Private Parking Company PCN information

Example of a PPC sign
Example of a PPC sign

Parking Charge Notices v. Penalty Charge Notices

This hub is a guide to what to do if you receive a Parking Charge Notice. These are issued by Private Parking Companies such as 'Excel', 'G24', 'MET Parking' etc. to vehicles parked in private car parks.
They should not be confused with Penalty Charge Notices issued by Local Authorities.

If you receive a PCN from your Local Authority, you should be aware that these ARE legally enforceable, and you may end up in Court if you fail to either pay or lodge an appeal. On the other hand, a PCN issued by a PPC is NOT legally enforceable (despite what they may tell you). PPC's know this, but rely on the fear-factor to scare people into paying.

Parking Charge Notice paperwork

PCN's are issued in 2 ways. The first way is via a 'ticket' on the screen (just like a Council-employed Civil Enforcement Officer would do), and the second (and most controversial) is via the post to the vehicles' registered keeper.

A lot of PPC's like to issue 'tickets' via the post, especially when using ANPR technology to log vehicle movements on and off their contracted sites. The reason being that if a driver visits the same site twice within a short time, they can 'edit-out' the log of the vehicle leaving after the first visit, and entering on the second visit, thus making it seam that the vehicle has 'overstayed the maximum allowed time'.

It is also common practice to produce 'tickets' that resemble the official PCN's issued by Local Authorities. PPC PCN's that bear a resemblance to those issued by L/A's are issued in breach of 'The Administration of Justice Act 1970, Sec. 40, s/sec. D' (see below), and as such, can be handed to the Police as evidence.

Do I have to pay a PPC PCN?

The only recourse for a PPC in Court would be a charge of trespass. The Court could only award damages equivalent to the financial loss caused by the damage to the property caused by you. They would also have to prove you had no right of access.

Given that, as a shopper, you would be using the store's car park, a Court would deem that you did have a right to enter and use the car park provided, thus rendering the charge of trespass un-enforceable.

PCN's issued for parking in Disabled/Parent & Toddler Bays are also unenforceable. This being due to the fact that in private car parks neither type of bay has any legal existence, and is provided purely as a courtesy. As an aside, there is a debate raging at the moment as to whether the requirement to display Blue Badges when parked in L/A owned car park Disabled Bays (which ARE legally protected) actually breaches the Equality Act 2010 itself, as it discriminates against those with temporary disabilities who do not qualify for Blue Badges.

It is worth noting that if a carpark is 'free for 2 hours', but there is no means to pay for further parking, then the maximum sum a PPC could be awarded in Court (should it go that far) is £0.00. However, if the carpark is a Pay and Display carpark, then the costs awarded would have to reflect the lost revenue from using the carpark without paying.


If the PPC is also the owner


If the car park is actually owned by the PPC, then they can issue & enforce an invoice. Colchester University Foundation NHS Trust sacked their facilities management contractor back in 2012 & started running everything directly themselves. As a result, they can (& will) do Court. However, their PCN's are for only £10 which is the exact same charge as you would pay for a) 24 hours parking, or b) if you lose the ticket you collected from the barrier on the way in.

As far as I am aware, CUFNHST are the only Hospital to correctly operate a penalty charge scheme.

Parking bays on leasehold developments


This is an interesting one. A lot of leasehold devlopements employ PPCs to patrol their development in order to deter non-residents from parking there. These parasites insist on each resident having a permit displayed within the vehicle and will ticket any without.

The only trouble with this, is that the parking bay may be allocated to a specific address by way of a clause in the lease. Unfortuanately for the PPC, the lease will always trump the agreement in place between the developement's management company and the PPC. What this means in practice is that as the owner of the parking space as defined in the lease, you can actually write to the PPC informing them that as the owner of the land, you are withdrawing from the permit scheme and that should any employee of the company set foot on your land, then you will sue both the PPC and the management company for trespass.

Beavis v. ParkingEye - What it means regards to a PCN

In November 2015, the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Beavis v. ParkingEye.

The Judges ruled in favour of ParkingEye in so much as that the PCN was in fact fair as it was a breach of contract.

In reality this ruling is unique to the PCNs issued in the Riverside Retail Park in Chelmsford. Why?. Because in the case of this particular car park, the PPC, in this case, ParkingEye, actually leased the car park in the same way as a business would lease a shop, office, or industrila unit. As such ParkingEye gained landowner rights. These rights meant that ParkingEye could, as the landowner, enter into a contract between themselves and a land user (in this case, Barry Beavis).

So by entering said car park, Barry agreed to not stay more than 90 minutes or pay £85 if he did.

How does this affect other car parks?.

If the PPC has been contracted to manage the car park then, as a 3rd party, they have NO landowner rights in any way shape or form as English Contract Law does not allow for a 3rd party to act on behalf of a landowner in forming a contract between the landowner and the land user.

In other words the driver upon entering the car park does NOT agree to the contract as implied by the signs errected by the PPC (however, you do need to keep an eye out for any signs errected by the landowner stating time restrictions and penalties which WILL apply as they are able to enter into a contract between themselves and the end user).

What can I expect from a PPC?

It is not uncommon for a PPC to send a series of letters threatening to -

  • Obtain a CCJ - They can only do this if they take you to Court, win and you don't pay.
  • Seize the vehicle - See above
  • Send the Bailiffs round - As above

A PPC will have gone to a lot of trouble to locate the vehicles registered keeper in order to issue an invoice for whatever amount they feel they can get away with charging you.

The advice BEFORE October 2012 was to ignore these threatograms, but after the introduction of the POFA, the advice is to now to -

  1. Appeal to the PPC. This does require a bit of work on your part as it involves creating an appeal and sending it in. There are a good number of template letters that you can edit to match your circumstances.
  2. If your appeal is accepted, then that is now the end of the matter. However, if the appeal is rejected, the PPC should send you the appropriate appeals code depending on the Approved Trade Association that they are a members of.
  3. Use the code they sent you to raise an appeal with the appropriate appeals service.

