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Penalty Charge Notices in Riddlesdown Road (Read 17232 times)
Gordon Porter
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Penalty Charge Notices in Riddlesdown Road
Sep 24th, 2012 at 9:34pm
 
I wish to draw the attention of members, who may not already be aware, that early on Saturday 22 September 2012 Penalty Charge Notices were fixed to a number of vehicles parked on crossovers linking the carriageway and private properties on the east side of Riddlesdown Road, between the footpath to Riddlesdown Avenue and the junction with Mitchley Avenue. I understand that there have been other recent similar instances.
In this section the grass verge is much wider than the length of a large car so the question of obstructing the footway does not apply (with careful parking). This appears to be a sudden arbitrary and tougher interpretation of the regulations, of which it would have been reasonable to give residents some prior notice. It does not seem to be in the spirit of "A practical, commonsense approach is needed to carry out parking enforcement" see http://www.croydon.gov.uk/transportandstreets/parking/os-restrictions/intro .
Fortunately I was not one of those affected, but if I had been I would appeal to the Council and, if necessary, to the London Parking Adjudicator (Parking and Traffic Appeals Service).
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Phil_Thomas
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Re: Penalty Charge Notices in Riddlesdown Road
Reply #1 - Oct 2nd, 2012 at 12:21pm
 
Personally I believe this is a pretty despicable tactic now being used by the Council and the RRA are trying to get clarification from the Head of Parking at Croydon, as it could have consequences for some other streets in our area. If "footways" were being blocked, then yes, it would be wrong.

As a result of the Council's actions, vehicle parking and obstructions are now occurring on the narrow section of carriageway between Coxley Rise and Mitchley Ave. I will update further when I get a response from the Council.
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« Last Edit: Oct 27th, 2012 at 8:21am by Phil_Thomas »  
 
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Re: Penalty Charge Notices in Riddlesdown Road
Reply #2 - Oct 5th, 2012 at 6:56pm
 
Response from Anita Williams - Business Co-Ordinator at Croydon Council's Parking Department:

"I am also aware that a number of residents are not happy that the Council has enforced the footway parking ban in Riddlesdown Road, having recently issued several Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) to vehicles seen parked in contravention of the ban.

I note your comments that the residents have stated that they were parked on bitmac between the carriageway and the footpath. I also note your comments that the footpath and the carriage were not blocked by any vehicle and no parking on grass verges took place however I can confirm that the Penalty Charge Notices were issued under contravention code 62C, which is “Parked with one or more wheels on or over a footpath or any part of a road other than a carriageway” (suffix C stands for “on vehicle crossover”).

Regarding your point on the lack of warning by the Council, I can advise that Penalty Charge Notices issued for parking on the footway (this has been unlawful since 1974 and is set out in the Greater London Council (General Powers) Act. I can advise that Penalty Charge Notices have been issued previously in this location and that the contravention is enforceable Monday to Sunday, 24 hours per day, as set out by the Greater London Council (General Powers Act) 1974.  Our Civil Enforcement Officers will issue a Penalty Charge Notice to any vehicle they witness in contravention and we will often begin enforcing early in the morning as several contraventions including footway parking are enforceable 24 hours a day unless an exemption is in place.

I appreciate your concern over enforcement in other streets in Riddlesdown and Sanderstead and I can advise that the Council can issue a Penalty Charge Notice to any vehicle they witness in contravention such as footway parking contraventions and that parking and traffic regulations are enforced borough wide. The only exception to this is formal or informal footway exemptions where either specific signs are placed to indicate where you can park on the footway (formal) or where residents have been informed that enforcement is suspended pending consultation (informal).

The footway parking ban is enforced for a number of reasons, some of which may not be obvious to drivers. In many instances, parking vehicles on footways causes damage and even when vehicle crossovers are in place (as in this case), allowing vehicles to park on crossovers can severely compromise lines of sight for drivers and pedestrians (who often use these crossovers to negotiate kerbstones, verges and roads).

