Sand Street car park fines (FOI)
Sand Street car park fines (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 17 September 2018.
This for the attention of the department which oversee the parking fines incurred in Sand Street car park.
The law allows six days for a person to pay the fine allowing a reduction of one third from £60 to £40. As it takes two to three days for postage from the Department for Infrastructure (DFI) to the person and then an identical time for the reply please explain why this facility is unfeasibly and impossibly short.
Why when the above makes it virtually impossible to comply with the six day facility is there no direct email address to the Sand Street Parking Fines office to make a query or reply within the specified six days?
Why when the parking offence appeal system allows a very sensible 21 days for adherence why is the facility for reduction from £60 to £40 bizarrely short! I reiterate two way postage is five plus days and the facility for reduction is just six!
Why when a person writes to DFI by email to interact on such a matter does he / she just gets a read notice and no actual reply?
What are the fines used for? For example car park maintenance and so on.
If a person leaves with say £3 outstanding and this incurs a £60 fine why is a £20 reduction given on a breach of only £3? This is disproportionate and smacks of just collecting income.
Please state the number of occasions the four payment machines have been defective and the exact nature of the defect(s). For example, could it send a false reading to show "no payment” or partial payment when in fact payment or part thereof had been made? If such errors are not possible please clarify how by relevant technical explanation.
At the base of a penalty letter a paragraph is included about data sharing to” other" Enforcement Agencies! Can you tell me on how many occasions this has been done and why? It seems if someone commits the most minor of parking offences by leaving without paying 87p (very possibly without knowing) then all his / her details are potentially sent elsewhere!
I note that there is a barrier and red stop light at only the entrance to Sand Street car park to prevent over filling which is clearly a very sensible idea.
It must be accepted that anyone going into the car park knows they are on CCTV as this is the means by which the payment system works so it is 100% guaranteed that if someone leaves without payment they will be caught. This suggests that the vast majority of people are fined as they have either forgotten to pay or have not actually paid the full amount having assumed that the credit card / uni ticket machine has covered the full payment, but in reality it has not done so. This is poor use of a machine not a blatant parking offence.
On this basis it is likely that 99% of people who leave without payment (full or partial) are quite unaware and it is just a mistake. My question is why is there not a barrier and / or Stop light as a warning (there used to be one)?
The discounted period is based on postal delivery being completed the working day following the day the item is posted for local mail deliveries. Any failure to meet this is the responsibility of Jersey Post and complaints regarding this must be directed to them. The 6 day period is based on working days and does not include Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays. The discount period for all other car parks and non-ANPR Excess Charge Notices in Sand Street is three working days as these notices are placed on the vehicle at the time of issue whereas ANPR related offences are not committed until the vehicle has actually left the car park and physically placing a notice on them is not possible. Payment can be made using the online fine facility which is publicised on all Excess Charge Notices without the need for any return postage or by telephoning the administration office.
Currently there is no email contact facility for the Parking Control Office. However following a recent service review an online appeal facility is currently being developed, which will include the ability to make contact by email. It is envisaged that this will be available before the end of 2018.
See answer to A above
Parking Control aim to respond to all emails within three working days unless these are reporting minor faults or defects which does not require a response.
All income from car park operations, including income from Excess Charges and sale of paycards is used to fund the daily operation, maintenance of existing car parks and to provide funds for future building of new car parks or extensions to existing car parks.
The discounted amount is only applicable if payment is received by the administration office within the set period allowed and is applicable to all specified offences for which an Excess Charge Notice can be issued. The normal amount and the discounted amount for an Excess Charge and the period this is applicable for are scheduled in the Road Traffic (Public Parking Places – Charges) (Jersey) Order 2017.
There has only been one instance when the terminals have not been operational and this was due to a generalised power cut caused by a Jersey Electricity problem.
There are no recorded instances of a false reading showing with regard to payments either not being recorded or not recorded correctly
Data relating to persons alleged to have committed offences resulting in an Excess Charge Notice being issued are shared with the Honorary Police of the parish in which the particular car park was situated if the Excess Charge remains unpaid within the specified time. This information is then used by the parish for the purposes of issuing a summons for attendance at the Magistrate’s Court in relation to the non-payment.
In the past two years (2016 to 2017) a total of 231 unpaid Excess Charge Notices have been passed to the Honorary Police for summons to be issued for non-payment of the Excess Charge.
A red light and a barrier system that would notify a vehicle leaving the car park if they had not paid before attempting to leave has been considered. There are several issues arising from both of these types of system.
The first is with regard to the location of a red light, or warning signal - it would have to be placed on the approach to the final exit otherwise other cars entering and circulating in the car park would all be warned that they hadn’t paid. Therefore only the final exit approach on level 3 or the exit ramp itself would be a suitable place to install a warning signal. This in itself then poses a problem as it is unlikely that any free spaces would be available at this point unless all spaces in the area were reserved for people leaving the car park who had omitted to pay. This would then require the permanent removal of 13 spaces from a busy shoppers’ car park which is considered an unsatisfactory solution. The signage barrier preventing cars from recirculating on level 3 is there for safety as cars heading up the entry ramp would be unaware of vehicles trying to recirculate at this point.
A physical barrier at the exit would delay all vehicles, as by default the barrier would have to be lowered for every vehicle and raised only to permit paid vehicles to exit, one at a time. It would not be appropriate to allow the barrier to fall only for vehicles who have not paid - this would result in a safety issue given that most people would not expect it to drop as they approached down the ramp unless it did so for every vehicle as standard. For those vehicles in default, it would also result in the issue of motorists having to leave their vehicle at the barrier to go and make a payment.
Allowing a motorist to block the exit in order to go and make a payment would result in other car park users having to wait until the payment had been made and the driver had returned to their vehicle, before they would be able to leave. We also considered the option of having a payment system set up at the point of exit for motorists who were alerted that they had not paid. Whilst not as disruptive as leaving a vehicle in order to go to make a payment, it was considered that this would still cause an unacceptable delay for other users of the car park who would have to wait to leave, particularly if a payment was being made by debit or credit card. This option was therefore discounted.