Please see the explaination of how each ATA operates their appeals system for further info.



How do they get your details ?.

PPC's usually contact DVLA and pay the princely sum of £2.80. In return, DVLA will send them the details of the registered keeper (who may not actually be the person who drove the car into the carpark). It is thought (but yet to be proven) that DVLA may well be in breach of the Data Protection Act as it is unclear as to whether or not they are exempt from Section 10 of the Act.

DVLA have declared that, by simply sending-in a signed V5 when registering a vehicle, the registrant has given them the required authourisation to sell-on your details to anyone who wants them.

From 1st October 2012, the UK sees the introduction of the 'Protection of Freedoms Act'. Under s.56 ss.4, the Act will make the registered keeper liable for the 'speculative invoice'.

Other ways used to obtain evidence are by trawling motoring forums (and even troll-posting on them) or by obtaining copies of print/audio/video media in which a person has complained about the invoice they got for just simply turning-round in the carpark. Such public admissions are like finding the Holy Grail to these guys. If you do go to the press, at least make sure to use a false name and DO NOT let the press take your photo. The less 'evidence' you give linking yourself to the 'offence', the harder it is for them to build a case.

At least one PPC (Parking Eye) has recently advertised a vacancy for an 'Enforcement Officer' who's role involves 'Using information posted on blogs & forums in respect of gathering evidence'. It is therefore very important when posting on blogs & forums NOT to give to much detail.

Even posting that the 'ticket was issued for overstaying the time in Tesco Ipswich during a visit in September' could well be enough to allow a PPC investigator to pin-down a specific ticket. Also remember that even mentioning times may be enough to furnish the PPC with enough to try their luck in Court (not that they would win when you consider the 'VCS Parking Ltd v. HMRC' case anyway).

I've already paid, what can I do now ?.

If you have already paid, you can claim your money back. You need to follow these rules -

  1. First off, send both the PPC and the landowner what is known as a 'Letter Before action'. This will give them a set time-period in which to pay you back your money along with expenses. This needs to go by 1st Class Recorded Delivery.
  2. Once the date given in the letter of intended action has expired and, assuming they have not paid-up, you need to begin Court action. This is easier than it appears. It can all be done online at 'MoneyClaimOnline'. The cost is £90, but this can be added to your expenses.
  3. If they decide to still not pay and it gets to Court, make sure you turn up, if you don't, you will lose by default.

Why take action against the landowner as well as the PPC ?. Well, most PPCs own little or no assets, preferring instead to rent their computers and vehicles from a parent company. They are then free to collect as many CCJs as they wish without the Court Bailiffs being able to seize any tangible assets to sell.

It is not unusual for a PPC to liquidate their company and reform it under a slightly different name in order to avoid paying CCJs.

A landowner on the other hand, will be very likely to have tangible assets that the Bailiffs can seize to cover the amount claimed, so they are highly likely to pay-up. If enough people take them to Court, they may even sack the PPC and stop harrassing motorists.


If you want to really cause both landowner and PPC grief, why not check out my other Hub

The 2 ATAs and the differences.

The Private Parking industry has to Approved Trade Associations.

To operate legally, a PPC must be a member of one of them. There are major differences in the way certain parts of them operate, especcially in the way they run their appeals services.

The British Parking Association (BPA)


The original ATA for the industry. Funded by membership fees from the member PPCs.

Appeals service- POPLA (Parking On Private Land Appeals Service). Set up by the BPA, but run (currently) by the Ombudsman Service.

How POPLA works -

If a PPC rejects your initial appeal, they will approach POPLA for an appeals code. This costs the PPC a total of £32. When you send in your appeal (at no cost to yourself) the PPC is then asked to send in their evidence. Neither side gets to see the evidence submitted by the other.

The evidence is reviewed by a named adjudicator who will then make a decision which is only legally binding on the PPC and not the driver.


The Independent Parking Committee


The newest ATA. Set up by 2 solicitors in order to offer a full service to their members.

Appeals service - In-house. Run from an office adjoining that occupied by the IPC themselves.

How their appeals service works -

Like POPLA, you have a code to use. This code costs the PPC £25 (a selling-point used to recruit the PPCs to the ATA). You are required to send in your evidence which MUST include the name of the driver who committed the 'offence'.

This evidence is sent to the PPC for them to review and respond to and the un-named adjudicator will then review the evidence and make their decision.

It has been noted that a large number of appeals made to the IPC's appeals service are found in the PPCs favour.

Interesting snippets.

Martin Cutts gives the BPA a good kicking on their own patch

Martin Cutts, of the Plain Language Commission, was invited to give a speech at the ' Parking Review Enforcement Summit 2012' in London. This event was attended by people from both the public and private parking enforcement industry, including the new head of the BPA.

What the organisers had failed to realise was that Martin had recently hammered one of their members in Court and had appeared on the BBC's 'Watchdog' program to talk about it. He was asked to provide a copy of his speech prior to the summit. He refused. After he delivered his speech, there was absolute silence in the room. To find out why, read his speech in its entirety HERE and judge for yourself what the PPCs made of it.

Disabledmotoring.org

This website supposedly offers help to drivers with disabilities. However, the information given regarding tickets issued by PPCs is totally incorrect. This stems from the fact that of their 20 corporate sponsors, 13 are PPCs. This generates a massive conflict of interests as these scum are using a legitimate charity to suck-in and lie-to those most in need of advice.

With all their false info, its no wonder they are losing members at an alarming rate. The charity is running at a yearly-loss so may not be around much longer.

Aintree NHS Trust and Trethowans.

In the Tax year 2010/11, Aintree NHS Trust used Trethowans to chase and recover £8,500 of un-paid parking 'invoices' at a cost to the trust of £160,000. In one case, the Judge through-out the claim, leaving the Trust open to a counter-claim for expenses incurred in defending the case. The legal cost to the trust - £1,600+. Was it worth it ?. Go figure.

