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  • FIRST POST
    • toffeehound
    • By toffeehound 20th Mar 17, 10:41 AM
    • 6Posts
    • 12Thanks
    toffeehound
    PCN Appeal re: Britannia Parking (Yes, I have read Newbie advice)
    • #1
    • 20th Mar 17, 10:41 AM
    PCN Appeal re: Britannia Parking (Yes, I have read Newbie advice) 20th Mar 17 at 10:41 AM
    This is my first post on the MSE Forums. First of all, I'd like to say thanks to whoever has put together the newbie advice on parking fines. This is very useful.
    I'm about to make a PCN appeal to Britannia Parking via their website using the template which has been kindly provided for BPA members. My PCN relates to overstaying the maximum 2hrs at the Portswood Centre in Southampton. I'd like to ask if anyone has any advice specific to Britannia Parking or to this particular car park. Thanks.
Page 1
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 20th Mar 17, 5:37 PM
    • 45,805 Posts
    • 58,763 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    • #2
    • 20th Mar 17, 5:37 PM
    • #2
    • 20th Mar 17, 5:37 PM
    Specific info re Britannia - VERY TAME, you will win! No-one needs to worry about them.

    They don't issue POFA compliant Notice to Keepers, so a keeper appellant wins at POPLA, as long as the driver is not identified. Nice and easy one for you as your first one. Count yourself lucky!
    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.

    • toffeehound
    • By toffeehound 21st Mar 17, 2:03 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    toffeehound
    • #3
    • 21st Mar 17, 2:03 PM
    • #3
    • 21st Mar 17, 2:03 PM
    Thanks for your reply. I'm new to this, so I'm not fully conversant with the jargon yet. I assume that you mean Britannia will reject an appeal based on the standard template for BPA, and that I must then appeal to POPLA. It sounds like good news anyway.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 21st Mar 17, 2:03 PM
    • 45,805 Posts
    • 58,763 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    • #4
    • 21st Mar 17, 2:03 PM
    • #4
    • 21st Mar 17, 2:03 PM
    Yes that's likely to be what happens, a nice easy one at POPLA though and they will give up!
    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.

    • toffeehound
    • By toffeehound 14th Apr 17, 11:14 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    toffeehound
    • #5
    • 14th Apr 17, 11:14 AM
    • #5
    • 14th Apr 17, 11:14 AM
    Thanks for your reply Coupon-mad . As expected my appeal to Britannia was rejected, and I was sent a POPLA code on 24/3/2017. I have until 21/4/2017 to appeal to POPLA.

    I have searched this forum for further details of making a POPLA appeal re: Britannia Parking.
    I have found references to the "POFA 2012 NTK" defence, but I can't find a wording or template for this.
    It it sufficient to simply state that the Notice to Keepers is not POFA compliant? If not, it there a link to a template?

    Thanks in advance for any help on this.
    • freester
    • By freester 14th Apr 17, 1:01 PM
    • 57 Posts
    • 74 Thanks
    freester
    • #6
    • 14th Apr 17, 1:01 PM
    • #6
    • 14th Apr 17, 1:01 PM
    Here is a recent Britannia link I found yesterday whilst searching / preparing my appeal:

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=71931587#post71931587

    Hope this helps
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 14th Apr 17, 4:19 PM
    • 45,805 Posts
    • 58,763 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    • #7
    • 14th Apr 17, 4:19 PM
    • #7
    • 14th Apr 17, 4:19 PM
    And as per that thread, don't forget to add the template from the NEWBIES thread that says something like 'The operator has not shown that the appellant is the person liable'.
    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.

    • toffeehound
    • By toffeehound 15th Apr 17, 3:07 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    toffeehound
    • #8
    • 15th Apr 17, 3:07 PM
    • #8
    • 15th Apr 17, 3:07 PM
    Thanks very much Freester and Coupon-mad for your replies :-)
    • toffeehound
    • By toffeehound 16th Apr 17, 12:11 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    toffeehound
    • #9
    • 16th Apr 17, 12:11 AM
    • #9
    • 16th Apr 17, 12:11 AM
    I have one further question. I intend to submit my POPLA appeal as a pdf, together with a scan of the PCN as proof of non-compliance with POFA.
    My appeal will be based on the excellent link above, and will reference Britannia's rejection of appeal letter as evidence that the driver has not been identified. Should I also attach a scan of the rejection of appeal letter?
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 16th Apr 17, 7:47 AM
    • 12,609 Posts
    • 19,387 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    Ordinarily the PPC should send POPLA copies of everything they have sent you. But if you are relying on using deficiencies in specific PPC documents as part of your appeal you can scan them and bolt them on.

    We recommend a .pdf file as there is a word count restriction if just copying and pasting into the appeal portal. Send the file and check the 'OTHER' category as reason for appealing.

    HTH
    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.
    • toffeehound
    • By toffeehound 26th Apr 17, 6:30 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    toffeehound
    Great news ! I have won at POPLA. Britannia did not contest the appeal. Thanks very much to all who gave advice. This has saved me £100 ! I have appended the text of my successful appeal, which is based on the link shared by Freester - basically POFA2012 + "kitchen sink":

    Appeal re POPLA code: – xxxxxxxxxx xxxxx v Britannia Parking Group Ltd

    Dear POPLA Adjudicator,

    I am writing to you to lodge a formal appeal against a parking charge notice sent to myself as registered keeper of the vehicle in question.
    I contend that I am not liable for this parking charge on the basis of the below points:

    1) A compliant Notice to Keeper was never served - no Keeper Liability can apply.

    2) The signs in this car park are not prominent, clear or legible from all parking spaces and there is insufficient notice of the sum of the parking charge itself.

    3) No evidence of Landowner Authority - the operator is put to strict proof of full compliance with the BPA Code of Practice.


    1) This Notice to Keeper (NTK) is not compliant with the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (POFA) due to the dates and the wording used.

    This operator has not fulfilled the 'second condition' for keeper liability as defined in Schedule 4 and as a result, they have no lawful authority to pursue any parking charge from myself, as a registered keeper appellant. There is no discretion on this matter. If Schedule 4 mandatory documents are not served at all, or in time (or if the document omits any prescribed wording) then keeper liability simply does not apply.

    The wording in the Protection of Freedoms Act (POFA) 2012 is as follows:

    ''Right to claim unpaid parking charges from keeper of vehicle:
    4(1) The creditor has the right to recover any unpaid parking charges from the keeper of the vehicle. (2) The right under this paragraph applies only if

    (a) the conditions specified in paragraphs 5, 6*, 11 and 12 (so far as applicable) are met;

    *Conditions that must be met for purposes of paragraph 4:
    6(1) ''The second condition is that the creditor (or a person acting for or on behalf of the creditor)— (a)has given a notice to driver in accordance with paragraph 7, followed by a notice to keeper in accordance with paragraph 8. This is re-iterated further ‘If a notice to driver has been given, any subsequent notice to keeper MUST be given in accordance with paragraph 8.’
    It is my understanding that for an operator to transfer liability for unpaid parking charges from the driver of the vehicle to the registered keeper of the vehicle, the regulations laid out in the Protection of Freedoms Act (PoFA) 2012 must be adhered to. The Driver of the vehicle has not been identified (as confirmed in the operator’s rejection of my appeal, dated xxth of xxxxx 2017) and the Notice to Keeper fails to comply with section 9 of PoFA 2012 (no windscreen ticket was issued), specifically the following passage:

    “2) The notice must – f) warn the keeper that if, after the period of 28 days beginning with the day after that on which the notice is given – (i) the amount of the unpaid parking charges specified under paragraph (d) has not been paid in full, and (ii) the creditor does not know both the name of the driver and a current address for service for the driver, the creditor will (if all the applicable conditions under this Schedule are met) have the right to recover from the keeper so much of that amount as remains unpaid;”

    The Notice to Keeper that was received (Parking Charge Number xxxxxxx, dated xx xxxxx of 2017) omits such information. I have included in my POPLA submission the two pages of the notice which confirms that such text is absent. The only instruction in this regard is as follows:

    “Please be advised that the driver of the motor vehicle is required to pay the parking charge in full. As we do not know the drivers name or current address, and if you were not the driver of the vehicle at the time, you should tell us the name and current postal address of the driver and pass this notice to them for payment.”

    Evidently, the operator has withheld from me (as the registered keeper) the required details of my liabilities in the event that the driver is not identified. This might be an omission on the part of the operator or a deliberate attempt to mislead, but regardless, the Notice to Keeper fails to comply with PoFA 2012 (section 9).
    As this operator has evidently failed to serve a compliant NTK, not only have they chosen to flout the strict requirements set out in PoFA 2012, but they have consequently failed to meet the second condition for keeper liability. Clearly I cannot be held liable to pay this charge as the mandatory series of parking charge documents were not properly elaborated.

    2) The signs in this car park are not prominent, clear or legible from all parking spaces and there is insufficient notice of the sum of the parking charge itself

    The signs were contradictory and crowded with different terms, so this is not an example of ‘plain intelligible language’, contrary to the Consumer Rights Act 2015:

    68 Requirement for transparency (1) A trader must ensure that a written term of a consumer contract, or a consumer notice in writing, is transparent. (2) A consumer notice is transparent for the purposes of subsection (1) if it is expressed in plain and intelligible language and it is legible.
    It is submitted that the driver did not have a fair opportunity to read any terms involving this huge charge, which is out of all proportion and not saved by the dissimilar 'ParkingEye Ltd v Beavis' case where the terms were concise and far clearer. In the Beavis case, the signs were unusually clear. The Supreme Court were keen to point out within hours of their decision that it related to that car park and those signs and facts only so it certainly does not supersede any other appeal/defence about a different car park.



