Author Topic: Car park enforcement charges and the law  (Read 28112 times)

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Offline Bedlam

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Car park enforcement charges and the law
« on: October 01, 2011, 05:48:55 pm »
Please be aware -

'Excess Stay Charges' or 'Fines' for 'Improper parking not within bays' etc etc , by Car Parking companies are a SCAM and not legally enforceable.

If you receive a demand for a payment for excess of time parked, not parking within a bay, parking in a disabled/child parent bay, setting down or picking up outside of designated areas by a car parking company acting for  ie- Supermarkets, Luton and other airports, resident schemes etc etc .........DO NOT PAY THEM AS THEY ARE ACTING OUTSIDE OF ANY LEGAL ENFORCEMENT.

Only Local Councils and the Police have the power to enforce their fines.

With the outlawing of Wheel Clamping, car parking companies are now pursuing this source of income, albeit not legally enforceable but by threatening County Court action and CCJ's people are scared into paying these 'fines'.

BE AWARE THAT THERE HAS NOT BEEN A CASE EVER, EVER OF A CAR PARKING COMPANY PURSUING A RELEVANT CLAIM VIA THE COURTS as they know that if the case is opposed then it will be thrown out.

DO NOT PAY!!!  but if still in doubt see here - http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=51308

Please pass a link to this thread and the Pepipoo link to everyone in your email address list and so get this info broadcasted nationally and so squash their antics or at the very least reduce the income they extract from the general public, thanks.

NB - I do not condone improper parking in Disabled Bays and would like to see heavy fines to be legally enforced by the Government for the widespread improper use of Blue Disabled Badges.

 

Offline Mermaid

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Re: Car park enforcement charges and the law
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2011, 01:55:49 pm »
This has just come in handy as someone I know has just been handed a whopping fine by 'Gemini Parking Solutions', for parking in the car park of a Harvester, whilst having a meal.   >:(
 

Offline Bedlam

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Re: Car park enforcement charges and the law
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2011, 09:28:20 pm »
This has just come in handy as someone I know has just been handed a whopping fine by 'Gemini Parking Solutions', for parking in the car park of a Harvester, whilst having a meal.   >:(

Great!  :icon_jokercolor: Even if it only results in helping out one person against these scumbag companies it has made my posting of this thread worthwhile.  ;D
 

Offline Angel

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Re: Car park enforcement charges and the law
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2011, 09:26:29 am »
This has just come in handy as someone I know has just been handed a whopping fine by 'Gemini Parking Solutions', for parking in the car park of a Harvester, whilst having a meal.   >:(

Ridiculous!  I know The Airfield in Hatfield charges to park and then knocks the cost off the bill - which seems quite a good idea
 

Offline Ferdie

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Re: Car park enforcement charges and the law
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2011, 06:15:14 pm »
Depending on which Harvester that this is referring to, users at the car park in Potters Bar can take their ticket which they get from the machine and get this reimbursed by the restaurant. It is a private car park and they have the charges to prevent misuse of the car park. Whilst the charge for abuse may indeed be unenforceable, the charge for parking is there for a reason. As a son of a disabled badge user, there is a lot of abuse of disabled bays, but it is also very frustrating disabled or not when one wants to visit a restaurant and use its own car park, but can't if people ignore the charge. park there, don't use the premises and don't pay either. It's also pretty frustrating for the owner of the restaurant. The signs for the car park at the Harvester Potters Bar are very clear and the paypoint is right by the front door.  The car parking patrol personnel don't know that you are in the restaurant if you are not displaying a ticket, so they will issue a fine - enforceable or not. I certainly don't condone 'parking racketeers' and abuse or disproportionate charges/clamping by such companies, but I do believe owners of car parks have a right to control who parks on their own land, otherwise its just a free for all.
 

Offline Bedlam

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Re: Car park enforcement charges and the law
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2011, 06:52:20 pm »
I certainly don't condone 'parking racketeers' and abuse or disproportionate charges/clamping by such companies, but I do believe owners of car parks have a right to control who parks on their own land, otherwise its just a free for all.

