it.
Letting this visitor would be the fair decent thing to do, and if this visitor kept taking the micky, the sophisticated computer system that ESCC has that keeps records would know, and she would recieve short thrift.
Unfortrunately NCP and ESCC are clearly not interested in the real reason that the scheme was introduced and put profits first. What an unpleasant environment they have created, and Lewes is not the only victim of this uncivilized nonsense.
On 20 Jun 2009 at 9:34am Caroline again wrote:
i have read your responses with amusement - thank you for those who took their time to reply. Even 'cynical' - what other type of response should i have expected from that name? I can assure you this is avsolutely true. 'frankie' - the trusted search engine google sent me here while i was looking for similar stories, or other ways to appeal. I like this site as i didn't have to register to leave a message. So 'want to be a parking attendent' - i wish what you said was true. Perhaps you hold some idealistic views about parking attendents. Sorry to smash that reality - i dont think its a job that would make mum proud. I would set your sights elsewhere. I have tried parking elsewhere, Thirty Quid light - and do you know what - i have never ever had a parking ticket, as i obey the parking rules. You know what i am talking about. And Geoff - thank you for your inteliigent structured response.
On 20 Jun 2009 at 1:27pm LTR wrote:
Caroline, if you do decide to come back, our beleagured businesses will welcome you with open arms, but don't plan to park in the large car park at the top of north st near the shops, because ESCC and LDC have approved its closure, to build a police station without any objection from ESCC highways, despite the fact that the spaces were factored into Zone B parking, and a policy that requires parking not to be made worse by new developments. If you happen to go to Chichester as an alternative, maybe light a candle for us poor souls in the cathedral!
On 20 Jun 2009 at 8:18pm MC wrote:
As someone who has been fined because I didn't find one of the tiny and mal-placed signs advertising the rotten Lewes parking scheme I completely sympathise with Caroline.
I have trouble believing how cynical/paranoid some of the people on this forum appear to be.
On 21 Jun 2009 at 10:34am Geoff wrote:
Pressumably they are cynical and paranoid because they are easily led, and won't stand up for their rights. This is our town, not ESCC's or LDC's. The parking scheme is rotten because the consultation was flawed, and the knowledge of thousands of people living, working, and parking in the town was ignored by two Councils who were too eager to jump onto the national bandwagon of easy revenue raising. As it turned out they couldn't even get that right, and the flawed foundations of this parking mess are now coming back to haunt them. Caroline and MC might like to know that our Planners don't even have a policy on how to deal with parking for new properties in the town centre, so the problem gets increasingly worse as they blindly approve endless new residents and their cars, with no consideration whatsover about what this is doing to overall space availibility. Councillors have failed to spot these yawning gap in decision making because they are two busy defending their officers from a raft of other mistakes. Between these two councils, they couldn't organise a well oiled gathering in Harvey's.
I think the expression is 'A rotten borough'
On 21 Jun 2009 at 4:51pm Want to be parking attendant wrote:
good lord you seem to like making up different names and waffling on to yourself........you carry on if it makes you happy......there there.....
On 21 Jun 2009 at 5:10pm Geoff wrote:
thanks for a very good explaination as to why you shouldn't be a parking attendant. Geoff is Geoff, Caroline is Caroline, and, I cunningly suspect... Caroline Again' Call me a genius.
You sound like the sort of person who would confuse a person whose car is parked 1millimetre outside a bay, with an arrogant anarchist intent on breaching the parking scheme we are lucky to have....and then give them a ticket whilst they were propped up on crutches round the back of the car, getting their wheelchair out.
On 21 Jun 2009 at 5:35pm Pearl wrote:
WTBPA you are completely wrong I'm afraid, the Council will not automatically disregard the fine even if its a genuine mistake by a genuine visitor. Only in exceptional or mitigating circumstances they will cancel a fine, unfortunately.
While I sympathise with Caroline, the fact remains she made a mistake, the signs are there to be read (as someone else mentioned she needs to try parking in London its even worse then Lewes) and residents have paid to park in those bays, so she should just put it down to experience, realise it was her own fault and pay the fine and move on, to be honest.
