Westminsters Kevin Goad don’t half talk some twaddle

Nuts was directed to today’s post in the The London Evening Standard which describes where one driver had mistakenly bought a parking ticket from one side of the street, but received a PCN from Westminster Council because she had paid the wrong council to park. What amused us were the comments from head of commissioning for city management at Westminster one Kevin Goad where he claimed that “We are working hard to improve motorists’ understanding of the rules and provide clearer signs and lines.” and that “We accept that on occasion motorists can make an honest mistake or there may be mitigating circumstances. The appeals process takes this into account.

But this is not the experience of Kevin Goad that some of our readers have told us about. Residents of Westminster who own cars have to purchase a residents parking permit. Like a cheap magic trick the Council manage to sell more residents parking permits for the spaces they have, last year netting the Council nearly £4 million. So we find Mr Goads latest comments highly amusing given the story of one resident sent to us last week.

In Clipstone Street there is one residents bay immediately adjacent to three pay-by-phone bays. The only separation is made by three broken painted lines on the road. So to set the trap the Council have put two residents bay parking signs on the single bay and positioned the sign post practically on the dividing line between resident and non resident bays. So it’s not surprising that residents when they come to park, sometimes at night, believe there is in fact two residents bays. Why would the Council fix two signs for a single bay we wonder.

Now our reader received his PCN and went through Mr Goads wonderful appeal process. The appeals process consist of the first informal appeal, then a second formal appeal. Westminster didn’t even bother to reply to the first appeal, nope nothing. Then follows a threatening letter demanding money or the fine is doubled. This is despite many letters sent directly to Mr Goad pointing out the misleading signage. So our reader perseveres with the second formal appeal, again pointing out the misleading signage, all backed up with photographs, asking Mr goad to have a look. What happens, the Council reject the second appeal saying this:-

I confirm that the PCN was correctly issued and you are liable for the charge.

The CEO’s photographic evidence clearly shows your vehicle parked in a Pay by Phone bay next to the appropriate signage. I note your comments regarding the fact that you did not see the road markings; however, upon checking the photographs, the lines are very clearly marked on the road next to your vehicle.

So there is no leniency or willingness to even consider that the signage is misleading. But it gets worse, our reader explained early on that he would be more than happy to take this to PATAS for their opinion, but sneaky Westminster Council were having none of that, so they sent him a charge certificate just six days after rejecting his formal representation, but without including the PATAS appeal form. And even though our reader made Mr Goad aware of this, they also set the bailiffs on him. So much for Mr Goads appeal service, and he certainly won’t entertain the possibility that any of his signs are misleading, because for far too long Westminster parking department has been all about revenue raising.

It took six months for our reader to appeal this one ticket, which the Council only canceled because they set the bailiffs on him too quickly. As far as their signage goes, this was the Councils last word on the matter:-

I acknowledge your concern over the placing of the 45-degree angled sign for the “Resident Permit Holders Only” bay. In examining the excellent photographic evidence that you have supplied, I would draw your attention to the photograph containing the two vehicles, the image without the left hand lamppost and its accompanying sign. If you examine the road markings in this photograph, you will note that the post that is supporting the 45-degree angled sign is clearly on the right hand side of the markings, which delineate the change of bay type (triple broken bar).Your vehicle was within the bay on the left of this photograph, which, in another of your photographs, showing the lamppost (with attached signage) on the far left of the image, is marked as a Pay by Phone bay.

Didn’t we just have a lot of politicians telling us that it’s all OK because it’s within the rules.

Seriously though this isn’t about just one residents views on the signage, see the photos below, all these residents have been caught out, some of which received three PCN’s for their mistake. How many residents have to be caught out by Mr Goads trap before he will act, and stop using parking enforcement to raise revenue from the residents of Westminster?

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6 Comments

IhatewestminsterJanuary 27th, 2010 at 4:51 pm

This council is making its own laws and regulations to trap motorists and they are making millions from unfair pcns. the parking department is run like the mafia and only money speaks to them.

MrCJanuary 28th, 2010 at 10:37 am

Its about time all moterists stopped paying to park and stopped paying PCN’s if you want help with this see tpuc.org which has some exelent ways to deal with this extortion. They recomend that you send PCN’s recieved in the post back to the sender with NO CONTRACT RETURN TO SENDER writen on the frount, because a PCN is an offer of a contract and you don’t have to accept it.

OK in realaty I have never tried this but its worth concisdering :)

LibertyJanuary 28th, 2010 at 12:26 pm

I think it would be more accurate had the Kevin Goad quote also continued ..
“The appeals process takes this into account” –> followed by ” and ignores it if at all possible”.

BanditJanuary 28th, 2010 at 4:56 pm

The Evening Standard edited my comment: it originally ended ‘…and never, ever believe anything that Kevin Goad says, ever’.

Despite what Mr Toad said to support the PCN discussed above, there must surely be some legislation that states signage must be clear an unequivocal, ie, not open to misinterpretation or liable to cause confusion..?
Any instance where such confusion can occur, the PCN should be disputed.

[...] January we told you of a ticket honey trap set up by Westminster council in Clipstone Street. We explained that one of our readers had been [...]

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