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London Borough of Croydon (20 012 463)

Category : Transport and highways > Parking and other penalties

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 24 Mar 2021

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: We cannot investigate Mr X’s complaint about the Council issuing two penalty charge notices, for driving into a restricted area, within 8 seconds of each other. Mr X has appealed to the London Tribunal’s parking adjudicator.

The complaint

  1. Mr X complains the Council issued him with two penalty charge notices on the same day within 8 seconds. Mr X paid the first acknowledging his driving error but believes the second is a mistake or unfair. Mr X has appealed to the parking adjudicator.

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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)
  2. We cannot investigate a complaint if someone has appealed to a tribunal. (Local Government Act 1974, section 26(6)(a), as amended)
  3. London Tribunals (previously known as the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service) considers parking and moving traffic offence appeals for London.

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I have considered Mr X’s information and discussed the complaint with him by telephone following his receipt of my draft decision statement.

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What I found

  1. In December 2020, the Council issued 2 penalty charge notices (PCN’s) to Mr X for driving into a restricted pedestrian zone. The PCN’s were issued on the same date and within 8 seconds. The record of the offences refers to two different roads. The place is described as: 1st PCN Road A (by Road B); 2nd PCN Road B (by Road A)’.
  2. Mr X says he paid the first fine but believes the second is a mistake or unfair. He tells me the second PCN did not arrive until 3 weeks after the first. On 11 February 2021, the Council sent him a notice of rejection on the second unpaid PCN. The notice explains the right of appeal to the London Tribunals parking adjudicator. Mr X has sent me a form showing he has appealed.

Analysis

  1. I cannot investigate Mr X’s complaint which is outside the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction (see paragraph 2-4 above). Mr X is using his right of appeal to the parking adjudicator, against the second PCN, and we are therefore legally barred from investigating.
  2. Mr X paid the first penalty charge notice accepting he drove into a restricted area. We will not investigate because Mr X admits fault and because the parking adjudicator will consider what happened on the day in determining the appeal on the second notice.

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Final decision

  1. The Ombudsman cannot investigate Mr X’s complaint about the Council issuing two penalty charge notices. for a driving offence, within 8 seconds of each other. Mr X is using his right of appeal to the London Tribunal’s parking adjudicator.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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