And I don't see how insulting the wardens is relevent. They're just doing a job and adhering to rules laid down by the council. Its not an easy job and its certainly not an idiot's job (I am not a warden by the way, but I have a friend who is one and his mum IS proud of him because he works hard and pays his way in life) so Caroline stop insulting them, it just makes you like a whinger. Get over it.
On 21 Jun 2009 at 6:08pm Geoff wrote:
Sorry Pearl, but you need to read the reams of documents associated with this scheme. You also need to read the information supplied by the parking fine ajudicator. they all make it very clear that people like Caroline should not be being fined. I have been given 5 parking tickets, all of which i successfully challenged, they ranged from the banal, to the downright devious. Several were not initially cancelled, so i pursued them. One involved me telling ESCC to take me to court if they were so confident. Of course they didn't, but their letters are threating, and few people challenge them, preferring to just pay the fine for an easy life. this distorts the validity of the scheme.
I expect your friend's son is a wonderful parking attendent, some like him, will just be doing their job perfectly fairly. Though without tracking him all day neither of us actually know for sure, including his Mum. Unfortunately i witness a lot of very questionable ticket issuing, including regular conversations between wardens who can't decide if the car is illegally parked or not, so just ticket it anyway. I would also point out that parking fines are not a fine for a crime, the whole thing is decriminalized, that is why I describe this fine-obsessed nonsense as uncivilized.
On 21 Jun 2009 at 9:19pm Hedwig wrote:
I agree, I know a few of them too and they're intelligent and reasonable people (just enforcing unpopular rules).
On 21 Jun 2009 at 10:24pm Want to be parking attendant wrote:
To bloody right i would book anyone not obeying the rules able bodied or disabled it makes no difference to me if your breaking the rules you get a ticket there are no excuses for breaking rules. Rules are Rules and are there for a good reason. If you were able bodied and parked in a disabled spot you get a ticket coz you are causing a problem to a disabled person who may need the spot. If you are disabled and decided to park right in a corner you get a ticket coz you are making the road very dangerous by parking irresponsibly.
On 21 Jun 2009 at 10:46pm Caroline again wrote:
Geoff - thank you for all your replies. I am now beginning to think that perhaps I should continue to appeal against this. I could shut up and pay up, particularly it would probably cost more in time and effort to fight it, but i really really object to paying these money grabbing b***. You said you had successfully fought some tickets even after an initial rejection. I wonder if you would help me fight this fine further? Did sending a second letter work? do you still have a copy of it?
lastly, if my comments about parking wardens led to offence, it really wasn't intentional. I was actually having a crack at 'want to be a parking attendent' - if you read his first post he took the time to call this complete rubbish and a wind up. I respect anyone working to make an honest wage given the current economic situation. be clear, my issues are with the council, not the parking attendant.
On 21 Jun 2009 at 11:22pm Pearl wrote:
To be honest Caroline I think WTBPA is a bit crazy..judging by his posts he seems very keen to get out there and book you!!
And Geoff - yes there are obviously bad apples in any organization/company but on the whole they are decent people just doing an unpopular job, yeh some of the rules are petty and harsh, but give the wardens a break though remember its ESCC who make up the rules not them. At least the wardens are out there working for a living rather then sponging off the state like so many do nowadays.
On 22 Jun 2009 at 11:04am Decent Citizen wrote:
Did I miss it, or did you say how you knew about our forum here in Lewes?
On 22 Jun 2009 at 11:16am Ed Can Do wrote:
Lewes.co.uk is the third result on Google after searching for Lewes and the forum button at the top is pretty plain to see. A search for "Lewes parking" puts the actual forum fourth on the search list. I would imagine that's how she found the forums.
On 22 Jun 2009 at 12:17pm Geoff wrote:
How nice to have thread named after myself.
