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Legal guide to UK motoring, sections for law enforcement, Driver licensing, learner and new drivers, buying and selling, speeding fines, owning a vehicle, wheel clamping, traffic information.


Parking Permits: Parking facts and fiction

- Single yellow lines only operate Monday to Friday.

Fact - Single yellow lines operate for the hours shown on signs by the line, or for the hours of the Controlled Parking Zone which they are in. This means they can operate on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank holidays.

Fiction - The yellow line I parked on had no sign with its times by it, that must be wrong.

Fact - No it is not always wrong. Yellow lines within a Controlled Parking Zone do not require time plates showing the hours of restriction if their hours of restriction are the same as the Controlled Parking Zoneís hours. Also since January 2003 double yellow lines which are restricted 24 hours a day, every day of the year do not legally require any time plate saying this.
In all other cases a yellow line should be accompanied with its time of restriction, if this is not the case please inform us by e-mailing parking@richmond.gov.uk.

Fiction - Writing to the Council to appeal against the issue of a Penalty Charge Notice will extend the period given to pay the discount sum.

Fact - Not Always!, Between 1st September 2002 and 10th November 2004, Richmond Council followed the policy of strict adherence to the law on this. Payment of the discounted sum would only be accepted within the 14 days from issue of the Penalty Charge Notice, irrespective of whether you wrote in or was awaiting an answer. However following a decision by the Councilís Cabinet since 10th November 2004 letters received during the discount period will hold the discount.

Fiction - I only stopped for a minute or so, you are allowed 5 minutes I am told.

Fact - Wrong! You are not allowed any time at all unless the reason you have stopped is a permitted reason. For example you cannot simply stop on a yellow line to ípopí into a shop, withdraw cash or similar, you should find a legal parking place for this. Parking Attendants will observe a vehicle to determine if the vehicle has stopped for a permitted reason, but as soon as it is obvious this is not the case a penalty charge notice will be issued.

Fiction - My car broke down so Iím not liable for the Penalty Charge Notice.

Fact - When driving, it is your responsibility to ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy and will not break down.
íForeseeableí problems such as running out of petrol/water/oil/brake fluid, or problems that have been happening for a while, e.g. not being able to start the vehicle, are no excuse and so you will still be liable for the Penalty Charge Notice.
Emergency problems such as flat tires, collisions or the engine falling out can, at the Councilís discretion, be accepted as valid reasons for cancelling your Penalty Charge Notice.
In all situations the please ensure you remove the vehicle, if illegally parked, within 24 hours. Failure to do so will render you liable for any penalty charge notice issued.

Fiction - I only left my car parked without paying the meter/displaying a Pay and Display ticket because I went for change to put in the machine.

Fact - Unfortunately, as soon as you leave your vehicle unattended other than to go to the meter/Pay and Display machine, you are deemed to have parked. The Parking Attendant has no knowledge of where you have gone and so going to get change cannot be accepted as an excuse for cancelling a Penalty Charge Notice.

Fiction - I didnít know there were any restrictions where I parked as I couldnít see them/I am new to the area and didnít know about them

Fact - When you park, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are doing so legally. If road markings are obscured due to snow or leaves on the ground, then you should look for signs detailing what restrictions are in place. Similarly, if you are new to the area then you should look around at the signs and lines to see where you can and cannot park.

Fiction - There is a grace period on parking Meters/Pay and Display tickets/Vouchers.

Fact - No! As soon as the meter/pay and display ticket/voucher runs out then it is no longer valid and you are in effect parking illegally.

Fiction - I keep forgetting to change the clock on my disabled badge - surely Iím not liable for a Penalty Charge Notice for that?

Fact - Unfortunately it is a condition of the usage of your disabled badge that the clock should be set every time you use it and leave your car. That way the Parking Attendant knows that you are parked legally and when you will return.
Not setting the clock prevents the Parking Attendant from knowing when you will be back and so they must assume that you have parked for longer than the allowed time and will issue a Penalty Charge Notice.

Fiction - It doesnít matter if my Pay and Display ticket/Voucher falls down out of sight - Iíve paid, havenít I so I canít be liable?

Fact - If the pay and display ticket/voucher is not visible or readable, then the Parking Attendant cannot confirm its validity. It is your responsibility to ensure that it is clearly visible at all times it is required.

Fiction - If I throw the Penalty Charge Notice away, you canít find me so thatís the end of it!

Fact - All Councils have the legal right to use the information held by the DVLA (Driving Vehicle and Licensing Agency) to pursue Penalty Charges.
If you donít pay, the registered keeper of the vehicle becomes liable (even if it isnít you) and the Council will use the process provided in law to recover the charge. See the Unpaid PCNs page to find out how this will affect you.

Fiction - I only got a ticket because your Parking Attendants are on commission and they want to earn a bit of money from me.

Fact - Parking Attendants working on behalf of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames NEVER receive benefits, be they financial or otherwise, from issuing more Penalty Charge Notices.
A Parking Attendant issuing 1 Penalty Charge Notice a day earns no more or less than one issuing 30.

Fiction - Itís OK to park on the pavement when necessary.

Fact - There is a London-wide footway parking ban in place which prevents parking on pavements, other than in specially marked bays which will be properly signposted. This is mainly to keep pavements clear for pedestrians and to prevent damage.
As the ban is London wide, it is not signed and as a driver you should be aware of it as you can get a Penalty Charge Notice for it anywhere within the Borough.

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