Agreed, but Private Companies are issuing hefty £70/£80 so called "Penalty Charges/Excess Parking Fines" in supermarkets etc which far exceed normal Council 'Yellow Line' Parking Ticket fines if they're paid within 14/28 days etc.

Sadly, it is the elderly, Senior Citizens and gullible members of society that are most easily scared by these scheming scammers into paying their non-enforceable penalty charges.
 

Offline Mermaid

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Re: Car park enforcement charges and the law
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2011, 09:43:46 pm »
Depending on which Harvester that this is referring to ...

I should make clear that it was not the Potters Bar Harvester, it was one in another County. I'm happy to report that the Harvester concerned has been very helpful to my friend and has told Gemini to cancel the fine. Good for the Harvester   ;)
 

Offline Bedlam

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Re: Car park enforcement charges and the law
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2011, 02:01:34 pm »
Depending on which Harvester that this is referring to ...

I should make clear that it was not the Potters Bar Harvester, it was one in another County. I'm happy to report that the Harvester concerned has been very helpful to my friend and has told Gemini to cancel the fine. Good for the Harvester   ;)

But....... if the 'someone you know' had paid the so-called penalty charge, would Gemini have refunded their payment......I think not.
 

Offline Mermaid

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Re: Car park enforcement charges and the law
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2011, 03:00:41 pm »
But....... if the 'someone you know' had paid the so-called penalty charge, would Gemini have refunded their payment......I think not.

I don't know, I assume that if one has kept the receipt for the meal - therefore proving one was a bona fide customer at the time of the alleged infringement - the Harvester would still be able to intervene, even if the fine has already been paid. Who knows, but I'm not going to test it   ???

Suffice to say that the timely reminder provided at the head of this thread, gave my friend enough ammo to go in and successfully challenge the fine.
 

Offline sasquartch

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Re: Car park enforcement charges and the law
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2014, 09:17:00 am »
Has anyone had any experience of getting a 'parking charge' notice on their car from UKPC whilst parked in a supermarket and successfully avoided paying it ?

An instance I heard of recently involved someone legitimately using the car park (and can prove this with a receipt) but failed to display a ticket for the first 'free' hour.

This thread implies these sorts of things are not legally enforceable however UKPC's website claims otherwise (unsurprisingly I guess). This mentions The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 which seemingly means the registered keeper of the car is liable regardless of who was driving.

If there are any lawyers reading I'd welcome your comments.
 

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Re: Car park enforcement charges and the law
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2014, 09:52:57 am »
I have changed the topic line of this thread from:

Car Park Enforcement Charges etc are not legally enforcable - DO NOT PAY!!!

to…

Car park enforcement charges and the law

This is because I think the legal position needs to be made clear, and I don’t want people facing a fine because they followed what appeared to be an instruction on this site.

David
The Brookmans Park Newsletter has been supporting the village and our local community since 1998 by providing free, interactive tools for all to use.
 

Offline Bedlam

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Re: Car park enforcement charges and the law
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2015, 06:46:45 pm »
Due to inadequate signage at Barnet General Hospital Car Park, I have received a £100.00 "Parking Charge Notice" from Parking Eye Car Park Management.
I Googled their name and as a result viewed that www.parkingticketappeals.org.uk had a webpage stating they themselves had ceased trading but helpfully listed for free their stock letters for challenging Parking Eye "PCN"s for people to print-off, sign and use in their defence against this company's outrageous charges.
Parking Eye Car Park Management earns a ludicrous £25,000,000 a year from their unscrupulous operations, most of which is in fact legally unenforceable and often callously claimed from elderly/infirm/disabled victims.

So I will challenge this PCN using the methods I've learned listed  below and will post updates of the outcome. If I fail in my Appeal I will eat my pants.

What to do if issued with a PCN - This will also work with most Parking Scam Operators -Firstly appeal the PCN via the issuing company as per their request - keep copies and post via Recorded Delivery to ensure proof of posting.If appeal is declined and they do not capitulate, then forward an appeal to POPLA, the Independent Appeals Tribunal - please read text and guidance below....parkingticketappeals.org.uk  Parking Ticket Appeals Service Ltd has ceased trading

 
Dear Customer,
 
We are sorry to advise that Parking Ticket Appeals Service Ltd has ceased trading.
 
