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  • FIRST POST
    • Alex4567753
    • By Alex4567753 2nd Aug 17, 10:29 PM
    • 14Posts
    • 16Thanks
    Alex4567753
    ECP Popla Kay St. Bolton
    • #1
    • 2nd Aug 17, 10:29 PM
    ECP Popla Kay St. Bolton 2nd Aug 17 at 10:29 PM
    Hi there,

    Please could someone look over my draft Popla letter.

    An elderly family member received a PCN back in June from ECP and I am helping appeal on their behalf. I've never done this before and it's a big learning curve.
    Unfortunately the registered keepers spouse destroyed the first letter (NTK) from ECP, but I was shown it by the registered keeper at the time, but I only have the 2nd letter with the 'penalty' increase plus now the rejection letter with the Popla code to use as references.

    I appealed to ECP online on their behalf as the keeper using the template in the Newbies thread.

    The rejection letter which has arrived also includes photos of the car from behind at a T junction (exit photo) but it could be anywhere and the entry photo with the driver at the wheel (again could be anywhere, photo shows one other car nearby, no parking bay markings or anything)

    The car park in question was the same one as user verynicelady's, Kay St. Bolton, I have looked over that thread a few times.

    I know this is not relevant to the appeal but I understand it was a bank holiday and the driver did not leave the vehicle whilst in the car park.

    Date of the alleged incident was 29.05.17 for a 'stay' length of 20 minutes. As I don't have the original NTK, I cannot say if it contained the 'date issued' error, and therefore include the point on "issued/given' dates conflict" ??

    Also I'm unsure of the wording of point #2 in this case, the photograph provided by ECP on the rejection does show a driver's face at the wheel.

    Should I include 2 points about grace period and also the fact it does not specify the period of parking, only the entry and exit times?

    For point #4 in my template "BPA Code of Practice - further non-compliance - photo evidence” I remember the original NTK did only show the cropped registration number, but on their rejection letter as mentioned they did show uncropped pictures of the car.

    Finally for point #6 “The signs fail to transparently warn drivers of what the ANPR data will be used for” the stock photo of the sign they provided of the car park in question on the rejection letter reads “We are using cameras to capture images of vehicle number plates and calculate the length of stay 24 hours a day monday to sunday including bank holidays” so should I include or alter point 6? The wording is at the very bottom of the sign and not the biggest of writing.

    Many many thanks

    p.s. Template to follow in next post
Page 1
    • Alex4567753
    • By Alex4567753 2nd Aug 17, 10:38 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Alex4567753
    • #2
    • 2nd Aug 17, 10:38 PM
    • #2
    • 2nd Aug 17, 10:38 PM
    As the registered keeper of the above vehicle, I wish to appeal the parking charge notice Euro Car Parks issued against it. I would like to have the parking charge notice cancelled based on the following grounds:

    1. 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.
    2. The operator has not shown that the individual who it is pursuing is in fact the driver who was liable for the charge.
    3. No evidence of Landowner Authority - the operator is put to strict proof of full compliance with the BPA Code of Practice.
    4. BPA Code of Practice - further non-compliance - photo evidence.
    5. Amount demanded is a penalty.
    6. The signs fail to transparently warn drivers of what the ANPR data will be used for, which breaches the BPA CoP and the CPUTRs due to inherent failure to indicate the 'commercial intent' of the cameras.
    7. Photo Evidence Open to Being Doctored.


    1. 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

    There was no contract nor agreement on the 'parking charge' at all. It is submitted that the driver did not have a fair opportunity to read about any terms involving this huge charge, which is out of all proportion and not saved by the dissimilar 'ParkingEye Ltd v Beavis' case.

    In the Beavis case, which turned on specific facts relating only to the signs at that site and the unique interests and intentions of the landowners, the signs were unusually clear and not a typical example for this notorious industry. The Supreme Court were keen to point out the decision related to that car park and those facts only:

    imgur.com/a/AkMCN

    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.

    Here is the 'Beavis case' sign as a comparison to the signs under dispute in this case:

    2.bp.blogspot.com/-eYdphoIIDgE/VpbCpfSTaiI/AAAAAAAAE10/5uFjL528DgU/s640/Parking%2Bsign_001.jpg

    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. 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.

