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  • FIRST POST
    • Panzellus
    • By Panzellus 8th Sep 17, 11:29 AM
    • 17Posts
    • 12Thanks
    Panzellus
    PCN from CPP
    • #1
    • 8th Sep 17, 11:29 AM
    PCN from CPP 8th Sep 17 at 11:29 AM
    Hello all,

    A PCN from CPP was placed on my car a little while ago, and I made the mistake of admitting who was driving when I appealed. The appeal has since come back and has been rejected. I've looked through the FAQ but I couldn't find any advice about what to do if you admit who the driver was.

    Would really appreciate some advice on this. And don't worry, I definitely won't make this mistake again.

    Thanks in advance.
Page 1
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 8th Sep 17, 12:27 PM
    • 51,507 Posts
    • 65,123 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    • #2
    • 8th Sep 17, 12:27 PM
    • #2
    • 8th Sep 17, 12:27 PM
    Maybe a third of those going to POPLA with our help, have already blabbed about who was driving! Happens all the time, sadly.

    So just put together the POPLA templates from the NEWBIES thread post #3, which will certainly include the signage one, and no landowner authority (grace periods as well, if it's about a few minutes overstay?).

    Show us the draft you come up with. Ideally get photos to illustrate the signage point (making it deliberately even longer) showing the entrance with no clear sign, and any bays/corners with zero signs in view...try to paint a picture of evidence that you did NOT agree to pay £100 because no nearby sign had sum that in large font.
    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.

    • Panzellus
    • By Panzellus 8th Sep 17, 5:13 PM
    • 17 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    Panzellus
    • #3
    • 8th Sep 17, 5:13 PM
    • #3
    • 8th Sep 17, 5:13 PM
    Thanks a lot for your reply. I'll draft up an appeal as instructed and then put it on here.
    • Panzellus
    • By Panzellus 11th Sep 17, 8:29 PM
    • 17 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    Panzellus
    • #4
    • 11th Sep 17, 8:29 PM
    • #4
    • 11th Sep 17, 8:29 PM
    I've put together a POPLA draft appeal, which I've put below. I haven't uploaded the actual photos in case any problems occur with this post being matched to my appeal.

    There are a few things I need to clear up/may add things to the appeal. The car park is permit/authorised visitor only and there are no ticket machines there. The sign at the entrance (which I currently haven't added as evidence) only says that the car park is for ' Authorised visitors only'. A permit can only be purchased online, and it can only start from the next day, so it's not possible to buy one on the day. I did mention this point on my initial appeal to CPP, but they completely ignored it in their reply.

    Here is the POPLA draft appeal (thanks again in advance):

    POPLA Ref ...................
    CPP Parking PC no .......................

    Dear POPLA Adjudicator,

    I am the registered keeper of vehicle xxxxxx and am appealing a parking charge from CPP on the following points:

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

    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.

    Evidence showing obscured signs where not all the text is visible:

    [Photo 1]
    [Photo 2]

    Evidence showing a sign completely hidden in a tree (there is a black post which holds the sign, but it is difficult to see):

    [Photo 3]

    Evidence showing a sign too high, partially obscured and with text too small to read:

    [Photo 4 – a close up of the partially obscured sign in photo 2]

    The signs
    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. 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

    Best regards,

    Registered keeper
    • Panzellus
    • By Panzellus 13th Sep 17, 6:32 PM
    • 17 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    Panzellus
    • #5
    • 13th Sep 17, 6:32 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Sep 17, 6:32 PM
    I'm not sure what the forum rules are on this, but since it's been a couple of days since I posted, I assume it's fine to bump this back up. Thanks in advance for any advice you give me.
    • Panzellus
    • By Panzellus 18th Sep 17, 11:28 AM
    • 17 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    Panzellus
    • #6
    • 18th Sep 17, 11:28 AM
    • #6
    • 18th Sep 17, 11:28 AM
    Hey, would it be possible to have some advice on my draft POPLA appeal please?
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 18th Sep 17, 11:49 AM
    • 15,506 Posts
    • 24,219 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    • #7
    • 18th Sep 17, 11:49 AM
    • #7
    • 18th Sep 17, 11:49 AM
    In your 'signage' appeal point you must cover 'forbidding signage'. If you are forbidden from parking, no parking contract can be offered, no contract created, then it's down to a simple case of trespass, for which nominal damages can only be claimed by the landowner (not the PPC) through the civil courts.

    What the PPC are attempting to do here is to penalise you for trespass - they have neither the power to 'penalise' anyone, nor the locus to pursue you for trespass.

