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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all!

I live and work in the London Borough of Redbridge and have contacted the local council on several occasions who have told me that 100% electric cars can park for free in pay and display bays. I've got a Leaf. After receiving 2 parking tickets I was told to challenge them.

Last December I got a parking ticket outside work when I was parked correctly in a pay and display bay but obviously not buying or displaying a ticket. I've parked there for nearly a year and only ever got one ticket (surely if the council had given me the wrong information I would probably have received a ticket every day for parking there).

About a month ago I got another ticket for parking in a local high street in a pay and display bay, again obviously not buying or displaying a ticket.

I've challenged both tickets and both have come back to say the notice was issued correctly and I need to pay the fine.

There is no signage to say electric cars can park for free but the council have assured me it is free.

What do I do now?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
A company who works for the council who I have also rung on several occasions who have also told me parking is free
 

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So, it's not a private company to whom you make the payment?

Do you have what they told you in writing? Or recorded on the 'phone?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
No, payment is to the council.

Sadly nothing recorded on the phone or in writing but I've finally found something on the website.

I believe this is fairly new as I've never seen this before


It does clearly say that electric cars can park for free in pay and display bays . . . doesn't it???

The letter from the council says it waives parking fees if in a charging bay and charging however I've never seen a charger in any of the pay and display bays in Redbridge.

The link does say free parking in all pay and display bays.

I think I've got a good case to take this further
 

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It does clearly say that electric cars can park for free in pay and display bays . . . doesn't it???
"Free parking if you live/work in a controlled parking zone, in all on-street pay and display parking bays and in all Redbridge Council car parks."
Sounds pretty clear to me.

I think I've got a good case to take this further
Yep. I'd suggest writing in reply stating that the vehicle is an EV and you are happy to meet them in court. That should make them sit up.
 

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Yep. I'd suggest writing in reply stating that the vehicle is an EV and you are happy to meet them in court. That should make them sit up.
Problem is that it is decriminalised, so you would have to commit an offence of not paying a fine before you even get to talk about whether the fine was due.

I would usually propose to send a cheque with an accompanying note stating that it is paid under duress and you think the person receiving it has been negligent in their duties and therefore in no way is payment an acceptance of a contravention, and you'll seek to recover the money. Then issue a small claims court action if you think you have all the evidence in place. If it goes further and they don't pay you back, plus the small claims fee, it'll go to a telephone mediation process and then someone has to explain to an intermediary why you owe the money and you can tell them what was said on the internet/what you were told/etc..

Good luck with all of that. But in my experience always better to pay a fine and recover it later. Then the pressure is off you and you can put it back on them.

I recall 'Parking Eye' swearing blind that they NEVER refund money once they get their hands on it, when I sent a payment with such an advice note. Well, after a few more communications with the site owners and the Council ... funnily enough they were wrong about that!... ;)

Just my advice. Any sort of PCN, make very clear you object, pay anyway, and deal with it later. Sometimes life even catches up with you so quick on other matters that getting the money back becomes utterly insignificant and just get on with the important things.
 

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Problem is that it is decriminalised, so you would have to commit an offence of not paying a fine before you even get to talk about whether the fine was due.
What do you mean "commit an offence by not paying a fine" There are full mechanisms of appeal and if necessary judicial remedy.

Any sort of PCN, make very clear you object, pay anyway, and deal with it later.
That is very bizarre advice. If you believe you have a valid legal defence why would anyone pay? If you don't pay, it is the other party who will have to decide whether to commence legal proceedings against you. The ball is very much in their court and they will have to pay court costs etc to commence proceedings. Let them chase you for money. I have been taken to court twice over parking charges and won my case twice. If I believe I have a valid legal defence, I am not paying anyone 1 pence.
 

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After the two Council appeals were rejected you should then receive what are called 'Notice to Owner' letters. With the Notice of Rejection, you will be sent a form and full details on how to make an appeal to the Environment and Traffic Adjudicator. This is an independent body who will make a final decision which will be binding on both parties.

Send evidence in the form of hardcopy photos of the bays involved with your car's position marked on the photo. Also a hardcopy printout of the relevant part of the Council's website where it indicates that free parking is available in all bays for EV's. ( "Free parking if you live/work in a controlled parking zone, in all on-street pay and display parking bays and in all Redbridge Council car parks." )
as well as a copy of the car's registration document showing that the reg number is indeed from an EV.