    The letters seem to be no larger than .40 font size going by this guide:

    www-archive.mozilla.org/newlayout/testcases/css/sec526pt2.htm

    As further evidence that this is inadequate notice, Letter Height Visibility is discussed here:

    signazon.com/help-center/sign-letter-height-visibility-chart.aspx

    ''When designing your sign, consider how you will be using it, as well as how far away the readers you want to impact will be. For example, if you are placing a sales advertisement inside your retail store, your text only needs to be visible to the people in the store. 1-2” letters (or smaller) would work just fine. However, if you are hanging banners and want drivers on a nearby highway to be able to see them, design your letters at 3” or even larger.''

    ...and the same chart is reproduced here:

    ebay.co.uk/gds/Outdoor-Dimensional-Sign-Letter-Best-Viewing-Distance-/10000000175068392/g.html

    ''When designing an outdoor sign for your business keep in mind the readability of the letters. Letters always look smaller when mounted high onto an outdoor wall''.

    ''...a guideline for selecting sign letters. Multiply the letter height by 10 and that is the best viewing distance in feet. Multiply the best viewing distance by 4 and that is the max viewing distance.''

    So, a letter height of just half an inch, showing the terms and the 'charge' and placed high on a wall or pole or buried in far too crowded small print, is woefully inadequate in an outdoor car park. Given that letters look smaller when high up on a wall or pole, as the angle renders the words less readable due to the perspective and height, you would have to stand right in front of it and still need a stepladder (and perhaps a torch and/or magnifying glass) to be able to read the terms.

    Under Lord Denning's Red Hand Rule, the charge (being 'out of all proportion' with expectations of drivers in this car park and which is the most onerous of terms) should have been effectively: 'in red letters with a red hand pointing to it' - i.e. VERY clear and prominent with the terms in large lettering, as was found to be the case in the car park in 'Beavis'. A reasonable interpretation of the 'red hand rule' and the 'signage visibility distance' tables above and the BPA Code of Practice, taking all information into account, would require a parking charge and the terms to be displayed far more transparently, on a lower sign and in far larger lettering, with fewer words and more 'white space' as background contrast. Indeed in the Consumer Rights Act 2015 there is a '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.

    The Beavis case signs not being similar to the signs in this appeal at all, I submit that the persuasive case law is in fact 'Vine v London Borough of Waltham Forest [2000] EWCA Civ 106' about a driver not seeing the terms and consequently, she was NOT deemed bound by them.

    This judgment is binding case law from the Court of Appeal and supports my argument, not the operator's case:

    bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2000/106.html

    This was a victory for the motorist and found that, where terms on a sign are not seen and the area is not clearly marked/signed with prominent terms, the driver has not consented to - and cannot have 'breached' - an unknown contract because there is no contract capable of being established. The driver in that case (who had not seen any signs/lines) had NOT entered into a contract. The recorder made a clear finding of fact that the plaintiff, Miss Vine, did not see a sign because the area was not clearly marked as 'private land' and the signs were obscured/not adjacent to the car and could not have been seen and read from a driver's seat before parking.

    So, for this appeal, 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.




    2. The operator has not shown that the individual who it is pursuing is in fact the driver who was liable for the charge

    In cases with a keeper appellant, yet no POFA 'keeper liability' to rely upon, POPLA must first consider whether they are confident that the Assessor knows who the driver is, based on the evidence received. No presumption can be made about liability whatsoever. A vehicle can be driven by any person (with the consent of the owner) as long as the driver is insured. There is no dispute that the driver was entitled to drive the car and I can confirm that they were, but I am exercising my right not to name that person.

    In this case, no other party apart from an evidenced driver can be told to pay. I am the appellant throughout (as I am entitled to be), and as there has been no admission regarding who was driving, and no evidence has been produced, it has been held by POPLA on numerous occasions, that a parking charge cannot be enforced against a keeper without a valid NTK.

    As the keeper of the vehicle, it is my right to choose not to name the driver, yet still not be lawfully held liable if an operator is not using or complying with Schedule 4. This applies regardless of when the first appeal was made and regardless of whether a purported 'NTK' was served or not, because the fact remains I am only appealing as the keeper and ONLY Schedule 4 of the POFA (or evidence of who was driving) can cause a keeper appellant to be deemed to be the liable party.