Caroline, yes it is worth writing back. One ticket took me five goes, before this bunch of crooks finally caved in. The premise of the scheme is not to punish people for misreading tiny signs in a conservation area, or making one reasonable error. It is clear in the documentation that implemented the scheme that this is the case althopugh few people defending these shoody replies to ticket appeals, seem to have actually read it. The scheme is supposed to decrimialize parking offences, and to enable traffic to flow freely, etc To do this they claim revenue has to be raised, through the parking scheme. What you have experienced is the kind of overbearing, heavy handed unimpartial, response from ESCC we are used to, and that people like IWTBPW think is great, untill they are on the receiving end of such injustice. I was ticketed for unloading, with my lights flashing, and a car full of boxes, but failing to leave my boot wide open while I was inside my home to make it clear to NCP (and any thieves) that unloading was what i was doing.
If you google the Parking and traffic Appeals site you can read their standards and decide if it applies to you. They place great emphasis on how Councils should not be acting as dictators, and should not be treating everyone as instant criminals because they have breached one of a set of complicated rules. there are real examples that will make your hair stand on end.
If you are still contesting the ticket they cannot raise the charge while you are doing so. i find this 'pay now quietly, and be fined less' scam morally repugnant. So write back, quote some stuff from the Appeals site, and ask ESCC to post you a copy of their policy on how they ensure that tickets are issued fairly, and 'non-punitively' I pressume you were not causing an obstruction, and were simply parked in the wrong bay. CC a copy to Norman Baker MP, who claims to be as fed up with this bunch of bullies, as everyone else is, and consider asking him seperately, why visitors to Lewes are being treated like this.
The bottom line is that it is your error is reasonable, it happens all the time, and ESCC benefit from not doing anything about it. You might like to point that out. instead of either improving the signage, or allowing people a discretionary 'free' first mistake, they prefer to benefit from the confusion. Its a sledgehammer to cracka nut, but unfortunately we are lumbered with a giant, thick skinned nut of a Council.
...and please visit us again. We know that although the ticket was issued reasonably, they should have cancelled it. We know you are not an evil selfish parker from hell, (like WYBPA seems to take some kind of warped pleasure from)and we know that ESCC are putting off visitors (including our own families/friends/tradespeople)
Lewes is supposed to be the home of democracy, but this crappy scheme doesn't represent us, and is a shameful embarassment.
On 22 Jun 2009 at 12:21pm geoff wrote:
Correction, its the Traffic Penalty Tribunal service, as we are outside London.
On 22 Jun 2009 at 12:31pm Geoff again wrote:
Goodness, i am on one today. I have checked the site, and I would go for complaining that the signs are not clear, and if you want to really throw the book at them you can point out that you have checked the original consultation maps, and the signage that they have erected doesn't match the approved wording used on these maps that were approved by Councillors. The wording used on these maps to describe the bays would have been clearer, and referred to residents only. Some of us doubt that the signs are actually legal, and it would be interesting to know what reply you get.
On 22 Jun 2009 at 6:39pm juliet99 wrote:
i wouldn't bother though to be honest, if they've got you bang to rights parking in the wrong bay then they won't cancel the fine and you will end up having to pay the full amount. I had a ticket for the same reason as you, and it wa smy mistake, I didn't check the signs. My advice is pay up while you can still pay the reduced rate and put it down as being one of the reasons life is unfair at times.
On 22 Jun 2009 at 7:06pm erm..one point wrote:
Geoff if it was your hazard lights you had on when you were fined, you should know that you are only meant to use your hazard lights to warn other traffic that you are causing a temp obstruction or broken down on motrway. Read the Highway Code.
On 22 Jun 2009 at 8:45pm Geoff wrote:
Erm..I was causing a temporary obstruction. When you live in one of the many houses in lewes with no front space, you have to park in the road. In my case it is an A road andwithout hazards it loks like my car is part of the traffic . If you park partially on the pavement, you get a ticket, as have had one of those too! Funnily enough they don't ticket commercial vehicles parked regularly on the pavement, which is something i pointed out as discrimination, resulting in that ticket being cancelled. And before someone says it is not legal to park on the pavement, they are wrong, we have discussed it before, and even ESCC agree that you can, which is why they provide parking spaces on the pavement in certain circumstances.