If you have received a notice to keeper from the parking operator then you should send the notice to keeper letter shown below
 
If you have receive a POPLA code you should send the POPLA appeal letter.
 
If the Parking operator states they have not received an appeal then you should resend the appeal. letter below:

 
Notice to Keeper appeal Letter to parking company -

Dear Sirs,

Re: PCN No ......
I challenge this ‘PCN’ as keeper of the car, on these main grounds:
 
a). The sum does not represent a genuine pre-estimate of loss, nor is it a core price term. It is a disguised penalty and not commercially justified.
b). As keeper I believe that the signs were not seen, the wording is ambiguous and the predominant purpose of your business model is intended to be a deterrent.
c). There is no evidence that you have any proprietary interest in the land.
d). Your ‘Notice’ fails to comply with the POFA 2012 and breaches various consumer contract/unfair terms Regulations.
e). There was no consideration nor acceptance flowing from both parties and any contract with myself, or the driver, is denied.

 
Your clients should be thoroughly ashamed of the shoddy way you treat consumers visiting their premises. The landowner will be made fully aware of this matter and your response, which I will forward to their CEO when I complain in writing and via social media, as appropriate. Parking firms like yours fail to demonstrate even a basic understanding of customer service. The reputation of your business model appears to be more akin to a protection racket than ‘parking management’. Your ATA may offer sound-bites about driving up standards or fight for motorists’ rights but in reality they are not a regulator; they merely exist to represent the interests of paying members, in order to gain access to DVLA data. The public have no faith in the private parking industry and, as far as I have seen, your firm has not shown itself to be any different than the ex-clampers with whom you share a membership.
 
The purpose of this communication is:
 
1. Formal challenge
There will be no admissions as to who was driving and no assumptions can be drawn. As such, you must either rely on the POFA 2012 or cancel the charge. I suggest you uphold this challenge now or alternatively, send a rejection letter – subject to accepting my claim for costs as clearly stated below, since you have no case.

 
2. ”Drop hands” offer
The extravagant ‘parking charge’ is baseless but I realise that you may have incurred nominal postage costs. Equally, I have incurred costs to date, for researching the law and responding to your junk mail dressed up to impersonate a parking ticket. It is clear that my costs and yours, at this point, do not exceed £15. Therefore, this is a formal “drop hands” offer. I remind you of the duty to mitigate any loss, so withdraw the spurious charge within 35 days without further expense and I will not pursue you for my costs. If you persist then I will charge in full for my time at £18 per hour plus my out-of-pocket expenses and damages for harassment.

 
3. Notice of cancellation of contract
I hereby give notice of withdrawal from this alleged ‘contract’ which was never properly offered by you and certainly was not expressly agreed. This ‘contract’ is hereby cancelled and any obligations now end. If you offer – and if I decide to use – IAS or POPLA, then the contract ends immediately on the date of their decision (whatever the outcome) so my notice of cancellation still applies. The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation & Additional Payments) Regulations apply now to every consumer contract, save for a few exemptions, which parking contracts are not. It is the will of Parliament following the EU Consumer Rights Directive, that express consent is obtained for consumer contracts now – not implied consent – and that information is provided in a durable medium in advance.

 
You have failed to meet these requirements. The foisting of unexpected contracts like this on consumers, by stealth, is a thing of the past.
 
By replying to the challenge you are acknowledging receipt and acceptance of points 2 and 3 above. If you decide to persist with this unwarranted threat, I will be put to unnecessary expense and hours of time in appealing or defending this matter. As such, you will be liable for my costs and a pre-estimate of my loss – and in contrast with yours, mine is genuine – is that this sum will be likely to exceed £100.
 
I have kept proof of submission of this challenge. I look forward to your considered reply within 35 days.
 