    In the Beavis case, the £85 charge itself was in the largest font size with a contrasting colour background and the terms were legible, fairly concise and unambiguous. There were 'large lettering' signs at the entrance and all around the car park, according to the Judges.

    This case, by comparison, does not demonstrate an example of the 'large lettering' and 'prominent signage' that impressed the Supreme Court Judges and swayed them into deciding that in the specific car park in the Beavis case alone, a contract and 'agreement on the charge' existed.

    Here, the signs are sporadically placed, indeed obscured and hidden in some areas. They are unremarkable, not immediately obvious as parking terms and the wording is mostly illegible, being crowded and cluttered with a lack of white space as a background. It is indisputable that placing letters too close together in order to fit more information into a smaller space can drastically reduce the legibility of a sign, especially one which must be read BEFORE the action of parking and leaving the car.

    It is vital to observe, since 'adequate notice of the parking charge' is mandatory under the POFA Schedule 4 and the BPA Code of Practice, these signs do not clearly mention the parking charge which is hidden in small print (and does not feature at all on some of the signs). Areas of this site are unsigned and there are no full terms displayed - i.e. with the sum of the parking charge itself in large lettering - at the entrance either, so it cannot be assumed that a driver drove past and could read a legible sign, nor parked near one.

    This case is more similar to the signage in POPLA decision 5960956830 on 2.6.16, where the Assessor Rochelle Merritt found as fact that signs in a similar size font in a busy car park where other unrelated signs were far larger, was inadequate:

    ''the signage is not of a good enough size to afford motorists the chance to read and understand the terms and conditions before deciding to remain in the car park. [...] In addition the operators signs would not be clearly visible from a parking space [...] The appellant has raised other grounds for appeal but I have not dealt with these as I have allowed the appeal.''

    From the evidence I have seen so far, the terms appear to be displayed inadequately, in letters no more than about half an inch high, approximately.
    For this appeal, I put the operator to strict proof as to the size of the wording on their signs and the size of lettering for the most onerous term, the parking charge itself. I put this operator to strict proof of where the car was parked and (from photos taken in the same lighting conditions) how their signs appeared on that date, at that time, from the angle of the driver's perspective. Equally, I require this operator to show how the entrance signs appear from a driver's seat, not stock examples of 'the sign' in isolation/close-up. I submit that full terms simply cannot be read from a car before parking and mere 'stock examples' of close-ups of the (alleged) signage terms will not be sufficient to disprove this.


    3) No evidence of Landowner Authority - the operator is put to strict proof of full compliance with the BPA Code of Practice


    As this operator does not have proprietary interest in the land then I require that they produce an unredacted copy of the contract with the landowner. The contract and any 'site agreement' or 'User Manual' setting out details including exemptions - such as any 'genuine customer' or 'genuine resident' exemptions or any site occupier's 'right of veto' charge cancellation rights - is key evidence to define what this operator is authorised to do and any circumstances where the landowner/firms on site in fact have a right to cancellation of a charge. It cannot be assumed, just because an agent is contracted to merely put some signs up and issue Parking Charge Notices, that the agent is also authorised to make contracts with all or any category of visiting drivers and/or to enforce the charge in court in their own name (legal action regarding land use disputes generally being a matter for a landowner only).

    Witness statements are not sound evidence of the above, often being pre-signed, generic documents not even identifying the case in hand or even the site rules. A witness statement might in some cases be accepted by POPLA but in this case I suggest it is unlikely to sufficiently evidence the definition of the services provided by each party to the agreement.

    Nor would it define vital information such as charging days/times, any exemption clauses, grace periods (which I believe may be longer than the bare minimum times set out in the BPA CoP) and basic information such as the land boundary and bays where enforcement applies/does not apply. Not forgetting evidence of the various restrictions which the landowner has authorised can give rise to a charge and of course, how much the landowner authorises this agent to charge (which cannot be assumed to be the sum in small print on a sign because template private parking terms and sums have been known not to match the actual landowner agreement).

    Paragraph 7 of the BPA CoP defines the mandatory requirements and I put this operator to strict proof of full compliance:

    7.2 If the operator wishes to take legal action on any outstanding parking charges, they must ensure that they have the written authority of the landowner (or their appointed agent) prior to legal action being taken.

    7.3 The written authorisation must also set out:

    a) the definition of the land on which you may operate, so that the boundaries of the land can be clearly defined

    b) any conditions or restrictions on parking control and enforcement operations, including any restrictions on hours of operation

    c) any conditions or restrictions on the types of vehicles that may, or may not, be subject to parking control and enforcement

    d) who has the responsibility for putting up and maintaining signs

    e) the definition of the services provided by each party to the agreement



    Yours faithfully,
    xxxxxxxxxxx


    (Registered keeper of vehicle)
    • freester
    • By freester 26th Apr 17, 7:24 PM
    • 57 Posts
    • 74 Thanks
    freester
    Great news. I'll be reusing a fair bit of this one myself against Britannia if it goes to POPLA... (currently in the waiting for day 26 phase to appeal NtD)
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