Tuesday, 22 February 2011

My letter challenging the parking ticket

Ross Lewis

North Shields



I refer to the above PCN issued to me this morning.  I was the hirer of this vehicle and therefore responsible for the above PCN being issued.

I parked the vehicle at approximately 4:30am this morning using my now tried and tested technique of checking the road and its proximity for any markings and or signage that would prohibit legal parking. I was not aware that North Tyneside Council now also expects me to use my hitherto unknown psychic powers to ascertain if I am committing a parking offence.

I had parked the vehicle next to what at a glance in the dark light of 4:30am, appeared to be a badly repaired stretch of pavement. As you can tell from my address above, I am a resident of North Shields, so a badly repaired stretch of pavement is something that I encounter on a daily basis and as such, this particular stretch of pavement gave me no cause for parking concern. Having received the PCN I was shocked to read that I was guilty of “parking in a special enforcement area adjacent to a dropped kerb”. I immediately moved my van expecting to see the clear markings prohibiting parking, that my sleep deprived body and mind had failed to spot earlier. But no such markings were revealed, so I looked around to try and spot the signs that would give clear parking guidance but to my horror I could not locate any. I looked again at the stretch of road and pavement, surely in the cold light of day I would immediately see that this was a special section of pavement, with its inherent parking prohibition clear to anyone just by looking at it? But no, from the angle that I had approached when parking, even in daylight it looked like a badly repaired stretch of pavement.

Fair enough I thought. In principle I have no problem with my local council deciding to fine me for parking adjacent to a dropped kerb, that they have disguised as a badly repaired stretch of pavement as long as they apply the rule fairly. With this in mind I made a packed lunch of cheese and pickle sandwiches and a flask of weak lemon drink and set off on a quest to find other dropped kerbs that have been randomly disguised as badly repaired stretches of pavement. The first dropped kerb I came to was outside a private residence and in my initial excitement I made the foolish error of thinking I had immediately found what I was looking for. The same tell tale signs were there, slapdash concreting alongside paving slabs. But just as I was about to take a celebratory sip of weak lemon drink, I spotted from the corner of my eye a white line on the road that would alert a vehicle driver that parking there would be an offence according to current traffic management laws, bylaws and regulations.

So I set off once more and stopped at the next dropped down kerb I encountered. This one was easy to rule out even for a novice spotter of dropped down kerbs disguised as a badly repaired stretch of pavement such as myself. The bold yellow writing spelling out SCHOOL and the insouciant artisan flourishes of obtuse concrete angling leading into the roadside. When the two were combined this was a stretch of pavement that simply screamed dropped down kerb and only a fool could park there and not expect to receive a PCN.

By now I was hungry so I ate my sandwiches and drank thirstily from my flask of weak lemon drink. For many more hours I walked the streets of North Shields trying to find a matching dropped kerb that had been randomly disguised as a badly repaired stretch of pavement but to no avail. I returned home a broken man resigned to the fact that for some unknown reason my local authority had chosen a dropped kerb close to my home to be used as a pioneering revenue generator by disguising it as a badly repaired stretch of pavement and fining unwitting drivers £75 a time for parking adjacent to it.

After another glass of weak lemon drink I did some research into the fining of motorists for parking adjacent to dropped down kerbs, especially dropped down kerbs with no markings. The TMA 2004 does not use the LLA&TfL 2003 act as an empowering act and makes no reference to the act at all. Therefore the contravention of parking adjacent to a dropped footway is controlled by section 86 of the TMA 2004. Section 86 is imposed as if by order under section 6 of the RTRA 1984. Therefore, the parking restriction is required to be signed, because the TMA 2004 unlike the LLA&TfL Act 2003 does not contain a clause negating the need for a traffic sign as is required by reg 18(1) of the Traffic Order Procedures 1996. If you disagree with this could you please explain your reasons fully as required and guided by the Secretary of States Statutory Guidance.

Apropos of nothing I have created a personal law about correspondence relating to PCNs. I haven’t told you about this law and nor have I made available any indicators that this law is in place but I am sure that you will gladly obey this law regardless. With that in mind I must insist that your reply to this letter must be sent by carrier pigeon. Unfortunately I will have to apply a charge of £75 for the feeding, watering and return of your pigeon, but I am happy for this to be offset against the £75 fine you have issued.

Yours sincerely

Ross Lewis


  1. Superb letter, will be interesting to see the kind of reply that you receive!

  2. Brilliant letter, I bet they'll just send a standard letter reply.
    I got a fine from Gateshead Council for parking in a bay that wasn't meant to be parked in, but the sign was missing from the pole. Apparently, I too should have telepathically known that I wasn't supposed to park in that specific parking bay!
    i wrote and told them that i wouldn't be paying it, they just sent me a standard letter saying that I had too. They didn't acknowledge any of my comments, so I found all the legislation that backed me up, told them as they had 'failed to address my comments' that they were 'psychologically harassing me' and if they continued I would be contacting my solicitor. The next letter I received from them said on this occasion they would not fine me.
    Moi - 1
    Gatehsead council - 0

  3. Good luck, Ross. Let's get as much publicity as we can. I'm posting to my Facebook page