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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 71041
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Using our family car with our permission

Customer Question

Using our family car with our permission, our son got "caught" by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in a loading bay as they say in the PCN "during restricted hours without loading". However, neither in the PCN itself or in the reply to our letter of representation to the local authority on the grounds of procedural impropriety on the part of the enforcement authority - on the grounds, as I argued, nowhere was it indicated to us in writing in two communications what the "restricted hours" consisted of. It appears to me that for a so-called "charge" to stick and be valid, the actual "offence" needs to be spelt out in writing in the "charge" sheet(s). Twice the London Borough of Tower Hamlets has declined to do this. I intend to make a formal appeal to the Adjudicator arguing thus that this local authority's PCN is incomplete and therefore invalid and should be withdrawn. Am I correct? Thankyou. Dr John P XXXXX

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

When was the PCN issued please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

PCN date of issue 20 March 2014.

We our representation against the PCN was posted sing recorded delivery post on 24 March 2014, and, as I established with the local authority, our reply was delivered on 25 March 2015.

On 3 April 2014 the local authority sent a Formal Notice of Rejection.


Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

If your question essentially is whether or not they are not capable of pursuing this because they may be errors on the PCN then I'm afraid you are not correct. They can very definitely amend the PCN and add and vary particulars.

In any event, if its just that they didn't actually set down in the PCN or in subsequent correspondence what the restricted hours were then that is not a procedurally improper issue. There is no obligation to do at all at that time and certainly would not be common in the original PCN.

They would have to provide that information to the Adjudicator if it reached that point.

Of course, they may not do that. They often do not prepare properly. However, if they are minded to do so then the fact that PCN does not actually set down the the restricted hours does not amount to an appeal point at all and certainly does not mean they could not correct it.

I'm very sorry but I have to give you truthful information.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thankyou for your response.

I must say that I find some of your statements surprising in the extreme.

A few months ago I obtained withdrawal of a PCN issued against me for being stuck in a yellow box - I succeeded because, following a particular website's advice, I argued that the PCN had been improperly formulated.

And yet here, you seem to be arguing that it doesn't matter if a legal document such as a PCN has been improperly formulated.

You seem to think that not formulating "restricted hours" in a legal "charge" sheet such as a PCN "is not a procedurally improper issue".

I think you are completely wrong on this fundamental issue.

Still, now with great reluctance, I shall have to get our son to pay the initial reduced fine of £65.

I really don't understand how you can take the stand you do and "allow" such imprecision in a legal document to go forward. I think you are completely wrong.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

Good luck.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Miss Jo C,

Yesterday I replied to your “Ansswer” to me in the strong belief that you were wrong in your so-called judgement on the PCN case I referred to you.

Searching just now on the internet, I found this successful appeal/judgement accorded to a complainant on the very grounds I raised in my representations to the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, namely that that local authority had failed to address my concerns in its reply.

In the meantime, because of worries on the part of my wife and our son, my wife paid the “early” fine of £65.

However, I have had enough dealings with solicitors and aspects of the law over the years to determine that you are completely wrong in your vague and rather “wet” assessments. Every single aspect of a legal document, whatever its nature, has to be properly and clearly defined – especially in a PCN, otherwise it really cannot be said that an “offence” has been committed.

Before logging of the relevant website you act on, I did not mark any of the boxes for assessment of the advice I received. Needless to say, in your case I would have marked the lowest one possible.


Dr John

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

Ok. Good luck then.