    The burden of proof rests with the Operator to show that (as an individual) I have personally not complied with terms in place on the land and show that I am personally liable for their parking charge. They cannot.

    Furthermore, the vital matter of full compliance with the POFA was confirmed by parking law expert barrister, Henry Greenslade, the previous POPLA Lead Adjudicator, in 2015:

    Understanding keeper liability
    “There appears to be continuing misunderstanding about Schedule 4. Provided certain conditions are strictly complied with, it provides for recovery of unpaid parking charges from the keeper of the vehicle.

    There is no ‘reasonable presumption’ in law that the registered keeper of a vehicle is the driver. Operators should never suggest anything of the sort. Further, a failure by the recipient of a notice issued under Schedule 4 to name the driver, does not of itself mean that the recipient has accepted that they were the driver at the material time. Unlike, for example, a Notice of Intended Prosecution where details of the driver of a vehicle must be supplied when requested by the police, pursuant to Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, a keeper sent a Schedule 4 notice has no legal obligation to name the driver. [...] If {POFA 2012 Schedule 4 is} not complied with then keeper liability does not generally pass.''

    Therefore, no lawful right exists to pursue unpaid parking charges from myself as keeper of the vehicle, where an operator cannot transfer the liability for the charge using the POFA.

    This exact finding was made in 6061796103 against ParkingEye in September 2016, where POPLA Assessor Carly Law found:
    ''I note the operator advises that it is not attempting to transfer the liability for the charge using the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 and so in mind, the operator continues to hold the driver responsible. As such, I must first consider whether I am confident that I know who the driver is, based on the evidence received. After considering the evidence, I am unable to confirm that the appellant is in fact the driver. As such, I must allow the appeal on the basis that the operator has failed to demonstrate that the appellant is the driver and therefore liable for the charge. As I am allowing the appeal on this basis, I do not need to consider the other grounds of appeal raised by the appellant. Accordingly, I must allow this appeal.''
    • Alex4567753
    • By Alex4567753 2nd Aug 17, 10:40 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Alex4567753
    • #3
    • 2nd Aug 17, 10:40 PM
    • #3
    • 2nd Aug 17, 10:40 PM
    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




    4. BPA Code of Practice - further non-compliance - photo evidence.

    The BPA Code of Practice point 20.5a stipulates that:
    "When issuing a parking charge notice you may use photographs as evidence that a vehicle was parked in an unauthorised way. The photographs must refer to and confirm the incident which you claim was unauthorised. A date and time stamp should be included on the photograph. All photographs used for evidence should be clear and legible and must not be retouched or digitally altered."

    The parking charge notice in question contains two photographs of the vehicle number plate. Neither of these images contains a date and time stamp on the photographs nor do they clearly identify the vehicle entering or leaving this car park (which is also not identifiable in the photos as of any particular location at all).

    The time and date stamp has been inserted into the letter underneath (but not part of) the photographs. The images have also been cropped to only display the number plate. As these are not the original images, I require Euro Car Parks Limited to produce evidence of the original "un-cropped" images containing the required date and time stamp and to evidence where the photographs show the car to be when there is a lack of any marker or sign to indisputably relate these photos to the location stated.




    5. Amount demanded is a penalty

    Amount demanded is a penalty and is punitive, contravening the Consumer Rights Act 2015. The authority on this is ParkingEye v Beavis. That case was characterised by clear and ample signage where the motorist had time to read, and then consider the signage and decide whether to accept or not. In this case the signage was neither clear not ample, and the motorist had not time to read the signage, let alone consider it, as the charge was applied instantly the vehicle stopped. The signage cannot be read safely from a moving vehicle.




    6. The signs fail to transparently warn drivers of what the ANPR data will be used for, which breaches the BPA CoP and the CPUTRs due to inherent failure to indicate the 'commercial intent' of the cameras.

    Paragraph 21.1 of the British Parking Association Code of Practice (CoP) advises operators that they may use ANPR camera technology to manage, control and enforce parking in private car parks, as long as they do this in a reasonable, consistent and transparent manner. The CoP requires that car park signs must tell drivers that the operator is using this technology and what it will use the data captured by ANPR cameras for.

