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  • FIRST POST
    • justpassingthrough24
    • By justpassingthrough24 13th Sep 17, 12:29 PM
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    justpassingthrough24
    Parking charge notice for going to work (hospital)
    • #1
    • 13th Sep 17, 12:29 PM
    Parking charge notice for going to work (hospital) 13th Sep 17 at 12:29 PM
    Hi all, I'm a doctor and was working a night shift in my A&E department. I don't own a permit as I live fairly close but for night shifts I make use of the free patient parking from 8pm-8am, which comes with a 20minute grace period. This means I can park there from 7.40pm onwards. Myself and many of my colleagues have done this for the last year. However a month ago I did this, and around 1 week ago I received a parking charge notice of £100 (£50 if I pay within 2 weeks, which I won't).

    I'm a little worried as I hadn't been online to look through the advice given on these forums, and I went straight ahead and appealed the decision through Parking Eye. I also named myself as the driver (now I know that I shouldn't have), didn't use a template on my appeal and wrote about 3 lines saying I was under pressure to reach my shift and that there was nothing wrong with my parking, having done it many times before.

    I have also emailed the car parking office at the hospital who wanted me to confirm where I parked, which I have done and am waiting for them to reply.

    I received an email from PE today saying they were "reviewing the matter and will contact me shortly". I know this appeal will fail, so I am gearing myself up for what comes next. I'm aware I may have done a few things wrong as I acted on impulse and wanted to get the appeal in ASAP when I really should've browsed these forums first.

    I know I haven't done anything wrong here. I entered the car park at 7.46pm and left at 6.38am. But if this does go to court, having named myself as the driver I'm worried how this will affect my career, as any black mark on our record stays with us however small it is.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Page 1
    • Alter ego
    • By Alter ego 13th Sep 17, 12:32 PM
    • 2,077 Posts
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    Alter ego
    • #2
    • 13th Sep 17, 12:32 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Sep 17, 12:32 PM
    I think any grace period is at the end rather than beginning
    Ignore me if you like, it's not the real me anyway.
    • Quentin
    • By Quentin 13th Sep 17, 12:35 PM
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    Quentin
    • #3
    • 13th Sep 17, 12:35 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Sep 17, 12:35 PM
    Everyone is politely asked to read the newbies faq thread near the top of the forum before starting a new thread.


    Go there now and read up on what happens next for each of the stages these things go through.


    Your next step will be a popla appeal assuming your initial appeal fails and you can't get the employer to cancel it


    (No doctor has had their career blighted for getting a parking charge notice!)
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 13th Sep 17, 12:45 PM
    • 14,596 Posts
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    Umkomaas
    • #4
    • 13th Sep 17, 12:45 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Sep 17, 12:45 PM
    But if this does go to court, having named myself as the driver I'm worried how this will affect my career, as any black mark on our record stays with us however small it is.
    It's not a Magistrates Court (criminal cases) that will be involved, this would be a simple civil case in a county court near to you - no wigs, no gowns, no jury, just you, the judge (almost always in civvies) and a gun-for-hire local legal representing PE. PE will come nowhere near a courtroom - just in case you and/or the judge ask too many awkward questions of them!

    It's simply a case of them saying you owe them £50, and here's why, you saying no I don't, and here's why. The judge decides which way it falls. If it's against you, you pay up by the date the judge decides, that's it nothing recorded, no credit rating impact - nothing. And importantly, it will have no impact in your career, why, because no one will know.

    But honestly, you are running too far ahead of this - let's see how your initial appeal to PE goes (ok, you've identified yourself as the driver, but it's not fatal - not even ICU or HDU ) and what your parking department will come up with.

    Keep us informed of progress and we'll help you through it. Trust me, I'm a ........
    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.
    • justpassingthrough24
    • By justpassingthrough24 13th Sep 17, 12:53 PM
    • 10 Posts
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    justpassingthrough24
    • #5
    • 13th Sep 17, 12:53 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Sep 17, 12:53 PM
    Thank you for all the replies.

    Here's what it says on the hospital website: "The car parking system has a grace period designed to ensure that you are not unfairly charged for the time spent finding a parking space or if you are just quickly dropping off or collecting from the site. This grace period is 20 minutes. If you are entering and leaving the site within 20 minutes then no charges will be applicable, if you are on site for 1h 20 minutes you will need to pay for 1 hour etc."

    That covers me for the time between 7.46pm - 8pm right? I mean it's never been an issue before and I've been parking from 7.40pm for over a year now!

    Umkomaas, thank you! I'm definitely jumping ahead, it's in my nature to think the worst

    I will post once I get any updates, thank you all again.
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 13th Sep 17, 1:30 PM
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    Umkomaas
    • #6
    • 13th Sep 17, 1:30 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Sep 17, 1:30 PM
    That covers me for the time between 7.46pm - 8pm right? I mean it's never been an issue before and I've been parking from 7.40pm for over a year now!
    This is one that you must argue with the hospital. There are few hard and fast rules that are nationally recognised by an unregulated, often out-of-control skimdustry whose only motivation and sustenance is money - yours and mine!

    There has always been a very grey area around utilising a grace period (during charged parking time) and running that to conjoin with an extended free time. Yours appears to be a classic case. PE will no doubt have (now) interpreted that these are very separate parking sessions, not allowing one to extend into the other to form a single period.

    You will need some photos of the signage on site to check whether there is any warning about these circumstances. If the PE signage is silent on these and you have photos of the signage put up by the hospital confirming this 20 minute period, then you can argue 'contra proferentem' where something in a contract (that's what the signage is, a contract) is unclear or contradictory, it should be interpreted in favour of the consumer.

    But, at this stage, the hospital is key in getting this cancelled. Good luck.
    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.
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 13th Sep 17, 1:33 PM
    • 14,596 Posts
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    Umkomaas
    • #7
    • 13th Sep 17, 1:33 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Sep 17, 1:33 PM
    Umkomaas, thank you! I'm definitely jumping ahead, it's in my nature to think the worst
    Oh dear, I don't think I'd want a prognosis from you.
    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.
    • justpassingthrough24
    • By justpassingthrough24 13th Sep 17, 6:29 PM
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    justpassingthrough24
    • #8
    • 13th Sep 17, 6:29 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Sep 17, 6:29 PM
    From the above, what are my chances of winning at POPLA?

