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    • MaryDecker
    • By MaryDecker 5th Sep 17, 11:01 PM
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    MaryDecker
    POPLA Appeal MET Parking Services, Southgate Park, Stansted
    • #1
    • 5th Sep 17, 11:01 PM
    POPLA Appeal MET Parking Services, Southgate Park, Stansted 5th Sep 17 at 11:01 PM
    Hi,
    I posted on a similar thread yesterday but would appreciate any advice others may have for my specific case.

    I recieved a parking charge notice from MET for parking in southgate park (a Starbucks car park). I appealed on mitigating circumstances ( which i now realise was a no-no) and also on the point that the car park signage was confusing. The guy that issued the ticket advised me to do this, so I thought naively I had a chance. Obviously this was rejected.

    So now I am going to appeal to POPLA using the grounds set out in newbies. I'm not sure if some of the points are valid in my case, but I'll pull it together and come back again for advice.


    Thanks all
Page 1
    • fisherjim
    • By fisherjim 7th Sep 17, 11:17 AM
    • 2,413 Posts
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    fisherjim
    • #2
    • 7th Sep 17, 11:17 AM
    • #2
    • 7th Sep 17, 11:17 AM
    Theoretically the ppcs should consider mitigation, and that appeal is the time to do it, but of course they are not interested, the intent is to get a popla code.

    Don't try mitigation in your popla speak.
    To quote the words of the great Count Arthur Strong "You Couldn't make it up"
    • Guys Dad
    • By Guys Dad 7th Sep 17, 11:38 AM
    • 10,197 Posts
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    Guys Dad
    • #3
    • 7th Sep 17, 11:38 AM
    • #3
    • 7th Sep 17, 11:38 AM
    But don't make a chump of yourself by including and points that only apply to you as keeper if you have admitted being the driver.
    • MaryDecker
    • By MaryDecker 10th Sep 17, 9:29 PM
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    MaryDecker
    • #4
    • 10th Sep 17, 9:29 PM
    advice on popla draft
    • #4
    • 10th Sep 17, 9:29 PM
    Hi,
    Thanks for your comments.
    So here's my draft. i've included the schedule 4 point, however i don't know if this is stupid given i can't appeal as keeper. I never did receive a NTK, but that could be because i appealed the day i received the ticket so MET didn't need to anyway. I'm not sure. Should I remove point 1? Also wasn't sure how to start off the appeal given I can't say a Notice to Keeper was received etc. Any advice on wording would be appreciated.

    As background, this has been going on since June, and i've been given another chance to appeal to POPLA by MET. Basically MET failed to send me a response to my original appeal in writing like they were meant to, and instead the first correspondence through the post was a letter saying the Charge is overdue 5 weeks after the PCN was issued. I challenged this and they reissued a POPLA code.

    Thanks all,

    POPLA Ref ____________
    MET Parking Services PCN no _____________

    A rejection of my appeal was received on xx June 17, for the alleged contravention of ‘Breach of terms and conditions’ at Southgate Park, Stansted. I would be grateful if you would please consider my appeal for the following reasons.
    1) Non compliance with requirments set out in Schedule 4 of POFA 2012
    2) No evidence of Landowner Authority - the operator is put to strict proof of full compliance with the BPA Code of Practice
    3) Insufficient evidence of the alleged contravention
    4) The signs in this car park are not prominent, clear or legible and there is insufficient notice of the sum of the parking charge itself

    1) Non compliance with requirments set out in Schedule 4 of POFA 2012

    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.’

    The NTK must have been delivered to the registered keeper’s address within the ‘relevant period’ which is highlighted as a total of 56 days beginning with the day after that on which any notice to driver was given. As this operator has evidently failed to serve a 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 given.


    2) 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).

    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

    3) Insufficient evidence of the alleged contravention
    The evidence provided by MET Parking Services for the alleged “breach of terms and conditions” stated as “Driver not on Premises” does not show the location of the driver in any way or for any period of time and therefore can not be used as evidence as such. A photo of the car in question does not account for the location of the driver.
    I challenge that MET Parking Services cannot POSSIBLY have 'conducted a survey' of the entire location including inside any buildings/toilets etc. of the multiple resturants/coffee shops on site The Blog below shows that this is a common predatory tactic reportedly played out by MET for years. MET are put to strict proof that the occupants of the car were not on site patrons of Southgate Park, and to show proof of the alleged 'site survey' and how they established the status of everyone in the park at the material time, including corroborating evidence from the alleged witness.


    4) 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:

    <<link>>

    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:

    <<link>>

    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.

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

    <<link>>

    ''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:

    <<link>>

    ''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:

    <<link>>

    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.

    The Drive Thru markings displayed throughout the carparks in question make add to the confusion about the site that you are parking on, please see photo of the site below which illustrates this:

    <<Embedd photo>>

    I therefore request that POPLA uphold my appeal and cancel this PCN.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 10th Sep 17, 11:53 PM
    • 50,098 Posts
    • 63,478 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    • #5
    • 10th Sep 17, 11:53 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Sep 17, 11:53 PM
    i've included the schedule 4 point, however i don't know if this is stupid given i can't appeal as keeper. I never did receive a NTK, but that could be because i appealed the day i received the ticket so MET didn't need to anyway. I'm not sure.
    You will have to start 'I received a PCN on the windscreen and this is my appeal as driver' (ouch, I hate saying that, this was such a big mistake in your first appeal!). Ouch again.

    You can't use POFA Schedule 4 as you sadly outed yourself as driver. I so wish everyone would learn to appeal as 'registered keeper'.

    Anyway it's only MET. If you lose at POPLA it's no big deal, ignore them like we did before POPLA existed, only taking seriously a court claim which is always defendable and no risk of a CCJ as long as no court papers, orders or deadlines are missed. With MET, don't hold your breath, a small claim is highly unlikely!

    i've been given another chance to appeal to POPLA by MET. Basically MET failed to send me a response to my original appeal in writing like they were meant to, and instead the first correspondence through the post was a letter saying the Charge is overdue 5 weeks after the PCN was issued. I challenged this and they reissued a POPLA code.
    MET do this all the time and the smart money says, they don't issue POPLA codes at all, in many cases, and hope you don't know your rights.
    Last edited by Coupon-mad; 10-09-2017 at 11:55 PM.
    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.

    • Guys Dad
    • By Guys Dad 11th Sep 17, 7:10 AM
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    Guys Dad
    • #6
    • 11th Sep 17, 7:10 AM
    • #6
    • 11th Sep 17, 7:10 AM
    Coupon-mad's comment about you appealing as driver as you outed yourself is exactly the point I made in my previous post.
    • MaryDecker
    • By MaryDecker 11th Sep 17, 8:32 AM
    • 5 Posts
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    MaryDecker
    • #7
    • 11th Sep 17, 8:32 AM
    • #7
    • 11th Sep 17, 8:32 AM
    I know it was! And I feel the ouch!!

    Thanks for your help, will let you know how I get on
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 11th Sep 17, 9:53 AM
    • 14,573 Posts
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    Umkomaas
    • #8
    • 11th Sep 17, 9:53 AM
    • #8
    • 11th Sep 17, 9:53 AM
    I know it was! And I feel the ouch!!

    Thanks for your help, will let you know how I get on
    Originally posted by MaryDecker
    A Zola Budd moment?
    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.
    • MaryDecker
    • By MaryDecker 11th Sep 17, 8:05 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    MaryDecker
    • #9
    • 11th Sep 17, 8:05 PM
    • #9
    • 11th Sep 17, 8:05 PM
    Yes brought it all flooding back! 😂😂
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