Yours faithfully,


{the registered keeper’s name)


POPLA Appeal letter to follow -
 

Offline Bedlam

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Re: Car park enforcement charges and the law
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2015, 06:57:25 pm »
POPLA Appeal Letter -


 POPLA Appeal:
 My Appeal to Against the Parking Ticket from the Parking operator is the following. Although this might
 1) No genuine pre-estimate of loss
2) No standing or authority to pursue charges nor form contracts with drivers
3) The signage was inadequate so there was no valid contract formed

 1) No genuine pre-estimate of loss
 The Operator cannot reasonably claim a broad percentage of their entire business running costs as they operate various different arrangements, some where they pay a landowner a huge amount akin to a ‘fishing licence’ to catch motorists and some where they have pay and display, and others which are free car parks. Given that the parking operator charge the same lump sum for a 30 minute overstay as they would for 3 hours, and the same fixed charge applies to any alleged contravention (whether serious/damaging or trifling), it is clear there has been no regard paid to establishing that this charge is a genuine pre-estimate of loss caused by this incident in this car park.
 The DfT Guidance and the BPA Code of Practice require that a parking charge for an alleged breach must be an estimate of losses flowing from the incident, the parking operator cannot change this requirement so they have no option but to show POPLA their genuine pre-estimate of loss for this charge, not some subsequently penned ‘commercial justification’ statement they may have devised afterwards (since this would not be a pre-estimate):
 The British Parking Association Code of Practice uses the word ‘MUST’:
“19.5 If the parking charge that the driver is being asked to pay is for a breach of contract or act of trespass, this charge must be based on the genuine pre-estimate of loss that you suffer.”

 Neither is this charge ‘commercially justified’. In answer to that proposition from a PPC which had got over-excited about the ParkingEye v Beavis small claims decision (now being taken to the Court of Appeal by Mr Beavis anyway) POPLA Assessor Chris Adamson has stated in June 2014 that:
 In each case that I have seen from the higher courts,…it is made clear that a charge cannot be commercially justified where the dominant purpose of the charge is to deter the other party from breach. This is most clearly stated in Lordsvale Finance Plc v Bank of Zambia [1996] QB 752, quoted approvingly at paragraph 15 in Cine Bes Filmcilik Ve Yapimcilik & Anor v United International Pictures & Ors [2003] EWHC Civ 1669 when Coleman J states a clause should not be struck down as a penalty, “if the increase could in the circumstances be explained as commercially justifiable, provided always that its dominant purpose was not to deter the other party from breach”.
 This supports the principle that the aim of damages is to be compensatory, beginning with the idea that the aim is to put the parties in the position they would have been in had the contract been performed. It also seems that courts have been unwilling to allow clauses designed to deter breach as this undermines the binding nature of the initial promise made. Whilst the courts have reasonably moved away from a strict interpretation of what constitutes a genuine pre-estimate of loss, recognising that in complex commercial situations an accurate pre-estimate will not always be possible, nevertheless it remains that a charge for damages must be compensatory in nature rather than punitive.”
2) No standing or authority to pursue charges nor form contracts with drivers

 On receipt of the PCN I visited the adjoining shops to establish who owned the land and if it would be possible to speak with them, I was told by the manager of one of the shops, Farm Foods, that following a high amount of complaints the land owner and their landlord had instructed Parking Eye to remove signage from the car park and they would no longer be managing it.
 I therefore believe that this Operator has no proprietary interest in the land, so they have no standing to make contracts with drivers in their own right, nor to pursue charges for breach in their own name. In the absence of such title, the parking operator must have assignment of rights from the landowner to pursue charges for breach in their own right, including at court level. This has not been produced by the operator in their rejection statement so I have no proof that such a document is in existence. I contend that the parking operator merely did hold a bare licence to supply and maintain (non compliant) signs and to post out ‘tickets’ as a deterrent. A commercial site agent for the true landholder has no automatic standing nor authority in their own right which would meet the strict requirements of section 7 of the BPA Code of Practice.
 I therefore put the parking operator to strict proof to provide POPLA and myself with an unredacted, contemporaneous copy of the contract between the parking operator and the landowner. This is required so that POPLA and myself can check that it allows this Operator to make contracts with drivers themselves and provides them with full authority to pursue charges, including a right to pursue them in court in their own name. Please note that a witness statement to the effect that a contract is or was in place will not be sufficient to provide sufficient detail of the contract terms (such as revenue sharing, genuine intentions of these restrictions and charges, set amounts to charge for each stated contravention, etc.). act.
 