    Euro Car Parks’ signs do not comply with these requirements because these car park signage failed notify the driver what the ANPR data would be used for, which is a 'failure to identify its commercial intent', contrary to the BPA CoP and Consumer law. Specifically missing (or otherwise illegible, buried in small print) is the vital information that the driver's arrival time would be calculated from a point in time on the road outside the car park.

    It is not clear that the cameras are not for security but are there in order to calculate 'total stay'.
    In circumstances where the terms of a notice are not negotiable (as is the case with the car park signage, which is a take-it-or-leave-it contract) and where there is any ambiguity or contradiction in those terms, the rule of contra proferentem shall apply against the party responsible for writing those terms.

    This is confirmed within the Consumer Rights Act 2015 including: Paragraph 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.

    and Paragraph 69: Contract terms that may have different meanings: (1) If a term in a consumer contract, or a consumer notice, could have different meanings, the meaning that is most favourable to the consumer is to prevail.

    Withholding material information from a consumer about the commercial (not security) purpose of the cameras would be considered an unfair term under The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPUTRs) because the operator 'fails to identify its commercial intent':

    legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2008/1277/contents/made

    Misleading omissions: 6.—(1) ''A commercial practice is a misleading omission if, in its factual context, taking account of the matters in paragraph (2)—
    (a) the commercial practice omits material information,
    (b) the commercial practice hides material information,
    (c ) the commercial practice provides material information in a manner which is unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely, or
    (d) the commercial practice fails to identify its commercial intent, unless this is already apparent from the context,
    and as a result it causes or is likely to cause the average consumer to take a transactional decision he would not have taken otherwise.''
    It is far from 'apparent' that a camera icon means a car's data is being harvested for commercial purposes of charging in a free car park. A camera icon suggests CCTV is in operation for security within the car park.




    7. Photo Evidence Open to Being Doctored

    I would also bring into question the authenticity of the photographs taken of the vehicle – most notably the time stamps and location coordinates. By close examination of the photographs, the details (time and location) are added as a black overlay box on-top of the photos in the upper left hand corner. It is well within the realms of possibility for even an amateur to use free photo-editing software to add these black boxes and text with authentic looking Meta data. Not only is this possible, but this practice has even been in use by UKPC, who were banned by the DVLA after it emerged.

    I would challenge ECP to prove that a stationary, highly advanced camera was used to generate these photos (including viewing direction, camera location etc.).

    I therefore request that POPLA uphold my appeal and cancel this PCN.
    • Alex4567753
    • By Alex4567753 9th Aug 17, 5:45 PM
    • 14 Posts
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    Alex4567753
    • #4
    • 9th Aug 17, 5:45 PM
    • #4
    • 9th Aug 17, 5:45 PM
    I'm really sorry for cluttering up this board with my appeal, I can see how busy it is. I would really appreciate some help with this though. It's way over my head to be honest and I have spent approx 12 hours so far on this since the start. My family member is in no position to fight this themselves. Thanks.
    • nosferatu1001
    • By nosferatu1001 10th Aug 17, 5:58 AM
    • 510 Posts
    • 607 Thanks
    nosferatu1001
    • #5
    • 10th Aug 17, 5:58 AM
    • #5
    • 10th Aug 17, 5:58 AM
    Frankly it is ECP. Stop worrying
    They dont do court, from memory - check the BMPA database (note the spelling - do not look at the BPA!) and that length of POPLA appeal should see a "no contest" anyway.
    • Alex4567753
    • By Alex4567753 13th Aug 17, 9:32 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Alex4567753
    • #6
    • 13th Aug 17, 9:32 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Aug 17, 9:32 PM
    Thanks a lot for the reply, I really really appreciate it!

    I've also heard ECP don't do court, but don't want this family member to get 6 years of threatening letters, so would really like to make it go away for them.

    Should I send the Popla as it is then? All the points are copy and pastes with only the links edited out to let me post. But like I said I wasn't clear on some of points.

    Thanks again!
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 13th Aug 17, 10:02 PM
    • 50,186 Posts
    • 63,577 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    • #7
    • 13th Aug 17, 10:02 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Aug 17, 10:02 PM
    Yes submit it as is, under 'other'.