    Firstly I know I may have shot myself in the foot by naming myself as the driver and my initial appeal to PE was very poor as I hadn’t thought to browse online and find forums like this one for advice.

    The car parking office at my hospital say I shouldn’t have parked in patient parking, even if this was overnight and the bays were empty, and staff parking does not have free parking. They are also arguing the 20 minute grace period despite what it says on the website and it not causing any problems before.


    Do I have an argument if I say I had parked like this many times before and not been fined, including the grace period? The only problem is I don’t know how to prove this. And I really don’t have any other arguments other than I was a “genuine customer” wanting to get to work and do some good.

    I ask because I’m considering just paying £50 rather than the £100 once the 2 week period is over. I’m quite short of funds at the moment and have a lot of stress going on as it is. Having done a few hours of reading I don’t see this being a simple process and if I don’t have much grounds to win an appeal I’d rather just pay the discounted £50 before my 2 week period is up and save myself the undue stress. Is this a good idea or do I have much else to go on?

    Thanks again for any advice.
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 13th Sep 17, 6:48 PM
    • 14,596 Posts
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    Umkomaas
    • #9
    • 13th Sep 17, 6:48 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Sep 17, 6:48 PM
    Do I have an argument if I say I had parked like this many times before and not been fined, including the grace period? The only problem is I don’t know how to prove this. And I really don’t have any other arguments other than I was a “genuine customer” wanting to get to work and do some good.
    Won't work for you. Mitigation has no part to play.

    I often question myself as to what I think ParkingEye's response would be if they were faced with the dilemma, 'stop a doctor parking by threat of penalty, and a patient dies' or 'agree a dispensation and a patient lives'. I rather suspect I get the answer right every time - 'we regret that mitigating circumstances cannot considered'!

    You can win this at POPLA by using the appeal templates from the NEWBIES FAQ sticky, post # 3. They're long, detailed with plenty of case history. They're there for you to copy and paste the relevant ones into your POPLA appeal. Obviously you won't be able to use the 'No Keeper Liability' one as you've revealed the driver. But PE hate having to deal with all the points raised in the forum appeal templates - and often withdraw their claim once they see this type of POPLA appeal. They are particularly vulnerable when required to produce a contemporaneous and unredacted copy of their contract with the landowner (the hospital trust). They seem to be extremely 'shy' in showing what has been agreed. If they don't/won't show it to you via your POPLA appeal - you win!

    All pretty easy really with a couple of hours input from you to read and piece together. Let us have a look at it in draft form for critique and fine tuning.

    HTH
    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.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 13th Sep 17, 6:58 PM
    • 50,114 Posts
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    Coupon-mad
    I think you could win this at POPLA, most cases still are won. But it's not about mitigation, it's about trashing their contract terms, etc. Most Hospitals are also full of signs and different car parks so even for someone who works there, you can say it's a minefield and you relied upon the words from the Hospital explaining what staff can and cannot do.

    Your point about the 20 minutes is supported by the email explaining it. If you can park for 1hr 20 mins and pay for one hour, then it follows that you can park overnight using the 'free from 8pm' rule, from 7.45pm.

    Not that POPLA Assessors are lawyers (and nor am I) but you could argue that the terms as drafted, and within the contract confirmed by the Hospital themselves, are clearly on your side here and at worst are ambiguous. It is trite law that any ambiguity in terms in a consumer contract MUST be interpreted in the way that most favours the consumer.
    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.

    • Quentin
    • By Quentin 13th Sep 17, 7:44 PM
    • 32,808 Posts
    • 16,840 Thanks
    Quentin
    I ask because I’m considering just paying £50 rather than the £100 once the 2 week period is over. I’m quite short of funds at the moment .......I’d rather just pay the discounted £50 before my 2 week period is up and save myself the undue stress....
    .
    Originally posted by justpassingthrough24
    Surely your impecunity overrides everything! Not much stress (for a doctor) involved in constructing a popla appeal!


    Why pay out anything to them when the advice you are getting is this is winnable at popla stage?
    • justpassingthrough24
    • By justpassingthrough24 16th Sep 17, 3:35 PM
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    • 8 Thanks
    justpassingthrough24
    Hi again, thanks for all the responses and reassurance above.

    Is it usual for PE to now send another PCN through the post for the same incident, this time addressed to me (having named myself as the driver) even though I am still waiting for their appeal response? They've now given me longer to pay the fine.

    The more I'm reading, the more aggravated I am with myself for naming myself as the driver is there any way around this to say it was a mistake when choosing options on the drop down menu or is it too late?

    I've put together a draft POPLA appeal browsing through these forums and I have to say the amount of people that you have all helped on this forum is amazing so thank you!

    Posted in 2 parts due to length.

    1) ParkingEye's Parking Charge Notice is not compliant with the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (POFA) due to the dates and the wording used.

    Under schedule 4, paragraph 4 of the POFA, an operator can only establish the right to recover any unpaid parking charges from the keeper of a vehicle if certain conditions must be met as stated in paragraphs 5, 6, 11, and 12. ParkingEye have failed to fulfil the conditions which state that an operator must have provided the keeper with a Notice to Keeper (NTK) in accordance with paragraph 9, which stipulates as mandatory, a set timeline and wording:-

    The notice must be given by—
    (a) handing it to the keeper, or leaving it at a current address for service for the keeper, within the relevant period; or
    (b) sending it by post to a current address for service for the keeper so that it is delivered to that address within the relevant period.

    The applicable section here is (b) because the Parking Charge Notice/NTK that I have received was delivered by post. Furthermore, paragraph 9(5) states:

    ’’The relevant period for the purposes of sub-paragraph (4) is the period of 14 days beginning with the day after that on which the specified period of parking ended’’

    The Parking Charge Notice sent to the Registered Keeper was produced in their offices showing a purported ‘date issued’ which was already past the 14 days by which, under statute, it had to be in their hands/served. Even if they had posted it that day it would be impossible for the notice to have been delivered within the 'relevant period' as required under paragraph 9(4)(b).

