London Borough of Hounslow: Pavement Parking – WIN

SUMMARY

Council ticket affixed to windscreen
WIN at Tribunal Stage

PENALTY CHARGE NOTICE (PCN) DETAILS

Reason: Contravention Code 622 – Parked with one or more wheels on or over a footpath or any part of a road other than a carriageway
Enforcement Authority: London Borough of Hounslow


SITUATION

The driver parked their vehicle outside their home on the street, half on the foot way. As shown in the images below.


Initially this seems clear cut since the law is, in London no footway parking is allowed unless a sign is there to say so. In this case there was no sign. So no footway parking is permitted.

So how did we win? 

This case is a clear example of London Borough of Hounslow trying to make money out of enforcement, rather having the intentions to keep roads safe (no surprise here). 

You should know that pavement parking has been going on in this particular area for over 20 years. It has become an unwritten rule. If cars were to park on the pavement both side, no other vehicles could pass.

It is the Councils duty to erect signs and put in parking space bays to control the area, but that would involve spending hard earned tax payers money wisely, why would the council do that?

FIRST APPEAL (INFORMAL)
So, the first appeal consisted of explaining how if the vehicle had not parked on the pavement no other vehicles would be able to pass through; particularly emergency services. Imagine if someone needed urgent care but the ambulance could not get through! Also the fact the the Civil Enforcement Officer (CEO) drove past 20+ other vehicles who were also parked on the pavement, so why give that vehicle a ticket? (discrimination we hear you say). 

Hounslow Council rejected the appeal (technically by law they can). The response was the same old rubbish we expected. They ignored everything that is logical or mentioned within the appeal (i.e. the prevention of blocking other vehicles especially emergency services). This is what councils do, they want to make money.
We then lodged the second appeal (known as the formal appeal) with the same contents as the first but with a magic weapon.

A previous letter was dug up that was sent to the drivers home from Hounslow Council which explains, how they know of the issues of the current pavement parking within the area and they plan to erect signs and put in parking bays. 

The letter stated…

we also recognise that parking in this manner is necessary to ensure that vehicles can pass without their access being obstructed or parked vehicles being damaged”. 

So in essence, Hounslow council are saying they know there is a problem of pavement parking, tolerate it and allow it. But then give the driver a ticket for doing so. Within the appeal we played with their exact wording as to why the vehicle was parked on the pavement (I.e. it was necessary to park on the pavement so other vehicles can pass without their access being obstructed or parked vehicles being damaged). 

Whats worse is that they reject the first appeal. You want to know whats even worse?

Rejecting this second appeal EVEN with the point of the letter and a scanned copy as evidence. 

This is Councils ladies and gentlemen; they will squeeze and squeeze where they can. The internal process has no independent regulator. They are so used to rejecting appeals just so they can make money. 

They stuck by the pavement parking law. What you find is that Councils are very good at drawing you in on the smallest points they want you to focus on. Never get drawn in and look at the bigger picture. In this case they completely ignored and did not mention in their rejection about the letter they sent.

FINAL STAGE (LONDON TRIBUNALS)
This was the end of the internal appeals process the next step was the independent adjudication stage at the London Tribunals. Councils have become so used to motorists giving up at this stage, the idea of a tribunal can be daunting (trust us, is isn’t). In fact it is probably the best stage since councils cannot pull their underhand tactics they do internally. But the thought of the possibility in having to pay a higher fine is what fears most people.

So, we wrote the appeal and again submitted towards the back end of the time frame (towards the end of the 28 days).  Images were taken of the area where the driver received the PCN and added them to the appeal. Below are few of the many images added.

Adding these images make Hounslow Council look stupid and exposes them. Not only this would beg the question from the adjudicator, as to why the drivers vehicle was given a ticket despite the letter sent. But also expose them in how they are knowingly letting footways being impeded, questions would have been asked.


RESULT

Guess what…Hounslow council cowardly backed out of the hearing and decided not to pursue the case.

Had they gone through with it, and an adjudicator had looked at the case, they would have been humiliated.  

Case closed? Not on our watch. 

We then raised a formal complaint…Why? Well councils hate them. They generally have 2 stages. If after the second stage you are not satisfied with their response, you then can take it to the Local Government Ombudsman . This is why they hate it, they will do everything they can to stop it getting there, it puts a mark on their statistics and targets.