ASDA and 'Town and Country Parking'.

Despite the fact that UK Civil Law permits that any claim for damages caused by trespass may not exceed the cost of rectifying the damage and pursuing the claim, ASDA answered a FOI request by stating that they split the profits made from the invoices issued with TCP and that they (ASDA) had actually donated £120,000 of this profit to charity. As they are barred by Law from making a profit on these parking invoices, how come they donated that much from the profits made on the parking operation?.

5 PPC operatives jailed

In the Midlands, 5 PPC operatives have been sent to jail for 'blackmail and extorting money with menaces'. Thats 5 down and a few hundred to go.

UKPC have a bad day in Court.

UKPC, a virilant PPC, had a bad day in Court today (10/04/12). They took the registered keeper of a car to Court for non-payment of a 'Parking Charge'. They lost. Interestingly, they had also taken the R/Ks spouse to Court over the SAME invoice and had lost that one as well. Hence then trying to pin their hopes on a 2nd case against the R/K. During the case, the Judge referred to the fine as an 'unenforceable penalty'.

Excel/VCS - get their arses kicked by Judge.

After the boss, Simon Renshaw Smith appeared in Scunthorpe's local rag claiming he was going to sort-out the parking issues in some local private carparks by taking non-payers to Court, he must have felt well peeved when a case went slightly wonky. The case, VCS Parking v. HM Revenue and Customs, held in the 'Upper Tax Tribunal' ( a Court of Record on the same level as the High Court) revolved around whether the PCN was a 'Fine' (these are VAT-exempt) or a 'Business invoice' which DOES incur VAT.

The Judges, Roger Berner & Nicholas Aleksander, ruled that neither Renshaw-Smith nor his company had any right to issue proceedings against the defendant either in the name of, or as representative of, the landowner. So, in other words, as the PPC has no right in Law to enter into a contract with a land user on behalf of the landowner, then there can be no breach of contract as one doesn't actually exist. A spetacular own goal by the PPC there me thinks.

ALDI receive fine for breaching planning condition over parking.


According to the Times, Aldi's Portslade store was fined £600 + £1215 costs for breaching conditions allowing 3 hours free parking. They reduced the free parking period to just 1 hour in breach of the original condition..

Read the full article HERE.

ParkingEye upset High Court Judge


Since Capita purchased ParkingEye back in 2013, they have been issuing Court summons at an eye-watering 1,000 per month. One High Court Judge has decided he has had enough of the abuse of the County Court system and promptly stayed all ParkingEye cases in the East Anglia and has set a date of April 4th 2014 at which he intends to settle the matter of the legallity of the claims once and for all.

He had originally set a date of 12th March, but had to re-schedule the case after an employee of Capita phoned the ParkingEye lawyers posing as the Clerk of the Court and informing them that the case had been postponed. As a result, ParkingEye's Barrister did not turn up to Court.

A 42 year old Manchester man has since been arrested and bailed in conection with the phone call and may well face criminal charges under the 'Communications Act 2003'.

Administration of Justice Act 1970.

This is the relevant section of the act.


                                                                      Part V 

                                                      Miscellaneous Provisions
40 Punishment for unlawful harassment of debtors.

(1) A person commits an offence if, with the object of coercing another person to pay money claimed from the other as a debt due under a contract, he-

(a)harasses the other with demands for payment which, in respect of their frequency or the manner or occasion of making any such demand, or of any threat or publicity by which any demand is accompanied, are calculated to subject him or members of his family or household to alarm, distress or humiliation;

(b)falsely represents, in relation to the money claimed, that criminal proceedings lie for failure to pay it;

(c)falsely represents himself to be authorised in some official capacity to claim or enforce payment; or

(d)utters a document falsely represented by him to have some official character or purporting to have some official character which he knows it has not.

(2) A person may be guilty of an offence by virtue of subsection (1)(a) above if he concerts with others in the taking of such action as is described in that paragraph, notwithstanding that his own course of conduct does not by itself amount to harassment.

(3) Subsection (1)(a) above does not apply to anything done by a person which is reasonable (and otherwise permissible in law) for the purpose-

(a)of securing the discharge of an obligation due, or believed by him to be due, to himself or to persons for whom he acts, or protecting himself or them from future loss; or

(b)of the enforcement of any liability by legal process.

(4) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than £100, and on a second or subsequent conviction to a fine of not more than £400.

Parking in Rail Station car parks

Please be aware that in certain cases, a Railway Station car park may be patrolled by a PPC, but unless the car park in question is covered by byelaws laid-down in the 'Railway Act', the ticket is still non-enforceable.

Where the car park is covered by the 'Railway Act', then a PCN can be issued in accordance with Section 14 of said Act.

Not all Station car parks are covered by the Act. It is down to you as an individual to contact the station and find-out.

Complaining to the land owners.

If you wish to complain to the landowners direct, then here are contact details in alphabetical order -

Aldi - 0179 3836313 - Parking Team

Get your own back.

If you want to really cause both the PPC and landowner grief, then it is easier than you think.

Every carpark will have to have had planning permission from the Local Council before being built. It will also have had a rateable value set on it by HMRC. It is therefore worth checking the PP for conditions applied to the permission by the Council.

Chances are, there will be a condition stating that parking must be free. As there is the implication of a charge for staying beyond a set time period, this would be a breach of the planning conditions and so you would be within your rights to report the carpark owner for breaching said planning conditions. You must remember to include the planning number and refer to the relevant section (and sub-section) of the planning permission. It is also worth getting others to also contact the Council with regards to raising the same complaint as the more people who point out the breach, the bigger the chance the Council will act.

Contact HMRC to check the rateable value of the carpark. If the carpark is free parking, it will be zero-rated. However, as there is a charge to pay if you stop beyond a set time, the HMRC will be more than interested in investigating the chance to re-rate the carpark to the same level as a proper pay & display carpark (and backdate it to when the carpark first opened) as it means more money for the Govt. This has been known to trigger a landowner to get shot of the PPC.