    Also I'm unsure of the wording of point #2 in this case, the photograph provided by ECP on the rejection does show a driver's face at the wheel.
    And neither POPLA, nor grotty old ECP, have access to any Police mugshot database - or any other way of sussing out the entire Country's faces and names!

    No need to worry. I've ignored ECP myself and the sky didn't fall in.

    At evidence stage, should they contest it, have a good look at their copy of the NTK you threw away. You would then have time to point out to POPLA, if the ''date issued'' is mistakenly the date of the parking event (which it can't be). You can find out about this by reading recent 'POPLA Decisions' about ECP, who recently sorted out their error re this date (and since the NTK was thrown away, you can't tell till you see it in evidence now). 'POPLA Decisions' most recent posts from July explain all.
    PRIVATE PCN? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT TWO Clicks needed for advice:
    Top of the page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    Advice to ignore is WRONG, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • Alex4567753
    • By Alex4567753 14th Aug 17, 8:38 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Alex4567753
    • #8
    • 14th Aug 17, 8:38 PM
    • #8
    • 14th Aug 17, 8:38 PM
    Thanks so much for the reply coupon-mad!

    I'll submit it shortly and shall post on what happens next.

    A massive thanks also for your invaluable help, guides and templates you provide on here. I would never have gotten this far without them.
    • Alex4567753
    • By Alex4567753 14th Sep 17, 9:19 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Alex4567753
    • #9
    • 14th Sep 17, 9:19 PM
    • #9
    • 14th Sep 17, 9:19 PM
    Update on this, ECP have provided evidence, a 31 page PDF with lots of big words and pics of signs and stuff. I have not had chance to look at it properly yet, will try and put together something over the weekend. I have 5 or so days left to comment.

    Looking at the original NTK unfortunately they didn't mess up on the date issued/parking event. The date issued is around a week after the parking event.

    I do notice on the very first page they have given a completely different registration number to the car in question in "Vehicle registration mark" but elsewhere it looks correct.
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 14th Sep 17, 9:26 PM
    • 14,636 Posts
    • 23,033 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    I do notice on the very first page they have given a completely different registration number to the car in question in "Vehicle registration mark" but elsewhere it looks correct.
    Well that's your first point that their evidence pack looks like a copy and paste template job where they can't even change the previous VRM to the correct one, and clearly is not specific to your case. So it is an unreliable document and you ask POPLA to treat it as such.

    Then get on with debunking anything else that you disagree with, or is inaccurate, or is just plain wrong.
    We cannot provide you with a silver bullet to get you out of this. You have to be in for the long run, and need to involve yourself in research and work for you to get rid of this. It is not simple. We will help, but can't do it for you.

    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.
    • Alex4567753
    • By Alex4567753 14th Sep 17, 9:32 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Alex4567753
    Thankyou for the reply!

    It does all look rather generic at first glance

    their evidence pack looks like a copy and paste template job .
    Originally posted by Umkomaas
    Sounds like my POPLA appeal
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 14th Sep 17, 9:51 PM
    • 14,636 Posts
    • 23,033 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    Sounds like my POPLA appeal
    Shhhhh.
    We cannot provide you with a silver bullet to get you out of this. You have to be in for the long run, and need to involve yourself in research and work for you to get rid of this. It is not simple. We will help, but can't do it for you.

    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.
    • Alex4567753
    • By Alex4567753 22nd Sep 17, 6:32 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Alex4567753
    Here is my ECP evidence rebuttal as submitted to POPLA, Some of it is in my own words, some of it is copied and pasted from other threads. Even though I haven't shared the ECP evidence pack with the forum and so it lacks context, maybe it will help somebody else in the same situation, as I said the evidence from them was quite generic. Not saying my rebuttal is great or anything, but maybe it will give some ideas.

    As recommended, I submitted it by email as a PDF attatchment, POPLA case number in the PDF filename and in the email. I also asked in the email to confirm that my rebuttal of evidence contained in the PDF was added to the case file for the Assessor. Which they did do.
    Last edited by Alex4567753; 22-09-2017 at 6:47 PM.
    • Alex4567753
    • By Alex4567753 22nd Sep 17, 6:36 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Alex4567753
    POPLA Appeal - Evidence pack comments and rebuttal.

