third letter - Lud
Here is a letter written by my wife to a central London borough council, suitably amended so the council isn't named or shamed, although it ought to be. It is the third letter she has had to write so far on this matter.

The only thing I disagree with is her assertion that she is an old person. She is younger than me and I am only verging on middle age. Apart from that I think the letter is exemplary for its restrained indignation.

"I appeal against Penalty Charge Notice Number 00000000 issued on 3 July 2006 on the grounds that the contravention did not occur. I parked my car in a designated pay and display bay and put the correct amount of money in the meter. Your letter of 28 September states that ?it is the driver?s responsibility to always check the conditions of use for any bay, in which they intend to park, to ensure that they have parked in accordance with the regulations?. I had checked the conditions of use and I did park in accordance with the regulations.

"I maintain that it was (the council in question) which violated its own regulations. It claims that ?Pay and display machines are serviced bi-monthly to ensure that they are in good working order. A Parking Attendant will also arrange to have a machine checked if it appears that it may not be working correctly.? The pay and display meter I used was not marked as out of order although the parking attendant I spoke to knew it was out of order. He also knew that all the other pay and display meters in the area were out of order. The meter I used was still not marked out of order half an hour later when my witness tried to use it.

"I would further like to point out the extreme inconvenience imposed on motorists by the (council in question)?s failure to maintain its pay and display meters. A pay and display bay contains space for four or five cars. If the system for a whole area is out of order, and that area is, as you say in your letter of 13 July, one of high demand for parking, then it is extremely unlikely that a motorist will find anywhere at all to park that is within reasonable walking distance of their destination. I am an old person and was accompanied on the occasion in question by my four-year-old granddaughter.

"I would like to point out the further inconvenience of unwittingly using a defective meter which then fails to refund the money inserted. It is absolutely no help for someone who has put all their change in a defective meter to be told to ring a certain telephone number to arrange a refund. If I know I am going to be using a parking meter, I make sure I have the right coins for the amount of time I need. But given the high cost of parking, and the need to put in at once all the coins needed for the time I wanted to park, I did not on this occasion have enough left for a second attempt. It is not feasible to ask a passing stranger to change a banknote. In the XXXXX Square area, where I was, my only option was to go to a shop in DDDDDD or MMMMM NNNN or their immediate environs, where it is not possible to stop let alone park a car. Given the time it would have taken to walk, I would probably have been given a parking ticket anyway."
third letter - Altea Ego
Dear Mrs Lud.,

From your letter it seems you do not understand the concept of pay and display . The offence clearly states the failure to display a valid ticket.

The correct course of action to have taken when the machine malfunctioned and failed to provide a ticket, was to have removed your car from the bay as you did not have a ticket to display

A refund of the money from the defective machine would have been provided in due course, the fullness of time, given the correct procedure was followed.

Appeal rejected.

Yours Sincerely

Grumpy Parking Ajudicator. (Mr)


PS my sympathy for putting up with Mr Lud for so long.


------------------------------
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
third letter - cheddar
What if Mrs Lud had displayed a polite hand written note on her dash board:

Dear Parky,

I have put half my life savings into the infernal machine adjacent to the nsf wheel of my car and it has failed in it's promise to supply me with a parking ticket to display within the car so as to prove that I have paid. Thus I trust that you will accept this note in lieu of the errant ticket.


Yours, Mrs Lud, driver of XX56XXX 12:59:37 on XXth of September 2006
third letter - Altea Ego
Dear Mr Cheese

Another it seems who does not read the appropriate regulations. Display a valid ticket. Mrs Led has not been authorised to issue promisary notes in lieu of tickets. Just as well, Mrs Lyd could be issuing thousands of such tickets within the confines of this noble borough. I am sure the Metropolitan Police would be keen to pursue this fraud, deception and theft and the borough treasurer would pursue a case for repayment of all the lost revenue.

Now will you let me get on with my panini and double expresso.

Your sincerely

Very Very Grumpy ajudicator (Ms - now going through gender reassignment)
------------------------------
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
third letter - bell boy
Dear mrs lud,
Thank you for your recent corrospondence between yourself and my office we have looked into all your letters with great care and have filed them all under B.
Please find attached an updated summons and note the bailiffs would like to call thursday after one if that is conveniant.

Your obediant servant,


john d raspberry .
#########
third letter - artful dodger {P}
Lud I should like to return a favour. You directed me to a good webiste for parking in your home borough tinyurl.com/y4poax . In this site you will find the answers to your wife's letter.

What do I do if a pay-and-display machine does not register my money or does not work at all?
If either of these things happens, you should:
1)buy your parking ticket from another machine in the same road or
2)move your vehicle to the nearest bay that has a working pay-and-display machine
Note: If you don?t have a valid parking ticket displayed on your vehicle, you may get a penalty charge notice (PCN).