Whilst I sympathise with your view on the Council enforcing these contraventions, however to protect transparency, fairness and the legal framework, I regret that we cannot cancel the Penalty Charge Notices. I can however advise that there is a statutory process in place which all Penalty Charge Notices must follow and recipients of these Penalty Charge Notices can make a representation to the Council and if they remain unhappy with the outcome, they are then able to take the matter to Independent Adjudicator which is final and binding to both parties. By law, each Penalty Charge Notice is a case on its own and therefore we will make decisions on each individual representation that we receive allowing the statutory framework to take place. As a result, we will not be in a position to comment any further regarding this issue."

Residents affected are discussing whether to appeal to the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service (PATAS). There appear to be no similar "key cases" on the PATAS website so a local resident who got a PCN may have to apppeal to clarify the law.

The Croydon Guardian have also published this story 4/10/12.

http://www.croydonguardian.co.uk/archive/1970/01/01/News+Croydon/9963468.Residen...

One street in our area has a similar situation but no footway or kerb. That will be interesting if the Council in their wisdom, decide to ticket there!!

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« Last Edit: Oct 27th, 2012 at 8:22am by Phil_Thomas »  
 
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lisakaren
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Re: Penalty Charge Notices in Riddlesdown Road
Reply #3 - Oct 15th, 2012 at 6:10pm
 
I am so livid about this topic, I just had to register to have my say.  I live in Mitchley Avenue and was the recipient of a PCN for exactly the same thing earlier this year.  I appealed (twice) with very valid reasons but the council pooh poohed them all.  They claimed my parking on the crossover of my driveway prevented pedestrians from crossing the road safely - I responded by explaining there is a crossing point less than two metres from the edge of my driveway so why would it prevent someone crossing the road.  I supplied a copy of my household deeds with the red boundary line clearly showing to the edge of the kerb.  They refuted this and said I should take up the error with the solicitor who did the conveyancing when we bought the property as they say its quite clearly an error.  Eventually I looked big and paid up the charge.


Last week however, my daughter was parked on the waste ground inlets by the field.  (There are three of them down Mitchley avenue which I believed were there for residential parking).  She received a ticket at 11am on the Sunday morning.  I will be appealing this one too as I believe it impedes her safety.  If we cant park on our driveway crossover and now cant park on these wasteground areas or on the carriageway as we would be towed away for causing an obstruction (theres no way a bus would get through), she would have to park two roads away late at night and walk.  I'm furious and feel like parking my car by the side of the road for a day and causing chaos.
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Phil_Thomas
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Re: Penalty Charge Notices in Riddlesdown Road
Reply #4 - Oct 18th, 2012 at 6:03pm
 
Lisakaren

Thank you for bringing this to residents’ attention.

Quite frankly the RRA does not understand the Council’s reasoning on issuing these tickets in Riddlesdown Rd and Mitchley Ave. They are obviously short of revenue and are looking to clobber the motorist regardless! Any ticketing will now increase parking on these streets which is not to be encouraged and will hinder traffic flows.

I must admit I would have to agree with the Council, that it would probably be highly unlikely your deeds show your land right up to the kerb of the road. I suspect the footway and grass verge here, are adopted highway and maintained at public expense. Do your neighbours have the same plans on their deeds, showing ownership up to the road? It might be worth you doing a Land Registry search on line for a copy of the plan, to see what exactly is registered with them on your property, although this might not be a valid excuse (see below).

On your daughter’s PCN. Can you clarify exactly where she was parked?

There are two access "roads" that were originally going to be used onto to the now farmland but they stop at the back edge of this footway.  One is by the speed camera and the other close to the Doctors surgery. If she got a ticket (PCN) in one of these two, then it could be worth contesting it with the Parking and Traffic Adjudicator (PATAS). My view (don’t take it as gospel) but as there are kerbs separating the “road” from both the grass verges and footway, I would suggest it is not a crossover or footway but is a "road". Was the code on the PCN 62, (parking on a footway)?

If the PCN was issued for the larger parking layby in the centre, between these two access roads then that would have far reaching consequences for local motorists. As long as she was behind the kerb line, behind the back edge of the footway then that is private land and not adopted highway. This did use to be a bus turning/stand and has been used by motorists to park on for ages.

