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  • FIRST POST
    • Retired Grumpy
    • By Retired Grumpy 24th May 16, 9:29 AM
    • 12Posts
    • 16Thanks
    Retired Grumpy
    IAS Appeal - help needed please
    • #1
    • 24th May 16, 9:29 AM
    IAS Appeal - help needed please 24th May 16 at 9:29 AM
    Hello, Newbie here (Yes, I can hear the groans!)
    I have read through the newbie stickies and threads, and quite a few of the other threads on here, so I have started this thread instead of asking questions on other peoples posts, I hope this is OK.
    I have read conflicting advice regarding appealing to the Independent Appeals Service, and, on balance, have decided to appeal through them, to help gather evidence of whether they are independent or not, and in the hope my charge will be dismissed.

    Briefly, as the Registered Keeper, I received by post a Parking Charge Notice from Vehicle Control Services (Sheffield) for parking longer than the maximum period permitted (154 minutes stay, maximum 2hrs permitted). This arrived 16 days after the alleged Contravention was detected by ANPR cameras. I don’t dispute the overstay, actually, and I know some people may take the view I should accept it and pay up, Initially I thought so too.

    But after reading various posts on here it seemed to me that PoFA 2012 applies in this case, and the PCN should have been delivered within 14 days beginning with the day after the alleged contravention, and for that reason I decided to appeal to VCS, basing my letter on one of the Templates kindly provided on here.
    I also realised that the PCN (I assume it is a PCN) only had a rather confusing “Issue Date of This Notice”, not a Date Sent or Date Given as required by PoFA 2012 Schedule 4 Section 9, 2) requires.

    I realise that I am basing my appeal on a technicality, but if its good enough for “celebrities” to “get off” on a technicality because they can afford a good lawyer, why shouldn't a "little man" give it a go too? Better than lining these operators pockets without a fight, I feel.

    I did also include in my appeal some mitigating circumstances, and having read further I realise that was probably a waste of time. The gist of the mitigating circumstances was that the car park in question only requires a valid Blue Badge to be displayed, it does not allow any extra time for disabled users. The Equality Act 2010 states that “service providers are to take reasonable steps to ensure that disabled people do not find impossible or unreasonably difficult, to enjoy the service on the same basis as non-disabled people.” In this instance a 92 year old disabled person took longer than an able-bodied person to get around the shops due to their mobility problems.
    As the car parking policy clearly aims to dissuade all people from parking for over 2 hours, signified by the £100 parking charge, under The Equality Act 2010 charging disabled people the same as non-disabled people for exceeding the free 2 hour parking period may be considered to be discriminatory. I also said that they may wish to review the terms and conditions of this car park, especially since the nearby council run car parks, who are perhaps more mindful of The Equality Act 2010, allow free unlimited parking at all times for blue badge holders.

    VCS promptly rejected my appeal. I have now decided to appeal to IAS, and I am looking for any advice or guidance as to how best to word that appeal, and whether to include the mitigating circumstances. I' m also aware that in PoFA there is an assumption that the PCN is "deemed" to have been delivered within 2 days after it was sent, and I don't know how to prove that it wasn't - do I have to "prove my innocence"? Or will the Adjudicator make the assumption that it was delivered within the correct timescale anyway?

    Apologies for a very long, rambling first post, I will try to do better, and thank you for taking the time to read my post
Page 2
    • Retired Grumpy
    • By Retired Grumpy 5th Jun 16, 7:42 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Retired Grumpy
    Coupon-mad, thank you, I fully expect a rejection from IAS, but it will, hopefully, be another nail in their coffin! As you say, maybe we will be proved wrong and they do consider a matter of law, lets see what happens, I'm ready to upload my "appeal", and am just composing a letter to the landowner, well, basically copying your reply above to be honest!
    Guys Dad, Henrik777 and Northlakes, thank you for your help and guidance, lets see what happens next. Any response from IAS or the landowner, I will update here.
    • Retired Grumpy
    • By Retired Grumpy 6th Jun 16, 9:57 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Retired Grumpy
    That's it, "appeal" lodged, and registered letter to landowner sent. :Now I can get some sleep for a few days, recharge the batteries ready for the next round! Fight the good fight and all that
    • Retired Grumpy
    • By Retired Grumpy 18th Jun 16, 2:21 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Retired Grumpy
    Well, as expected, the IAS have dismissed my appeal - shock, horror! The Adjudicators comments are as follows:-
    "The evidence provided by the Operator is clear in proving that the Appellant's vehicle remained on site for 2 hours 34 minutes in a car park which offers 2 hours of free parking. This 2 hour free period of parking is clearly displayed on signage throughout the site. Those drivers who stay on site longer than 2 hours are required to pay a charge. On the aforementioned signs a telephone number is provided for drivers to call should difficulties occur in complying with the 2 hour period or other terms. There is no suggestion that this telephone number was used at the time by the driver.

    I note the Appellant's comments, however they provide no proof that there was indeed a 92 year old passenger in the vehicle. In any event, the Operator's code of practice states that 'under the Equality Act 2010 it is your duty to make “reasonable adjustments” to assist disabled people to use any services you provide. It is incumbent on Operators to determine what is necessary on their individual sites.' It is evident from the comments made that the such adjustments have been considered and provision for Blue Badge holders have been made at this site. I am not satisfied that allowing Blue Badge holders to stay on site for an extra 34 minutes could be considered 'reasonable', however the Appellant is entitled to take independent legal advice on this point if they so wish. The Appellant should be aware that this appeals procedure does not seek to determine whether a criminal offence has taken place or not.!

    The Appellant appears to claim that although they are the registered keeper of the vehicle they were not the Driver at the time of the parking event. I am satisfied that the Operator is pursuing the Appellant as the Driver of the vehicle at the time of the parking event. In the case of Elliot v Loake (1982) the legal principle is established, that, in the absence of sufficient evidence to the contrary, the keeper of a vehicle is assumed to be the Driver. As the Appellant provides no documentary proof as to their whereabouts I am not satisfied that the Appellant has proved that they are not the Driver as appears to be claimed.!

    I am satisfied that the Operator has proven their prima facie case that the driver breached the terms and conditions of parking by staying on site for longer than the free period of parking and therefore agreed to pay a charge. Once liability has been established, only the Operator has the discretion to vary or cancel the parking charge based on mitigating circumstances.

    Accordingly this appeal is dismissed.
    "
    As your appeal has been dismissed, the Independent Adjudicator has found, upon the evidence provided, that the parking charge was lawfully incurred.

    As this appeal has not been resolved in your favour, the IAS is unable to intervene further in this matter.

    Should you continue to contest the charge then you should consider obtaining independent legal advice.


    A couple of interesting comments here!

    I note the Appellant's comments, however they provide no proof that there was indeed a 92 year old passenger in the vehicle.
    In spite of the PCN photo showing a front-seat passenger, and a mark on the dashboard which was the blue badge (the photo resolution is poor), and a copy of the blue badge was attached to the appeal.

    " I am not satisfied that allowing Blue Badge holders to stay on site for an extra 34 minutes could be considered 'reasonable', however the Appellant is entitled to take independent legal advice on this point if they so wish.
    Sounds like a challenge, to me!

    The Appellant should be aware that this appeals procedure does not seek to determine whether a criminal offence has taken place or not.!
    Really! I mean... REALLY???!!
    • Ralph-y
    • By Ralph-y 18th Jun 16, 3:10 PM
    • 2,258 Posts
    • 2,751 Thanks
    Ralph-y
    well you where warned .......

    after going this far .... why not try your local press , MP , and any one else who will listen ..

    Ralph
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 18th Jun 16, 3:33 PM
    • 11,801 Posts
    • 17,982 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    The problem with exposing yourself to an inevitable IAS dismissal of the appeal is that it gives VCS encouragement to serve court papers and, should they do so, will give you a mountain of work to defend to avoid ending up with a default CCJ.
    NEWBIES - wise up - DO NOT IGNORE A PARKING CHARGE NOTICE - you have been warned!

    Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.

    Please note: I am NOT involved in any 'paid for' appeals service.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 18th Jun 16, 7:45 PM
    • 44,143 Posts
    • 56,870 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Never mind. As expected and they have got no further. It has also given you some ammo already put together, in case VCS try a small claim (very rare for them). Expect to get a letter then another threatogram from 'BW Legal' this Summer but even then, VCS cases do not yet proceed to small claims, whereas Excel ones sometimes do.

    Robust responses will be needed to any BW Legal letter walloping on an extra £54 for no reason. To find example responses discussed and shown, search for the keywords 'BW Legal £54' on this forum as and when you get that threatogram.

