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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70708
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Does a vehicle owner have a legal responsibility to check

Resolved Question:

Does a vehicle owner have a legal responsibility to check that there is no change of status in a parking bay every day that they are parked there? Specifically I was parked in a permitted area with a residents permit. The council issued a suspended parking bay notice while I was on holiday and is now wanting to fine me because I was parked in the bay even though I never saw the suspension notice as I was on holiday.
Many thanks
Submitted: 24 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 24 days ago.

Hi - are you saying that the council had not put up signs before you went on hols?

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
They actually put them up on the day we went on holiday but the car was parked down the street so we didn't see them
Customer: replied 24 days ago.
No need for a phone call at the moment. I just want a simple answer as to whether I have a legal duty to check every day (or arrange for someone else to check) whether a parking bay in which my vehicle is parked is suspended. Thanks
Expert:  Jo C. replied 24 days ago.

how long we were away??

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
for just under 3 weeks
Customer: replied 24 days ago.
In the Council's Notice of Rejection of my appeal they say: " I note from your representation that you did not see the suspension sign prior to going away. Whilst I appreciate the circumstances it is the motorist's responsibility to ensure that, when making use of the parking bays within the controlled parking zone, the vehicle is correctly parked. He or she must ensure on a daily basis that, due to the changing traffic conditions or requirements there is no change in the status of the parking bay". It is this statement that I want to check. Do I have a legal obligation?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 24 days ago.

They are right strictly speaking. The reason that they refer to the 24-hour period is that one sign can be issued within a 24-hour period for the same offence and so they are arguing that the motorists obligation is a daily one. Strictly speaking that is correct.

They do have a duty to advertise the suspension of any bay but if you were away for three weeks I suppose they may be arguing that they did and you missed the advertisement.

That said, they may well cancel this using their discretionary grounds.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
That's fine. Thank you. I will argue that it is totally unreasonable and that they should consider the mitigating circumstances and cancel the charge using their discretionary powers.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 24 days ago.

Yes, always worth trying. Quite apart from anything else if you have limited history with them there is a good chance that they will

Exercise their discretion in your favour.

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