Acknowledgements

The following sites were used in the research of this Hubpage -

  1. www.moneysavingexpert.com - Motoring forum.
  2. www.pepipoo.com
  3. www.legislation.go.uk - Admin. of Justice Act 1970.

More by this Author


54 comments

Jamesm1968 4 months ago from UK Author

Amtrak tend to ignore such appeals.

You are correct about the 56 day thing though, but only if you didn't receive a ticket on your screen.

The one thing you have not mentioned is whether or not you have alloccatted parking on your estate or not. It dosn't matter whether you own or rent. If you have an alloccatted parking space, then you can send them a reply based on -

Dear Sirs,

With regards to your PCN No. XXXXXXXX.

Please be aware that as the owner of the parking space, I have not given you permission to enter my space and place upon my vehicle any form of paperwork.

I consider such actions as trespass and will take approppriate action against you should you continue to attempt to pursue this current PCN, or indeed, attempt to issue any further such PCNs.

Regards,

Joe Bloggs.

As I only monitor this Hub on a bi-daily basis, you might also like to start a thread on moneysavingexpert.com motoring forum as this is monitored by several very learned people who will help you.


Neil Counter profile image

Neil Counter 4 months ago

Hi James, I am not sure what to do now as a resident of the estate where the pcn was issued said 'ignore them as nothing ever happens that's what we do.' I received 'notice to keeper' which was sent on day 60 after the issue date of the pcn, i have read that they are not allowed to do so after day 56 is this true? Also i have now received a demand letter to be paid with in 14 days or it will be handed over to debt recovery agents or to the county court for recovery. Unfortunately i have done nothing up to now hoping they would not bother but should i now send them this :-

Dear Armtrac

Re PCN number: xxxxxxxx

I am not ignoring your charge for a purported parking infraction. As this is purely a charge, issued under an alleged contract and the driver has not been identified, I require the following information so that I can make an informed decision:

1. Who is the party that contracted with your company? I require their contact details.

2. What is the full legal identity of the landowner?

3. As you are not the landowner please provide a contemporaneous and unredacted copy of your contract with the landholder that demonstrates that you have their authority.

4. Is your charge based on damages for breach of contract? Answer yes or no.

5. If the charge is based on damages for breach of contract please provide your justification of this sum.

6. Is your charge based on a contractually agreed sum for the provision of parking? Answer yes or no.

7. If the charge is based on a contractually agreed sum for the provision of parking please provide a valid VAT invoice for this 'service'.

8. Please provide a copy of the signs that were visible on the street where the vehicle was parked

and which you contend formed a contract with the driver on that occasion, as well as all photographs taken of this vehicle.

If you believe you have a cause of action, send a Letter before Claim within the next 21 days and I will take advice and will respond.

However, in my opinion, there is a better alternative than legal proceedings, namely that we utilise the services of a completely independent ADR service suited to parking charges. This does not include the IAS appeal service - which lacks any transparency and possibly any independence from the IPC - unlike the alternative offered by the British Parking Association, POPLA, which is transparent and has been shown to be independent.

Do not send debt collector letters and do not add any costs or surcharges. I will not respond to such contact and to involve another firm would be a failure to mitigate your costs which are not my liability because the POFA 2012 can only potentially hold a registered keeper liable if certain provisions have been met and even then, the 'amount of the parking charge' is the only amount pursuable.

I am not sure if i am to late to send this or there is something else i should do.


Jamesm1968 4 months ago from UK Author

wilsmith0152, your best course of action is to appeal the ticket with a soft appeal. Hopefully, Horizon will reject the appeal and give you a code for POPLA.

Use this to appeal. Hopefully POPLA will view the evidence and overturn the ticket. If they don't, let Horizon take you to Court where you can have a field day providing the evidence that you have of their dodgey ways.


john hurcombe 4 months ago

I received a parking ticket from parking eye for overstaying at Homebase in Weston-super-mare in May2016. I duly paid my fine and two months later I noticed the fines and cameras had been removed from the site. On enquiring at the store I was told that they had received so many complaints that they and fellow retailers terminated their services.


willsmith0152 4 months ago

Hi James, I want to have fun with this one. R/cieved a PCN today from Horizon Parking stating I exceeded the maximum stay period by 4hrs 45min. I accept the images entering and exiting on the ANPR but what they have done is used two images of two trips to the Sainsbury's one on entry and the other exiting. The problem with this is that on the first image I left and then went into London arriving at 14.00hrs!! I have Google dashboard and have the recorded timeline of my smart phone which details my every move and location by GPS. What Horizon Parking are doing is a criminal offence by demanding money with menace "DO NOT IGNORE THIS NOTICE". What do you propose to cause them maximum financial cost's and damages? I have the resources so a long and sustained approach is top in my priority of things to get started. Look fwd to your response. Kind regards. Will


Jamesm1968 5 months ago from UK Author

Anon, the rules about 'ignore' have been obsolete since the introduction of the PoFA 2011. Trethowans are a legal firm. As such, they will not be part of either the BPA or IPC.

You need to look at who the PPC is and which AOS they belong to.

Make sure to appeal any fresh PCNs (check-out MSE's motoring forum for advice on your appeal prior to submitting it).

When Trethowans start Court action (they are one of the more litigious Legal firms out there), then you really need to get proper advice from eathier MSE or Pepipoo as a bad defence will leave you exposed and liable to loose.


Anon 5 months ago

Ps I work for a different company on the hospitals grounds so I am not entitled to an NHS permit to park in their staff car park. I would not be sacked for breaching terms and conditions in my contract.


Anon 5 months ago

I've been issued 3 civil parking notices from parking at a hospital. I work at the hospital part-time. The hospital is having its car parks renovated hence leaving nowhere for staff to park other than on double red lines. The public car parks are always full and lots of the public have to resort to parking on double red lines also. There are no signs saying not to park there.

On the 3 occasions I was ticketed my car was the only car that had a ticket even though I counted 45/56 cars along the same strip that did not have a ticket. I feel like they are singling out my car.

I have done lots of research online and decided to take the advice of ignoring the tickets. A few weeks ago I received a letter from Threthowans Solicitors threatening court action. They are not members of BPA or IPC. Other forums are advising me to ignore the letters but I don't want to go to court. I cannot afford to pay £150 that they are now saying I owe.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks


Jamesm1968 6 months ago from UK Author

Bhadev, your main course of action is to appeal the PCN (the good folks on 'MoneySavingExpert' can help you if needed).

Whilst you undertake this appeal process, try trawling the Local Council planning portal to see if you can find any info on the planning permission granted for the site and car park.

Any info you find can (and should) be used to compile a report outlining any breach of planning permission (such as 'car park operator has imposed a time limit for parking where the planning permission states in section x that the car park must be free without limits').

Get this right and it could lead to all sorts of issues for the land owner.


bhadev 6 months ago

James, this is really useful information. Thank you for sharing.

I need help, I received PCN via post recently. I was waiting in my car while my wife went for shopping in the store ***land. I did not left my car as my son was sleeping. According to the PCN I was there for 22 mins. I was the only one in the car park as it was nearly closing time of weekend. What is the procedure to check with HMRC for rateable value of the carpark? Please suggest. Thank you.


Jamesm1968 7 months ago from UK Author

neil, it appears Amtrak are members of the Independant Parking Committee'.

At the moment, there are no guidelines on how to win at the IPC's so-called 'independant' appeals service.

The best advice is to submit a soft appeal to Amtrak. This should trigger a code for use at the IPC's appeal service.

At this stage, you need to form a good, well-written appeal based on factors such as -

Landowner rights - Do Amtrak have landowner rights to operate on this site?. I doubt it.

And

Legallity of signs - do they have planing permission?.

Amtrak have a habit of taking people to Court and losing.


Neil 7 months ago

Hi, i got issued a pcn from a local ppc in Cornwall (Armtrac). I had a job to do at a customers house in a large cul-de-sac, when i drove in from the main road i didn't notice the signs on the lampposts (4 in total seen After) when i drove in trying to find the correct house number so didn't pay attention. I turned a corner, found the house and parked my van outside, there were no yellow lines, naturally i thought it was ok to park. i was returning to the van regularly as i had to use various tools and materials. i was shocked to see a ticket on my van as i had no idea. I complained to the house owner (customer) only to hear him say " really! They are Ba***** they are always doing that!" Thanks for telling me I, thought. I have taken pictures of the road I was parked on in all directions as there wasn't a single sign posted. Could you please help me with the best course of action to take.


Jamesm1968 14 months ago from UK Author

John, you could try writing to Aldi as it is likely that they will have CCTV footage of the car park.

ParkingEye don't have any CCTV cameras installed. Their camera only records the number plate of the vehicle as it enters and leaves the site.

You state that you have the vehicle's number so there is nothing stopping you paying the £2.50 to DVLA to request keeper details (you have a valid reason for wanting this information, so they will give it to you).

As an aside, have you put the reg. number into the AskMID site to see if the vehicle is insured ?. If it is, then you can report it to your insurance company and they will, in turn, access the MID, find out who the vehicle is insured with and then claim against them.


john davis 14 months ago

how can I get cctv footage of accident in aldi car park boston on 21st sept 2015 at 2.10 pm ,from parkingeye I took car number but it is untraceable.thank you


wonkotsane 23 months ago

Planning permission is required but are tickets issued without planning permission enforceable?


Jamesm1968 2 years ago from UK Author

Yes, when you win, the Judge will usually ask if you have incurred any expenses such as parking costs, travel or loss of earnings (including those of any spouse who may have had to take time of to look after a child not at school).

There are however, limits to earnings.


annon 2 years ago

Can I claim loss of earning from them when I get my day in court


Sharon 2 years ago

I just won my POPLA appeal against the cowboys/scumbags who call themselves MET PARKING.

They tried to charge £100 for my car being in a free car McDonalds car park for 16 minutes longer than the hour specified on their signs.

The correcting wording to use on an appeal is that "the charge is not a genuine pre-estimate of loss". Use those words and you'll get off every time. You don't have to say anything else.


Tanyajp3 2 years ago

Hi. I received a Parking charge notice in the post from New Generation Parking who I'm presuming are a private company for the retail park I use. I was parked in a disabled space for 2 mins whilst I withdrew money from Asda cashpoint. It was 24th Dec, very busy and with limited parking spaces available. They're trying to charge me £60 which goes up to £100 in 14 days. I was going to appeal, given I was only there for 2 mins, but didn't know if I had a good case and what the best thing to say in my defense was, in order to dispute? Am I best ignoring it altogether or writing an appeals letter in which I'm effectively admitting to being the driver?


anonymous 2 years ago

What a crock of utter rubbish.

PPC's cant go to court if they lose at POPLA

PPC's can get a CCJ. CCJ's are not for criminal actions (HENSE COUNTY COURT JUDGEMENT)

PPC's can seek to seize a vehicle if they have a CCJ

PPC's can send bailiffs round but there are limits on their usefulness without a ccj.

VCS V HMRC has been overturned on appeal.

No hospital in the land operates a penalty charge scheme. You should know this. This whole article is useless incorrect misguided information.


David 3 years ago

Can you give a reference to the case in this section: "UKPC have a bad day in Court"? I need to know more!


Jamesm1968 3 years ago from UK Author

You don't have to go to Northampton. When you send your defense paperwork (visit either MSE or Pepipoo for help with a robust defense (and don't forget to mention you read it on here)), they will allocate the case to your nearest Court.