    In fact, this NTK was issues over five weeks after and arrived over six weeks after the alleged event. This means that ParkingEye have failed to act within the 14 day relevant period.

    Furthermore, it is clear that ParkingEye know this because they have used the alternative version of their template ‘Parking Charge Notice’ – the one with a blank space near the bottom of page one and no reference to ‘keeper liability’ or the POFA.

    So, this is a charge that could only be potentially enforced against a known driver and there is no evidence at the time of who that individual was.

    ParkingEye Ltd has therefore forfeited any right to hold myself or the keeper liable for this PCN.
    Can I still use this argument even though I've named myself as the driver? When the initial PCN came through addressed to my family member (the registered keeper), the date of event is 4th August, Date issue of PCN is 4th September. Can I still use the argument that they hadn't given notice within 14 days? Even in the new PCN sent to me today, there is still no mention of POFA.


    2.) BPA Code of Practice – non-compliance of 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 so-called parking charge notice in question contains two photographs of the vehicle:
    • Neither of these images identify the vehicle entering or leaving the car park. The photos are of poor quality showing only the registration number with some clarity. There’s no evidence in the photos of the vehicle entering or leaving a car park. There’s no evidence in the photos showing the location of the car due to lack of any marker or sign to relate these photos to the location stated.
    • Furthermore, none of the photographs show that the vehicle was parked in an unauthorised way.
    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 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.

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

    [LINK]

    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.
    It would appear that signage at this location do not comply with road traffic regulations or their permitted variations and as such are misleading - they are unable to be seen by a driver and certainly could not be read without stopping, and therefore do not comply with the BPA code of practice. ParkingEye are required to show evidence to the contrary.

    I would draw the assessor's attention to the 'No Stopping Zones' section of the Chief Adjudicator's First Annual POPLA Report 2013: "It is therefore very important that any prohibition is clearly marked; bearing in mind that such signage has to be positioned, and be of such a size, as to be read by a motorist without having to stop to look at it. Signs on red routes, unlike those indicating most parking restrictions, are generally positioned to face oncoming traffic, rather than parallel to it."

    In addition, there are both staff parking areas and patient parking areas. There are multiple signs displayed in all of these car parks as attached. There is no clear distinction on any sign which states that staff are only permitted to park in staff parking. In addition to this there are multiple different signs across the car park and proves a difficult and ambiguous display of terms and conditions. I also include a screenshot from the Kingston Hospital website which further details car parking information. There are pressures to be at work on time in a busy accident & emergency department and I am therefore not liable for this unclear signage.
    Therefore, unlike the findings regarding the Beavis case car park, the driver here was certainly not 'bound to' have seen the terms nor could be considered to have 'agreed' to a parking contract like Mr Beavis did.
    The two paragraphs at the bottom I added in, worth keeping it or shall I get rid?

    Signage does not create a contract

    In contractual law there are three elements: a) an offer, b) acceptance, and c) consideration. If one of these is not present, then logically there is no contract. In the case where the signage is written in such a way that it forbids you from parking, then logically there is no contract.
    The claimant’s notices attempt to make a forbidding offer, which isn’t an offer at all, therefore no contract exists

    No evidence of Landowner Authority - the operator is put to strict proof of full compliance with the BPA Code of Practice
    Text was copied and pasted from the templates.


    Grace period of 20 minutes and free parking 8pm-8am
    Again, highlighting the multiple ambiguous sources of information, the grace period on Kingston Hospital’s website clearly states :
    "The car parking system has a grace period designed to ensure that you are not unfairly charged for the time spent finding a parking space or if you are just quickly dropping off or collecting from the site. This grace period is 20 minutes. If you are entering and leaving the site within 20 minutes then no charges will be applicable, if you are on site for 1h 20 minutes you will need to pay for 1 hour etc."
    This clarifies that if you are on the site for 1 hour and 20 minutes, you only pay for 1 hour. Therefore the same rule would apply if I was on site for 10 hours 51 minutes, I would pay for 10 hours 31 minutes. However in this case I was parking during a free parking period and I should by definition not pay any parking charge.
    As mentioned, the car park is free to park in between 8pm-8am. I include text from the NHS patient, visitor, and staff car parking principles:
    Concessions, including free or reduced charges or caps, should be available for the following groups:
    • disabled people2
    • frequent outpatient attenders
    • visitors with relatives who are gravely ill, or carers3 of such people
    • visitors to relatives who have an extended stay in hospital, or carers3 of such people
    • carers3 of people in the above groups where appropriate
    • staff working shifts that mean public transport cannot be used

    My shift on this particular day was 8pm-6am, meaning public transport could not be used without impacting on my ability to get to my shift safely and in good time. Once again this would impact on my primary duty to patients and their safety.
    Extra point added in by myself. Shall I keep or get rid?

    I had used the car park as a staff member and genuine customer and my priority was to reach my shift on time
    The text below from the NHS patient, visitor, and staff car parking principles states:
    “Additional charges should only be imposed where reasonable 5and should be waived when overstaying is beyond the driver’s control (eg when treatment takes longer than planned, or when staff are required to work beyond their scheduled shift).”

    I work as a staff member in a busy Accident & Emergency department in the hospital. There are extreme amounts of stress and pressures on staff, particularly on night shifts where the workload increases a great deal. It is therefore important for me to arrive at my shift on time, with sufficient time for my colleagues to handover and relieve them of their shift. This means when starting a shift at 8pm, it is important for me to make use of the grace period of 20 minutes giving me sufficient time to park and reach my shift on time. It is also common to overstay shifts, again due to workload. As a doctor my priority is patient safety. Knowing the department is understaffed my priority is to get into the department as soon as possible to uphold my duty to patients, to “do no harm”, and not to read terms and conditions outlined on multiple different signs across the hospital’s parking sites.
    Again, added by myself. Bit of a sob story so not sure if it will sell. Worth keeping or getting rid?

