WCC Parking Services, Firm, Fraud and Extortion

‘Firm, fair and excellent’ has long been the mantra of Westminster City Councils parking services department headed by council officer Kevin Goad. Whenever they get caught with their pants down, as they so often do, they add those three words to any media sound bite. But does anybody still believe that crap, perhaps after reading this you may not either. Because for at least a year Westminster City Council have been operating a motorist honey trap at Gerrard Place W1 in the heart of Westminster’s China Town. Although really the term ‘honey trap’ is not the best way to describe what’s going on here. No a better choice of words would be unjust enrichment, as Westminster City Council are gaining financial benefit from illegal issuing penalty charge notices. As we will demonstrate Kevin Goad, Assistant Director, Westminster Parking Services has known what’s going on, yet he carries on perpetuating this fraud on the public, and no doubt was quite happy to take an inflated bonus this year for doing so.

Let us paint the picture, Gerrard Place is a two way street leading off Shaftesbury Avenue which is also two way. Gerrard Place is right in the heart of China Town, Theatre Land and just spitting distance from Soho and Piccadilly Circus. Even though it’s a dead end street it is extremely busy every day of the week, because at the end of this street is the Westminster City Council operated China Town car park.

China Town Carp Park entrance

China Town Car Park entrance

At the only entrance and exit to Gerrard Place which leads back out on to Shaftesbury Avenue the council have placed one no right turn sign on the left. The photo below is from Google Street View taken last summer, photos later in this post show there is still only one no right turn sign.

You might think that the single white ahead arrow painted on the road a bit confusing, but that isn’t our point. Our point is that in the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 (TSRGD) it clearly states that a no right turn sign must be placed on both sides of the road, if the road is more than 5 metres wide.

Still doubt us, time to get the old tape measure out then.

So if your a motorist and you make the mistake of deciding to spend your money in Westminster, you try to do the right thing by paying the council to park in their own car park, thinking you’re safe from malicious PCN fines perhaps. No, Kevin Goad wants to squeeze a lot more money from you. So almost every single day of the week he places a Westminster operated Scamera van in Gerrard Place. Last Sunday we asked a local resident if he wouldn’t mind going to Gerrard Place on what we thought would be an off chance of finding Westminster’s Scamera van there. This is what he sent us.

The van which is operated by the two fellows below is coining it in. Our Westminster resident who was there for less than 30 minutes on a Sunday, saw no less than six vehicles make a right turn.

Scammer 1

One of our readers was caught by this Scamera Van in the beginning of this year. It’s not difficult to see why motorists miss the single no right turn sign, as there’s always people crossing in the middle of the traffic, and delivery vehicles obliterating the single sign.

So our unlucky reader sent in an appeal to Westminster Parking services, not only pointing out that the junction should have two ‘no right turn’ signs, but also, as it was a controlled parking zone (CPZ) there needed to be a CCTV warning sign beneath every CPZ sign (something at the time the council also neglected to do properly).

But instead of experiencing Westminster City Council parking services firm, fair and excellent customers services, he received a letter back from fraudster Kevin Goad trying to conceal Westminster’s thieving behaviour. Yes Goad did quote the 1994 TSRGD, but he willfully left out the important part explaining that a road such as Gerrard Place (over 5 metres wide) must have two and not one ‘no right turn’ signs. He couldn’t have missed it, as it was the next line down in the TSRGD. This fraudulent behaviour has become the norm at Westminster City Council, as they have lost sight of being honest and fair with the thousands of motorist visiting Westminster each day. As we have said before, it’s all about the money, your money.

Goads reply Part 1

Goads reply Part 1

Goads reply part 2

Goads reply part 2

But our intrepid reader was not going to be put off with con man Goad’s lies, and put his appeal to PATAS. But of course, just before the appeal day at PATAS Kevin Goad pulled out offering no defence. He knew that the Gerrard Place fraud was too lucrative a hustle to give up. After all if it had gone all the way to PATAS the council stood to end up having to pay back all the money Westminster City Council have stolen from innocent Londoners and visitors. This dishonest trick of hoping the public will not have the time to go to PATAS and just give up and pay has to stop now. Kevin Goad you know full well this is going on everyday you are responsible.

So as David Cameron has said, ‘let sunshine be the disinfectant’, we have let the sunshine in on this big fraud against the public. If there is any justice, the police need to get involved and find out just why Westminster’s Parking Services are pulling off one of the nastiest frauds against the motorist, as there will be many other scams just like this going on at City Hall.

If you would like to email Kevin Goad:

KGoad@westminster.gov.uk

If you would like to email his boss, Cllr Danny Chalkley:

dchalkley@westminster.gov.uk

We leave you with a few more photos taken in the short time our resident was there with a camera, to leave you in no doubt how much Westminster are stealing from the public.

Now all motorists, do you need any more reasons not to spend your money in Westminster, you will be fleeced, just as the motorcyclists are with Chalkley’s parking tax.
Sources:
Relevant excerpt from the 2002 TSRGD
PCN notice – not sure what I’ve done wrong

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28 Comments

Intrepid ReaderJune 23rd, 2009 at 12:04 pm

The Intrepid Reader here. Great to see the facts have finally been used to show what a scumbag Kevin Goad and his team are. Here are extra sickening points. Someone obviously decided that turning right there was dangerous, so instead of making good on the duty of care by signing it properly, let alone legally, they do nothing allowing people to be confused and make a mistake so they can coin it in. As well as the legal sign on both sides they could even put one on that black post on the far side of the road RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of the driver’s eyline so they have a fighting chance. Who am I kidding? Revenue would then hit the floor.

John PotcnikJune 23rd, 2009 at 12:23 pm

Faith in local government, in particular Westminster must be at an all time low. For me it is anyway.

We have Barrow going to court for listed building infringements, WCC blatantly ignoring FOI challenges on councillors interests and expenses and now damning evidence of using road markings against drivers to generate profit – Even though the traffic signs are illegal themselves!

How much hypocritical can they get in their persuit of motorsist cash?

Nick SandersJune 23rd, 2009 at 12:32 pm

If Westminster Council really wanted to stop people turning left, they would put signs on both sides of the road and one on the lamppost that is on the other side of Shaftesbury Avenue. Also, the arrow that is painted on the ground should be a left turn arrow not a straight arrow. Westminster are so quick to issue tickets but bloody slow to correct their own mistakes. I do wonder if Westminster creates unnecessary no right turns etc. just to bring in more money. Why do so many people put up with this behaviour from an authority which is supposed to serve the people?

KarrlJune 23rd, 2009 at 3:47 pm

Oh do tell me this officer didn’t get the bonus this year. All those people he’s robbed, knowingly shame on him.

The least the council should do is put the junction right, and pay back every ticket they’ve issued, then I might stop believing they’re not the scumbags they are.

ClaireJune 23rd, 2009 at 4:44 pm

It’s about time councils had to pay compensation at least to the value of the attempted fine whenever they lost an appeal. That would soon sharpen their minds, and things would be a lot different.

LibertyJune 23rd, 2009 at 4:45 pm

I know that area very well, and have driven there quite often, yet could not have told you it was a no right turn junction! I suppose you could say I’ve not been very observant, but, I guess it’s becuase I’d normally be turning left, anyway. However, if you can’t turn right, there, and so are going the *wrong* way along Shaftesbury Avenue, you’ll still end up having to CROSS the other lane of traffic in order to do a right/right/right/left to end up going where you wanted, so I don’t see that it is making much difference to traffic flow or safety and might even EASE the congestion if vehicles didn’t have to keep going round and round on the crazy road system around there, which forces you do drive way further than you need to!! How green!?

JamesJune 24th, 2009 at 3:42 pm

I totally agree with the comments made by ‘Claire’ (above). Councils should have to pay compensation for every ticket that is issued wrongly. At the moment there is no incentive for WCC to make sure all tickets are issued correctly, in fact it’s the opposite. They know that if they issue incorrect tickets, some people will appeal and the tickets will be cancelled but there will also be loads of people that just pay up. The system is flawed. Westminster City Council is stealing peoples money!

