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.
- 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.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- 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)
- We cannot investigate a complaint if someone has appealed to a tribunal. (Local Government Act 1974, section 26(6)(a), as amended)
- London Tribunals (previously known as the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service) considers parking and moving traffic offence appeals for London.
How I considered this complaint
- I have considered Mr X’s information and discussed the complaint with him by telephone following his receipt of my draft decision statement.
What I found
- 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)’.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman