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    • bothered_and_bewildered
    • By bothered_and_bewildered 16th Dec 16, 10:34 PM
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    bothered_and_bewildered
    Hospital parking charge from UKPC - no permit in staff area
    • #1
    • 16th Dec 16, 10:34 PM
    Hospital parking charge from UKPC - no permit in staff area 16th Dec 16 at 10:34 PM
    I am the keeper of a car issued with a notice to keeper on the 9th Dec by UKPC as the car was parked in a staff carpark in Wycombe hospital on Sunday 6th November with no permit displayed. A note on the dashboard explaining the driver was on an out of hours shift with a phone number to ring if it was still a problem to be parked there.
    I have complained to PALS at the trust and they report that the property services department feel the ticket was issued correctly and so I needed to appeal directly to UKPC rather than the trust cancelling the ticket directly. They said that a 24 hour scratch card permit could have been purchased at a cost of £3 (instead of a normal longer lasting one, to cover one-off visits) but this is not an obvious/ signposted system.
    I would like to appeal to UKPC. I guess the fact that UKPC served a NTK within the correct time schedule means that I've already missed the route of using one defence (POFA schedule 4?). Do I have much of a chance with an appeal? The 2 things I was hoping to use are as follows:
    1. The photos they have sent me include only 1 photo of a sign with the terms and conditions of UKPC, and it is a very poorly lit sign (in the dark, taken at 17.37) set back from any visible cars and even semi-obscured by a branch. I believe there are other signs on site, but could the fact they've only included this photo be used to suggest their signage is inadequate?
    2. In terms of the ruling UKPC v Masterton (B6QZ4H3R) could I argue that in the permitted area a contract has only been made with permitted cars, and also in respect of the landowner being the only party who can claim damages for trespass (this was private land, as stated on UKPC's letter to me ('your vehicle was recorded on our client's private property in breach of the following terms and conditions of parking: parked in a permit area without displaying a valid permit').

    Sorry if I could have found a useful template letter elsewhere - I'm not sure what applies to me in this exact situation and have got a bit bogged down in detail after looking at a vast number of forum posts!

    Thank you very much in advance for any help anyone can offer!
Page 1
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 16th Dec 16, 11:13 PM
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    Coupon-mad
    • #2
    • 16th Dec 16, 11:13 PM
    • #2
    • 16th Dec 16, 11:13 PM
    I would like to appeal to UKPC. I guess the fact that UKPC served a NTK within the correct time schedule means that I've already missed the route of using one defence (POFA schedule 4?).
    Well I would agree that this isn't worth including in a POPLA appeal because they find UKPC's NTKs compliant these days.

    Do I have much of a chance with an appeal? The 2 things I was hoping to use are as follows:

    1. The photos they have sent me include only 1 photo of a sign with the terms and conditions of UKPC, and it is a very poorly lit sign (in the dark, taken at 17.37) set back from any visible cars and even semi-obscured by a branch. I believe there are other signs on site, but could the fact they've only included this photo be used to suggest their signage is inadequate?
    Yes, I always copy their own photos and embed them into the body of the appeal word document to illustrate the appeal point about unlit signs. Their own photos are often woeful and make great ammo for POPLA time. Really go to town on it and prove the signs could not be read and you can potentially win on that.

    2. In terms of the ruling UKPC v Masterton (B6QZ4H3R) could I argue that in the permitted area a contract has only been made with permitted cars, and also in respect of the landowner being the only party who can claim damages for trespass (this was private land, as stated on UKPC's letter to me ('your vehicle was recorded on our client's private property in breach of the following terms and conditions of parking: parked in a permit area without displaying a valid permit').
    Yes but don't expect POPLA to understand it!

    You should also use 'no landowner authority'. A template POPLA appeal point for that, plus one for unclear signs - to which you can add the photo of the illegible sign - are in post #3 of the NEWBIES thread.

    BTW have you pointed out to the Facilities Managers and/or the CEO of the Hospital Trust, that this regime is contrary to the NHS Government guidance and as such, can they now step in properly with the spirit of goodwill and stop this harassment of a staff member:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nhs-patient-visitor-and-staff-car-parking-principles/nhs-patient-visitor-and-staff-car-parking-principles

    The NHS Trust are flouting the will of Parliament, as discussed here:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/hospitals-still-allowing-private-parking-firms-to-prey-on-visitors-with-penalty-fines-10047797.html

    So escalate the complaint higher. Ask the Trust to justify it on the basis of the Govt Memorandum and Guidance about staff/patient car parking.
    PRIVATE PCN in England/Wales? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT

    Click on the trail, top of this page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    DON'T read old advice to ignore, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • bothered_and_bewildered
    • By bothered_and_bewildered 17th Dec 16, 4:58 PM
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    bothered_and_bewildered
    • #3
    • 17th Dec 16, 4:58 PM
    • #3
    • 17th Dec 16, 4:58 PM
    Thanks so much, I will try that and let you know what happens!
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 17th Dec 16, 6:32 PM
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    Coupon-mad
    • #4
    • 17th Dec 16, 6:32 PM
    • #4
    • 17th Dec 16, 6:32 PM
    Do show us your draft POPLA appeal and email to the NHS Trust CEO/Management, first.
    PRIVATE PCN in England/Wales? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT

    Click on the trail, top of this page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    DON'T read old advice to ignore, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • TW1234
    • By TW1234 17th Dec 16, 7:46 PM
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    TW1234
    • #5
    • 17th Dec 16, 7:46 PM
    • #5
    • 17th Dec 16, 7:46 PM
    It would also be worthwhile noting that you (should) have a staff member on the Members'Council of your Trust. Asking them to raise it at a Governors' meeting may be interesting!
    • bothered_and_bewildered
    • By bothered_and_bewildered 17th Dec 16, 11:10 PM
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    bothered_and_bewildered
    • #6
    • 17th Dec 16, 11:10 PM
    • #6
    • 17th Dec 16, 11:10 PM
    Hi again,

    Just to clarify, I'm actually currently at the stage of appealing to UKPC rather than POPLA - this is a draft of what I thought I might send UKPC. I'll try and draft an email to the trust tomorrow and post that separately.


    Re: PCN xxxxxx

    Dear Sir or Madam,

    I am writing to challenge this parking charge notice as keeper of the car.

    I believe that your signs fail the test of 'large lettering' and prominence, as established in ParkingEye vs Beavis. The photo that you have provided as evidence demonstrates how poorly legible and badly placed signs are in the parking area in question (incidentally with no suitable illumination for the dark). Reviewing the signs at the site there is a slightly larger sign at the entrance to the parking area that says nothing but 'Parking For Trust Vehicles Only'. This sign does not make clear in any way that trust vehicles are required to be permitted (rather than just being a vehicle of someone working for the trust) or else face a parking charge. Furthermore, there is no indication anywhere of the way by which staff can obtain a temporary permit for a one-off shift (comparable to the hourly rate payable in the patient car park - and this car park is clearly intended for patients rather than staff).

    I understand you do not own the car park and you have given me no information about your policy with the landowner to cancel such a charge - please supply that policy as required under the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013. I am particularly interested in the contract you hold in view of the ruling UKPC v Masterton (B6QZ4H3R). This ruling has striking similarities to this case (for instance, being in relation to an NHS car park) and Judge Ellington ruled in the defendant's favour as she was unable to accept that there was a contractual licence to park with a contract between the parking manager (UKPC) and the vehicle owner, and ruled that any cause of action lies with the freeholder.

    I am writing to the trust separately on this matter. One point I will be raising with them is that as an NHS site the land is subject to the guidance from the department of health on NHS patient, visitor and staff car parking principles, which includes the proviso that "additional charges should only be imposed where reasonable" and defines 'reasonable' as follows:
    "additional charges for people who do not have legitimate reasons for parking (eg commuters) or who persistently flout parking regulations (eg blocking entrances). A period of grace should normally be applied before a parking charge is issued"
    It is clear according to this guideline that the charge in this case is not reasonable. There was a note visible on the dashboard (photographed and timestamped by your operative) that explained that the driver was working an out of hours shift, with a telephone number to contact the driver (eg to provide further proof of this work if necessary), so clearly had a reasonable reason to be parked there and had not been found to be a persistent offender as this was a first 'offence'.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 17th Dec 16, 11:43 PM
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    Coupon-mad
    • #7
    • 17th Dec 16, 11:43 PM
    • #7
    • 17th Dec 16, 11:43 PM
    Looks good to me, nothing wrong with adding relevant wording to the first appeal template where it makes sense for the case and doesn't name the driver. That's perfectly OK and you should put it in online to UKPC now.
    PRIVATE PCN in England/Wales? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT

    Click on the trail, top of this page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    DON'T read old advice to ignore, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • fisherjim
    • By fisherjim 19th Dec 16, 9:14 AM
    • 2,221 Posts
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    fisherjim
    • #8
    • 19th Dec 16, 9:14 AM
    • #8
    • 19th Dec 16, 9:14 AM
    Just one strange thing about this site all appeals to UKPC are actually sent back to the trust to consider and decide upon:

    Procedure to follow should you receive a parking charge notice
    None of us like to return to our vehicle to discover a parking charge notice for whatever reason.
    If you receive a parking charge notice and decide that you wish to appeal against it, then you need to follow the correct process set out on the back of the ticket given to you.
    Contacting the Trust directly is not the correct process.
    Please contact the car parking company (UKPC) by via the web page www.ukpcappeals.co.uk to submit on online appeals form, or alternatively you can send your appeal via post to UKPC P O Box 1087. Uxbridge UB8 9UR.
    UKPC will then send the appeal through to the Trusts internal appeals panel for consideration.
    To quote the words of the great Count Arthur Strong "You Couldn't make it up"
    • bothered_and_bewildered
    • By bothered_and_bewildered 17th Mar 17, 3:10 PM
    • 4 Posts
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    bothered_and_bewildered
    • #9
    • 17th Mar 17, 3:10 PM
    • #9
    • 17th Mar 17, 3:10 PM
    Just as an update - my initial complaint to the hospital trust (through their PALS service) didn't really get me anywhere; the person dealing with it went to look at the signs and felt UKPC were in the right. I then had to make a formal complaint which went to the CEO and I'm still awaiting the results of this. In the meantime I heard back from UKPC offering to drop my fine back to £30. I refused and appealed to POPLA despite the threat that this could end in a £60 charge (I think it helped knowing UKPC would have to pay £30 of this if POPLA found in their favour!). I heard last week from POPLA that UKPC have decided not to appeal - which is great for me, though I'm still hoping my formal complaint will result in clear signs advertising the £3/ 24hr staff permits available - the department of health guidelines for NHS carparks are very easy to find and extremely clear; I almost wanted the chance to take it further to test the legality of the current situation and improve on it.

    Incidentally, I also discovered through a freedom of information request that UKPC's incombe from covering Wycombe hospital (and possibly Stoke Mandeville hospital as it's the same trust) is solely derived from parking charges - this is in breach of department of health guidelines. I think I mentioned that in my formal complaint so will update again if/ when I hear back from it.

    Thanks so much for all the advice, especially Coupon-Mad - I would have probably just paid the fine without a fight if I hadn't found this forum!
    • Half_way
    • By Half_way 17th Mar 17, 3:39 PM
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    Half_way
    Do you have a link to the FOI request result, or can you post it online?

    It may be worth trying to contact the people behind this https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/

    If you post it online it would be useful for others in a similar situation.
    From the Plain Language Commission:

    "The BPA has surely become one of the most socially dangerous organisations in the UK"
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