D PetersJune 24th, 2009 at 8:09 pm

It is daft that there should be a no right turn there, as running along the right hand side of Gerrard Place is a brick wall which is the Soho fire Station. Fire engines are always coming out on to Shaftesbury Avenue turning left or right.

William PennJune 28th, 2009 at 12:07 pm

I met Kevin Goad as a parent governor at St Mary’s Island Church of England school, Chatham, Kent , so I know quite a bit of useful info about him. I’ll send you some stuff about his family and where he lives, you may or may not want to publish it. But we don’t want people like him living amongst us.

AlbertJuly 1st, 2009 at 1:18 pm

As the most recent victim of this WCC scam — I received my PCN today — I am most pleased that I was able to stumble upon this information here. It eases the pain somewhat and I will now be well-versed in challenging the fine.

RajJuly 3rd, 2009 at 5:06 pm

I recieved a penalty charge notice today for turning right out of Gerrard Place. Quite shocked as I didnt realise that it was a no right turn.

I checked google to see exactly where it was and stumbled across this site.

I am absolutely furious as I was just going to pay it.

How dare they trick people like this? Has anyone been to the newspapers?

NutsJuly 3rd, 2009 at 5:15 pm

There is going to be another post on this no right turn rip off, in the next three days. We are going to publish the staggering amount of money that Westminster City Council have raked in, and the other con they are using in Gerrard Place.

JonJuly 6th, 2009 at 12:52 pm

I got caught by this one as well. I wrote a rejection of the PCN, citing that there had to be a no right turn on both sides of the road and also the poor lighting of the one sign (the light actually faces the back of the sign instead of the front). They wrote back showing me a doctored version of the lit sign (there is no way its as bright as their photo), and saying they don’t need to put a no right turn on the right side of the road because its a 2-way street. Can someone confirm the 5 meter rule does still apply even on a 2-way road? Also if road signs change, don’t they need to give a warning, such as “new road layout” etc?

I am unsure if I can really take this further or not……because if it does go to appeal and they don’t reject it…I could end up much worse off than 60 quid.

Intrepid ReaderJuly 6th, 2009 at 1:18 pm

Jon said:

“saying they don’t need to put a no right turn on the right side of the road because its a 2-way street”

WRONG: The Law clearly states different rules when AT A JUNCTION [look at the link in the nutsville post] , they are quoting, wrongly again, the rules when you are driving along a road and you can’t turn right into a side street – that is correct, only one sign required.

Just send your appeal to PATAS with “Insufficient Signage” and they will pull out. I will come to the hearing and fight it for you if they don’t [but they will].

JonJuly 6th, 2009 at 2:11 pm

Thanks “Intrepid Reader” for the quick response and support. Much appreciated.

I did look at the link, and the TSRGD is not exactly the easiest document to work though. I noted the comment they and you referred to.

“(a) where the restriction, requirement or prohibition applies only to traffic on one side of the relevant road; or”

Now although it then goes on to refer to rules specific to a junction, the way the document is written one could argue that this clause applies to all circumstances, junction or not. But the use of the word “or” at the end of a sentence would then counter that, as you implied, that it is applicable when at a junction.

If the council does pull out, I am wondering whether to report the matter to the Police. There must be a way to stop this from happening. How long can they get away with this?

Intrepid ReaderJuly 6th, 2009 at 2:22 pm

Jon,

Send a scan of your paperwork to Mr. Nutsville. It is more evidence of perpetuated fraud at WCC. This is a done deal. WCC will not go to PATAS as when the ajudicator sees the scale of what they are doing there is a high probabilty of being ordered to pay back money to everyone and the word on the grapevine is that it’s massive. It’s T-*Junction* pure and simple. The legislators put in the “or” for good reason. When Kevin Goad quotes that law in their rejection letters they leave off the “or,” – how sneaky is that? Go forth in the knowledge that a public body is trying to screw you over for profit and this time, you are not going it get mugged.