    [part 2 in next post]
    • justpassingthrough24
    • By justpassingthrough24 16th Sep 17, 3:37 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    justpassingthrough24
    [part 2]

    This charge is unconscionable and offends against the penalty rule which was 'plainly engaged' in the case of ParkingEye Ltd v Beavis

    The operator makes much of the Beavis case, yet they are well aware that the circumstances of the Beavis case were entirely different. Essentially, that case was about the abuse of a free, time-limited public car park where signage could be used to create a secondary contract arising from a relevant obligation and where there was a 'legitimate interest' flowing from the landowner, in charging more than could normally be pursued for trespass.

    In this case, we have an authorised user using the car park appropriately and there has been no loss nor detriment caused to the owner. While the courts might hold that a large charge might be appropriate in the case of a public car park, essentially as a deterrent, there is nothing in the case to suggest that a reasonable person would accept that this 'fine' is a conscionable amount to be charged under these circumstances.

    At the Supreme Court in Beavis, it was held at 14: ''…where a contract contains an obligation on one party to perform an act, and also provides that, if he does not perform it, he will pay the other party a specified sum of money, the obligation to pay the specified sum is a secondary obligation which is capable of being a penalty… ''

    This is NOT a 'more complex' case by any stretch of the imagination. At 32 in the Beavis decision, it was held that a trader, in this case a parking company: ''...can have no proper interest in simply punishing the defaulter. His interest is in performance or in some appropriate alternative to performance. In the case of a straightforward damages clause, that interest will rarely extend beyond compensation for the breach, and we therefore expect that Lord Dunedin’s four tests would usually be perfectly adequate to determine its validity.''

    Therefore, any putative contract needs to be assessed on its own merits. Consumer law always applies and no contract “falls outside” The Consumer Rights Act 2015; the fundamental question is always whether the terms are fair:

    [LINK]

    - Schedule 2: 'Consumer contract terms which may be regarded as unfair':
    ’’A term which has the object or effect of inappropriately excluding or limiting the legal rights of the consumer in relation to the trader or another party in the event of total or partial non-performance or inadequate performance by the trader of any of the contractual obligations…’’
    ''A term which has the object or effect of requiring a consumer who fails to fulfil his obligations under the contract to pay a disproportionately high sum in compensation.''

    This charge is clearly punitive and is not saved from breaching the 'penalty rule' (i.e. Lord Dunedin's four tests for a penalty) by the Beavis case, which does NOT supersede other defences. It turned on completely different facts and related only to that car park with its own unique complexity of commercial justification. This case is not comparable.

    In this case the specific question is whether a reasonable person would agree to a term where parking in a place that they enjoy rights of way and easements and pay a significant rent for the privilege of peaceful enjoyment would also accept a further unknown/not agreed liability. I would suggest that a court would not accept this is reasonable and indeed my next appeal point shows that a Senior Circuit Judge in a 2016 appeal case supports my view.
    This charge is incompatible with the rights under the lease - as decided by the Appeal case of 'JOPSON V HOME GUARD SERVICES' case number: B9GF0A9E on 29th June 2016, which also held that the Beavis case does not apply to this sort of car park.

    In Beavis it was held that the purpose of a parking charge must not be to penalise drivers. Justification must depend on some other 'legitimate interest in performance extending beyond the prospect of pecuniary compensation flowing directly from the breach in question'. The true test was held to be 'whether the impugned provision is a secondary obligation which imposes a detriment on the contract-breaker out of all proportion to any legitimate interest [...] in the enforcement of the primary obligation'.

    There can be no legitimate interest in punishing authorised loading/unloading, under the excuse of a 'parking' scheme where ostensibly - and as far as the landowner is concerned - the parking firm is contracted for the benefit of the leaseholders/landholders/tenants. It is unconscionable, contrary to the requirement of good faith and 'out of all proportion to any legitimate interest' to issue a parking penalty for permitted unloading/loading by a driver who has legitimate business and rights to do so.

    These rights supersede any signs, which are of no consequence except to deter rogue unwanted drivers from leaving their vehicles when they have no business on site. This is true of any residential or business car park where tenants/leaseholders (who may be individuals or businesses) enjoy legal 'rights of way' which extend to drivers permitted to load/unload. A third party cannot unilaterally alter the terms of a tenancy agreement or a lease, nor disregard easements and rights of way that prevail in such car parks (residential or industrial).

    This question was tested recently in an Appeal case in June 2016 (transcript attached as evidence for POPLA*). Please note this is an Appeal case, decided by a Senior Circuit Judge and as such, its findings on the definition of 'parking as opposed to loading' and the findings on leaseholder/permitted visitor/loading/delivering rights of way superseding parking signs, are persuasive on the lower courts.

    Beavis did not deal with any of these matters - nor was it relevant to a 'permit' car park - but the following case and transcript I have provided, is relevant and the Judge even states that Beavis DOES NOT APPLY to this type of car park:

    Appeal case at Oxford County Court, 'JOPSON V HOME GUARD SERVICES' case number: B9GF0A9E on 29th June 2016:

    Sitting in Oxford County Court, Judge Charles Harris QC, found that Home Guard Services had acted unreasonably when issuing a penalty charge notice to Miss Jopson, a resident of a block of flats who parked in front of the communal entrance to unload furniture, rather than use her own parking space. After an initial appeal to the Independent Parking Committee was rejected, Home Guard Services sued Miss Jopson in the small claims court and won. Miss Jopson successfully appealed the case, her solicitors arguing that the charge was incompatible with the terms of the existing lease which also extended to certain rights for permitted visitors when loading/unloading. The Judge found that Laura Jopson and her fellow tenants (as well as people making deliveries or those dropping off children or disabled passengers) enjoy a right of way to the block’s entrance and that Home Guard Services’ regulations disregarded these rights. Home Guard Services were required to pay £2,000 towards the defendant's costs.

    I also rely upon the Croydon Court decision in Pace Recovery and Storage v Mr N C6GF14F0 16/09/2016 (transcript attached as evidence for POPLA**).