    Here's some reading from the Parking Prankster's blogs to help you understand 'forbidding signs'. Use any court reference quoted therein to build into your POPLA appeal.

    http://parking-prankster.blogspot.co.uk/2016/11/es-parking-lose-spinningfields-case.html

    http://parking-prankster.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/pcm-uk-signage-does-not-create-contract.html

    http://parking-prankster.blogspot.co.uk/2016/11/residential-parking.html

    http://parking-prankster.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/bargepole-spanks-ukpc-in-court-no.html

    http://parking-prankster.blogspot.co.uk/2016/11/horizon-parking-youve-been-gladstoned.html

    http://parking-prankster.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/gladstones-discontinue-heath-parade.html
    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.
    • Panzellus
    • By Panzellus 20th Sep 17, 7:05 PM
    • 17 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    Panzellus
    • #8
    • 20th Sep 17, 7:05 PM
    • #8
    • 20th Sep 17, 7:05 PM
    Here is my second draft for the POPLA appeal. Text in red is from my first draft and text in blue is from my second draft, which contains the 'forbidding signage' argument. I have left out the second point on the appeal as no changes have been made to it from the first draft.

    POPLA Ref ...................
    CPP Parking PC no .......................

    Dear POPLA Adjudicator,

    I am the registered keeper of vehicle xxxxxx and am appealing a parking charge from CPP on the following points:

    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. They are ‘forbidding parking’ signs which offer no contract a driver can accept
    2. No evidence of Landowner Authority - the operator is put to strict proof of full compliance with the BPA Code of Practice

    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. They are ‘forbidding parking’ signs which offer no contract a driver can accept

    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.

    Evidence showing obscured signs where not all the text is visible:

    [Photo 1]
    [Photo 2]

    Evidence showing a sign completely hidden in a tree (there is a black post which holds the sign, but it is difficult to see):

    [Photo 3]

    Evidence showing a sign too high, partially obscured and with text too small to read:

    [Photo 4 – a close up of the partially obscured sign in photo 2]

    The signs
    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.

    Furthermore, the signs are ‘forbidding parking’ as they state that ‘Staff Permit Holders Only’ are allowed to park. If the driver does not have a permit, then they are ‘forbidden’ from parking there which is not an invitation to park and therefore no contact is created. The matter then becomes a case of trespass, for which nominal damages can only be claimed by the landowner (and not the PPC) through civil courts. Several recent court cases support the argument being placed:

    (1) PCM-UK v Bull et all B4GF26K6 [2016]: residents were parking on access roads. The signage forbade parking and so no contract was in place.

    (2) UKPC v Masterson B4GF26K6 [2016]: it was also found the signage was forbidding and so the matter was one of trespass. The parking company did not have standing to claim.

    (3) Horizon Parking v Mr J C5GF17X2 [2016]: it was also found the signage was forbidding and so the matter was one of trespass. The parking company did not have standing to claim.

    Case (3) is very similar to the matter in this appeal, as it pertains to parking in a permit holder only car park. A summary of the judge’s ruling on the forbidding nature of the sign is as follows:

    “Judge finds this is a forbidding notice, not an invitation to park on certain terms. It disallows other parking. Could be construed as only applying to permit holders, not others who are forbidden from entering the area. IF this is the case, it only offers to permit holders. This therefore means this is a landowner issue for trespass. The agreement between PPC and landowner does not allow for Horizon to collect for trespass issues. This notice forbids any parking at all except by permit holders and is not an offer at all. Does not make a contractual offer, so they cannot claim against [defendant] for this.”

    This ruling clearly states that no contract is offered to anyone who is not a permit holder, which moves the matter to being one of trespass and the PPC cannot claim on the grounds of trespass therefore have no right to issue the driver with a parking charge.


    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. Additionally, the ‘forbidding signage’ does not offer a contract to non-permit holders, meaning the operator does not have authority to issue a parking charge as there is no contract as the issue is one of trespass, for which only the landowner can claim damages for.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 21st Sep 17, 1:23 AM
    • 51,507 Posts
    • 65,123 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    • #9
    • 21st Sep 17, 1:23 AM
    • #9
    • 21st Sep 17, 1:23 AM
    I would add an alternative, random point stating that there is no evidence that any contravention took place or that the driver was not an 'Authorised Visitor' and POPLA cannot assume this in the absence of facts and evidence from the operator.
    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.