    Date: 17th September 2017

    Registered Keeper: Mr *** ***

    PCN : ***

    POPLA Appeal Number: ***

    Date evidence pack received: 12th September 2017

    Dear POPLA Assessor,

    The evidence pack Euro Car Parks have provided appears to be a quick template copy
    and paste document, ignoring some of my points completely, giving incorrect and
    contradictory information and in other cases strengthening the points I made.

    Firstly if I could draw your attention to the very first page where they have not even
    bothered to change the VRM from the previous case they were working on.

    On pages 3 and 9, ECP state that the PCN was issued on the 29/05/17, but on the PCN they provided to myself (page 5) the date of issue appears to be 07/06/17.

    However on the NTK (page 7), the Date of Issue is 29/05/17, as well as on the ECP notice of rejection to appeal (page 12).

    ECP also state (page 17) “Figure 4 is where I can confirm our PCN is POFA compliant. Please note that the “Date of issue” is the date of the event/breach of conditions. The “Letter date” is the date of when the PCN letter was sent to the registered keeper’s address.”

    Again date of issue on the PCN provided by ECP in their evidence pack appears to show “Date Issued: 07/06/17“, the month could also be “05“ instead of “06“, it’s hard to read in such a low resolution scan. Either way the Date of Issue is not 29/05/17 on the PCN, but it is on the NTK, and so again ECP seem confused on when the alleged incident is meant to have taken place.

    ECP’s NTK clearly does not comply with Paragraph 9 of schedule 4 of PoFA 2012.

    On Page 3, they state “An official appeal was received on the 09/07/2017 where Mr *** *** stated that the signs fail the test of large lettering. He refused to name the driver and claims that the Parking Charge notice (PCN) is not POFA compliant.”

    As can be seen from my original appeal to ECP on 09/07/17 (page 10 of ECP’s evidence), I did not claim that the PCN was not POFA compliant, again it seems ECP have confused me with somebody else, perhaps the registered keeper of the vehicle referenced on page 1.

    From Page 4 "Euro Car Parks do not need to provide evidence of who was driving the vehicle, it is the registered keeper’s responsibility to inform of the full name and address within 28 days beginning with the day after the notice was given. If the full amount remains unpaid, under Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (‘the Act’), Euro Car Parks have the right subject of the Act to recover from the keeper of the vehicle at the time it was parked so much of that amount which remains unpaid.”

    From my original POPLA appeal, the burden of proof rests with the Operator to show that (as an individual) I have personally not complied with terms in place on the land and show that I am personally liable for their parking charge. They cannot.

    ECP does not know who the driver is, and nor is there any obligation placed upon myself (the registered keeper) to name the driver under POFA 2012.

    Regarding signage evidence. ECP have implied that the aerial photograph, signage pictures and barely readable locations of the signs that look like they were drawn on using Microsoft Paint, are of the car park in question, Kay Street - Bolton, even though they refer to it as “Kat Street” immediately below the aerial shot.

    ECP Wrote: "The contract (signage) clearly states the extra charges are that the driver will incur and have to pay if they decide to break the contract terms − for example, by parking longer than the time paid for or exceeding the maximum time limit applicable."

    If the driver has a magnifying glass and is stood immediately in front of the sign, they may be able to read the part of the alleged signs containing terms and conditions that says in small font near the bottom “FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE FOLLOWING MAY RESULT IN THE ISSUE OF A £100 PARKING CHARGE NOTICE”

    I would absolutely argue that the £100 “charge” is not clearly stated. I’m sure as a POPLA adjudicator you have seen this sign many times before, but I would again ask you to refer to the Beavis case sign with the £85 charge clearly shown and compare it with the image provided by ECP.


    <Beavis Sign Photo>


    The colours blue and yellow used by ECP are specifically mentioned in the BPA Code of Practice as the sort of bright colour contrasts to avoid.

    The sign images ECP have provided are close ups taken in isolation with no reference to scale and context, there is no evidence when these pictures were taken. These are not how the signs would have looked from a parked vehicle from any of the bays. It is even impossible to work out the direction a lot of the signs are facing.