    District Judge Coonan dismissed the claim and refused leave to appeal, stating: ''I have to deal with this on the evidence that is before me now. I have before me a tenancy agreement which gives Mr [N. redacted] the right to park on the estate and it does not say “on condition that you display a permit”. It does not say that, so he has that right. What Pace Recovery is seeking to do is, unilaterally outside the contract, restrict that right to only when a permit is displayed. Pace Recovery cannot do that. It has got to be the other contracting party, Affinity Sutton, which amends the terms of the tenancy agreement to restrict the right to park on a place in circumstances in which a permit is displayed but that is not in this tenancy agreement and you as a third party cannot unilaterally alter the terms of the tenancy agreement.''
    Is there any way I can use a part of this, ie the parts about good faith and legitimate interest? I know I can't apply it fully because I don't own a permit and didn't purchase a ticket, although it fell without the rules of the car park.

    Not a genuine pre-estimate of loss
    £100 is not a genuine pre estimate of loss. As the car park is free to use, any initial loss to the parking company must be zero, as they are not the landowner.

    Additionally, on the NHS patient, visitor and staff car parking principles, the text reads:
    ‘Reasonable’ implementation of additional charges practice might include additional charges for people who do not have legitimate reasons for parking (eg commuters), or who persistently flout parking regulations (eg blocking entrances). A period of grace should normally be applied before a parking charge notice is issued.

    Being a staff member with a duty to my patients and colleagues to reach my shift on time and someone who has not received a parking fine before, I do not fall under any of the above categories.
    I know this is outdated now but some people seem to still be including it. Worth keeping or get rid?


    Sorry about the length of the post and once again I can't thank you all enough for your time! Really appreciate it whether I win or lose
    • Quentin
    • By Quentin 16th Sep 17, 3:38 PM
    • 32,808 Posts
    • 16,840 Thanks
    Quentin
    Now you outed yourself as the driver to them the pofa defences are gone.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 16th Sep 17, 4:36 PM
    • 50,114 Posts
    • 63,497 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Can I still use this argument even though I've named myself as the driver? When the initial PCN came through addressed to my family member (the registered keeper), the date of event is 4th August, Date issue of PCN is 4th September.
    No, you can't.

    The keeper had a ''golden ticket'' and should have appealed and won it soooo easily - these ones where they send the PCN late, are brilliant. But by appealing as driver, you binned the 100% slam dunk winning argument and can't unpick it.

    But there are others.

    In addition, there are both staff parking areas and patient parking areas. There are multiple signs displayed in all of these car parks as attached. There is no clear distinction on any sign which states that staff are only permitted to park in staff parking. In addition to this there are multiple different signs across the car park and proves a difficult and ambiguous display of terms and conditions. I also include a screenshot from the Kingston Hospital website which further details car parking information. There are pressures to be at work on time in a busy accident & emergency department and I am therefore not liable for this unclear signage.
    Therefore, unlike the findings regarding the Beavis case car park, the driver here was certainly not 'bound to' have seen the terms nor could be considered to have 'agreed' to a parking contract like Mr Beavis did.
    The two paragraphs at the bottom I added in, worth keeping it or shall I get rid?
    Keep that but remove ALL mitigating circumstances, nothing about pressures to get to work.

    Keep this:

    Quote:
    Grace period of 20 minutes and free parking 8pm-8am
    Again, highlighting the multiple ambiguous sources of information, the grace period on Kingston Hospital’s website clearly states :
    "The car parking system has a grace period designed to ensure that you are not unfairly charged for the time spent finding a parking space or if you are just quickly dropping off or collecting from the site. This grace period is 20 minutes. If you are entering and leaving the site within 20 minutes then no charges will be applicable, if you are on site for 1h 20 minutes you will need to pay for 1 hour etc."
    This clarifies that if you are on the site for 1 hour and 20 minutes, you only pay for 1 hour. Therefore the same rule would apply if I was on site for 10 hours 51 minutes, I would pay for 10 hours 31 minutes. However in this case I was parking during a free parking period and I should by definition not pay any parking charge.
    As mentioned, the car park is free to park in between 8pm-8am. I include text from the NHS patient, visitor, and staff car parking principles:
    Concessions, including free or reduced charges or caps, should be available for the following groups:
    • disabled people2
    • frequent outpatient attenders
    • visitors with relatives who are gravely ill, or carers3 of such people
    • visitors to relatives who have an extended stay in hospital, or carers3 of such people
    • carers3 of people in the above groups where appropriate
    • staff working shifts that mean public transport cannot be used

    My shift on this particular day was 8pm-6am, meaning public transport could not be used without impacting on my ability to get to my shift safely and in good time. Once again this would impact on my primary duty to patients and their safety.
    Extra point added in by myself. Shall I keep or get rid?
    but add this bit which is worth saying:

    The text below from the NHS patient, visitor, and staff car parking principles states:
    “Additional charges should only be imposed where reasonable 5and should be waived when overstaying is beyond the driver’s control (eg when treatment takes longer than planned, or when staff are required to work beyond their scheduled shift).”


    Get rid of this:

    Quote:
    I had used the car park as a staff member and genuine customer and my priority was to reach my shift on time

    The text below from the NHS patient, visitor, and staff car parking principles states:
    “Additional charges should only be imposed where reasonable 5and should be waived when overstaying is beyond the driver’s control (eg when treatment takes longer than planned, or when staff are required to work beyond their scheduled shift).”

    I work as a staff member in a busy Accident & Emergency department in the hospital. There are extreme amounts of stress and pressures on staff, particularly on night shifts where the workload increases a great deal. It is therefore important for me to arrive at my shift on time, with sufficient time for my colleagues to handover and relieve them of their shift. This means when starting a shift at 8pm, it is important for me to make use of the grace period of 20 minutes giving me sufficient time to park and reach my shift on time. It is also common to overstay shifts, again due to workload. As a doctor my priority is patient safety. Knowing the department is understaffed my priority is to get into the department as soon as possible to uphold my duty to patients, to “do no harm”, and not to read terms and conditions outlined on multiple different signs across the hospital’s parking sites.
    Again, added by myself. Bit of a sob story so not sure if it will sell. Worth keeping or getting rid?

    Get rid of everything in part 2. Categorically say NOTHING about loss or the Beavis case to POPLA.

