Last week GLaDOS (Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System (or more commonly known as the bike I sometimes ride)) was parked at Marple Station, She was located in the hatched area to the left of the Staff Only Space, in the corner, the hatched area is in place because the space is too small for a Motor Car.

This had been attached to her:

Parking Notice Enclosed Envelope

Northern Rail’s Parking Notice Enclosed Envelope

In the envelope was this “Penalty Parking Notice” or usually known as a Speculative Invoice.

Penalty Parking Notice Front

Penalty Parking Notice Front

Penalty Parking Notice Back

Penalty Parking Notice Back

Soon after the envelope was stuck on GLaDOS, I spoke to the member of staff at Marple station, who said that the man from Carlisle group said that motor bike parking is where the red circle is:

Marple Station GA

Note that the only way to get to this when the station is manned is through the booking office… and when it is un-manned via the gate at car-park side of the booking office (station layout has changed slightly):

View towards Station Building

View towards Station Building / Booking Office

 

Location of Bike and Motorcycle Parking

Location of Bike and Motorcycle Parking according to Station Staff (and Carlisle Staff)
Note Lack of Signage stating Motorcycles to be located here

Trying to talk to Northern Rail’s customer service line on 0845 000 0125 (or for those of you who don’t like paying them to talk to you 0113 881 4750), They told me that I needed to talk to the Prosecutions Unit (I assume that is the 0844 848 2571 number on the Penalty Parking Note) on 01904 568 181

Looking at the signs in the station car park, they all say:

20130312-181259.jpg

The Railway Byelaws they all quote is:

14. Traffic signs, causing obstructions and parking
14.1 No person in charge of any motor vehicle, bicycle or other conveyance shall use it on any part of the railway in contravention of any traffic sign.
14.2 No person in charge of any motor vehicle, bicycle or other conveyance shall leave or place it on any part of the railway:
14.2.i in any manner or place where it may cause an obstruction or hindrance to an Operator or any person using the railway; or
14.2.ii otherwise than in accordance with any instructions issued by or on behalf of an Operator or an authorised person.
14.3 No person in charge of any motor vehicle, bicycle or other conveyance shall park it on any part of the railway where charges are made for parking by an Operator or an authorised person without paying the appropriate charge at the appropriate time in accordance with instructions given by an Operator or an authorised person at that place.
14.4 In England and Wales
14.4.i The owner of any motor vehicle, bicycle or other conveyance used, left or placed in breach of Byelaw 14(1) to 14(3) may be liable to pay a penalty as displayed in that area.
14.4.ii Without prejudice to Byelaw 14(4)(i), any motor vehicle, bicycle or other conveyance used, left or placed in breach of Byelaw 14(1) to 14(3) may be clamped, removed, and stored, by or under the direction of an Operator or authorised person.
14.4.iii The owner of the motor vehicle, bicycle or other conveyance shall be liable to an Operator or an authorised person for the costs incurred in clamping, removing and storing it provided that there is in that area a notice advising that any vehicle parked contrary to these Byelaws may be clamped, removed and stored by an Operator or an authorised person and that the costs incurred by an Operator or an authorised person for this may be recovered from the vehicleÕs owner.
14.4.iv The power of clamping and removal provided in Byelaw 14(4)(ii) above shall not be exercisable in any area where passenger parking is permitted unless there is on display in
that area a notice advising that any vehicle parked contrary to these Byelaws may be clamped and/or removed by an Operator or an authorised person.
14.5 In Scotland
Any motor vehicle, bicycle or other conveyance used, left or placed in breach of this Byelaw in Scotland may be removed by or under the direction of a constable.

So with this all in mind, I sent the following letter to Northern Rail’s Disputes team:

Debt Recovery & Prosecutions Unit Northern Rail Limited
Freepost NEA 3188
Bradford
BD1 1BR

01904 585 181

[email protected]

 

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to dispute the Penalty Parking Notice Reference 02011, Issued by HD7464 on the motorcycle registration V937GLH at Marple Station on 7th March 2013 at 09:50.

I enclose a copy of your PPN for reference:

Penalty Parking Notice Front

The reasons that HD7464 Listed for issuing the Penalty Parking Notice are

3. Was not Parked in a Marked Bay
4. Was not Parked in a Designated area

The First Point was that V937GLH Was not Parked in a Marked Bay;

The Motorcycle was not parked in a Marked Bay, as there is no motorcycle parking provided by Northern Rail in the Marple Station Car Park, as such V937GLH was parked on an area of the car park next to the (unoccupied at the time) Staff car parking space.

The area makes up part of the access to the Network Rail gate, however V937GLH was parked in such a way that she was not an obstruction.

I note that HD7464 did not mark V937GLH was causing an obstruction.

The Second Point was that V937GLH was not Parked in a Designated area

The closest area that can be described as a Motorcycle designated area on Marple station, is through the booking office, and to park in the cycle parking area, using one of the Sheffield stands on the platform, this is an un-marked, and there is no signage in the Car Park to suggest that this is an permitted solution.

The other place to park would be to use a Car Parking space, while parking a motorcycle in these may seem like a logical solution, it also can be greeted with animosity from car drivers, who see your “under occupancy” as an affront to their right to use the space. A number of motorcycles have been pushed over, or driven into by upset car drivers.

Marple Car Park is full to capacity most weekdays. I look forward to your positive response.

Kind Regards

And because the “Debt Recovery & Prosecutions Unit Northern Rail Limited” only let me have one dispute ever, so to increase my chance of success I emailed the same email to Andrew Stunell MP (Marple Station area) and Ian Bevan <[email protected]>, who is the Managing Director for Northern Rail. First I got a response from Pete Myers <[email protected]> who is listed as Head of Service Quality for Northern Rail:

Dear Mr McGaw

Your email to Ian Bevan our Managing Director has been passed to me as the person within our business best placed to answer the points that you raise.

Firstly, on behalf of Northern Rail I would like to apologise to you and to anyone who has received a parking notice, because I understand that this can be an unpleasant experience, more so as they often come as a surprise.

Whilst we have strict rules to obey with regard to the management of parking, which include the appeals process, I feel that in this case I can say that we will withdraw the notice.

My reasoning is the fact that your vehicle was a motorcycle, and so clearly did not offer the same obstruction as would a conventional motor car.

This said, I would request that you cease parking your vehicle in this hatched area; because clearly, it is required for access and parked there your vehicle is open for another notice being issued.

Incidentally, speaking to the Debt Recovery and Prosecutions Unit (DRPU), they maintained that they were reviewing your case and came to the same conclusion as I.

I hope this is a satisfactory termination to your case, and you should receive a letter shortly from our DRPU confirming the above.

Yours sincerely

Pete Myers
Head of Service Quality

Followed by this email from Caroline England <[email protected]> from the PPN Disputes team:

Dear Mr McGaw,

Thank you for your e-mail concerning the issue of Penalty Parking Notice 02011.

Following a review of the photographic evidence for your vehicle, it has been decided on this occasion to withdraw the Penalty Parking Notice issued on the 07 March 2013. I can confirm that payment will not be necessary on this occasion.

I would however recommend that you do not park on the yellow hatched area in future but seek advice from station staff regarding a suitable place to park your vehicle.

Therefore without prejudice please find this matter now closed.

Yours Sincerely

For Unit Manager

So it looks it is all sorted without needing Andrew Stunell MP’s help.