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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 69882
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Is there any point in fighting a £130 penalty (and some others

Customer Question

Is there any point in fighting a £130 penalty (and some others at the time were towed) issued by Hackney Counsel for parking for 6 minutes in a suspended parking bay on a Sunday to visit Moorfields Hospital in a semi emergency. My defence and that of other motorists at the time is that the signage suspending the bay was ambiguous and unless you read the small print in a small print sign inset within bigger 'No Waiting' signs and below the normal parking sign which says that parking regulations apply only Mon day to Friday. ie NOT Sunday. WE all, in a hurry assumed that the suspension did not apply on a Sunday, and several had their vehicles towed away. I claim the signage is deliberately misleading and should simply have said. Bay suspended, no parking at any time any day? I would appreciate some guidance please, thank you. Scott Meikle.. [email protected]
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
My name is Alex Hughes and I am a Solicitor based in London. I'm happy to help with your question today.

Were you at the hospital by appointment? Was it an emergency? Also when did you check the small print - before or after the PCN was issued?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. I was at the hospital in an emergency, my left eye was inflamed and painful following a cataract operation two weeks previously. I did not have an appointment. I only saw the small print when I returned to my vehicle to get my forgotten NHS number and the warden pointed the small print out to me, having issued a ticket within 6 minutes of me parking. I claim he saw me leave the vehicle and didn't try and stop me. I may have a witness to that fact.


I looked quickly at the confusing signage when I parked and concluded that it did not apply on a Sunday, as did several others who were parked there. I have name and number of one lady who's car was towed away. She said the signage did lead one to believe it didn't apply on a Sunday. I have photographs of the signage and other cars. The parking warden was having a field day ticketing and towing. I watched his activity for some time after I came back from the hospital. I feel very strongly that they put up ambiguous signage to lull motorist into innocently parking and make a lot of money. I am prepared to go to a hearing, which they tell me is at the Angel. I live in Brentwood Essex a long way to travel. If I lose, however, it will cost me £130 plus half a day time and travel costs. It would appear to me that this a money collecting system using suspended bays which are not hazardous in any way. The pavement beside the bay was accessible as normal.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

I see my colleague has opted out. If you give me 10 mins I will read over this for you.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for the time.

Sorry for the confusion but would you mind explaining to me what the signing actually said?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

For Jo C.


I do have a photo if I could send it. However, The normal parking bay sign on top of a pole is not covered up and says 'Permit holders only-Mon-Fri.8.30am-6.30pm. to the pole below had been fixed a bigger yellow sign Hackney. NO LOADING.

Then under neath but within the yellow sign a white frame sign with small print which could only be read quite close up and said Warning, parking suspended from Mon 1st July13 to 31st Dec 13.Please note that suspension of spaces applies 24 hours for each day of the suspension. then it states street name and Location, with an arrow from this point forward to junction with Brittania Walk. but to the right of the sign it seems hat it would have been ok to park? So you had to work out that it applied every day because it said 'applies 24 hours for every day of the suspension period' Then it gives a name of a company and reason. 'Construction or building repairs' By leaving the normal sign in place which indicates that restriction applies only Mon-Fri. One is lead to believe that the other restrictions also apply only Monday to Friday. Hope this enable you to get a visionable idea.. I said to the council that they should have a simple sign. BAYS SUSPENDED EVERY DAY 24 HOURS Instead of misleading the motorists and taking vast sums of money from them! I think they have to be stopped. They are still doing it in several streets around the area. If I had only parked the other side of the sign it seems I would have been ok. but tha'ts not really clear either.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Actually a photo would be great. It would slow things down a bit but its hard to visualise road signs.

You can send it to [email protected] but include a link to this post so the mods know its for me.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks Jo. I have sent pic to experts with request to pass on to JO C.

I couldn't work out which link you meant?? so hope it gets to you or please explain the link to which you refer


Regards Scott

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
The url to this question. Here
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Great thanks, that is what I put in the e-mail. I have to go out now. When can we communicate again?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
You will get an email when I respond so there's no need to sit online.

This isn't usually that quick but its probably the only way to get the right answer.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

For Jo C

OK thanks.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

I have actually got that in amazing speed.

You can always appeal these things. The councils are hopelessly inefficient. Half the time they don't prepare the appeals and people walk away in default.

It is a point of appeal to say that the signs were confusing. I've examined that photograph though and the warning of suspension is clear enough.

The only debate is over whether or not there was a reasonable ground for confusion arising from the differences in days and times.

That could really go either way depending on which adjudicator you got. I can think of at least three who would say that the suspension notice was clear enough that it applied for 24 hours a day but some others who would say that it doesn't specifically exclude the weekends.

Personally I would appeal the matter but it does contain a risk.

Can I clarify anything for you?


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