Juliet, the point is that they haven't got caroline bang to rights. I see my posts above, and read the very dull paperwork. If you didn't read the signs at all then yes it is your fault, and i admire your honesty, and you are right, but Caroline has made it clear that she did look at the signs, and had checked, unfortunately they are often confusing and ambiguous, and i have explained two reasons why this is. I doubt they are even legal.
pay the fine if you are guilty, challenge it if you are not. the challenge does not increase the fine, as Juliet suggests, it places it on hold. If you don't reply in time then it does rise. it is because people pay the fine, rather than challenge tickets they know are wrong, just to avoid the hastle, that prolongs the agony. there are alreay enormous numbers cancelled each year that undermine the stated claims that this scheme is fair and effective, and my view is that we are obliged to challenge every one that is wrongly, or unfairly issued to ensure that the scheme doesn't get carried away with itself.
On 23 Jun 2009 at 5:51pm juliet99 wrote:
They don't put the fine on hold forever, its not a case of every time you write them a letter they freeze it for another 2 weeks, thats not how it works. Otherwise they would all be on hold indefinately wouldn't they. If they decide to proceed with Caroline's fine they will eventually they will take it off hold and she will have to pay the full amount. I understand what you're saying but my viewpoint is its a total waste of time, in their eyes they have her bang to rights parking in an incorrect bay so I very much doubt they'll give in.
On 23 Jun 2009 at 9:33pm Rachel wrote:
Trouble with these fines if you don't pay them with in a certain time frame they just keep going up best to pay up staight away or you could end up with it being tripled or even having balifs knocking on your door.
On 24 Jun 2009 at 9:15am Geoff wrote:
Of course you cannot put a fine off forever by writing letters, that would be plain daft. What few people understand, including Rachel, is that when you contest a ticket, the amount of the fine is frozen, until your appeal is resolved. The fine only goes up if you ignore the tickets.
Juliet, you don't understand what I am saying, you disgaree with it! That is fair enough, .
My opinion is based on challenging tickets myself, and helping other people to do so. The law is not black and white as is often suggested on this site.. Caroline made a mistake, she didn't commit a crime. She paid for a ticket so no-one lost out, and we all gained financially from her visit to the town. talk about biting the hand that feeds you! As I keep saying, in a civilized society she would get a warning letter, explaining her mistake, for that is what it is, just a very small, trivial and unimportant mistake. She would then be clear, have no excuse, and get a fine if she repeated the 'offence'. She would have no excuse. Why some of us are obsessed with fining everyone everytime they make a mistake is very disturbing, as it relies on a bizarre concept that there are some people somewhere who are perfect. The object of the excersise is to enable fair, good parking, not raise money, so why is the first port of call a fine? Why is there no pay as you leave car park? It is all about profit. Christians supporting this concept might like to explain where it fits in with the concept of forgiveness! If the signs aren't confusing, why do so many people get confused by them? ESCC should not be profiting from something so trivial, and it is people like Caroline drawing boundaries between what is and isn't fair, that prevent this scheme getting even more out of hand than it already is.
On 24 Jun 2009 at 10:25am Rachel wrote:
Well said Geoff and yes you were right i was not awear that the fine was frozen if you contest. I am just wondering if you could start your own little buiseness up (a bit like the CAB) where you advice people how to fight their claims i recon you would be good at it ;-)
On 24 Jun 2009 at 4:56pm CEO wrote:
I do this job & my mum is proud.
Also it's not minimum wage i'm afraid.
On 24 Jun 2009 at 5:35pm juliet99 wrote:
Geoff yes I do understand your viewpoint and yes I do disagree with you. I too am speaking from experience, having been in exactly the same situation as caroline and others too who have not seen the poky little signs in Lewes and parked wrongly. In their eyes she has denied a space to a resident, so someone HAS lost out, that is how they will see it. As I said it doesn't get frozen at the reduced rate forever, and it doesn't matter how many times she writes in, eventually they will say enough and increase it to the full amount.
I'm not saying I agree with the rules, I think some aspects of the parking scheme are petty and harsh, and yet some others are fair, but the fact remains is she made a mistake, she parked where she was not entitled to, the signs are approved and on show to be read, that is how they will see it. In my opinion she should just pay up before she has to end up paying a lot more.