    Add 'no landowner authority' (template) and tweak it to explain: Even if PE produce the NHS contract it will be heavily redacted and I contend there is no authority from the NHS Trust to issue PCNs 15 minutes before the free parking period, because the Hospital have authorised staff to park for 20 minutes in addition to any other allowance (e.g. The Hospital terms as explained to staff, confirm that you can park for 1hr 20 mins and pay for one hour, thus it follows that staff can park overnight using the 'free from 8pm' rule, from 7.45pm).
    Last edited by Coupon-mad; 16-09-2017 at 4:40 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.

    • justpassingthrough24
    • By justpassingthrough24 18th Sep 17, 12:50 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    justpassingthrough24
    Thank you so much for the help! Such a shame about POFA, I'm gutted! I've made the changes you advised.

    However there's been a slight change of events. I've had a walk around the car park trying to look at the signs etc, and turns out all this time I was parking in the staff car park (I've not been working at the site for long so don't know my surroundings very well yet). Apparently, there is no free parking here at any time. However the signage most definitely does not make it clear that these rules are different to patient parking rules. I can only assume the rules are the same as patient parking and they are the rules I've been going by.

    Also, I've parked in the same spot on many times before and had no charge. So I never knew this was incorrect. Can I use "failure of ANPR cameras" as an argument? I've added it in as a draft in point 3 , will it wash?

    1) BPA Code of Practice – non-compliance of photo evidence
    Not made any changes to this one.

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

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

    [LINK]

    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.

    Hence, 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 signs appear at the entrance to the hospital 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.

    It would appear that signage at this location do not comply with road traffic regulations or their permitted variations and as such are misleading - they are unable to be seen by a driver and certainly could not be read without stopping, and therefore do not comply with the BPA code of practice. ParkingEye are required to show evidence to the contrary.

    I would draw the assessor's attention to the 'No Stopping Zones' section of the Chief Adjudicator's First Annual POPLA Report 2013: "It is therefore very important that any prohibition is clearly marked; bearing in mind that such signage has to be positioned, and be of such a size, as to be read by a motorist without having to stop to look at it. Signs on red routes, unlike those indicating most parking restrictions, are generally positioned to face oncoming traffic, rather than parallel to it."

    In addition, there are both staff parking areas and patient parking areas. There is no clear distinction on any sign which states that staff are only permitted to park in staff parking. There is also absolutely no clear indication that staff and patient parking rules are different. If so, there is absolutely no clear signage indication so and one can only assume the terms and conditions are what is advertised. One can therefore only assume the terms and conditions are the same, unless clearly informed otherwise with appropriate signage, and if not should be clearly advertised for those that do not own a permit and are honest, genuine customers of the site who are clearly not aware of the rules, because they are not made clear.

    In addition to this there are multiple different signs across the car park which provides a difficult and ambiguous display of terms and conditions. Some of the signs across the car park, it is impossible to read the terms and conditions as they are written in such small print and one would need to be of a certain height to be able to read these. I include a screenshot from the Kingston Hospital website which further details car parking information, with more instructions on parking conditions.

    Therefore, unlike the findings regarding the Beavis case car park, the driver here was certainly not 'bound to' have seen the terms nor could be considered to have 'agreed' to a parking contract like Mr Beavis did.


    This leads me onto my point below.
    The paragraphs in blue are ones I've just added given the fact that I was in fact in staff parking. What do you reckon?

    Also, I most definitely can't win on this point. The signs at the hospital do clearly state the parking charge of £100 in bigger letters than the rest of the sign, contrasting background etc. Shall I take this bit out? Are there any bits I can still leave in?

    3) Breach of the BPA Code of Practice on ANPR
    It is submitted that this charge was not properly given because it breaches the BPA Code of Practice regarding ANPR which requires checks to be made to ensure that a charge is ‘appropriate’ before issuing a PCN.

    I put this point forward as I have parked in the same spot many times before, at the same times. This can be proved with ANPR’s very own footage showing me leaving and entering the site at the same locations and the same times.

    I have not once received a penalty charge notice for parking in a similar fashion.

    This begs the question as to whether ANPR’s cameras are now correctly working but were not working the previous times I had parked here, if on this occasion the camera was faulty and incorrectly issued a charge, or if the rules of the car park have suddenly changed within the last few months and it has not been clearly advertised as required by law.

    Either way, this is a breach of the BPA code of practice on ANPR. At some stage, either then or now, the ANPR cameras must have been faulty.

    So I suggest these checks were not made and that the operator has contravened the requirements of professional diligence; a duty of consumer-facing service providers.

    I put this operator to strict proof that these checks were made (showing full records from that day including the VRN list of payments around the time in question) and to explain why a charge was issued

    To charge under these circumstances with a faulty camera, was not ‘appropriate’ or fair and contravenes the ANPR requirements of the BPA CoP.

    Further, the signs fail to inform a driver what the ANPR data will be used for. When parking in good faith to reach a shift, obeying the terms of the car park, I had no idea that secret camera data would later be used against me to bind me to a charge she knew nothing about and did not agree to. I thought the cameras were there for security, due to the lack of any other information (a black icon showing a camera communicates nothing). Failure to tell me how the data will be used is an ICO breach AND a ‘misleading omission’ of a material fact – prohibited by consumer law.
    This is all new, put together with an example POPLA appeal and I made some changes. This is mainly based on the fact that I had never been charged before for parking in the same place.

    4) 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 are 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

    Even if ParkingEye produce the NHS contract it will be heavily redacted and I contend there is no authority from the NHS Trust to issue PCNs 15 minutes before the free parking period, because the hospital have authorised that drivers can park for 20 minutes in addition to any other allowance (e.g. the hospital terms as explained on the website, confirm that you can park for 1hr 20 mins and pay for one hour, thus it follows that staff can park overnight using the 'free from 8pm' rule, from 7.45pm).
    Last paragraph added in as advised by Coupon-mad.