    • Panzellus
    • By Panzellus 25th Sep 17, 12:12 PM
    • 17 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    Panzellus
    I've added the point about lack of evidence that any contravention took place as it's own separate point it doesn't fit within the two original points. The appeal seems quite good to me, so I'll give it a few days for replies and then send the appeal to POPLA. Thank you again for all the help you've given me with this appeal.

    Below is the full POPLA appeal:

    POPLA Ref ...................
    CPP Parking PC no .......................

    Dear POPLA Adjudicator,

    I am the registered keeper of vehicle xxxxxx and am appealing a parking charge from CPP on the following points:

    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. They are ‘forbidding parking’ signs which offer no contract a driver can accept
    2. No evidence any contravention took place or that the driver was not an 'Authorised Visitor'
    3. No evidence of Landowner Authority - the operator is put to strict proof of full compliance with the BPA Code of Practice


    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. They are ‘forbidding parking’ signs which offer no contract a driver can accept

    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.

    Evidence showing obscured signs where not all the text is visible:

    [Photo 1]
    [Photo 2]

    Evidence showing a sign completely hidden in a tree (there is a black post which holds the sign, but it is difficult to see):

    [Photo 3]

    Evidence showing a sign too high, partially obscured and with text too small to read:

    [Photo 4 – a close up of the partially obscured sign in photo 2]

    The signs 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.

    Furthermore, the signs are ‘forbidding parking’ as they state that ‘Staff Permit Holders Only’ are allowed to park. If the driver does not have a permit, then they are ‘forbidden’ from parking there which is not an invitation to park and therefore no contact is created. The matter then becomes a case of trespass, for which nominal damages can only be claimed by the landowner (and not the PPC) through civil courts. Several recent court cases support the argument being placed:

    (1) PCM-UK v Bull et all B4GF26K6 [2016]: residents were parking on access roads. The signage forbade parking and so no contract was in place.

    (2) UKPC v Masterson B4GF26K6 [2016]: it was also found the signage was forbidding and so the matter was one of trespass. The parking company did not have standing to claim.

    (3) Horizon Parking v Mr J C5GF17X2 [2016]: it was also found the signage was forbidding and so the matter was one of trespass. The parking company did not have standing to claim.

    Case (3) is very similar to the matter in this appeal, as it pertains to parking in a permit holder only car park. A summary of the judge’s ruling on the forbidding nature of the sign is as follows:

    “Judge finds this is a forbidding notice, not an invitation to park on certain terms. It disallows other parking. Could be construed as only applying to permit holders, not others who are forbidden from entering the area. IF this is the case, it only offers to permit holders. This therefore means this is a landowner issue for trespass. The agreement between PPC and landowner does not allow for Horizon to collect for trespass issues. This notice forbids any parking at all except by permit holders and is not an offer at all. Does not make a contractual offer, so they cannot claim against [defendant] for this.”

    This ruling clearly states that no contract is offered to anyone who is not a permit holder, which moves the matter to being one of trespass and the PPC cannot claim on the grounds of trespass therefore have no right to issue the driver with a parking charge.

    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. Additionally, the ‘forbidding signage’ does not offer a contract to non-permit holders, meaning the operator does not have authority to issue a parking charge as there is no contract as the issue is one of trespass, for which only the landowner can claim damages for.

    2. No evidence any contravention took place or that the driver was not an 'Authorised Visitor'

    There is no evidence that any contravention took place or that the driver was not an 'Authorised Visitor' and POPLA cannot assume this in the absence of facts and evidence from the operator.


    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

    Best regards,

    Registered keeper
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 25th Sep 17, 12:26 PM
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    Coupon-mad
    You could add to point #2 that you were an authorised visitor of xxxx xxxxx (resident or shop, or who?) but CPP make it impossible to display any permit on the first visit, which is unfair and causes frustration of contract - therefore there is no enforceable contract in law. Permits can only be purchased online, and it can only start from the next day, so it's not possible to buy one on the day, yet drivers like myself do fulfil the requirement to be 'authorised visitors'.

    Can you attach a short (named, addressed, signed and dated) Witness Statement from whoever you were visiting along these lines:

    I confirm that xxxx xxxx was an authorised visitor to our premises on xx/xx/17 using their car VRN xxxx xxx which I authorised them to park, under the terms of my lease which allows parking without charge and is silent about 'permits' (see attached copy which does not require a signature but is the true lease terms). There was no need for a permit, and random cardboard parking signs attached to trees with tape, do not override the rights of way/right to park under an easement of the lease, that I confirm that I extended to my visitor and his car that day.

