Friday, July 13, 2007

Beware Lambeth's Parking Trap!

Lambeth Council has knowingly left a misleading parking sign on its streets, and is gathering fines from people who have parking there in good faith.

Despite knowing the sign is wrong, the council appears to be ignoring appeals over the bogus parking fines, and has not made any effort to correct the sign, so more people will be suckeered into paying unnecessary fines.

I parked my car near a shop on Effra Road, on a Sunday morning, May 20. I was on a bit of road labelled "Bus Stop", but I was a long way from the stop itself, and right next to a sign that said parking restrictions didn't apply on Sunday, and loading was allowed during the week.

I was a bit surprised. "Bus stops aren't very restrictive," I thought. "Maybe it's OK this end of the bus stop." The sign said I could park, so I parked.

A couple of weeks later, I got a Penalty Charge Notice, based on a CCTV photo of my car in the bus stop. A traffic warden would have seen that the spot was mis-labelled, and wouldn't have issued the fine, I thought.

I went back to Effra Road, and saw that the sign was still there. I took the photos you see here, and sent in an appeal.

Yesterday, I got a letter from an un-named Parking Investigations Officer, at Lambeth Parking Services.

The letter makes no reference to my complaint. It lists seven grounds for appeal, but doesn't mention the possibility that Lambeth Parking might have got its signs wrong.

It takes a somewhat bullying tone, warning that I can still get away with a £50 fine, but if I appeal again and lose, I'll have to pay £100 - or more. "If your formal representations are rejected, we will send you an Appeals form so that you can make an appeal to the Independent Adjudicator. The Adjudicator's decision is binding and he or she can order the payment of costs against either the Local Authority or the regitered keeper if either party has been particularly unreasonable.

As far as I know the sign is still there. I think it may be an old sign that was left have been left there when the bus stop was extended.

Lambeth knows the sign is wrong. Since my appeal went in, it has been covered with black plastic, but this has now weathered away, so the sign is once more luring people to park in a place where Lambeth spy-camera operators can fine them.

I wonder if the sign is being left there deliberately?


Peter Kanssen said...

Nice little earner for the council, parking!

renate said...

had a similar problem by being towed! Nor reply to complaints and request for refund.


The Parking Shop
364 Old Kent Road
London SE1 5AA

Re: YK57 ULN; PCN# S000018072

Dear Sirs

We would expect an immediate refund for this incident.

Nowhere in Holyrood Street are any restriction signs to be found which would indicate that parking on a single yellow line on a Saturday afternoon is not permitted! We have taken photographs to proof this.

There is a sign in Bermondsey Street which can be clearly seen by drivers, if they approached from the North. However, Bermondsey Street is one way from the South and this sign is not at all clearly visible to drivers entering from the south, as they must. This street is a clear parking trap as when we were there after our car had been towed, other cars were parked within the supposed restricted hours.

There is a post in Holyrood Street, but it has no notice on it. This sort of deception to motorists is tantamount to taking money by deception.

Our, and other cars parked there were illegally towed, whilst the owners were at the Southwark Theatre. The inconvenience caused to find out where the cars were taken and retrieve them was quite awful, especially with small children on a cold evening – who were in tears.

Yours sincerely

Sent copy 20.2.09 asking why we had received no reply
Still no answer by 13.3.09 – sent e-mail – still no reply by 23.3.09

Peter Judge said...

Bad luck Renate.

Our one got squashed, as a councillor picked it up and knew who to talk to.


Jason said...

Do you have the name of someone who can help, I'm appealing on three counts, two parking in Mayall Road brixton?


Peter Judge said...

Bad luck Jason

Check the councillors for your ward here

You are probably Coldharbour or Herne Hill.

They do answer emails - in my case one of them took a look and squashed it.

Best of luck - how's Mayall Road these days - I used to live there.