Then just sit back and await official notice that they have been set aside. Which can take a month or so. Then write to the Council CEO to complain that taxpayers money is being wasted wholesale due to incompetence from the management of the parking services who are poorly trained at street level and then at the initial appeal level. Make a FOIA request seeking information on how many tickets were issued last year against how many were eventually overturned as they had been issued illegally. Then go back to the CEO demanding to know why he was allowing such a waste of resources to continue.

We know that such tickets are being issued like confetti in the full knowledge that most people just shrug and pay up. It's a game to them. Appeal in all instances.
 

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I have a contentious view on this im afraid, you may be correct with regards their wording and terminology but looking at it in a common sense view, my take on it is that they meant any bay that is charging designated.. why should you be exempt just because you have an EV parked in a standard bay? If a warden see`s a car charging even a dim-wit will get the message.. but in a std bay.. if not charging, most EV`s now look pretty indistinguishable from an ice.. and will probably be treated as such.. im all for helping EVs to go mainstream.. but I don’t expect to get royalty status just because I drive a leaf..
 

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What do you mean "commit an offence by not paying a fine" There are full mechanisms of appeal and if necessary judicial remedy.



That is very bizarre advice. If you believe you have a valid legal defence why would anyone pay? If you don't pay, it is the other party who will have to decide whether to commence legal proceedings against you. The ball is very much in their court and they will have to pay court costs etc to commence proceedings. Let them chase you for money. I have been taken to court twice over parking charges and won my case twice. If I believe I have a valid legal defence, I am not paying anyone 1 pence.
You think such routes exist? My advice comes from the hard experience and rough justice I have endured over the years.

Try it for real if you don't believe me .... decriminalised law doesn't work like that, and even if it did, really, low-level not-very-rich people really DON'T have access to the sorts of appeal mechanisms you seem to think exist.

Basically, you really don't want other people deciding whether to go to court with this sort of nonsense. If it is to go to court, then you really want that decision to be in your hands not someone else's.

Once in court, you should bear in mind that the decisions made there are completely arbitrary. The court is not there to determine right from wrong, it is there to make an official conclusion on the matter.

Calculate how much time you are going to spend on this versus the return benefit.

Case in point I got a silly £30 fine for driving past a very badly signed bus entry point in a city centre. I paid it and then proceeded to provide all the material evidence that it didn't comply, etc, etc.. What happened then was that something else happened in my life which was far far more important than £30, my time became too valuable to spend more on that, so I just let it go. If I had not done it that way around I would have had to spend hours and hours sorting stuff out which I could not afford. I put the proceedings into my hands. In the other case, the Parking Eye people, I was not under such pressures and spent a couple of hours writing emails and got my money back.

The questions you need to ask before defending any sort of claim against you, or making one of your own, is:
  • What's your time worth?
  • Do you like other people controlling the things you have to do in your future, and how much is it worth to prevent that from happening?
Don't fight fines because of what you mistakenly believe is 'justice'. There is a fundamentally unfair and unreasonable dynamic in modern society in which people can take actions against you, and vice versa. Once you accept that, and recognise it is not about justice, you'll be a lot less stressed about these things.

Generating thousands of pounds of costs that might be claimed against you just for the sake of some 'principle' that only you really give a toss about is just silly. Let it go.

Like I say, I can only offer this very hard gained wisdom for people to consider, I do not seek to force it on people. But people have lost their homes and lives fighting over some little thing they set their hearts on that they were right. The law has no regard for right or wrong, just social compliance.
 

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I have a contentious view on this im afraid, you may be correct with regards their wording and terminology but looking at it in a common sense view, my take on it is that they meant any bay that is charging designated.. why should you be exempt just because you have an EV parked in a standard bay? If a warden see`s a car charging even a dim-wit will get the message.. but in a std bay.. if not charging, most EV`s now look pretty indistinguishable from an ice.. and will probably be treated as such.. im all for helping EVs to go mainstream.. but I don’t expect to get royalty status just because I drive a leaf..
... and indeed this is the other flip side of 'the law'.

Judges are well-minded simply to dispense what they think is 'common sense', despite what the facts or the written law says, they give themselves unlimited reign to reinterpret anything:

"Well, Mr @evhappy , you weren't charging your car so any reasonable person would know the allowance for EV parking is only valid while charging, wouldn't one?" "Yes, sir, but look at what I was told!" "Come, come Mr evhappy, can you not make any rational sense out of what people are telling you? It is clear to me this would only apply if you are using an EV in a particular way related to it being an EV. I wouldn't have assumed your interpretation, so you shouldn't have either, whatever and irrespective of what you think you were told."

