Cameras and Parking…the truth is out!

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Ironic isn’t it, people complain about cameras being used to manage parking and yet they love to watch when the [TV] cameras follow and scrutinise the way parking is managed.

And what did those cameras reveal? Being inside an appeal hearing taking place they offer motorists a good insight into the processes and expectations of an independent and well qualified adjudicator.  Whilst 80% of motorists never receive a PCN, the other 20% I hope were taking notes, and not just about the finer points of the law. 

Anyone watching the programme will have picked up how long these adjudicators have been doing their job.  They know what they’re talking about and they’ve heard pretty much every excuse and they also know what constitutes appropriate evidence.  The Court of Appeal has ruled in favour of ‘substantial compliance’. It really isn’t worth trying to ‘get off’ paying a Penalty Charge when you know you should not have parked where you did and rely on a so-called ‘technical’ error in the signs and lines. How much time, energy and money are being wasted with Representations and at Adjudication Services with claims for some non-conformity in TRO’s, in signs and lines, when everyone knows that the parking was restricted, the contravention took place and the PCN issued accordingly.

The programme last Thursday provided a mix of winners and losers in a variety of different circumstances. People should think twice too before they use those fee charging websites which are entirely unnecessary and seek to profit from motorists who can challenge a penalty charge absolutely free all by themselves.

There is an old adage: if it’s yellow and quacks, it’s probably a duck. Well if there’s a line (or two) alongside a road and it’s yellow, you probably shouldn’t park there; it’s that simple.

Enforcement in Selby provoked the usual strong reactions, particularly concerns about losing custom in the High Street. Did that shopkeeper really say ‘Bring back the Traffic Warden?”

The BPA can evidence that parking charges have no influence in high street decline. What was missing was North Yorkshire Council explaining why they manage the parking in Selby… BPA Members are clear that parking management is about keeping our streets safe, free from obstruction caused by indiscriminately parked cars, improving road safety, keeping children safe when they come out of school, protecting spaces for residents or particular groups of users such as disabled people and enabling servicing and deliveries to take place in high streets that would become congested if parking wasn't properly and effectively managed.

Our report, Re-think! Parking on the High Street was produced in collaboration with the Association of Town & City Management (ATCM), Springboard Research Ltd and Parking Data & Research International (PDRI) and found no clear relationship between parking charges and the amenities on offer in a location. They park to work, to shop, to play. People go to places they find attractive with a good range of amenities on offer. They don’t go to look at the parking… People don’t park to Park.

And ‘le finale’ goes to the Frenchman who said, and I paraphrase “It was my fault, I should pay the penalty for being late back: you should see the streets of Paris, where fines are too small, no body cares where they park and no one is managing it." Touché  

For our take on the first episode of Parking Mad click here.


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