It is worth mentioning that for a Small Claims Court, you can use a solicitor to represent you, but as they are a business, they can't use any legal representation other than their own employee.

If you turn-up & they have a Legal eagle representing them then you can ask the Judge to ask the plaintiffs to clarify who employs their legal representative. If it is not directly by the plaintiff, then the Legal bod should be asked to leave the room.

District Judges are really tough on not allowing businesses to use paid-for legal representation.

If the Judge asks if you are willing to allow the Legal rep. to remain, then your answer needs to be a clear 'no'.

Without Legal representation, the PPC will usually be weak in their representation. Especially if you have a strong defense prepared.

It is also worth noting that on private land, a disabled bay has no legal existence. The law simply does not recognize them. They are provided as a courtesy rather than as a legal requirement.


Vicky 3 years ago

In November last year I got a ticket from these PCN guys for parking in a disabled bay but forgetting to display blue badge, I ignored as per all these forums advised. Just received a claim form from Northampton Connty Court saying I now owe £237.57 rather than the £50 I could have paid....

I live in Liverpool, how the hell do I get to Northampton to defend and not sure even if I can defend against people like this :-( so worried about this now!


Jamesm1968 3 years ago from UK Author

It depends on who issued the PCN. Some hospital Trusts (including my local one in Colchester) operate the carpark themselves. They usually issue PCNs with a payment request equal to the charge levied for losing your parking ticket.

If it is the hospital Trust issuing the PCN, then I would suggest paying. They are the landowners, so DO have the authority to enter into a contract between themselves and the land user (you).

If, as I suspect, it is a PPC operating the carpark on behalf of the hospital Trust, then ignore the ticket right up to the point where they send you Court papers. At that point, advice on forming a good defense can be found on the websites in my links.

Meanwhile, spread the word. Education can be a powerful weapon in the fight against the PPCs (don't forget to mention this Hub).


H Gills 3 years ago

Hi

My wife has just received a Parking Charge Notice for parking on double yellow lines (no markings on the kerb) at our local hospital. She is disabled and had the badge in full view with the correct time, should i inform the company or just ignore?

many thanks


Jamesm1968 3 years ago from UK Author

A good number of the PPCs are run by ex-clampers with criminal records.

The biggest bunch of crooks have to be 'Parking Eye'. You should see the abuse that they generate on Aldi's F/B page since they started hammering Aldi's customers. Pity Aldi don't mention anything in their TV ads about 'overstay your welcome & get a £75 invoice followed by a day in Court'.

Please check-out my other hub on how to get your own back on these scumbags.


Jayley03 3 years ago

It is not just the government that has made money out of parking enforcement, it has swelled into a lucrative industry, with many companies relying on public confusion about the difference between council-issued penalty charge notices, which are regulated by statute, and private parking notices, which often masquerade as official fines.


Jamesm1968 3 years ago from UK Author

You can have a go contesting a Council issued ticket, but the way to go about it is very different from tackling a PPC.

You would need to appeal to the Council, who should respond with either an acceptance or rejection. If rejecting, they should include details of the parking ticket appeal procedure.


Jamesm1968 3 years ago from UK Author

The rules for private carparks regarding disabled parking bays are different to those in Council carparks.

In a Council Carpark, a disabled bay has legal protection. Whilst in a private carpark, a disabled bay is provided as a courtesy & has no legal protection (it can be treated as just a large parking space). The PPCs know this, so try their luck by ticketing blue badge holders.

If you do decide to go down the route of recovering your money via the County Court Small Claims Track, then you could cite the 'Equality Act' (this replaced the 'Disability Discrimination Act') & don't forget to include Iceland as co-defendant as, unlike the PPC, they DO have assets that can be seized.


Diana Grant profile image

Diana Grant 3 years ago from London

Regrettably, I paid a PCN issued by a private company, after I parked in a disabled bay in an Iceland car park, displaying my blue disability badge, but not having paid to park there. The reason I didn't pay to park was because in most local car parks, people with disability badges ondisplay don't have to pay, and I had no reason to believe this car park was any different. When I returned to check the signage, it did indeed say one should pay for parking, but the signs were small, and somewhat inaccessible for disabled people to read properly. I was threatened with bailiffs and, worried it might affect my credit rating, I paid up, after having unsuccessfully appealed to them.

Thanks to your very detailed and fulsome article, I shall now do my best to recover the money.

I thought my only recourse was to boycott Iceland, and I have been saving all my shopping receipts from other shops, which I was going to hand over in bulk to the Managers of Iceland after a year, to show them how much profit they had lost by losing my custom over a mean-minded £60 parking fine. I shall still do that, but am now in high hopes that I can recover the £60 as well.


Paulw 3 years ago

I recently visited Chester after a job interview. And decided to park in the city centre for some lunch. The car park is owned by Chester council, I paid for 3hrs @ £8 from 11.48 to 14.48. I was late back to the car at 15.40, where I had been issued with a ticket.

I would like to know if I can contend this ticket as invalid due to the following;

1. Time stated on pcn as expiry time was 14.38 and not 14.48

2. Observed time stated from 15.34 to 15.34, so less than 1 minute!


Jamesm1968 3 years ago from UK Author

Many thanks for the link Simon. I have added it to the list of links.

Marcus, as you are employed by the NHS & have to use a permit, you could end-up with a warning or even dismissal for ignoring the PCNs. I have read on the various forums that NHS employees have specific T&C's in their contracts regarding on-site parking.


Simon Smith 3 years ago

I have found this website www.drivingoffenceadvice.co.uk they have great information and you can also email them to answer your questions, it's a free organisation. worth a look.


Peter Geekie profile image

Peter Geekie 3 years ago from Sittingbourne

Thank you jamesm1968,

Excellent advice and clearly written

Voted up and useful

Kind regards Peter


Marcus 3 years ago

Very useful advice here, James, thank you. I received a parking Charge Notice from my NHS (Kent) employer's parking management company (for parking on red lines in the staff park which were almost worn-out and which I therefore didn't see). Your article suggests I should just ignore the charge, but before finding this I appealed (rejected - didn't address my argument...) I'm now ignoring any further letters.