    5) Grace period of 20 minutes and free parking 8pm-8am
    Again, highlighting the multiple ambiguous sources of information, the grace period on Kingston Hospital’s website clearly states :

    "The car parking system has a grace period designed to ensure that you are not unfairly charged for the time spent finding a parking space or if you are just quickly dropping off or collecting from the site. This grace period is 20 minutes. If you are entering and leaving the site within 20 minutes then no charges will be applicable, if you are on site for 1h 20 minutes you will need to pay for 1 hour etc."

    This clarifies that if you are on the site for 1 hour and 20 minutes, you only pay for 1 hour. Therefore the same rule would apply if I was on site for 10 hours 51 minutes, I would pay for 10 hours 31 minutes. However in this case I was parking during a free parking period and I should by definition not pay any parking charge.

    As mentioned, the car park is free to park in between 8pm-8am. I include text from the NHS patient, visitor, and staff car parking principles:

    Concessions, including free or reduced charges or caps, should be available for the following groups:
    • disabled people2
    • frequent outpatient attenders
    • visitors with relatives who are gravely ill, or carers3 of such people
    • visitors to relatives who have an extended stay in hospital, or carers3 of such people
    • carers3 of people in the above groups where appropriate
    • staff working shifts that mean public transport cannot be used

    My shift on this particular day was from 8pm-6am, meaning public transport could not be used without impacting on my ability to get to my shift safely and in good time. Parking is free between 8pm-8am for this reason and I should therefore not be charged for this. Once again this would impact on my primary duty to patients and their safety.

    The text below from the NHS patient, visitor, and staff car parking principles also states:

    “Additional charges should only be imposed where reasonable 5and should be waived when overstaying is beyond the driver’s control (eg when treatment takes longer than planned, or when staff are required to work beyond their scheduled shift).”

    It is necessary to arrive to my shift on time with sufficient time to park safely, which means making use of the 20 minute grace period on offer by the hospital. This need is supported by the text above and therefore is not a reasonable implementation of an additional charge:

    “‘Reasonable’ implementation of additional charges practice might include additional charges for people who do not have legitimate reasons for parking (eg commuters), or who persistently flout parking regulations (eg blocking entrances). A period of grace should normally be applied before a parking charge notice is issued.”

    [LINK]

    I have legitimate reasons for parking at the site, being a staff member at the hospital arriving for a shift. Although I have parked in the same fashion before, making use of the grace period and the free parking period, my parking has always obeyed the rules and regulations of the car park. Hence I have never flouted parking regulations – this is my first and only PCN, which I believe to be incorrect. Therefore this is not a reasonable implementation of an additional charge.
    This bit has been changed as advised. Reckon this will now wash?


    Thanks again for any advice, really appreciate it. Have maybe stuck my foot in it again by unknowingly parking in staff parking but again, honest mistake. I just hope it can be backed up.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 18th Sep 17, 7:42 PM
    • 50,114 Posts
    • 63,497 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    I'd make it even clearer that there are several different car parks within the Hospital grounds, very probably with different rules and drop-off/grace periods, pay and display, permits etc., but not only do the signs not distinguish between the various areas alerting drivers (including staff) to the changes as a car drives from area to area but also the ANPR photos fail to identify where within the site, the car actually was:


    1.) Photo evidence fails to evidence where the car was within the site, at the point of the 'entry' and 'exit' photographs nor where the car travelled and parked

    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 so-called parking charge notice in question contains two photographs of the vehicle:

    • Neither of these images identify the vehicle entering or leaving the car park. The photos are of poor quality showing only the registration number with some clarity. There’s no evidence in the photos of the vehicle entering or leaving a car park. There’s no evidence in the photos showing the location of the car due to lack of any marker or sign to relate these photos to the location stated.

    • Furthermore, none of the photographs show that the vehicle was parked in an unauthorised way, or even parked at all, and if so, where.

    • This is a busy, bustling and large Hospital site with several car parking/drop off areas, almost certainly with different rules and grace periods, some pay and display, some permits, etc. There are so many areas that not even a staff member is going to be familiar with, in the absence of clear signs and barriers differentiating between what is, in fact, a group of car parks. I work at the Hospital and even I cannot work out for certain where the car has been captured in both photographs.

    • Not only do the signs not distinguish between the various areas alerting drivers to the changes in restrictions as a car drives from area to area, but also the ANPR photos fail to identify or tip the balance with any evidence showing where within the site the car actually was at any given time.

    • It is perfectly possible that as the car drove through the site I was picked up by ANPR a dozen or more times, and I cannot know which parts of the site this charge appears to relate to, nor even whether it depicts time within one car park. As evidence to illustrate this point, please see this blog about a car captured by ParkingEye using footage from two completely different areas of Barnet Hospital, where ParkingEye took the matter to court but lost, since the photos did not actually match with one single car park:

    http://parking-prankster.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/parkingeye-lose-in-court-accuse-drivers.html

    • The victim Defendant's journey in that blogged case (07/03/2016 Case B7FC00H1 – Parking Eye v Mrs B) was recreated and a subject access request to ParkingEye revealed the car in that case was detected no less than 42 times by cameras as he traversed the site. I put the operator to strict proof of the same evidence, not some pointless ''white list look-up'' which means nothing at all, but a report of exactly the same type as in that case, showing how often my car was captured by various ANPR cameras. I say it will have been captured more than twice and require ALL the evidence and all the photographs and the equivalent list of 'read times' for my car that day.

    • I contend that the evidence in my case is just as flawed as that case, since neither POPLA nor I can tell which ANPR photos ParkingEye have cherry-picked in this instance and put together to suggest a contravention of just one sign of several different types from several possible car parking areas. No signs or landmarks even appear in the photographs so it is impossible to be sure on this evidence where the car was.

    Also, I most definitely can't win on this point. The signs at the hospital do clearly state the parking charge of £100 in bigger letters than the rest of the sign, contrasting background etc. Shall I take this bit out?
    You could win on signage if you go more into the fact there are so many different rules.

    Maybe change it a bit, to concentrate more on the fact that there are so many different rules and all the signs look unremarkable and the same, such that a staff member familiar with parking in one area and relying upon the fact (as evidenced by the hospital's own wording) that parking is free from 8pm, will not know that different terms might apply because the differences in rules between areas is far from prominent.