On 24 Jun 2009 at 5:42pm Hedwig wrote:
Caroline you said it wasn't your intention to cause offence about the traffic warden, but you said in your very first post and I quote "the warden was doing his (no doubt minimum wage) job," to be honest that is quite a rude and unneccessary thing to say. They aren't on the minimum wage anyway as it happens.
On 24 Jun 2009 at 6:09pm Warden wrote:
GEOFF - The thing about loading and unloading is that you have to be SEEN actively loading and unloading. That is the purpose of loading bays and allowances on DYL,.You can't just stick your lights on (which you are not supposed to do by the way) and think, oh the sig says loading onyl 20 minutes and leave your car there and go off for 20 minutes, we only give 5 minutes which is more then enough time for us to see you loading if you are loading. We continously watch your vehicle and if we don't see you appear after 5 minutes, you get a fine. Simple as that, and trust me, people in Lewes have it easy, TRY PARKING IN LONDON...
On 24 Jun 2009 at 6:13pm Warden wrote:
Oh yes I forgot to mention also that its irrelevent if your car was full of boxes, that doesn't mean anything, anyone could have a car thats full of boxes couldn't they!
On 24 Jun 2009 at 7:12pm Geoff wrote:
Warden (so called)
sadly the number of assumptions you make says it all. To save time, I shall just tell you that eventually ESCC agreed they had acted incorrectly.
Residents do not need to park in loading bays (if i did, it would be nowhere near my home) to unload or load boxes/furniture or anything.Perhaps you could tell me how you can tell without knowing me, or my address, why you think I can unload into my home, whilst remaining seen at all times? Do you think I have transparent walls? ESCC confirmed that leaving my hazards on was appropriate, and should have indicated to the warden that i was loading, but you seem to know better. And whilst you are making the kind of pressumptions that should preclude you from any kind of legal job, I was away from my car for under a minute as I entered the house to collect the last box from the second floor, the car was full to the ceiling with 6ft long boxes, and my kitchen door was wide open, and directly next to the car. Now maybe you are just thick, but the law allows this kind of activity, it is fair reasonable, and normal. Which is why in the end the ticket was cancelled. Are you saying now that ERSCC is wrong too?
You may not think Lewes is bad, but perhaps it is because you aren't one of us poor harassed residents living right in the middle of the town. It is a complete nightmare. obviously not as bad as some places, but then, this is lewes not london, so I expect better. I particularly expect to be consulted properly, with accurate facts about a scheme to be implemented, and we weren't. You don't seem to understand the significance, perhaps you should?
Juliet, If you don't think the rules are fair, then it seems rather bizarre to me that you would do nothing about it. Lewesians are very good at moaning about this that and the other, including blaming visitors for taking residents spaces, You pay unfair tickets if you like, and jump in a fire if the Council tell you to, when I know something is unfair and wrong I challenge it. If you read the documents I have told you about, you would know why such tickets as Carolines can be challenged, so please do, as you might find that your opinion changes.
ESCC treat residents and vistors with equal contempt and it is damaging not only the economy of the town, but it has also added a rather unpleasant atmosphere.
On 24 Jun 2009 at 8:12pm Furness wrote:
Geoff I think you're lying or maybe just confused but you can't expect a warden to know that you're "loading" just by looking at a parked car full of boxes, and the fact that your kitchen door is open means what exactly???!! And sorry but if you were away for your car for just 1 minute and you were still ticketed, that must have meant that you were causing an obstruction, e.g blocking pavement etc, they don't give 5 minutes if this is the case its an immediate ticket. And no I'm not a warden, I just use my brains when I park.
On 24 Jun 2009 at 8:17pm juliet99 wrote:
If I feel strongly about something then I too will question it, but in this instance it wasn't unfair, the fault was mine and what you seem unable to grasp is that that is how they will view caroline's ticket too...you seem very aggressive and sarcastic about this subject and anyone who happens to disagree with you, I wasn't rude to you so why are you getting so worked up?