Offline larrylamb

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Re: Car park enforcement charges and the law
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2015, 07:05:19 pm »
I congratulate you Bedlam - good work.

Look forward to seeing their response.
 

Offline Bedlam

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Re: Car park enforcement charges and the law
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2015, 07:47:18 pm »
Has anyone had any experience of getting a 'parking charge' notice on their car from UKPC whilst parked in a supermarket and successfully avoided paying it ?
I ignored a PCN from APCOA (same horse, different jockey) at Luton Airport and never heard nowt.
HTH
 

Offline sasquartch

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Re: Car park enforcement charges and the law
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2015, 09:56:58 am »
I successfully challenged a ticket issued by UKPC using a similar letter to the above last year.

Everything you need is on the Martin Lewis Moneysaving website.

However DO NOT IGNORE a ticket - just follow the procedure (there is even a flowchart on the ML website) and you will win.

 

Offline Bedlam

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Re: Car park enforcement charges and the law
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2015, 08:00:22 pm »
I successfully challenged a ticket issued by UKPC using a similar letter to the above last year.

Everything you need is on the Martin Lewis Moneysaving website.

However DO NOT IGNORE a ticket - just follow the procedure (there is even a flowchart on the ML website) and you will win.

Thanks for this extra information, it's very much appreciated in the fight against these legalised crooks.



Edited to correct quote code
« Last Edit: February 14, 2015, 09:55:57 pm by Angel »
 

Offline sasquartch

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Re: Car park enforcement charges and the law
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2015, 08:09:37 pm »
Everything you need is here (including a flowchart)

http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=4816822

 

Offline Bedlam

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Re: Car park enforcement charges and the law
« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2015, 08:21:28 pm »
TYVM  :mblah05:
 

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Re: Car park enforcement charges and the law
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2015, 07:57:04 am »
The Brookmans Park Newsletter has been supporting the village and our local community since 1998 by providing free, interactive tools for all to use.
 

Offline BrookyP

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Re: Car park enforcement charges and the law
« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2015, 10:14:14 am »
Surley if a fine has been issued and is justified its morally the right thing to do to pay. >:D





bp
 

Offline Mermaid

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Re: Car park enforcement charges and the law
« Reply #21 on: February 20, 2015, 10:31:22 am »
Bedlam has said that he has been fined because of 'inadequate signage'. Morally therefore, the company should  charge him only for the time he was parked there instead of £100.

The Indie ran an article on this on Monday, prior to the Dispatches programme that night 'Secrets of the Parking Wardens'. They say "the Department of Health guidance states there should be no incentive for private firms to fine people who stay in hospital car parks".
 

Offline sasquartch

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Re: Car park enforcement charges and the law
« Reply #22 on: February 20, 2015, 10:52:23 am »
Surley if a fine has been issued and is justified its morally the right thing to do to pay. >:D
bp

I think that the point is that the fines in many cases are NOT justified and are both arbitrary and excessive.
 

Offline peppermint

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Re: Car park enforcement charges and the law
« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2015, 11:14:04 am »
We have a file of appeals against Parking Eye for both the Royal Free and Barnet Hospital.  We regularly visit both with my mother in law who is disabled and has dementia.  It is virtually impossible to find a space at either hospital and she can't be dropped off or left on her own and yet even whilst displaying her blue badge we have still received fines.   Their Phone to Pay number works intermittently, their state of the art automated "highwaymen" don't work on a regular basis and I often stand behind bemused people trying to enter the correct information to find that the machines delete their details and they have to enter them again.   All they want to do is park their cars legally so that they can get on with the unpleasant business of visiting the hospital.

Their appeals process takes for ever.   We have two active at the moment, one going back to April last year.


Thanks Bedlam for the information.
 

Offline BrookyP

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Re: Car park enforcement charges and the law
« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2015, 11:29:18 am »
absolutely I agree-if fines are not justified then this is good information to have.


