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Sheffield drivers fined £80000 for car removal

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We've had the signs up around here the work was going to take two weeks last month. No cars to be left on the roads between 7am and 7pm. Since I leave for work at 10 to 7 I'm none too fussed, but well over two weeks late they have done a single path way. The road hasn't even been touched.

 

When I return around half 4/5 ish, there's barely any evidence they have been there.

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I seriously can't understand the naivety of someone parking their car away from their own street for weeks on end and actually expecting it to be still there when they can be bothered to return to it. If it hadn't been nicked or had bits of it nicked it would have been towed away.

Was this person setting up a social experiment or summat ?

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Well, they've been on my street today

 

There have been signs up for the past 2 weeks; people have ignored them and the initial work for lamp posts, digging etc. has been done working around parked cars. But doday they needed to get mini diggers and the vehicle next to the new lamp posts to put the pole in

 

Today I had a knock on my door at 9:30 asking me if any of the cars were mine (they weren't)

 

I went out at 12 for an hour and at about 1pm, one of the cars was being loaded onto a tow truck

 

That's 3.5 hours someone had to move their car, IN ADDITION to the past 14 days worth of signs. Someone else came out as this was going on and moved their car in a childish tyre squealing, revving dummy-spitting to indicate their displeasure.

 

No sympathy

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I seriously can't understand the naivety of someone parking their car away from their own street for weeks on end and actually expecting it to be still there when they can be bothered to return to it. If it hadn't been nicked or had bits of it nicked it would have been towed away.

Was this person setting up a social experiment or summat ?

 

Well I've done so on many occasions and never had a problem. I live in the best part of the city where we don't experience thieving scrotes - apart from SCC of course.

 

S

 

---------- Post added 12-07-2016 at 23:16 ----------

 

Parking Services isue over 100,000 penalties a year and you'll understand that they get "threats" like this every day and they are invariably hollow threats. (I don't know of anyone in recent years who has actually taken them to court about a penalty)

 

Appealing a penalty charge notice (and tow away) does not involve a "lengthy legal battle". It involves a regulated appeal process. Only at the last stage do you get the opportunity of a hearing in person if you want it (you can do a telephone hearing or representations in writing if you like) and drivers do not normally take legal representation with them to such hearings, as they are very informal.

 

If you don't like the outcome of an adjudication hearing, you can ask the adjudicator to review it and after that, you might be able to go to court, but the potential legal costs if you lose are so high that most people would not go there. If you ever watched any of the "Parking Mad" programmes on TV, there was a guy who had taken a local authority to court about a penalty and lost and was faced with selling his house to pay the legal costs.

 

All the authority has to prove is that a contravention occurred. If the signs were put up (they will have photos to prove that) and the TRO is in place (it will be) and they have proof you parked there (they will have photos) then they have all the proof they need.

 

When Amey put up the notices, they video the cars on the road, so they can check any appeals that come in where drivers might have gone on holiday etc and not known that the signs were up. Your case is somewhat different, as you parked up and left it there deliberately for a couple of weeks because they told you not to park on your street. Whether that, allied with your assertion that they missed that street off the schedule of works they informed you about is a reasonable mitigation against the penalty will be a decision for the appeals team or the adjudicator.

 

Well you know someone now Planner1. I am not 'most people' and I have the money to take the case. If SCC wish to fight with me, then bring it on. Great use of my fellow Sheffielders' council tax, don't you think?

 

I am not disputing that I was parked on the street from which SCC towed the car. That much we agree on. Whether the TRO is in place and valid, well ..... we'll see. I don't have great confidence in SCC quite frankly. The incompetence being demonstrated in the running of the street improvement contract at times beggars belief.

 

Someone needs to stand up and fight on behalf of those who can't. I can. And I will!

 

I'm not letting it lie. And that's a promise.

 

---------- Post added 12-07-2016 at 23:22 ----------

 

Considering this was Solitaire's response when I sent him a link to the map of works was as follows:

 

 

 

only to later state:

 

 

 

I wouldn't waste your effort.

 

I struggle with you Berberis as you do seem to have trouble grasping simple concepts. Let me persevere.

 

Prior to you sending it to me, I hadn't seen the fairly useless map to which you kindly provided the link. What I do have in my possession is the schedule of works to my immediate area, which did not include the road from which my car was towed.

 

Are you with the programme now?

 

---------- Post added 13-07-2016 at 00:28 ----------

 

The council don't need to give you notice personally or give you a schedule of where they were working. That is a "nice to do" but isn't a legal requirement.