    Finally regarding signage at the site, i would like to draw your attention to Section 18, paragraph 10 (S18P10), of the BPA: CoP: “So that disabled motorists can decide whether they want to use the site, there should be at least one sign containing the terms and conditions for parking that can be viewed without needing to leave the vehicle. Ideally this sign should be close to any parking bays set aside for disabled motorists”

    I would ask the assessor to look at the aerial map provided by ECP and, if it is indeed an accurate reflection of the signage locations at the alleged site on the day the alleged event took place, conclude that the contract terms and conditions could be read from disabled parking bays without needing to leave the vehicle.

    The points regarding this car parks signs I made in my original POPLA appeal remain and have not been dis-proven by this evidence.

    Regarding ANPR cameras, ECP wrote "each individual camera is 93.1% accurate as specified by the supplier, it is well known (to include Police contraventions) that the information will not always be 100% correct, therefore there is always a possibility that there may be an error"

    93.1% accuracy (according to the supplier) might be good enough for the supplier and Euro Car Parks but it certainly isn’t for any person on the receiving end of a PCN from an ECP ANPR controlled car park. ECP also state the cameras are fully tested prior to going into commission and for “a number of weeks”. So from this we can gather no sort of maintenance, checks or calibration of the ANPR system is in place. I wonder how long it was since ECP first installed the ANPR cameras at this site?

    This Operator is obliged to ensure their ANPR equipment is maintained as described in
    paragraph 21.3 of the British Parking Association's Approved Operator Scheme Code of
    Practice. I also say that ECP have failed to clearly inform drivers about the cameras and
    what the data will be used for and how it will be used and stored. I have also seen no
    evidence that they have complied with the other requirements in that section of the
    code.

    In addition I question the entire reliability of the system. I require that ECP present records as to the dates and times of when the cameras at this car park were checked, adjusted, calibrated, synchronised with the timer which stamps the photos and generally maintained to ensure the accuracy of the dates and times of any ANPR images. This is important because the entirety of the charge is founded on two images purporting to show the vehicle entering and exiting at specific times. It is vital that this Operator must produce evidence in response and explain to POPLA how their system differs (if at all) from the flawed ANPR system which was wholly responsible for the court loss in ParkingEye v Fox-Jones on 8 Nov 2013. That case was dismissed when the judge said the evidence from ParkingEye was fundamentally flawed because the synchronisation of the camera pictures with the timer had been called into question and the operator could not rebut the point.

    So, in addition to showing their maintenance records, I require ECP to show evidence to rebut the following assertion. I suggest that in the case of the vehicle allegedly being in this car park, a local camera took the image but a remote server added the time stamp. As the two are disconnected by the internet and do not have a common "time synchronisation system", there is no proof that the time stamp added is actually the exact time of the image. The operator appears to use WIFI which introduces a delay through buffering, so "live" is not really "live". Hence without a synchronised time stamp there is no evidence that the image is ever time stamped with an accurate time. Therefore I contend that this ANPR "evidence" from the cameras in this car park is just as unreliable and unsynchronised as the evidence in the Fox-Jones case. As their whole charge rests upon two timed photos, I put ECP to strict proof to the contrary.

    So, there is still no evidence whatsoever the vehicle was parked in the car park in question. As I already stated, there are 2 images of the vehicle, 1 of the front and 1 of the back, images that could have been captured anywhere with any ANPR camera that ECP has access to, nothing to suggest the car was in any car park whatsoever, never mind the parking site that ECP allege the incident took place. As you can see, the photographs simply have a black overlay box with a time and date in white text that have been added to the photographs afterwards. ECP’s only weak claim is the vehicle left the car park 20 minutes after it entered.

    Regarding Landowner Authority, ECP wrote on page 16 “Figure 4 is the agreement between the client and ECP to manage the car park”
    Figure 4 starting on page 20 of the evidence is titled “British Parking Association Code of Practice”, this does not appear to show Landowner Authority. It appears that ECP Holdings Ltd. are the parent company of Euro Car Parks and the contract is between itself and not the landowner. In addition, the “Print” and “Date” hand-writing for ECP Holdings Ltd. is barely readable and unclear, the “Print” name is virtually identical to “Signature” but we have no idea who Robert Hant(?) is. What is his position within ECP Holdings Ltd., Is he authorised by the actual landowner? Where is the map showing the area to be enforced?

    So, there is still no proof that the alleged signatory has ever seen the landowner contract nor that they are employed by the Landowner. Furthermore it would not serve to provide proof that the contract includes the necessary authority required by the BPA Code of Practise (BPA:CoP) to allow the Operator to pursue charges in their own name as creditor and to enter into contracts with drivers.