BP




 

Offline Bedlam

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Re: Car park enforcement charges and the law
« Reply #25 on: February 20, 2015, 07:32:44 pm »
Surley if a fine has been issued and is justified its morally the right thing to do to pay. >:D  bp
It is not a fine, but a dreamed-up 'Penalty Charge' designed to extricate exorbitant payments from the general public.
The media have now highlighted these illicit practises and hopefully will continue to do so.
The companies operating these scams do not have morals.
TBH it baffles me how people who work for these companies can sleep at night knowing that their job involves flagrant extortion from often vulnerable oap/elderly/disabled motorists , imo they're on a level lower than the vindictive pond-life Traffic Wardens.
The sooner they are outlawed the same as wheel-clampers etc have been the better.












bp
« Last Edit: February 20, 2015, 07:35:04 pm by sasquartch »
 

Offline sgoldswo

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Re: Car park enforcement charges and the law
« Reply #26 on: February 26, 2015, 01:02:09 pm »
In case anyone is wondering what this weeks news on parking charges relate to I can explain (a little). In essence when you park in a municipal car park (or other public car parking) there is a schedule of fines (which are amounts prescribed by the law itself, not the contract between you as the user and the operator of the car park) which apply to your misuse of car parking spaces (overstaying, parking outside of spaces etc). These charges when levied are known as Penalty Charge Notices (or PCNs) are on an identical legal basis to the fines you might get from a traffic warden for parking in a residents only bay etc.

A commercial car park operator is not a public body and does not have the benefit of the laws described above applicable to public bodies. A user of the car park has a purely contractual relationship with the operator of the car park. That's important because there is a principle in law that a breach of a contract should not result in an amount payable in excess of the losses suffered. Such a charge (whether improperly described as a fine or not) in excess of actual losses would be a "penalty" (different from a penalty charge notice) as it's known in contract law and unenforceable.

So, to apply this to a privately operated car park, a charge for overstaying in a car parking space could not exceed the loss suffered by the car park operator in respect of the loss of use of the car parking space (i.e. cost of parking for the relevant period). Despite various counterarguments mounted by the car parking operators, the English law on this area is completely clear, penalties are unenforceable. It's evident from the number of cases settled by the car parking operators before trial that they are at the least very concerned that their charges will be found to be penalties and unenforceable.

Unfortunately, which car parks are subject to fines prescribed by law (PCNs) and which base their fees purely on contract is not abundantly clear (particularly so as many "public" car parks are now operated by car parking companies). I myself wouldn't know if a carpark for an NHS hospital was public or private in this context. Many operators play on this confusion by calling their own notices of charges something similar to statutory PCNs (Parking Charge Notices as in the above example). One way to bring clarity to this area would be for the removal of traffic warden enforcement of municipal car parks, so there is less scope for confusion.


[Removed quote of David's post above as it had gone wrong...]
 

Offline Bedlam

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Re: Car park enforcement charges and the law
« Reply #27 on: March 01, 2015, 12:12:14 am »
In case anyone is wondering what this weeks news on parking charges relate to I can explain (a little). In essence when you park in a municipal car park (or other public car parking) there is a schedule of fines

In essence, this thread highlights these scams, and as  i've stated before, they are unenforcable penalty charges, not fines and carry no weight in Small Claims Courts etc.
 

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Re: Car park enforcement charges and the law
« Reply #28 on: April 25, 2015, 11:59:47 pm »
Interesting case related to this: Barry Beavis parking charges challenge dismissed
Quote
ParkingEye argued the charges were justified to discourage people from over-staying at a site close to the railway station and law courts.
After Mr Beavis first refused to pay the £85 he received a court summons and was told the charge had increased to £150.
He challenged this last May at Cambridge County Court, where a judge ruled the £85 charge was lawful and did not breach the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations.
His challenge at the Court of Appeal was against the county court verdict.
 

Offline Bedlam

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Re: Car park enforcement charges and the law
« Reply #29 on: May 08, 2015, 08:26:06 pm »
No new comms from Parking Eye as of 08.05.15, pants are still not eaten.
By Murphy's Law - expect a letter tomorrow!
 

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