 

If the traffic regulation order is in place and the notices were put up, the tow was perfectly legal.

 

It may be that either the council (who decide on first two stages of appeals process) or the traffic penalty tribunal might have some sympathy for your case and cosnider tit a mitigation that the street you parked on was not in their owrk schedule which was issued to residents. They may not.You'll have to appeal and find out. They have a backlog of appeals stretching to over 3 months, so it will be a while before you know.

 

---------- Post added 12-07-2016 at 13:22 ----------

 

 

No, it's only if they had the opportunity to drop the penalty at an earler stage of the appeal process that the tribunal would award any costs. Costs awarded are normally only very modest (like for example the cost of your train fare to come to the tribunal meeting if you elect for personal hearing).

 

If the council cancel the penalty at one of the first two stages, you will not normally get costs.

 

Not quite correct Planner1. Under the Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984, the Traffic Authority (TA) does need to publicise details of a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO), TO INCLUDE THE NAMES OF AFFECTED STREETS, to those persons affected, by a method that is 'appropriate in the circumstances'. In this case, that publication took the form of a document delivered to households in the area. I read and digested that document and then parked on a road not covered by the TRO.

 

The TA failed in its obligations under the legislation to correctly publicise the restrictions under the TRO. For that reason I remain confident that my case is sound.

 

S

Edited by Solitaire

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Not quite correct Planner1. Under the Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984, the Traffic Authority (TA) does need to publicise details of a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO), TO INCLUDE THE NAMES OF AFFECTED STREETS, to those persons affected, by a method that is 'appropriate in the circumstances'. In this case, that publication took the form of a document delivered to households in the area. I read and digested that document and then parked on a road not covered by the TRO.

 

The TA failed in its obligations under the legislation to correctly publicise the restrictions under the TRO. For that reason I remain confident that my case is sound.

 

S

Incorrect.

 

That legal requirement is very simply met by publishing a notice in the legal notices column of the local newspaper (the Star in this case). They can, if they wish (not compulsory), put up a notice on-street (usually A4 laminated sheet of paper fixed to lighting columns or street furniture).

 

That is all they needed to do and they have done it.

 

The TRO's are temporary and last for 18 months, so the legal notice may have been published some time ago.

 

There is no legal requirement to letter drop affected properties. The schedule you received was just a courtesy and carries no legal status.

 

Although they informed you of which streets in the immediate area they were intending to work on, that only covered your immediate area. They may well have been working in an adjacent area to that too and you would not have known unless you looked for notices. It's your responsibility to park legally and whether or not you are parked legally can change over a few days when Amey are doing their works in the area, so you do need to keep checking for notices every few days.

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Incorrect.

 

That legal requirement is very simply met by publishing a notice in the legal notices column of the local newspaper (the Star in this case). They can, if they wish (not compulsory), put up a notice on-street (usually A4 laminated sheet of paper fixed to lighting columns or street furniture).

 

No, it isn't. Read the legislation. I have.

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No, it isn't. Read the legislation. I have.

 

No, that is the requirement.

 

In your case the key questions are

Were there signs up when you parked. (no)

Was there a TRO covering where you parked?

Could you have reasonably been expected to know there were going to be restrictions coming into force?

 

I think that you may be in the wrong by the letter of the law, but that it is unreasonable to charge you a three figure sum to recover tour vehicle. After all, when you parked there was (according to your posts) nothing to suggest that restrictions were coming. The TRO will have listed so many streets over such a wide period, that coupled with the leaflet you read, would have led a reasonable person to assume that you were safe to park where you parked.

 

As you may have guessed, I am not legally qualified.

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No, it isn't. Read the legislation. I have.

Unfortunately reading a piece of legislation does not give you experience of its practical application.

 

I have a lot years of experience of practical application and I can also ask the people who currently use this legislation every day to tell me exactly how they do it. I have done so in this case.

 

They publish the notice in the press, twice in the case of these temporary TRO's. They do not put up street notices or letter drop anyone. The details of the zone works are also published on https://www.roadworks.org/

 

That's all they do and it meets legal requirements.

 

If you want to try to argue differently in any appeal, good luck with that.

 

The council and the adjudication service will have seen many appeals against tow aways for the Amey works. If there was any problem at all with the legality of the TRO's (and there wasn't) it would have come up a long time ago and would have already been fixed.

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Unfortunately reading a piece of legislation does not give you experience of its practical application.

 

I have a lot years of experience of practical application and I can also ask the people who currently use this legislation every day to tell me exactly how they do it. I have done so in this case.