    Therefore I can only assume there is no Landowner Authority.

    In their evidence pack ECP have not proven me incorrect on any one of my points raised in my POPLA appeal and have shown to be giving contradictory and confusing information regarding Date of Event and Date of Issue.

    As a final note, I also hope in future ECP take more care with appellants’ personal data.

    I again respectfully request that the appeal be upheld.

    Yours Faithfully,


    Mr ***
    Registered Keeper
    • Alex4567753
    • By Alex4567753 22nd Sep 17, 6:38 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Alex4567753
    Decision
    Successful
    Assessor Name
    Jamie M****

    Assessor summary of operator case
    The operator issued a Parking Charge Notice (PCN) to the appellant due to no valid pay and display/permit was purchased.

    Assessor summary of your case
    The appellant states signs at the site are not prominent, clear or legible from all parking spaces, and there is insufficient notice of the amount of the PCN. The operator has not shown the individual they are pursuing is the driver of the vehicle. There is no evidence the operator has authority to operate on the land. The PCN is a penalty. Photographs of the appellant’s vehicle do not contain a date and time stamp, nor clearly identify the vehicle entering and exiting the site. Signs do not warn drivers that cameras will be used at the site to record vehicles entering and exiting the site. Photographic evidence is open to being doctored.

    Assessor supporting rational for decision
    The signage at the site states, “THIS CAR PARK IS PATROLLED. FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE FOLLOWING MAY RESULT IN THE ISSUE OF A £100 PARKING CHARGE NOTICE. DISPLAY A VALID TICKET CLEARLY INSIDE YOUR VEHICLE”. The operator uses cameras to capture the registration number of cars entering and exiting the car park. I have checked the photographs, and I can see from the timestamp the vehicle was at the car park for 20 minutes. The operator issued a PCN to the appellant due to no valid pay and display/permit was purchased. The appellant states signs at the site are not prominent, clear or legible from all parking spaces, and there is insufficient notice of the amount of the PCN. The operator has not shown the individual they are pursuing is the driver of the vehicle. There is no evidence the operator has authority to operate on the land. The PCN is a penalty. Photographs of the appellant’s vehicle do not contain a date and time stamp, nor clearly identify the vehicle entering and exiting the site. Signs do not warn drivers that cameras will be used at the site to record vehicles entering and exiting the site. Photographic evidence is open to being doctored. In relation to signage, Section 18.3 of the British Parking Association (BPA) Code of Practice states: “You must place signs containing the specific parking terms throughout the site, so that drivers are given the chance to read them at the time of parking or leaving their vehicle. Keep a record of where all the signs are. Signs must be conspicuous and legible, and written in intelligible language, so that they are easy to see, read and understand”. The operator has provided images of signage at the site, along with a site plan for the car park. I am not satisfied from the evidence provided that the signage at the site meets the requirements of the BPA Code of Practice and that the driver had insufficient opportunity to familiarise themselves with the terms and conditions. This is because only one photograph has been date stamped, due to this I am unable to determine if the signage is at the site and whether the motorist had the opportunity to familiarise themselves with them. As such, I confirm the PCN has been issued incorrectly. I note the appellant has raised other grounds of appeal. However, as I have allowed the appeal for this reason, I did not consider them. Accordingly, I must allow this appeal.
    • Alex4567753
    • By Alex4567753 22nd Sep 17, 6:39 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Alex4567753
    I'd like to give a big massive thanks to everyone on this forum for helping me out, both with your replies and all the other useful information contained within. THANKYOU!
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 23rd Sep 17, 12:01 AM
    • 50,186 Posts
    • 63,577 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Brilliant effort and you deserved that win, well done!
    PRIVATE PCN? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT TWO Clicks needed for advice:
    Top of the page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    Advice to ignore is WRONG, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • Alex4567753
    • By Alex4567753 23rd Sep 17, 10:42 AM
    • 14 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Alex4567753
    Thankyou so much Coupon-mad I'm incredibly grateful for all the work you have put into the guides and helping people out on this board.

    I've informed the registered keeper and spouse this morning of the result, they are also very very grateful the charge was cancelled.
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