Are Camden's parking tickets legal? The debate goes on.

I AM pleased to see that Mr Rudy Bright has at long last accepted that the Road Traffic Act requires parking tickets to have two dates – one being the date on which the parking offence or contravention took place, the other the date on which the notic

I AM pleased to see that Mr Rudy Bright has at long last accepted that "the Road Traffic Act requires parking tickets to have two dates - one being the date on which the parking offence or 'contravention' took place, the other the date on which the 'notice' of this is given" (H&H letters January 18).

However, in his council's submissions and evidence to the adjudicator in the Hyams case, it was stated that: "Only one date appears on the front of the penalty charge notice, and the council considered this to serve as both the date of the contravention and the date of the notice's issue..."

Mr Bright also claimed that Camden's PCNs "have the date of notice on the front, and did so long before the High Court ruling that challenged Barnet Council's tickets..."

This is inaccurate. Camden's PCNs, after giving details of the vehicle registration number, go on to say that the vehicle "was seen at [ ] from [ ] to/at [ ]".


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As the adjudicator said in his judgment in the Hyams case, in relation to Camden's PCN: "The one date on the front of the PCN clearly represents the date and time of the observation..." and not the date of the notice.

What Mr Bright has failed to explain in his letter is that the council's argument is that the date of the observation serves also as the date of the notice because the information on the back of the PCN refers to the date of the PCN as being "the date overleaf".

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The adjudicator in Hyams dismissed this argument saying: "The date of the notice must be expressly and distinctly stated. It cannot simply be a matter of a driver interpreting the information on the reverse..."

As far as I am aware, the adjudicator's decision in Hyams is the only decision on Camden's pre-August 2006 PCN after the transcript of the judgment in the Barnet case was made available. The early decisions made by adjudicators to which Mr Bright refers must therefore be considered suspect.

Finally, I do not accept that the change to Camden's PCNs made in August 2006 was simply a "minor adjustment to the wording" as Mr Bright claims. For the first time, the actual words "date of notice" were used so that the PCN would comply with the statute. The change begs the question: why was it made if Camden's PCNs were RTA compliant?

FRANKLIN PRICE

Partner, Jeffrey Green Russell solicitors, New Bond Street, W1

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