Interestingly, given what you state above, the ticket states that unpaid demands will be referred to 'Roxburghe Ltd' - presumably the scam-merchant you mention above.

It concerns me that the NHS is employing these shysters to rip staff off.


Jamesm1968 4 years ago from UK Author

First-off if the carpark is on private land, then let them take you to Court. The only way for them to obtain a CCJ against you is if they somehow win and you fail to pay.

If it goes to Court, remember to turn up. If you don't, they will win by default. In your defense you can refer to 'VCS Ltd v. HMRC 2012'. If you want help building a defense case then AlexisV on both Pepipoo & MoneySavingExpert has a very high success rate.

By the way, as you have their address, write to them removing their right of access to your property. This will mean that if any of their cronies tries a doorstep visit, they will be breaking the law. Also, it is worth writing to both the landowner and the DCA informing them that they are jointly liable should you decide to sue for harassment.

Remember to keep us all updated.


jeanette 4 years ago

I eceived a PCN back in July for parking at my friends house where residents and their guests are allowed to park by displaying a permit. I displayed a permit and a hand written note stating which property I was staying at. The permit became obscured when I moved the car to a more suitable parking bay within the carpark. I subsequently received the PCN. I have written on numerous occasions to the company and it has now been passed to a debt collection agency who say they will take me to court and I will have a CCJ. Please can anyone advise on whether this is likely and do i have any defence?


kesmo101 4 years ago

I received a PCN last week. I don't intend to pay up for various reasons, and I am prepared to go to court should I be invited. However, does anybody know how long it would take in weeks/months to get to that stage as I will be working abroad for 4 months shortly and would be in trouble if I got a court summons that I couldn't read and not turn up for....


euridice 4 years ago

Greetings folks

The following is a copy letter sent to Parking Eye very recently which is self explanatory. It has been redacted in places for obvious reasons.

Your Ref. No XXXXXXXXXXXX

XXXX November 2012

Appeals Department

Parking Eye Car Park Management

P.O.Box 565

Chorley

PR6 6HT

Dear Sirs Recorded Delivery and by Email: appeals@parkingeye.co.uk

Vehicle Registration: XXXXXXXXX

Vehicle Model: XXXXXXXXXX

Date of Event: XXXXXXXXX

Date Issued: XXXXXX

I confirm that your speculative invoice dated XXXXXXXXXXXX issued to XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXhas been passed on to me on the grounds that I was the driver of the above vehicle at the relevant date, time and location - the Aldi Car Park at XXXXXXXXXXX. For the sake of clarity I admit to being the driver.

Please note however, I shall not be paying the sum demanded and would be grateful if you would kindly treat this communication as an appeal/complaint.

The grounds upon which I dispute liability for any sum are as follows:

1. The charge is not an appropriate amount. It is trite law that the imposition of charges for parking or trespassing on another person’s property MUST reflect the actual loss incurred by that action. Since this is a free car park there is no loss to the landowner so any charge is punitive which has been held in the High Court (1) to be unenforceable.

2. I am not liable for the parking charge. Your company have no

proprietary interest in the land and thus unable to offer me a contract to park on the land. Simply put, you have no locus standi or legal capacity to contract with me. The enforcement of any parking charge is exclusive to the landowner . (2) (3) Furthermore, it is incumbent upon the actual landowner to demonstrate that he has suffered actual financial loss as a result of me exceeding any contractual terms, if any, in what is a free car park. Furthermore, a punitive demand in what is a free car park, it is contended, would be judged by the court to be unreasonable and therefore, would be amongst other things an unfair contract penalty under the terms of The Unfair Contract Terms Act 1997, which would not be legally enforceable. In any event, I have no doubt a court would take the view that exceeding the time limit by 13 minutes would be regarded as de minimus.

3. Inadequacy of signage. (4) Your sign in the Aldi car park fails to state that the cameras are used to obtain evidence which may be used to issue enforcement notices. There is only a small image of a camera and the text 'car park monitored by ANPR systems'; fails to mention what the data will be used for. This is a clear and unambiguous breach of The BPA code which states:

B6.1 (2011 Code of Practice) & 21.1 (2012 code of Practice)

"You may use ANPR camera technology to manage,

control and enforce parking in private car parks, as long

as you do this in a reasonable, consistent and transparent

manner. Your signs at the car park must tell drivers that

you are using this technology and what you will use the

data captured by ANPR cameras for."

My investigations reveal that the inadequacy of your signage is not simply confined to the Aldi Car Park in Pocklington.

Operating in breach of one’s own industrial code of practice in my respectful opinion represents an unfair commercial practice under the Consumer (Protection from Unfair Trading) Regs 2009. Under the circumstances, this is a matter which I shall be taking up with Trading Standards, OFT, the Information Commissioner and DVLA.

Yours faithfully

1. Excel Parking Services v Hetherington-Jakeman, Mansfield County Court, March 2008

2. VCS v. HM Revenue & Customs (Appeal), Upper Tax Tribunal, 2012.

3. Parking Eye v. Somerfield [2012] EWCA Civ 1338.

4. Waltham Forest v Vine [CCRTF 98/1290/B2]


Jamesm1968 4 years ago from UK Author

It's nice to know my advice is helping people.

I would just say that under the new Laws, you can write to inform them you are appealing the ticket. If they disagree your appeal, then they must give you an appeal number. With this, you can escalate your appeal to POPLA (Parking On Private Land Appeals). This has the advantage of costing you nothing, but the PPC has to stump-up £32.50.

POPLA's decision is only legally binding on the PPC, not the registered keeper of the vehicle. So even if the PPC wins, you can still place them on ignore.