How do I get a refund for money I?ve lost in a pay-and-display machine?
If the pay-and-display machine does not register money or work at all, you should:

1) buy a pay-and-display parking ticket from another machine in the same road with the same tariff; or
2) move your vehicle to the nearest bay that has a working pay-and-display machine.
If you have lost money in the machine, please write to the Parking Shop. You will need to give them the following information:
The date you experienced the problem.
The number of the pay-and-display machine.
The location of the pay-and-display machine.
Details of the problem.
The amount of money that you have lost.
Your name and address.
When it has been confirmed that the machine is faulty, we will send you a refund by cheque, including postage costs.


So it seems you will have an uphill struggle to avoid the parking ticket, especially if it is a jobsworth with a target to meet.




--
Roger
I read frequently, but only post when I have something useful to say.
third letter - Lud
Thank you Roger, but the letter is not to our home borough which, I have to say, is more reasonable than the council in question.

My wife's point, if you read what she says, is that there were so many ticket machines out of order in the area, on a weekday afternoon, that no one could park without risking a ticket, and the attendants were having a field day.

She spoke to an attendant and to another lady who was having the same problem. It is perfectly clear that the attendant just went by the book. My wife's point is that the book cannot reasonably be applied when all the machines are stuffed. People still have to live their lives and can do without this very annoying and timewasting petty distraction.

The council is entitled, apparently, to charge people for leaving their cars on the public road. It should not be entitled to screw up people's lives with this silly carp. She paid for parking. The council's machines were out of order. Her word against theirs, except that in the person of the attendant she talked to the council knew perfectly well that the machines weren't working.

Funny in a way, yes, but incredibly annoying. Multiply it by a few hundred thousand a day and you can understand why so many people think the country, or indeed the world, is going down the toilet.
third letter - stevied
I'm with Lud on this. I don't want to, and neither should I, be inconvenienced because the council can't or won't fix their stupid machines.

How come the odds are always stacked so far in favour of the authorities, and yet to seek redress is so long-winded, mind-numbingly tedious and soul-destroying? We all have jobs to do, and I am sorry to say it as it goes against my vaguely lefty tendencies, but I don't think of a traffic warden's job as being a particularly noble, or noteworthy profession.... I haven't got time to waste on such people. "Going by the book" sums them up. They knew the machines weren't working, they (or rather their paymasters) should be held accountable.

All, of course, as ever in my humble opinion.
third letter - daveyjp
This part about them being serviced bi-monthly was a surprise. I occasionally park on street and pay my money. I noticed the clock on the one I was using was 5 minutes slow, told a warden who was passing and he opened it up and sorted it out. He also said the machines are emptied and 'serviced' every day so down time is minimal.
third letter - Westpig
the 'helpful' suggested answers from the council have just cheered me up on what has been proven to be a weary day........especially the bit about filing it under 'B'.
third letter - wotspur
Just a word of warning to all BR'S.
2 years ago I parked in a road In Shepherds Bush, put the money in the machine and placed the ticket on the inside of window as rquired.
Upon my return I had received a ticket, fortunately the warden was just along the road and when I showed him the ticket, he replied that there was no time / date etc on the ticket - yep the machine had run out of ink and I hadn't checked before placing in the window-
Yes I did have the ticket cancelled, but I now always double check the info has printed correctly
third letter - JamesH
This part about them being serviced bi-monthly was a surprise.
I occasionally park on street and pay my money. I
noticed the clock on the one I was using was 5
minutes slow, told a warden who was passing and he opened
it up and sorted it out. He also said the
machines are emptied and 'serviced' every day so down time is
minimal.

Just a conspiracy theory, but the could be a bit of a scam going in Lud's problem area. First Monday of every month, switch off all the machines, then all the attendants go on duty for a bumper bonus day!

But quite possibly a scam by an outsider, much like what used to happen to choclolate machines at tube stations, where the coins are 'eaten' but released when the scammer goes to it.
third letter - Waino
so many people think the country, or indeed the world, is
going down the toilet.

These days, no one knows what our political parties 'stand for'. Wouldn't it be marvelous if a politician stood up and said "The country IS going down the toilet and WE'RE going to do something about it!"..... And meant it! LoL
third letter - Westpig
>>
These days, no one knows what our political parties 'stand for'.
Wouldn't it be marvelous if a politician stood up and
said "The country IS going down the toilet and WE'RE going
to do something about it!"..... And meant it! LoL


now you are really living in a dream world......... a politician that didn't care about the next vote or where the next source of income was coming from?
third letter - artful dodger {P}
>>Thank you Roger, but the letter is not to our home borough which, I have to say, is more reasonable than the council in question.

Lud, I would suggest approaching the local newspaper covering this council to have a word with one of their reporters. They would find this an interesting local issue, you might be surprised that no one else has contacted them.