Unfortunately PATAS have muddied the waters on footway parking as they have ruled in some Boroughs that even if a footway is private land, where the public have access and walk on, then it can be construed this is a footway and London Councils’ can issue PCN’s. At this location however, I would suggest this is a hardstand for parking and not a footway as the public have no reason to use it as a footway. Unfortunately there is no definite angle dropped kerb(s) for this crossover, separating it from the carriageway as the kerb is the same height or slightly lower than the remainder. However it should be worth an appeal to PATAS.

The London Local Authorities and Transport for London Act 2008, which has recently come into force, has given new powers to all London boroughs, to issue parking tickets to vehicles parked on the footpath in alleyways. It has also defined footpath -  “footpath” means a highway over which the public have a right of way on foot only, not being a footway”

In London most 'Pavement Lights' and small sections of land immediately adjacent to a building are now designated to be part of the footway and thus motorcycles and any vehicles parked here are now not immune to parking fines.

Knowing whether the area is so designated (as part of the footway) is becoming less complex as adjudicators find in favour of councils (who normally say that the footway extends right up to the edge of the building). The deciding factor is whether the public have historically had right of way over the land (i.e. to browse in a shop window). If there is a physical barrier preventing such right of way, vehicles should be able to park (with the permission of the land owners) without fear of being issued with a PCN. Where no barrier is present then this area is normally deemed to be part of the footway and motorists risk being ticketed.


One point to be aware of is that under the Highways Act 1885 and the Road Traffic Act 1988, it is an offence to drive a vehicle over a footway (unless the action is permissible - normally a drop-curb will have been put in place), so even if you do find a section of land which is not part of the footway you could still be breaking the law.

Please let us know how you get on if you appeal to PATAS.
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« Last Edit: Oct 27th, 2012 at 8:30am by Phil_Thomas »  
 
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Phil_Thomas
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Re: Penalty Charge Notices in Riddlesdown Road
Reply #5 - Nov 8th, 2012 at 3:43pm
 
The RRA have learnt, following pressure from us and residents' in Riddlesdown Rd and also Councillor intervention, that the PCN's issued on 22 Sept by the Council, have now been cancelled!!

This is indeed good news and the Council seemed to have woken up the the fact that parking was taking place on the narrow section of Riddlesdown Rd and causing partial obstructions and inconvenience to other motorists', something these residents didn't want to do.

However, we are now seeking clarification from Sanderstead Ward Councillors about the same situation in Mitchley Ave and also parking on the two inlet roads, where motorists have also received PCN's. We will update further when this is received. The RRA's view is that there is inconsistency by the Council, in allowing it in one street but not in another street!

This is an extract of the e-mail from Tracey Patel from Croydon's Parking Services:

"I can confirm that one of our Management Team met with local Councillors in Riddlesdown Road last week to discuss parking issues. Following the meeting we have agreed to implement a part suspension so that parking on the crossovers will be permitted.

We have reviewed the PCNs issued for parking on crossovers in Riddlesdown Road recently and a decision has been made to cancel these and our Customer Service Team will be writing to the recipients of these PCNs to confirm this."

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Re: Penalty Charge Notices in Riddlesdown Road
Reply #6 - Nov 17th, 2012 at 10:33am
 
As a further update, the RRA have now learnt that it was Sanderstead Ward Councillors, Tim Pollard and Yvette Hopley that met with Stephen Willie of Croydon's Parking Department on 2 November.

We set out below an extract from Cllr Tim Pollard's e-mail to us:

"In policy terms, parking on areas crossing the verge is normally not allowed and therefore subject to ticketing as with any other parking offence. As a gesture of goodwill, due to the 'custom & practice' over many years of not ticketing similarly parked vehicles, the Council has cancelled all such fines issued there to date (on Riddlesdown Road).

A way to formalise the non-issuing of tickets in future would be to add Riddlesdown Road to the exclusions list. The problem is that it is apparently impossible to enforce other offences if the road is on this list. So you can either have no enforcement or enforcement of all offences, but not enforcement of only some offences. I can understand why this would be, as it removes the requirement for enforcement officers to make value judgements.