 

They publish the notice in the press, twice in the case of these temporary TRO's. They do not put up street notices or letter drop anyone. The details of the zone works are also published on https://www.roadworks.org/

 

That's all they do and it meets legal requirements.

 

If you want to try to argue differently in any appeal, good luck with that.

 

The council and the adjudication service will have seen many appeals against tow aways for the Amey works. If there was any problem at all with the legality of the TRO's (and there wasn't) it would have come up a long time ago and would have already been fixed.

 

Hey Planner1 me old mate,

 

1. Reading the legislation tells me that SCC most definitely DOES need an alternative form of publication, such as leaflets to affected households or signs on the roads. It's quite clear. IF SCC choose not to 'practically apply' that requirement then they are in breach of the legislation. However, that's all somewhat academic. They DID leaflet the households but the leaflets were inaccurate regarding the works being undertaken. That is my point.

 

2. I have lots of years of experience of a few things. Great, we could, in fact, be one and the same person .....

 

3. They DO put up street notices (I have photographs) and they DO deliver letters to households (I have a copy). Are you suggesting that I'm making it up?

 

4. Publishing details of the TRO in the newspaper only is NOT sufficient to comply with the legislation. Don't ask yer mates: read the legislation for yourself. It's quite clear.

 

5. I'm sure that SCC has dealt with many appeals. There WAS a problem with the TRO, in that the publicity was erroneous—see point 1. above. As for fixing anything .... please: this is Sheffield City Council we're talking about!

 

Thanks for your expressions of good luck. One way or the other, I'll get the money back. You can put your mortgage on that.

 

Seriously now, I do appreciate your help. It's just that I don't think that you're 100% correct with some of your assertions.

 

S

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Hey Planner1 me old mate,

 

1. Reading the legislation tells me that SCC most definitely DOES need an alternative form of publication, such as leaflets to affected households or signs on the roads. It's quite clear. IF SCC choose not to 'practically apply' that requirement then they are in breach of the legislation. However, that's all somewhat academic. They DID leaflet the households but the leaflets were inaccurate regarding the works being undertaken. That is my point.

 

2. I have lots of years of experience of a few things. Great, we could, in fact, be one and the same person .....

 

3. They DO put up street notices (I have photographs) and they DO deliver letters to households (I have a copy). Are you suggesting that I'm making it up?

 

4. Publishing details of the TRO in the newspaper only is NOT sufficient to comply with the legislation. Don't ask yer mates: read the legislation for yourself. It's quite clear.

 

5. I'm sure that SCC has dealt with many appeals. There WAS a problem with the TRO, in that the publicity was erroneous—see point 1. above. As for fixing anything .... please: this is Sheffield City Council we're talking about!

 

Thanks for your expressions of good luck. One way or the other, I'll get the money back. You can put your mortgage on that.

 

Seriously now, I do appreciate your help. It's just that I don't think that you're 100% correct with some of your assertions.

 

S

 

I'm not your mate.

 

The legality of TRO's in this and other cities has been tested at adjudications and in court on more occasions than either of us can count.

 

The established practice here and everywhere else is that all you need to do is place the legal notice.

 

You can put up street notices if you like, but it's optional, as is letter dropping affected properties.

 

Its been done like that for as many years as I can remember and I am not aware there has ever been a successful challenge to that method of advertising a TRO ever, anywhere.

 

A fundamental mistake you are making is assuming that the letter they sent you was in association with the making of the TRO. It was not. The TRO is made separately, by the Council's in-house client team. Amey will have letter dropped you as a courtesy to advise when they will be working in the area. That is not consulting you on or advising you of a TRO. It's just letting you know they will be working around the area. The TRO has already been made and they do not write you a letter to tell you about it.

 

The street notices they do put up in connection with Amey works (large yellow correx signs) are to advise people not to park in the area between certain dates.

 

These are not the notices that are put up to advertise a TRO (small laminated paper). Some TRO's do get advertised on street. The temporary ones for Amey's zones do not.

 

Your argument regarding the "misleading" information supplied by Amey may carry some weight with with the appeals bodies on the grounds of "fairness". It may not. Do let us know how you get on.

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1. Reading the legislation tells me that SCC most definitely DOES need an alternative form of publication, such as leaflets to affected households or signs on the roads. It's quite clear.

 

Could you point out where in the legislation (Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1984/27/contents) it says so?

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Exactly so. Be observant for the signs and if you ARE going away and planning to leave your car on the road leave a spare set of keys with a neighbour or trusted friend.

It really isn't that difficult to simply move your vehicle each morning is it ?

 

What if it's not insured for other people to drive..?

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