I agree with you that your wife's parking ticket should be cancelled as it was issued whilst all ticket machines were out of order, hence it was impossible to display a ticket for the money paid to park correctly.

You will probably have to appeal to win your case, which I have no doubt you will. I would suggest you warn the parking office that you will require recompense for proving your innocence. As mentioned a few days ago you might include www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/csmco2/index.jsp to back up your letter.


--
Roger
I read frequently, but only post when I have something useful to say.
third letter - cockle {P}
What do I do if a pay-and-display machine does not register
my money or does not work at all?
If either of these things happens, you should:
1)buy your parking ticket from another machine in the same road

How do I get a refund for money I?ve lost in
a pay-and-display machine?
If the pay-and-display machine does not register money or work at
all, you should:
1) buy a pay-and-display parking ticket from another machine in the
same road with the same tariff; or


How does the Council concerned square the two different clause 1's. The first just tells you to buy from another machine in the same street, the second to check it's the same tariff. So you could read the first clause 1, buy a ticket from the next machine but because it's a different tariff you'll still get a ticket!
I'm just in favour of these things being straightforward but it seems the intention of certain authorities is to obfuscate the rules to such a level that any normal person finds it difficult to comply. This particular scenario is close to home as FIL is currently fighting his LA over just such a situation. He experienced a broken machine, went to next nearest machine in the road, same tariff, buys ticket and displays; returns to car, FPN. FPN issued as 'the machine from which ticket was purchased is in a different charge zone to that in which the ticket issued was displayed', note, same tariff but different charge zone! He gained absolutely nothing, apart from the extra exercise from the longer walk, and cost the LA absolutely nothing as they received exactly the same fee as they would have done had the other machine been working, and the logic is where.........???
third letter - Wales Forester
Up here in laid back North Wales ;-) (Flintshire to be precise) we also have problems with pay and display machines taking money when they're out of order.
On each occasion that this has happened to me I have left a brief note on the dashboard explaining that I have attempted to buy a ticket, and showing the date and time.
Touch wood, I have not yet returned to a penalty charge notice.

I should add that the council own and operate the machines and attendants.
third letter - Armitage Shanks {p}
The phrases "laid back North Wales" and "Chief Constable Idiot Br*nstr*om" don't sit too happily together! Last time I had news of him he was being installed as a bard at an Eistefodd!
third letter - Bromptonaut
Not only might machines in an adjacent bay have different tariff or restrictions, they might even be in a different borough:-

www.parkingandtrafficappeals.gov.uk/user_documents...f

Bladon was, I think, veteran motoring correspondent Stuart Bladon
third letter - PW
Went for lunch with some colleagues today, and parking machine was out of order and not taking money. This thread came to mind, so rather than risking a ticket (especially as I am currently in someone elses courtesy car) I rang the council, reported the problem and told them directly I was parked there, without paying as was unable to do so. Council took all my details and gave me a reference number to quote in case I got a ticket.

Stress free lunch as didn't have to worry about being fined, and on returning to the car less than an hour later the machine had been fixed, no ticket on my car nor any others.

Thanks Lud for highlighting this- at least it made me think today and not assume I would be OK as would have previously done, although I guess it doesn't do anything to improve your situation directly.
third letter - tartanraider
A few short years ago I was on a mission of mercy (delivering the xmas booze etc to various embassies in London) and I stopped at the Ghanain embassy in Belgrave Square.The embassies have their own reserved parking bays and a member of staff gave me permission to park in one of the bays whilst I ferried the vittels back and forth. Enter stage left the panto villain ,the TRAFFIC WARDEN! (Boo! Hiss!) I came out to see him in the process of writing me a ticket.When I told him I had permission from the embassy staff he pointed out that Westminster Council (you can boo here too!) were responsible for the bays not the embassy.

Well,it was the season of goodwill and he understood I had a job to do (smelling salts please!) so in this case he closed his book and wandered off leaving me to get on wih it. I came back out a few minutes later and a DIFFERENT warden was standing by the van writing a ticket! I explained what had just occured with his colleague but that cut no ice with this jobsworth who claimed there was nothing he could do, he'd started writing the ticket. Well there was something I could do and I did it. I called him the sort of names you can't use on here,got in my van and drove off! No ticket ,no problem!
third letter - Lud
What is it about the City of Westminster? People keep mentioning it in these negative contexts.

Never go there myself and nor does my wife I hasten to add.

Smirk.

Wish I could say the same for Camden and Islington which bestrew one of my favourite crosstown routes with tiresome 'temporary' traffic lights.

Temporary indeed.... Permanent more like. Permanent on red it often seems. And one of them today wasd so ill-adjusted or ill-timed or otherwise faulty that stuff was crossing long after green, dangerous, thought the bike overtaking me was going to get it after all the delay but he survived. How long before someone doesn't? And what are these excremental clowns playing at for week after week?
 

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