Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments First Report


Memorandum by the Scottish Office

REGULATIONS 1998 (S.I. 1998/2233)

1.  This Memorandum is submitted to the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments in response to their letter of 11th November 1998 in which they ask for an explanation of the following point arising in connection with the above Statutory Instrument.

2.  The Committee seek an explanation as follows:—

    Regulation 4(1)(c) requires the proper officer to send to the parking authority any direction extending the time limit for appealing. Please explain why no corresponding provision is made for informing the appellant who has requested the extension.


3.  The provisions concerned relate to the initiation of an appeal. This is done by the appellant's sending a notice to the proper officer. That notice has to be received within a certain time limit imposed either in section 72(1) of or paragraph 5(1) of Schedule 6 to the Road Traffic Act 1991. In both cases the time limit is 28 days or such longer period as the parking adjudicator may allow.

4.  If a notice of appeal is sent outside the 28 day time limit, regulation 3(3) requires that the notice of appeal is to include a statement of reasons on which the appellant relies for justifying the delay. If such reasons are given, the parking adjudicator is required to treat them as a request for an extension of the time limit.

5.  If the parking adjudicator decides that the time limit should not be extended the notice of appeal will be invalid since it is made out of time in terms of section 72 of or paragraph 5(1) of Schedule 6 to the Act.

6.  A notice may be invalid either because it is made out of time or because it does not comply with the requirements of regulation 3. Regulation 4(1) must be construed as applying only to notices which are valid and thus are received in accordance with regulation 3. A notice which is invalid for time limit reasons could be cured by a direction of the adjudicator.

7.  If a notice is invalid for whatever reason, the view is taken that action on that notice cannot be taken in terms of regulation 4. That regulation is triggered by receipt of a notice "in accordance with regulation 3". Accordingly the requirement to send to the appellant an acknowledgement of receipt of a notice applies only in relation to a notice which is so received by the proper officer. Such an acknowledgement will itself therefore inform the appellant that his or her notice of appeal is to be proceeded with. If the notice is not to be proceeded with under regulation 4 the appellant will as a matter of practice be informed accordingly.

8.  Regulation 4(1)(c) requires that the parking authority receive a copy of the notice of appeal so that they are in a position to comply with other duties imposed on them by the Regulations. If that notice were to be apparently invalid for time limit reasons the copy of the direction makes it clear to the parking authority that the invalidity has been cured. The appellant does not require a copy of the direction since the acknowledgement of receipt sent to him or her under regulation 4(1)(a) relates only to valid notice and is thus confirmation that the notice is to be proceeded with.

9.  These Regulations were intended to align as closely as possible with existing Regulations for London - the Road Traffic (Parking Adjudicators) (London) Regulations 1993 (S.I. 1993/1202). The provisions concerned are in similar terms in those Regulations.

November 1998

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