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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 71153
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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How clearly defined do the lines marking out local council

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How clearly defined do the lines marking out local council car parks need to be?
Can you explain your situation a little more?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I parked in West Devon council car park across two bays such that the near side wheels were a foot the wrong side of the bay. Except that there were no lines marking the bay except for faint marking less than a foot at the inner end of the bay. The penalty notice was for "parked in a parking place for a purpose other than the designated purpose for the parking place". Should the bay's be fully marked for the length of bay to be legal?
Do you have a photograph of the bay?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Afraid not ,but can get a photo at the weekend
OK. I don't know if you want to come back when you have it? The question won't close from your side.This is a question of fact and degree and it will help to see the bay.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Not able to take photos. I suppose the issue is how much length of bay marking is a) legal and b) sufficient to warrant a ticket.
R A Long
It is never really that simple anymore. There are quite strict guidelines on lines and signs that used to be enforced fairly rigidly. There is caselaw now though that says that the council need only be ‘substantially compliant’. That has made bad law. What it means is that the Council and the Adjudicator are free to levy almost any variation they like without much challenge. It is clear that any default must be such as to confuse the reasonably observant motorist. That amounts to making a judgment of the lines in question. When you say ‘faint’ lines you might well have a challenge. It depends how faint. If you could not tell with reasonable inspection what was or was not required of you then you have a challenge. You will need photographs before the adjudication though because the council will just paint over the lines. Can I clarify anything for you? Jo
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