Sunday 11 July 2010

Parking Appeals Tribunal backs pavement obstruction

The Parking Appeals Tribunal, established to protect anti-social drivers from vicious persecution by parking wardens, has now decided that a Hounslow parking ticket issued to a regular pavement parker was unfair because
(i) he’d done it lots of times before and not had a ticket, so quite reasonably thought it was OK. Yes, it’s a clear breach of human rights innit.
(ii) enforcement was done, quite lawfully, using CCTV, but the driver had not been warned that CCTV might be used to catch him, so this was also a blatant breach of his human rights.

Oddly enough there is no appeals service available to cyclists who are ticketed by PCSOs for cycling on the pavement who might wish to argue that the pavement was twenty feet wide, entirely deserted, and ran alongside a two-lane road without a cycle lane and filled with drivers going at speeds well in excess of 30 mph.

Likewise, if you are caught on CCTV drunkenly throwing a bottle through the windows of Kentucky Fried Chicken, there is no appeals service which would allow you to argue that the evidence used against you was totally unjust because no one had ever warned you there was CCTV in the area which could be used to gather evidence against you. For drivers, however, it’s a different story.

CCTV cameras used to snare hundreds of motorists across the borough have been suspended by Hounslow Council.

The decision follows an outcry by residents, who were furious that they had been fined for parking offences by cameras that were originally installed to combat anti-social behaviour.

[As any PCSO questionnaire will show you, anti-social behaviour is something exclusively indulged in by youths and beer drinkers, never by drivers, who are excluded from this criminological category.]

Disabled badge-holder Kevin Adcock, 43, of Pope Close, got back fines he paid for parking on the pavement in Gould Road. He argued that there was not enough warning to residents that the rules had changed and won his appeal.

On June 3, PAT AS adjudicator Edward Houghton ruled that the council must repeal the fines issued to Mr Adcock.

An official letter from Mr Houghton admitted that while the parking was unlawful, the car had been repeatedly observed 'in contravention with no enforcement taken'.

The statement adds: "The council should consider its position in the case of any outstanding PCNs [penalty charge notices] at this location."

A council spokesman said: "Parking on the pavement is illegal unless signs permit it. We are getting increasing numbers of calls from wheelchair and buggy users and parents complaining about the lack of space caused by cars blocking the way, which is why we increased enforcement in the area.

"There is a car park only a very short distance from Gould Road for people who want to use the local shops."

A car park? But you’d have to pay! The war on the motorist never ends.