    'Elliott v Loake' simply does not stack up as a relevant authority, BTW. but this only needs discussing if you get a small claim in the end.
    Last edited by Coupon-mad; 18-06-2016 at 7:48 PM.
    PRIVATE PCN in England/Wales? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT

    Click on the breadcrumb trail, top of page: Household & Travel > Motoring > Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking & READ THE 'NEWBIES' FAQS THREAD.
    DON'T read old advice to ignore, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • hoohoo
    • By hoohoo 18th Jun 16, 8:38 PM
    • 1,635 Posts
    • 2,996 Thanks
    hoohoo
    Yet another example of the IAS institutional bias by requiring unreasonable levels of proof from the keeper, but zero levels of proof from anything from the operator

    Yet another example of the IAS incompetence by quoting Eliot v Loake as establishing a legal principle, when it does nothing of the sort.

    Boing! Kangaroo court! Skippy makes another fudgment.
    Dedicated to driving up standards in parking
    • Retired Grumpy
    • By Retired Grumpy 26th Jun 16, 5:32 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Retired Grumpy
    Just received an email from VCS, who have obviously been contacted by the Landowner, whom I wrote to a week or so ago. The email reads as follows:

    I am contacting following your recent letter to the landowner of the xxxxxxxxx private car park in xxxxx in connection with the Parking Charge Notice you received.

    I fully understand and empathise with the circumstances you describe in relation to your visit to the xxxxxxxxxxxxRetail Park on 10th!March 2016. Please be aware that Vehicle Control Services Ltd! are members!and supporters of the Disabled Motoring organisation DMUK.!We are mindful of our obligations in terms of making reasonable adjustments and provisions for disabled users of the private car parks at which we operate; such adjustments include the provision of dedicated and larger parking spaces in closer proximity to relevant amenities etc. Understandably, it is difficult to cater for the entire spectrum of disabled visitors and it is for this reason that we advertise a helpline number on our signage. The helpline number can be used for a number of reasons, including the request for visitors to request additional time over the maximum stay period to accommodate their specific needs. In such circumstances, the vehicle registration number would be added to an exemptions list for an agreed time period in order to avoid the issue of a Parking Charge Notice.

    We are always receptive to feedback from our customers in order to improve our services and to enable car park users to benefit from the best possible experience. With this in mind, I would be most grateful to receive any suggestions you may have as to how we could improve our services for disabled visitors.

    Please note that our car park operations fall into 2 main categories:

    i)Those operated by Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras (such as thexxxxxxxx Retail Park), which capture the entry and exit pictures of vehicles. Where these operate at sites with Pay & Display machines, the ‘machines work in conjunction with the cameras using the vehicle registration number as a means of matching P&D tickets with the ANPR camera images. The vehicle registration number being input into the Pay & Display machine (via key pads) as part of the purchasing routine.
    ii)A conventional “manual” site where a Parking Attendant may be present or is visited by a Patrol Officer.

    I note that your appeal to the IAS has been unsuccessful but wish to inform you that I have placed matters on hold until I receive your response to this email, and until such time that your complaint to the landowner has been resolved.

    I await to hear from you at your earliest convenience."
    [/I][
    I had already approached DMUK, who have been very non-committal so far, but I didnt know that VCS were members of it. Anyone else aware of this?

    I think "The helpline number can be used for a number of reasons, including the request for visitors to request additional time over the maximum stay period to accommodate their specific needs. In such circumstances, the vehicle registration number would be added to an exemptions list for an agreed time period in order to avoid the issue of a Parking Charge Notice." is a bit disengenious, since the signs just have the word "Helpline 0xxx xxx xxxx" on them.

    I could certainly give them some "customer feedback"as they request, but as they have stated they are putting "matters" on hold until I respond to the email, and until my complaint to the landowner is resolved, I am not inclined to do anything in a hurry

    Oh, and the email from VCS carried the IPC, BPA and the DMUK, logos - I didn't think VCS were members of the BPA, else they would have POPLA .
    Also, after I opened the email, (it must have sent a "read" reciept) I recieved an out-of office reply from Excel!!
    Last edited by Retired Grumpy; 26-06-2016 at 5:50 PM.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 26th Jun 16, 5:39 PM
    • 44,143 Posts
    • 56,870 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Good.

    That's unusual but interesting although I suspect VCS of merely paying lip service to something the landowner wants.

    I doubt the signs tell you this: ''In such circumstances, the vehicle registration number would be added to an exemptions list for an agreed time period in order to avoid the issue of a Parking Charge Notice.''


    So my suggestion would be:

    Next to every disabled bay, it is imperative that signs inform a disabled driver of ALL the applicable terms, which includes exemptions. So, to properly inform drivers using these bays that they are entitled to a reasonable adjustment of time, those signs should say:

    In order to avoid the issue of a Parking Charge Notice, if you or a disabled passenger with you today need more time to park without charge, please ring freephone 0800 xxxx xxxxxxx (NOT an 084x number) so that your vehicle registration number can be added to an exemptions list for an agreed time period for this visit. If you believe you meet the definition of disability to use this bay but have no Blue Badge please ring the helpline where your disability need can be discussed and we will make every reasonable effort to accommodate it.
    Last edited by Coupon-mad; 26-06-2016 at 5:42 PM.
    PRIVATE PCN in England/Wales? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT

    Click on the breadcrumb trail, top of page: Household & Travel > Motoring > Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking & READ THE 'NEWBIES' FAQS THREAD.
    DON'T read old advice to ignore, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • pappa golf
    • By pappa golf 26th Jun 16, 5:46 PM
    • 6,626 Posts
    • 6,534 Thanks
    pappa golf
    Just received an email from VCS, who have obviously been contacted by the Landowner, whom I wrote to a week or so ago. The email reads as follows:

    I am contacting following your recent letter to the landowner of the xxxxxxxxx private car park in xxxxx in connection with the Parking Charge Notice you received.

    I fully understand and empathise with the circumstances you describe in relation to your visit to the xxxxxxxxxxxxRetail Park on 10th!March 2016. Please be aware that Vehicle Control Services Ltd! are members!and supporters of the Disabled Motoring organisation DMUK.!We are mindful of our obligations in terms of making reasonable adjustments and provisions for disabled users of the private car parks at which we operate; such adjustments include the provision of dedicated and larger parking spaces in closer proximity to relevant amenities etc. Understandably, it is difficult to cater for the entire spectrum of disabled visitors and it is for this reason that we advertise a helpline number on our signage. The helpline number can be used for a number of reasons, including the request for visitors to request additional time over the maximum stay period to accommodate their specific needs. In such circumstances, the vehicle registration number would be added to an exemptions list for an agreed time period in order to avoid the issue of a Parking Charge Notice.

    We are always receptive to feedback from our customers in order to improve our services and to enable car park users to benefit from the best possible experience. With this in mind, I would be most grateful to receive any suggestions you may have as to how we could improve our services for disabled visitors.

    Please note that our car park operations fall into 2 main categories:

    i)Those operated by Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras (such as thexxxxxxxx Retail Park), which capture the entry and exit pictures of vehicles
    . Where these operate at sites with Pay & Display machines, the ‘machines work in conjunction with the cameras using the vehicle registration number as a means of matching P&D tickets with the ANPR camera images. The vehicle registration number being input into the Pay & Display machine (via key pads) as part of the purchasing routine.
    ii)A conventional “manual” site where a Parking Attendant may be present or is visited by a Patrol Officer.

    I note that your appeal to the IAS has been unsuccessful but wish to inform you that I have placed matters on hold until I receive your response to this email, and until such time that your complaint to the landowner has been resolved.

    I await to hear from you at your earliest convenience."
    [/I][
    I had already approached DMUK, who have been very non-committal so far, but I didnt know that VCS were members of it. Anyone else aware of this?

    I think "The helpline number can be used for a number of reasons, including the request for visitors to request additional time over the maximum stay period to accommodate their specific needs. In such circumstances, the vehicle registration number would be added to an exemptions list for an agreed time period in order to avoid the issue of a Parking Charge Notice." is a bit disengenious, since the signs just have the word "Helpline 0xxx xxx xxxx" on them.

    I could certainly give them some "customer feedback"as they request, but as they have stated they are putting "matters" on hold until I respond to the email, and until my complaint to the landowner is resolved, I am not inclined to do anything in a hurry
    Originally posted by Retired Grumpy