Now. How much time did you waste on this? What is the end result? Double the fine and now open to the council demanding their £2,000 of costs you caused them in forcing them to send all the details over to their lawyers because YOU asked for a court case!

Go right ahead.....

As @Hitstirrer says there remains a civil route and you can follow that whether you pay the lower fine rate or not. If not you will be liable for the higher rate.
 

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It is clear to me this would only apply if you are using an EV in a particular way related to it being an EV.
That would also apply to zero-emissions zone then. They exist to encourage the use of EVs, and presumably free parking is offered for the same reason.

But people have lost their homes and lives fighting over some little thing they set their hearts on that they were right.
True enough. You need to know when to let it go.
Personally I'd refuse to pay and fight it until it reached a point I was risking more than the full fine (eg. double the reduced one) and still had a manageable escape route.
 

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Personally I'd refuse to pay and fight it until it reached a point I was risking more than the full fine (eg. double the reduced one) and still had a manageable escape route.
Well, then you are basically agreeing with me. They will simply ignore your pleas until it is too late for you to accept the lower level fine. Ergo, just pay it and then manage some process where you can sit back and hassle them in return, in your own time, if you have any.
 

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Double the fine and now open to the council demanding their £2,000 of costs you caused them in forcing them to send all the details over to their lawyers because YOU asked for a court case!
I think £2000 is fantasy land. The case would most probably be allocated to the small claims track and the court would rarely make a cost order in relation to legal fees. Please review the civil procedure rules, particularly part 27. Also Part 45 of the Civil Procedure Rules sets out a number of tables detailing what costs can be recovered by a successful party litigating on the Small Claims Track. There are exemptions to the cost principle and the court can act punitively if you have acted unreasonably.
 

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Judges are well-minded simply to dispense what they think is 'common sense', despite what the facts or the written law says, they give themselves unlimited reign to reinterpret anything.
But their interpretations must be based in law. They can't act arbitrary or contrary to the rule of law. If they error in law, you may have grounds to appeal on a point of law.

I have been taken to court twice by parking eye and won both cases. In both cases, I found the judge to be completely balanced and open minded to the arguments I presented. If you show the court respect and articulate your arguments properly I don't think anyone should be intimidated by going to court. Of course, you have to carefully appraise your own legal case before deciding to defend anything.Stubborn principle is reckless (although commendable at times), but a carefully constructed legal defence is not. Please people don't be intimidated.
 

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I think £2000 is fantasy land. The case would most probably be allocated to the small claims track and the court would rarely make a cost order in relation to legal fees. Please review the civil procedure rules, particularly part 27. Also Part 45 of the Civil Procedure Rules sets out a number of tables detailing what costs can be recovered by a successful party litigating on the Small Claims Track. There are exemptions to the cost principle and the court can act punitively if you have acted unreasonably.
A decriminalised civil notice would not follow a small claims court. The small claims process is for private litigants, not public authorities. Never head of a public authority ever using small claims, don't know if they are even allowed to, but I can't see why not. AFAIK it would be a County Court trial.

That's my point. If you pay the fine you can make it happen in the small claims court. If you don't, the 'other side' could pursue a whole host of possible options. You leave them with no options if you offer up the payment, under protest.

£2,000 legal fees are not remotely fantasy. If you oblige an action into court, and a lawyer spends a half day and sends it off to an 'expert witness' who writes a report and they both turn up in court, easily £2,000.
 

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But their interpretations must be based in law. They can't act arbitrary or contrary to the rule of law. If they error in law, you may have grounds to appeal on a point of law.
Sure, yeah, you are right, the judge is wrong, you appeal, you win, blah blah, you spend 10's of hours if not whole days, take time off work, and you end up with .... well, nothing, apart from not having to spend £30. oh!! whoopedoodee! That was worth while then!?

Like I say, fighting for what is 'right' when it's your own time and money at stake, make sure it's worth it. Doing it for the principle of it is a dummy's course of action, the lawyers love people like that, a steady stream of people like that send their kids to private school.

I have been taken to court twice by parking eye and won both cases. In both cases, I found the judge to be completely balanced and open minded to the arguments I presented.
You're lucky. Don't bank on it.

If you show the court respect and articulate your arguments properly I don't think anyone should be intimidated by going to court. Of course, you have to carefully appraise your own legal case before deciding to defend anything.Stubborn principle is reckless (although commendable at times), but a carefully constructed legal defence is not. Please people don't be intimidated.
And how much time did it cost you, travel, parking, taking time off, and how much did you "save"?
 
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