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London Borough of Southwark (18 018 084)

Category : Transport and highways > Parking and other penalties

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 28 Mar 2019

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint about a penalty charge notice issued by the Council for a parking contravention. The complainant has a right of appeal to a tribunal against the penalty charge notice

The complaint

  1. The complainant, who I refer to here as Miss B, has complained about a penalty charge notice issued by the Council for a parking contravention. She says the Council waive the penalty charge because she had been unable to pay the required fee because the machines in the area were not working.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. The law says we cannot normally investigate a complaint when someone can appeal to a tribunal. However, we may decide to investigate if we consider it would be unreasonable to expect the person to appeal. (Local Government Act 1974, section 26(6)(a), as amended)

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I have considered what Miss B said in her complaint and discussed it with her.

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What I found

  1. The Council enforces the parking restrictions using procedures set out in the Traffic Management Act 2004 and associated Regulations. Councils and motorists must follow these procedures although councils have discretion to stop enforcement or recovery action if they believe there are good reasons to do so.

What I found

  1. Miss B sent an informal challenge to the Council which it considered and rejected.
  2. If Miss B does not pay the penalty charge, the Council will send her a Notice to Owner. This will allow her to make formal representations against the penalty charge notice.
  3. If the Council rejects formal representations made by Miss B, she will have a right of appeal against the penalty charge notice to London Tribunals. An appeal to London Tribunals, which is a statutory tribunal, is free and relatively easy to use. It is also the way in which Parliament expects people to challenge a penalty charge notice.

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Final decision

  1. I have decided we will not investigate this complaint because Miss B has a right of appeal to a tribunal which it would be reasonable for her to use.

Investigator’s final decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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