Rich 4 years ago

I'am currently being hounded by a debt recovery company, it was parking collection services acting on behalf of senator parking who patrol asda car parks. It seems they have passed my details on. Is there any law for these companies to abide by in terms of passing our details around to anyone who will take the debt on?

I got a £25 fine for not displaying properly, even tho it was clearly on the dashboard but right at the bottom between the windscreen. I appealed to Parking colllection services but they have blatenly ignored, well, used clever wording because my "appeal" was not constructed in the right manor (simple email stating i was not going to pay the £110 fine unless they proved to me that i was not properly displaying the ticket). They ignored this and threatened me with baliffs etc.

I have received approx 8 letters now from 2 different companies threatning this and that with each letter stating they will be taking action in 7 days, these 7 days keep passing and i have yet to receive a court summons so hopefully they will get bored.

My advice is completely ignore any letters a PPC sends, if you have done nothing wrong you have nothing to worry about. Idle threats in hope you will pay.

Thanks to the advice above, otherwise i would have most likey have paid!


Jamesm1968 4 years ago from UK Author

You have to remember that in the UK, when on private land, general road markings such as yellow lines, have no legal backing.

I saw the mention of 'double yellow lines' and thought at first you may have been caught on a public highway. However, as you opened with the mention of Graham White Solicitors, I twigged you must have been on private land.


Sunaru1 4 years ago

These people sent me a demand for money under 'Graham White Solicitors'. I requested the telephone number of Graham White Solicitors and I was told that they do not take telephone calls. Suspicious. I did not break the law. It is not illegal to park on a double yellw line to pick up / drop off passengers as long as the driver stays with the vehicle. I believe that this company have broken not only civil law, but criminal law and I will seiously consider reporting them to the police.


ParkingMan 4 years ago

The ruling referred to above is VCS vs HMRC in the Uppoer tax tribunal, a court of Superior Record

The appeal tribunal held:

1. VCS did not have any right to occupy land or to pursue any action in trespass (which is what VCS had claimed they were doing).

2. Such payments they received by way of "Parking Charge Notices" were not therefore a payment by way of damages and were not therefore exempt from VAT.

3. That on the basis of their standard agreement with landowners there could have been no contract formed between VCS and the motorist because its limited rights to access to the land did not extend to being able to offer the right to park.

4. The signs used by VCS cannot have effect because they have no right in law to make any offer to park in the first instance.

5. Any contract to park could only be formed between the landowner and the motorist

6. Any parking charges collected by VCS would therefore be, in effective, damages in breach of contract or trespass but because they were retained by VCS they constituted a standard-rated consideration and VAT was therefore payable against them.


Jamesm1968 4 years ago from UK Author

PaulW. In reply to your comment, costs are not claimable at County Court (commonly known as the 'Small Claims Court') other than the initial Court fee. Also,thanks to a certain Simon Renshaw-Smith and his insistence on actually turning-up to defend an appeal from one of his victims, a Judge one level up from County Court has pulled the rug from under the PPCs by declaring that a person other than the landowner has no authority in Law to make a contract on behalf of the landowner. This one statement renders all PPCs unable to use the 'Breach of contract' argument in County Courts.


paulw 4 years ago

you can easily get a summons struck down (if you are a private person) to a more local court, so like me if you live in (wet) west wales you can get it struck down from their court to a more local one for you, so justice is better served, and in my case it can be heard in welsh as well. That will upset them, I did this to a scottish company and they didn't turn up or offer a defence and I won but forgot to ask the Judge for costs, don't make that mistake..simples!!! BTW There may be something in asking them how they make their absolute time references, they may indeed have a free running clock that could be out by ages as it may not be referenced to any international atomic time standard (such as NPL or GPS 1 pps). I bet their NPRs don't have a common reference with a tracebility certificate of Calibration and could be all over the place time-wise....


Jamesm1968 4 years ago from UK Author

The FOI request was mentioned in a post on MSE. I feel that it was more likely to have been a question asked to their media dept. Whatever, ASDA admitted to have donated £150,000 to charity under their policy of donating 50% of the parking charge fees collected to charity.

This one statement is a full admission that they are breaking the law by making a profit on these unenforceable charges.

As my Hub states, the only thing they can sue for is trespass and the only legal remedy is the issuing of a fine equivalent to the damage caused by the trespasser. This can include legal costs but not any profit.


Dave Eyre 4 years ago

FOI requests are for public companies. ASDA have no reason to answer an FOI request.


Jamesm1968 4 years ago from UK Author

The only way they can affect your credit rating is if they were to actually win in Court then you decide not to pay, so they go back to Court to obtain a CCJ.

So long as they don't do Court you are safe.

Even if they do do Court, you are likely to win on appeal anyway.


Jamesm1968 4 years ago from UK Author

Mr Sorrell (the man behind 'Graham White Solicitors', and his company are well-known to the SRA. In fact, as they cannot make a final decision on his fate until they have investigated all complaints made against him, have closed the book and will no longer accept any more complaints. This is purely to prevent their investigation simply becoming open-ended and will at least allow them to complete their task.


Barry 4 years ago

Graham White Solicitors do not exist they ceased trading in November 2005 and are acting illegally roxburghe who are acting with them or are them I wouls advise contacting the FSA regarding this practice and your local trading standards.


Jamesm1968 5 years ago from UK Author

Maggie, They cannot affect your credit rating. In order to obtain a CCJ, they would have to take you to Court, hope you don't turn-up (so they win by default) and then, if you were one of the 0.001% of people to actually lose (highly unlikely) you would have to still not pay them before any action can be taken to have the Court serve you with a CCJ.


maggie 5 years ago

Hi I have received parking notices from euro parks, roxburgh (uk)ltd and now from Graham white solicitors threatening court action .... I have ignored all of them but they are saying a decree which may affect my credit rating am I right to continue to ignore these letters?


terry abbott 5 years ago

i have been getting warning letters from a solicitors called graham white, was going to pay £108 today until i read your imformation...thank you ...

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