    Please be aware that Vehicle Control Services Ltd! are members!and supporters of the Disabled Motoring organisation DMUK.!We are mindful of our obligations in terms of making reasonable adjustments and provisions for disabled users of the private car parks at which we operate; such adjustments include the provision of dedicated and larger parking spaces in closer proximity to relevant amenities


    and in the next sentence


    Please note that our car park operations fall into 2 main categories:

    i)Those operated by Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras (such as thexxxxxxxx Retail Park), which capture the entry and exit pictures of vehicles



    how can an ANPR system adhere to their first comment


    in fact by admitting that thexxxxxxxx Retail Park is operated by ANPR , they are clearly failing on point one
    Last edited by pappa golf; 26-06-2016 at 5:48 PM.
    Have YOU had to walk 500 miles?
    Were you advised to walk 500 more?
    You could be entitled to compensation.
    Call the Pro Claimers NOW.
    • Retired Grumpy
    • By Retired Grumpy 27th Jun 16, 2:45 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Retired Grumpy
    By way of another update, I received a letter today from GBR Phoenix Beard, who advise that they are the Landlords appointed Managing Agents for the car park. They state they have instructed VCS to manage the car park on site via an ANPR system. They say they are in contact with VCS and are awaiting their investigation into "this matter" and report back to them prior to sending to me a full response to the issues I have raised (which were courtesy of Coupon-mad).
    • Retired Grumpy
    • By Retired Grumpy 1st Aug 16, 7:59 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Retired Grumpy
    I have received a second letter from the Landlords agents, which basically said that although my IAS appeal had been "dismissed" and that I was probably the driver, and although VCS had acted properly towards a disabled customer, that "bearing in mind my circumstances" they have asked VCS to withdraw this parking notice.

    RESULT!

    MANY, MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO HAVE HELPED ME ON HERE, BUT SPECIAL THANKS TO COUPON-MAD! Without your help, writing the letter to the landlord which I copied and sent, I don't think this would have happened. THANK YOU.

    However, the relief of winning is tempered by the fact that I still feel that this car park is likely to catch out other disabled users. So I am writing back to both VCS and the Landlords agents, thanking them for withdrawing the PCN, but suggesting they provide additional signage, again using the example provided above by Coupon-Mad (More thanks!).

    It will be interesting to see what response I get, and, whether anything changes on site.

    Once more, many thanks to all.
    • beamerguy
    • By beamerguy 1st Aug 16, 8:06 PM
    • 4,793 Posts
    • 5,910 Thanks
    beamerguy
    I have received a second letter from the Landlords agents, which basically said that although my IAS appeal had been "dismissed" and that I was probably the driver, and although VCS had acted properly towards a disabled customer, that "bearing in mind my circumstances" they have asked VCS to withdraw this parking notice.

    RESULT!

    MANY, MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO HAVE HELPED ME ON HERE, BUT SPECIAL THANKS TO COUPON-MAD! Without your help, writing the letter to the landlord which I copied and sent, I don't think this would have happened. THANK YOU.

    However, the relief of winning is tempered by the fact that I still feel that this car park is likely to catch out other disabled users. So I am writing back to both VCS and the Landlords agents, thanking them for withdrawing the PCN, but suggesting they provide additional signage, again using the example provided above by Coupon-Mad (More thanks!).

    It will be interesting to see what response I get, and, whether anything changes on site.

    Once more, many thanks to all.
    Originally posted by Retired Grumpy
    Well done but it's one thing them ASKING VCS to cancel, it's another thing when you get written confirmation that it is cancelled.

    Keep on top of this
    RBS - MNBA - CAPITAL ONE - LLOYDS

    DISGUSTING BEHAVIOUR
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 7th Aug 16, 10:28 PM
    • 44,143 Posts
    • 56,870 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    I have received a second letter from the Landlords agents, which basically said that although my IAS appeal had been "dismissed" and that I was probably the driver, and although VCS had acted properly towards a disabled customer, that "bearing in mind my circumstances" they have asked VCS to withdraw this parking notice.

    RESULT!

    MANY, MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO HAVE HELPED ME ON HERE, BUT SPECIAL THANKS TO COUPON-MAD! Without your help, writing the letter to the landlord which I copied and sent, I don't think this would have happened. THANK YOU.

    However, the relief of winning is tempered by the fact that I still feel that this car park is likely to catch out other disabled users. So I am writing back to both VCS and the Landlords agents, thanking them for withdrawing the PCN, but suggesting they provide additional signage, again using the example provided above by Coupon-Mad (More thanks!).

    It will be interesting to see what response I get, and, whether anything changes on site.

    Once more, many thanks to all.
    Originally posted by Retired Grumpy

    Nice one! I just got back from our family holiday this weekend, this is good to read!

    PRIVATE PCN in England/Wales? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT

    Click on the breadcrumb trail, top of page: Household & Travel > Motoring > Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking & READ THE 'NEWBIES' FAQS THREAD.
    DON'T read old advice to ignore, unless in Scotland/NI.

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