There is an identical situation in Camden and they managed to sign it properly, two signs. They is no ambiguity.

In your reasons for objection on the PATAS from just put:

Insufficient Signage

Nothing more, nothing less. Don’t worry about sending in any evidence, that can be brought on the day if need be, but the day will never come. You will get an acknowledgement letter from PATAS giving you your hearing date then about 10 days beforehand you will get another letter saying the fraudsters, er. I mean WCC, will not contest and there is no need to turn up.

JonJuly 6th, 2009 at 2:56 pm

Thanks again. I have sent a scan to Mr. Nutsville :)

I really hope this scam stops and the relevant people are punished for allowing this to happen. Until then I hope more people find this site and realise they don’t need to pay up.

[...] City Council were making a fortune out of a badly signed no right turn, the post was titled ‘WCC Parking Services, Firm, Fraud and Extortion‘. In that post we explained how one of our readers was issued with a PCN by one of [...]

RajJuly 10th, 2009 at 4:20 pm

Hi,

I also have appealed my penalty charge stating there should be a sign either side of the road. If they reject my appeal I will most definately take it further, I don’t care how much they increase the fine to.

Raj

AlbertJuly 21st, 2009 at 4:04 pm

My online appeal of the Gerrard Place “prohibited turn” PCN has been rejected by Kevin Goad. I will now appeal to PATAS and keep everyone abreast of developments.

Has anyone else had success with this? Is it better to opt for a postal decision on the appeal or a personal one. I would assume that WCC is more likely to pull out of a personal hearing than a postal one.

The appeal form doesn’t really offer “insufficient signage” as a basis for an appeal.

NutsJuly 21st, 2009 at 4:09 pm

Take a look at this recent Freedom of Information request, you will see that Westminster City Council has not won one single appeal which went to PATAS http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/mobile_cctv_gerrard_place_issuin

Kevin Goad knows the signage and the road markings are not correct and even misleading, you will win. When you win you should claim all your costs, with an hourly rate of £9.25.

AlbertAugust 11th, 2009 at 5:57 pm

Well I have a date (August 28th) for my appeal and have been notified by WCC that they will contest my appeal. They also provided a CD with video evidence of my alleged contravention and two pages from a road sign manual (not cited) indicating that they do not believe the road is improperly signed. Anyone else out there in the same situation?

I’ll upload the documents I’ve received to Scribd and post a link here.

JonAugust 18th, 2009 at 11:58 am

Albert,

I posted on another thread (copied below). I am in exactly the same position, and mine is 21st August (but postal not in-person). They used the same evidence with me. But I also cited the ahead arrow and the backwards facing lighting (which they have since fixed). I also pushed for expenses to be paid if I won (possible if the council is acting frivolously which I think they are).

Good luck with yours…but Westminster clearly feel their new read of the traffic signs guide excludes no-turn signals from the requirement of being on both sides.

Jonathan

After sending my refusal to Westminster, they refused back. I have taken it to PATAS. I was told to expect the council to pull out. But they have not. They have submitted their evidence which I have received a copy of. In there, they state that the requirement for a sign on both sides of the road is a misinterpretation of the guidelines and does not apply to a no-turn sign. They state that the ahead arrow painted on the road, is a “get in lane” arrow and not indicating a turning direction or restriction. What is interesting is that the video they submitted, shows the car behind mine making exactly the same turn. Interestingly I used their evidence as counter evidence to suggest how poor the signage is if 2 cars in a row make a right turn.

I had to go for a postal hearing due to my availability and the date is set for 21st August. Although I get the impression that this is an earliest date, and it can be up to 4 months for a decision.