The portion of the Riddlesdown Road in question is actually in Purley ward, so Yvette and I suggested that the officer ensure that the Purley councillors were consulted on the idea of adding 81 – 119 Riddlesdown Road to the list of areas where enforcement of the ban is not to take place for special reasons. ...... Should there be a problem with this we can always have it removed again."

"As a result, any incurred PCN’s will be cancelled and payments refunded where the Parking Services were in receipt of payments from motorists.

In regard to Mitchley Avenue the officer's initial view is that the only areas where we could allow footway parking is for the 3 spaces near the surgery (opposite no.111) and 3 spaces towards the small shopping parade (opposite no.99) providing this is not used for access into the field.  The officer we met suggests that we introduce marked bays in these areas and include a description in the Exemption list.  We can probably get away without a footway sign as the level of these areas are the same as the carriageway.

The other area opposite no.103 where vehicles park (i.e. the area which bulges out into the field) is not on the highway therefore should not be affected by any enforcement.  We wouldn’t want vehicles to park on the crossover in front of this area as parking there would block the other vehicles."

"I would suggest that anyone who had a PCN for parking in the spaces on the field side should appeal or write to complain if they have already paid."

We have also seen further correspondence from David Wakeling in Croydon's Parking Dept to Cllr Tim Pollard and this is also set out below:

"I refer to your recent e-mail concerning Riddlesdown Road and whether a similar suspension of enforcement could be considered for Mitchley Avenue on the north side of the road leading to the bend by Mitchley Hill.

There is a difference between these two roads in that Mitchley Avenue is a strategic A class road (A2022) with a high traffic flow and part of a bus route.  If we were to suspend enforcement this could encourage residents to park at right angles on the vehicular crossovers along this section of the road.  This would reduce visibility sight lines for drivers as the road would effectively be narrowed and this could be detrimental to road safety.  Also vehicular crossovers are used by pedestrians to cross the road to reach bus stops etc. and parking would restrict their access in the road.

"The crossovers along Riddlesdown Road are deeper and this road carries considerably less traffic and pedestrians.  There is also the issue of setting a precedent in that if we were to suspend enforcement along Mitchley Avenue (disregarding the above implications) then there are many other similar roads in the Borough which also have verges which could potentially have parking.  This would be detrimental to road safety and access."

The RRA have thanked the two Sanderstead Ward Councillors for getting involved and applying a "common sense" approach on the PCN's issued in Riddlesdown Rd, which is more than can be said for Officers and their initial stance! However, we do think it is a bit unfair, that it is arbitrary, on which road, that has a depth of grass verge that allows a vehicle to be parked on, will, or won’t be ticketed. It is not always blatantly obvious where footway parking commences! What is does need, is for the law on these access ways, beside grass verges and in front of driveways, to be tested via the PATAS adjudicator!

We also believe that it is a bit unfair that the same doesn't apply to Mitchley Avenue. Leaving the carriageway clear of parked cars on an A road would help with the flow of traffic for buses and emergency services. It would also give the school children who often don't use the zebra crossing or islands to cross the road better visibility  - whereas parking cars on the carriageway obscures motorists view of them crossing the road and visa versa! It also causes traffic hold ups, especially when HGV's are trying to pass the buses at bus stops! Food for thought?!



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Re: Penalty Charge Notices in Riddlesdown Road
Reply #7 - Apr 17th, 2013 at 8:52am
 
The RRA have been made aware of another parking ticket (PCN) that was issued to a motorist on Friday 12 April 2013 in the "inlet road" opposite 111 Mitchley Ave,

As the Sanderstead Ward Councillors had previously advised the RRA that any future issuing of PCN's opposite Nos 99 & 111 would be suspended, we did take the matter up with Cllrs Tim Pollard and Yvette Hopley. They contacted the Parking Services Officers.

After our intervention, we can advise that the PCN for this motorist was cancelled by Croydon's Parking Services Officers. It would appear an over zealous Civil Enforcement Officer was in action!!

However, we are still asking the Council to clarify the parking situation here by either signage or white road markings.
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