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APCOA Rail parking notice - where do I stand?
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# 1
Cheesedoodles
Old 04-09-2012, 1:19 AM
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Default APCOA Rail parking notice - where do I stand?

Where do I stand on this one?

The train station car park was full and I had to catch the train. With no time to find anywhere else I parked my car in a non-marked area within the car park. I paid my car park ticket as normal and thought it would be OK.

It was tucked away and not obstructing anything or anyone. You could get a lorry past where i parked!

I DO realize I parked in non-marked bay, but since I didn't obstruct anything I'm dubious if I'm liable to pay this charge? If I was the car park owner I would have made where I parked into a space!

It says "APCOA Civil Parking Notice" on the piece of paper. 80 charge or 50 if I pay within 14 days.

I read something that privat car park companies cannot fine me since there's no written contract. But I also read that the law might change in 2012.

Any expert on the matter which can shed some light on what I should do?

Thanks in advance.
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# 2
taffy056
Old 04-09-2012, 1:27 AM
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You simply ignore them as its an invoice that is basically toilet paper. You will receive a few letters claiming lots of outlandish things and the costs will keep rising but if you wait until letter 5 or 6 you'll get a 100% discount as they will give up. As for the new rules they come in 01/10/12 so will not apply to this speculative invoice
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# 3
Stephen Leak
Old 04-09-2012, 1:31 AM
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Only councils, the police, some train operators and Transport for London can issue legally enforceable fines or penalties. A private ticketing company can't. What they issue are “speculative invoices”.

Any warning signs are usually so badly positioned and worded, that they won’t have created a fair and legally binding deemed contract with a driver entering the car park in the first place. See The Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 and Excel Parking Services vs. Cutts, Stockport, 2011.

If we assume that there is a contract, all the car park owner can claim from a driver in damages for an alleged breach of a contract is what they’ve lost as a result. If it’s in a free car park or the driver paid, this is 0.00. Demanding more has been judged to be unreasonable and, therefore, an unfair contract penalty under the terms of The Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977. See Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co. Ltd. vs. New Garage & Motor Co. Ltd., House of Lords, 1914 and countless cases since.

There are also now landmark court cases, VCS Parking Control vs. Ronald Ibbotson, S!!!!horpe, 2012, HM Revenue & Customs vs. VCS Parking Control, Lower Tax Tribunal, 2012 and VCS Parking Control vs. HM Revenue & Customs (Appeal), Upper Tax Tribunal, 2012. In these cases, the judges ruled that only the car park owner can charge for parking and take alleged offenders to court. The Upper Tax Tribunal is equivalent to the High Court and, therefore, its judgements set legal precedents. No private ticketing company or car park owner has taken any alleged offender to court since.

We don’t condone not paying or overstaying in a pay car park. If you owe the car park owner anything, then you ought to write to them, offering this in “full and final settlement”.

In any event, you should write to the car park owner, advising them that they’re "jointly and severally liable" for the actions of their agents and that any further actions by the private ticketing company would be regarded as harassment under the terms of The Protection from Harassment Act 1997. This ought to make the car park owner call off the private ticketing company and, maybe, also realise the potential cost of doing business with one.

There’s no point appealling to the private ticketing company. They usually reject them. What’s in it for them to let anyone off?

The private ticketing company, then a debt collector and then a solicitor will each send you a couple of letters. The debt collector and solicitor are usually the same people, but using different headed paper. Unfortunately, these letters will threaten you with every kind of financial and legal unpleasantness imaginable to try and intimidate you into paying.

Continue to ignore everything you get from them. Eventually, they’ll run out of empty threats and stop throwing good money after bad.
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# 4
devonlad
Old 04-09-2012, 4:53 AM
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ignore ignore. intresting though maybe you could point that out about another parking space.
The word about the scammers is spreading like marmite here in the westcountry.
We workers all love it and the ppc hate it
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# 5
HO87
Old 04-09-2012, 10:49 AM
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@Cheesedoodles

Is there any mention on the ticket you've received of the Railway Byelaws?

APCOA don't do court and were not amongst that small crowd of PPC's who did takes matters there last year (out of 1.8 million private tickets issued on 49 ended up before a judge). However, it is possible that as the car park was a "station car park" that it may be covered by the Byelaws which involved cases appearing before the Magistrates Court, not the County Court.
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# 6
JagDriver
Old 04-09-2012, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Only councils, the police, some train operators and Transport for London can issue legally enforceable fines or penalties. A private ticketing company can't. What they issue are “speculative invoices”.
Read that carefully, station car park ticket CAN be different.
Some PPC's have taken it upon themselves to push these tickets through on the Regulation 14 (experts correct me if wrong) on an 'obstruction' basis.

Check the 'ticket' carefully for that regulation, it is a scare tactic as they have no powers, but some judges need <cough> educating on it ...

Ninja'd by HO87
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# 7
taffy056
Old 04-09-2012, 10:59 AM
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its not a railway bylaw ticket, look at the terminology used

"APCOA Civil Parking Notice"
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# 8
Cheesedoodles
Old 04-09-2012, 11:22 AM
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There's no mention of railway station.

I've scanned the ticket. You can see it here:

http://www.freeimagehosting.net/zuzzt

Reading you comments do put me at ease. I did outside the marked areas but since it was in a non obstructive place i genuinely thought it would be fine.

It's "only" 50 but it's still money I prefer to keep myself. I don't want to end up in court having to pay 1000s!

Last edited by Cheesedoodles; 04-09-2012 at 11:47 AM.
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# 9
The Slithy Tove
Old 04-09-2012, 11:43 AM
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"Should payment not be received within the specified times, a summons WILL be issued in the County Court ..."

Really? It would be a first. As they never take people to court, this is a somewhat bold (and blatently untrue) statement.
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# 10
JagDriver
Old 04-09-2012, 12:14 PM
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They can't issue a summons, it's not a debt.
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