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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69378
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi I have a parking ticket for parking in outside a bay which

Customer Question

Hi I have a parking ticket for parking in outside a bay which I feel was not clearly identified. What obligations do councils have to make the signs clear?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

Who is the issuer please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Coventry city council. I paid for my ticket but the bays are just marked on the floor in different shaped slabs but are all the same color. I parked at dusk so wouldn't have been able to tell even if I did know to look for it. The bay on the opposite side of the road had a clear white dashed line on the road to demarcate the parking area but my side didnt

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Were there any broken lines or badly maintained paint?

I realise that its at dusk but these are bright white or yellow lines?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No painted lines at all on my side to show where the bay began or ends. It's impossible to see the different passing some shapes if cars are already parked over them as was the case. There was a parking sign to say parking is allowed and a meter which I used. The traffic warden said it was my duty to check under my car as I parked to check where the bay was but I didn't know there was as bay, there was just a line of parked cars which I joined but apparently some of my car was outside the bay. This is the second highest ticketed street in Coventry


 

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Sorry but I'm not sure I understand?

Do you mean that the actual road markings were so worn as to be invisible?

If so, do you have photographs?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes I do have photos. The parking bays are a casually on what was a pavement. Ie off the road. The only way of telling which was a bay was the difference in paving block sizes, the paving colour was the same. There were no on road lines to show where the parking bays begin and end. On the opposite side of the road there were clear bright white lines to show where the parking bays began and ended.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Can I seannotations.photos? They are on a word document with annotation

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Ok. Thanks.

What I need to know is whether the lines are worn on the photographs that you have?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No the lines are not worn, they are not there at all. I'm on a journey and keep.losing wifi, can.I send you the document now via email? If so what address?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, you can do that.

You can email [email protected] but include a link to this post so the mods know its for me.

All the best.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Have just sent.it, put yours.and my.name in.the subject bar


 


Thanks for patience

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thanks.

Did you park on the pavement or the grey area? There is clearly some white markings there.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The white markings are on the OPPOSITE side of the road to.where I.parked. I parked on the side with just the black line on the road but I.parked on the pavemented bay. The first 3 photos are where I parked. Can you see the annotations on the photographs? There should be 5 photographs

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
I have only got two.

What I need is sight of the road markings where you parked?

Or, if you haven't got those, a description?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Those are in the second and third photos. It shows buff coloured paving and a black.line alongside the kerb

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
I have three photographs but this really doesn't tell us all that much.

The road signing is a non issue here. They do not say that you didn't pay for parking but just that you were outside of the bay.

If they want to rely on that then they do need to show that the lines were sufficient for the reasonably observant motorist to be able to understand what is or is not required of him.

Those pictures are a strange angle but the broken line is clear enough. I imagine they say that you are not within the lines separating those bays though? In the third photograph you can just make an a horizontal broken line that might be described as worn. I don't know whether its clearer at the scene.

If the lines were genuinely so worn that you could not tell upon reasonable inspection that it was a prohibition then fine would be worth appealing. The risk is that they will increase the price if you lose. Also, the local council will not accept lightly that their lines and signs are inadequate so you may well have to go to the Adjudicator.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks jo, the paragraph about a reasonably observant motorist etc sounds good. I would like to know the council's responsibility regarding this and would like to know where in the legislation it says this so I.can quote.it to.them

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Its just a general principle of law.

It doesn't arise from case law.

It has actually grown from S85 RTA which refers to speeding offences that demands 'adequate guidance' of any prohibition but they won't recognise S85

That said, there's absolutely no point in quoting law to them. They will never agree. The point is in an appeal to the Adjudicator who may agree.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
surely there is something that says that they should make signs clear?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Well, there is but it has no application here because the issue is not signing but road markings.

The regulations come from the traffic sign manual here

http://assets.dft.gov.uk/publications/traffic-signs-manual/traffic-signs-manual-chapter-03.pdf

but the council won't recognise it and the Adjudicator will not need to be referred to it.

There have been a series of cases that say they do not have to comply perfectly anyway as long as the reasonable motorist would not be confused by their failures. In other words, as long as the reasonable motorist could understand what was required or not required of him.

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