Set up in response to thousands of Turnham Green Terrace PCNs
Left turn sign from Bath Road obscured by other signs
The cameras may have been turned off in Turnham Green Terrace but a web site set up to help people deal with fines received in Chiswick is still getting queries from anxious people.
Local residents Jackie Elton and Trevor Bradley were prompted to set up the site when they learned just how many penalty charge notices (PCNs) were being issued as a result of the newly imposed access restrictions. Cllr John Todd managed to find out that over 7,200 PCNs had been issued up to 20 October which would have brought close to a million pounds for the council if they were paid at the full tariff.
So far less than half of those fined have paid up and 859 of the PCNs have been cancelled with the rest described by the council as being 'at a variety of stages in the process'.
Many of these will be being appealed and this is where ChiswickAppeals.com comes in. The site guides those who have been caught out, with information, pictures, and wording to help them appeal.
Jackie and Trevor say they found it hard to look on while what they describe as unsuspecting and innocent people were being caught out in what they considered to be a trap.
They say the signs were hastily erected, small in size hard for motorists to see when turning, often hidden by other signs and conflicted with other longstanding existing signs.
On example they point to is the sign near the Tabard pub on Bath Road which they say is typical of the signage in the vicinity of the restrictions. Many motorists miss the sign and have the choice of proceeding or executing a dangerous turn if they spot other signs later on indicating there is a restriction.
The sites owners add, “We advise them about the process, how to challenge and what happens if their first appeal is turned down. Many of the people have never had Penalty notices before and just don’t know what to do. They cannot understand and really worry.
"Many are vulnerable people or they simply don’t have the means to cope with this extra expense and stress at this difficult time. There are single mothers, firemen, people with disability, retired people, some suffering bereavement. But whatever their circumstances, we believe these Penalty Notices simply aren’t fair and need to be challenged. They were just going down an established B Road as they have done for years. What we are also finding is that PCNs are getting lost in the system, so people appeal but then can’t find them and that gets them very stressed."
So far some people have had their notices cancelled on initial appeal which is believed to be unusual for those receiving PCNs in the London Borough of Hounslow. Others are still waiting and the appeals web site advises anyone fined to continue with their appeal to the Independent Adjudicator.
Jackie and Trevor add, "People are just so relieved and happy to get some reassurance and practical help after they feel they have been 'done' in this way.
"If Hounslow feel they are 'improving’ Chiswick – why must they do it at the expense of those who can least cope? So many of them live in other parts of Hounslow and West London -because they had even less warning than the locals."
The fines have been suspended on Turnham Green Terrace for the duration of the Acton Lane water main repair but the latest information is that the work here will be finished on 13 November at which point the flood of people needing help from ChiswickAppeals.com may resume.
To have your say on any of Hounslow’s trial Streetspace schemes click on this link or email the transport team on email@example.com.
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November 8, 2020