RichardAugust 24th, 2009 at 10:41 am

Hi there,

I too have been stung by the Gerrard Place Scam however in my case the situation is even more fraudulent. I received a £180 Charge Certificate last week. This was the first letter I received from Westminster regarding this PCN. It came with no cctv images and they demanded I pay the fine in full as I had not responded to the original letters. The problem is I never received the original letters! I wrote back asking for them to resubmit the original CCTV images and fine but they replied saying I would be sent an order of recovery and charged an additional £5. I have no idea what to do as so far have not been given the chance to appeal and they have not proved any proof. Can anyone help please??

KeiferAugust 28th, 2009 at 12:49 am

Reply to Richard’s post – 24th August 2009…

Hi there. I am presently in battle with Westminster Council over them not sending a rejection notice to my Formal Challenge – they now say they did!!! We’ll see how this one goes…

Regarding your CCTV images, I think you can demand that they supply the CCTV footage or images, as they are to be used in your defence – write again demanding them…

“Your Legal Right To Material Evidence
It’s a rule of law that any party (including the police) who wishes to rely on evidence at a Court hearing must disclose the content of that evidence, whether written statement, photographic evidence or other, to their opponent. In the case of evidence to be relied upon in respect of alleged breaches of the Road Traffic Offenders Act or Road Traffic Act such evidence must be disclosed not less than 7 days before the date of hearing. Any evidence not disclosed within this time period can’t be relied upon at Court, and where the prosecution seek an adjournment of a hearing in order to serve their evidence they must seek the permission of the Court (not always given) and bear the costs of any such adjournment. Note though that in the event that the defendant pleads guilty to the offence as charged the police are under no obligation to disclose any evidence they may have – it’s only if the defendant wishes to plead not guilty and a Court Hearing date is listed that the evidence must be disclosed in accordance with the rules.”

If you’d like to quote the Act of Parliament that entitles you to material evidence please follow this link to the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996. The Important paragraph is 1(1)(a) – take a look. http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1996/1996025.htm

JonSeptember 1st, 2009 at 12:13 pm

I have been advised there is a 21 week backlog for Postal hearings at PATAS. So it will be a loooong time before I have further news to report.

JeremySeptember 17th, 2009 at 4:53 pm

On 17 September an appeal against 2 PCNs, for two alleged Code 50s at Gerrard Place, W1 were upheld by the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service. The adjudicator directed the Authority to cancel the Penalty Charge Notices.

The case was Jeremy Kent v City of Westminster and the adjudicator gave the following reasons.

There is no dispute that this car turned right at this junction and that there is a no right turn sign on a post on the left hand side of the road junction. Mr Kent draws attention to the straight white arrow painted on the road which is also visible on the video evidence.

Mr Kent’s appeal is made on the basis that the signage is misleading.

The Enforcement Authority has produced a copy of guidance from the Traffic Manual and in the case summary it is stated that the white arrow is a ‘get in lane’ arrow.

As this is a fairly narrow single carriageway road and there is just one lane in each direction the sign appears superfluous. There is no straight ahead option. The driver must turn left or right but the use of the sign and the arrow giving different instructions does not assist drivers in making the correct turn.

Mr Kent has produced a letter a letter from the Enforcement Authority dated 6 August 2009 in which it is stated that the Enforcement Authority has placed the case on hold pending further investigation. That suggests that there is merit in Mr Kent’s observations about the signing. He has also produced evidence in the form of photographs of this junction taken more recently which show that there is now an arrow painted on the road surface indicating that traffic must turn left along with the words “TURN LEFT”. Mr Kent has not received any further correspondence from the Enforcement Authority but the photographs confirm that clearer signing was required and has now been provided.

In all the circumstances I am satisfied that the signing as it was on 3 June 2009 was not adequate and allow the appeal.

AlbertOctober 19th, 2009 at 4:57 pm

My PATAS appeal was postponed from August to September 14th. I am pleased to report that my appeal was granted and the PCN thrown out, but surprisingly this had nothing to do with the merits of my appeal (inadequte signage as discussed above) but rather a technicality and mistake on the part of WCC with our correspondence. It is not abundantly clear to me the exact nature of this error, but happily it worked in my favour. As an aside, the council did not turn up to my in-person hearing, which probably helped.

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