Those of you that have read my previous blog, will be aware of the personal hell I have been through in recent months, in my battle to have my PCN (or Parking Ticket) overturned.
At times I have felt that I could not go on. Sleepless nights, cold sweats nightmares about shared use parking bays and traffic wardens (sorry Civil enforcement officers) chasing me down the street.
I have seriously considered just paying the fine and getting on with my life. But your messages of encouragement [and my pedantic nature] are what kept me going.
Your support gave me the strength to carry on my brave fight against a £40 fine and the possibility of a ruined reputation and career.
So it is with extreme jubilation that I write to you today with the news that Camden Council have cancelled the PCN!
I received the following email:
“Dear Mr Lewis
Thank you for your correspondence received… Having reviewed the matter, I am not satisfied that the Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) was correctly issued and I have therefore cancelled the Notice and no further action is required.
Our records confirm that your vehicle was parked within a shared use bay where payment for parking can be made and you have provided a record of your phone parking session which was valid at the time the PCN was issued.
It is to be regretted that your phone parking session was not verified by the Civil Enforcement Officer (CEO) who issued the PCN; this error has been taken up with our enforcement contractor. I note that you subsequently showed the CEO the telephone parking confirmation text, however once a Notice is issued by the Officer on street, they are unable to rescind it.
Instead they should explain how a challenge can be made [they did – that’s what started all of this in the first place].
I apologise that your original challenge was not correctly investigated. The Council sets high standards of quality and customer care and in this instance these standards have not been met. For training purposes, this matter has been raised with the officer concerned [Sorry Roland - you really should have looked at the photographs more closely].
In closing, I would like to offer my sincere apologies and trust that the cancellation of this Notice brings the matter to a satisfactory conclusion.
Customer Support Officer
[and then they let themselves down a little with….]
If you would like to respond directly to this email then please go to www.camden.gov.uk/contactparking and complete an e-form to challenge the PCN.”
[why would I be challenging this? It seems The Council has not met its own high standards of quality and customer care in this instance. Hopefully for training purposes this matter they will be raised with themselves]
I do wonder how many times Roland has sent out letters in this way, seemingly failing to look at or consider the evidence in front of his eyes (Still I think he was better when he was in Grange Hill). Maybe his motto when it comes to appeals is still ‘Just say no.’
So, how to get a PCN overturned?
The moral of the story would appear to be don’t give up at the first attempt when your parking appeal gets turned down.
When you have campaigned tirelessly for a cause over many months [OK, a few weeks] it almost becomes a way of life, and now my ordeal is over, I feel a little bit lost about what to do with my life.
That is the legacy of my ordeal. Although Camden Council have overturned this matter, they will forever live in my heart and thoughts, and I cannot help but think I will have more nightmares about this in the future.
For it is one thing to park carelessly and face the consequences, but it another thing entirely to park legally and find yourself in this living hell.
I can only hope no person has to go through what I have been through.
Take this as a word of warning, and be careful out there.