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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70508
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have just received a ticket for parking in a disabled bay

Resolved Question:

I have just received a ticket for parking in a disabled bay without a disabled badge. The markings on the bay in question were so poor as to be practically invisible and the sign pointing to normal parking was in the middle of my car, as parked - which was not wholly in the disabled bay in any case. I did not realise that I was in a disabled bay or, in fact, any bay owing to the absence of any distinct white lines. The sign saying they were disabled parking bays was back down the one way system and was at the beginning of the two bays, so I simply did not see it. It there any point in my appealing this ticket? I have taken photos of my car, where it was and showing the lack of white lines and disabled parking markings.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

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

Who is the issuer please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Suffolk Police - a PCSO (in Bury St Edmunds)

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Suffolk Police via a local PCSO in Bury St Edmunds

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Ok.

There is always a point in appealing if you are prepared to bear the risks.

You could run this on the basis of adequacy of signs and lines. The obligation upon them to ensure that the lines and signs are such that the reasonable person could tell upon inspection what was or was not required of him.

If you are saying that the lines were worn such as to be confusing rather than just technically non complaint then that would seem to offend.

The risk here though is that it could go to a Magistrates Court and you would face costs. Its not like council issue fines where there is no risk of costs.

That said, the chances of them summonsing are not high. PCSOs are not very respected by the forces or anybody else for that matter and they do not like to summons for parking contraventions as that is really the domain of the local council.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What comprises technically non compliant? There are traces of white markings on the road but it is impossible to see what they are meant to be. The Disabled marking is just a few white marks, though I understand that there is no legal requirement to use the word disabled along side a bay thus designated. Also, is there any place to appeal this on the grounds of fairness without going to Magistrates Court?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Technically non compliant is no defence any more. It used to be but there has been case law to the effect that the test now is whether or not the reasonable motorist would have been confused by the signs or lines.

If its impossible to see then you would have an argument on the point.

You hould really take photographs of the lines and signs though to stop them just repainting.

You cannot stop them summonsing you if they are intent. They should consider representations but obviously that might fail.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have taken photos - of the lines, or absence of, and my car in the position it was when I was given the notice. Is there any point in ringing the police and querying the ticket at this stage? I thought I knew this area and yet I was caught out. A man in the shop opposite said people were being given tickets all the time because of the poor markings. I have never seen a PCSO on duty on Sunday in Bury before and suspect that this is one of their favourite spots for potential fines and I am pretty cross about it.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

I would never normally suggest doing that. It just brings yourself to the attention of the police which achieves nothing except to remind them to review your case.

It might be worth considering here as, on the facts you present, you do have a very good defence.

They would probably just tell you to take it to court though anyway.

it is a shame that they have nothing better to do than issue parkings fines but the truth is that there really isn't much serious crime in the Uk despite what you read in the papers and PCSOs are not very useful.
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