    Even if POPLA is minded to think one was required, CPP run an unfair business practice of making permits impossible to display on arrival on the first day which is clearly unworkable and the PCN has not been properly given to my authorised visitor/patron.
    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.

    • Panzellus
    • By Panzellus 25th Sep 17, 2:12 PM
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    Panzellus
    I was an authorised visitor in the sense of I parked at my place of work (university campus). I usually use alternate transportation, but had to drive in that one day and would have happily purchased a permit for that day (minimum permit length is 1 month, but that still would have been fine), but obviously I couldn't.

    Ideally, I'd prefer to not get my manager involved in this as it's just not something I would like to waste their time with. Given that it's my place of work, could I still use the point about CPP making it impossible to display a permit on the first visit?
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 25th Sep 17, 3:28 PM
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    Coupon-mad
    Yes I would include it and say it's your place of work and you were fully authorised and have nothing in your work contract that requires you to display a permit or pay parking charges which you understand are for visitors only, and if CPP don't operate a workable model that identifies staff cars on a day-to-day basis as authorised and exempt, that's not your problem because your work contract is between you and the University, and gives you primacy of contract at this location.

    Maybe also embed an image of some sort of proof of your post at the Uni as well (if a wageslip, cover up the important stuff!!).

    The idea is with this random point, to make it harder for CPP to rebut it. They will try and they might win, because the driver has been admitted it's always harder.
    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.

    • Panzellus
    • By Panzellus 1st Oct 17, 9:35 PM
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    Panzellus
    Please find below the updated version of point #2. I wrote it in the third person, even though I've admitted to being the drive, since the rest of the appeal is in third person. My appeal window is over in the next couple of days, so I am aiming to submit by the end of tomorrow. Thank you again for all the help.

    2. No evidence any contravention took place or that the driver was not an ‘Authorised Visitor’

    There is no evidence that any contravention took place or that the driver was not an ‘Authorised Visitor’ and POPLA cannot assume this in the absence of facts and evidence from the operator.

    The driver was an authorised visitor of [university] but CPP make it impossible to display a permit on the first visit, which is unfair and causes frustration of contract – therefore there is no enforceable contract in law. Permits can only be purchased online, and it can only start from the next day, so it's not possible to buy one on the day, even though the driver does fulfil the requirement to be an 'authorised visitor'.

    The drive is a [role] at [university] and since it is their place of work, they were fully authorised and have nothing in their work contract that requires them to display a permit or pay parking charges which the driver understands are for visitors only. If CPP do not operate a workable model that identifies staff cars on a day-to-day basis as authorised and exempt, that is not the problem of the driver because their work contract is between them and the University, and gives them primacy of contract at this location.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 2nd Oct 17, 12:16 AM
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    Coupon-mad
    The driver is a [role] at [university]
    Typo above.

    Also, as you've said you understand that the charges and rules only relate to visitors, find another word here to describe the driver, not 'visitor'!
    The driver was an authorised visitor of [university]
    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.

    • Panzellus
    • By Panzellus 2nd Oct 17, 10:44 AM
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    • 12 Thanks
    Panzellus
    Thanks for the quick reply.

    I've fixed the typo in my draft document.

    I've also removed the descriptor and reworded:

    'The driver was authorised to be at [university] but CPP make it impossible to display a permit on the first visit, which is unfair and causes frustration of contract – therefore there is no enforceable contract in law.'
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 2nd Oct 17, 11:42 AM
    • 51,507 Posts
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    Coupon-mad
    Yes that is about the best way to argue it. POPLA aren't very good with such things, but we'll see.
    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.

    • Panzellus
    • By Panzellus 2nd Oct 17, 1:21 PM
    • 17 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    Panzellus
    Thanks for all the help again. I'll send the appeal off tonight as per the instructions on the Parking Prankster's website. I'll post back when I get the POPLA decision.
    • Panzellus
    • By Panzellus 6th Oct 17, 9:38 AM
    • 17 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    Panzellus
    It may be a coincidence, but all the bushes/trees that were obscuring the signs in the car park (that I took photos of) are being trimmed this morning. This greatly amused me on my way in.
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 6th Oct 17, 9:56 AM
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    Umkomaas
    It may be a coincidence, but all the bushes/trees that were obscuring the signs in the car park (that I took photos of) are being trimmed this morning. This greatly amused me on my way in.
    Originally posted by Panzellus
    And which supports forum advice to always get own photographs as soon as a PCN is issued, as things can change so rapidly, not often to the benefit of the motorist.
    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.
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