    All signs look very much the same and there are no barriers or warnings to a driver that they are moving from a staff area, to a pay & display areas, to a permit area, or vice versa. All signs here essentially look so similar, that there can be no agreement on the £100 charge where so many rules conflict.

    This bit has been changed as advised. Reckon this will now wash?
    Yes, leave it in.
    Last edited by Coupon-mad; 18-09-2017 at 8:04 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 18th Sep 17, 8:32 PM
    • 10,197 Posts
    • 9,330 Thanks
    Guys Dad
    Hi all, I'm a doctor and was working a night shift in my A&E department. I don't own a permit as I live fairly close but for night shifts I make use of the free patient parking from 8pm-8am, which comes with a 20minute grace period. This means I can park there from 7.40pm onwards. .
    Originally posted by justpassingthrough24
    Why did you not have a permit? Is it chargeable?

    What do you propose to do from now on when night shifting?

    You appear to have parked in the correct place but without a permit. Your best hope is with the hospital admin but if the staff have to have a permit which is chargeable, then they may not be very helpful.

    Failing that, given you have blown POFA, you would need to show a failure in signage.
    • justpassingthrough24
    • By justpassingthrough24 19th Sep 17, 1:50 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    justpassingthrough24
    Why did you not have a permit? Is it chargeable?

    What do you propose to do from now on when night shifting?

    You appear to have parked in the correct place but without a permit. Your best hope is with the hospital admin but if the staff have to have a permit which is chargeable, then they may not be very helpful.

    Failing that, given you have blown POFA, you would need to show a failure in signage.
    Originally posted by Guys Dad
    Permits are chargeable, but you're only allowed one if you live over 50 minutes commuting distance and I don't fit that criteria. They offer scratchcards for one off parking cases but staff that work overnight make use of the free from 8pm-8am rule and don't ever get one. If what the gov.net website says is correct this rule is also there for staff to be able to reach their shift and travel back home when public transport isn't usable. So honestly, I would propose to carry on parking in the same way. Unless they tell me I shouldn't be parking like this (they'll have to tell that to everyone in the hospital that works night shifts) then I'll have to ask them how else they propose I get into work and back home.
    • justpassingthrough24
    • By justpassingthrough24 19th Sep 17, 1:54 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    justpassingthrough24
    Thank you once again Coupon-mad for all your help.

    1) Photo evidence fails to evidence where the car was within the site, at the point of the 'entry' and 'exit' photographs nor where the car travelled and parked

    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 so-called parking charge notice in question contains two photographs of the vehicle:

    • Neither of these images identify the vehicle entering or leaving the car park. The photos are of poor quality showing only the registration number with some clarity. There’s no evidence in the photos of the vehicle entering or leaving a car park. There’s no evidence in the photos showing the location of the car due to lack of any marker or sign to relate these photos to the location stated.

    • Furthermore, none of the photographs show that the vehicle was parked in an unauthorised way, or even parked at all, and if so, where.

    • This is a busy, bustling and large hospital site with several car parking/drop off areas, almost certainly with different rules and grace periods, some pay and display, some permits, etc. There are so many areas that not even a staff member is going to be familiar with, in the absence of clear signs and barriers differentiating between what is, in fact, a group of car parks. I work at the hospital and even I cannot work out for certain where the car has been captured in both photographs.

    • Not only do the signs not distinguish between the various areas alerting drivers to the changes in restrictions as a car drives from area to area, but also the ANPR photos fail to identify or tip the balance with any evidence showing where within the site the car actually was at any given time.

    • It is perfectly possible that as the car drove through the site I was picked up by ANPR a dozen or more times, and I cannot know which parts of the site this charge appears to relate to, nor even whether it depicts time within one car park. As evidence to illustrate this point, please see this blog about a car captured by ParkingEye using footage from two completely different areas of Barnet Hospital, where ParkingEye took the matter to court but lost, since the photos did not actually match with one single car park:

    [LINK]

    • The victim Defendant's journey in that blogged case (07/03/2016 Case B7FC00H1 – Parking Eye v Mrs B) was recreated and a subject access request to ParkingEye revealed the car in that case was detected no less than 42 times by cameras as he traversed the site. I put the operator to strict proof of the same evidence, not some pointless ''white list look-up'' which means nothing at all, but a report of exactly the same type as in that case, showing how often my car was captured by various ANPR cameras. I say it will have been captured more than twice and require ALL the evidence and all the photographs and the equivalent list of 'read times' for my car that day.

    • I contend that the evidence in my case is just as flawed as that case, since neither POPLA nor I can tell which ANPR photos ParkingEye have picked in this instance and put together to suggest a contravention of just one sign of several different types from several possible car parking areas. No signs or landmarks even appear in the photographs so it is impossible to be sure on this evidence where the car was.
    Changes made as advised.


    2) The signs in this car park are not prominent, clear or legible from all parking spaces and there is insufficient notice of the sum of the parking charge itself across the entirety of the car park
    (along with the generic argument from the newbies FAQ I've added the below)

    As mentioned earlier, there are both staff parking areas and patient parking areas on site. There is no clear distinction on any sign which states that staff are only permitted to park in staff parking. There is also absolutely no clear indication that staff and patient parking rules are different. If so, there is absolutely no clear signage indicating so and one can only assume the terms and conditions are what is advertised. One can therefore only assume the terms and conditions are the same, unless clearly informed otherwise with appropriate signage. If not, this should be clearly advertised for those that cannot own a staff permit as they do not meet the criteria, and are honest, genuine customers of the site who are clearly not aware of the rules, because they are not made clear.

    In addition to this there are multiple different signs across the car park which provides a difficult and ambiguous display of terms and conditions. Within some of the signs across the car park, it is impossible to read the terms and conditions as they are written in such small print and one would need to be of a certain height or have a stepladder to be able to read these. I include a screenshot from the Kingston Hospital website which further details car parking information, with more instructions on parking conditions.

    There are many different rules and signs which look unremarkable and the same, such that a staff member familiar with parking in one area and relying upon the fact (as evidenced by the hospital's own wording) that parking is free from 8pm with a 20 minute grace period, will not know that different terms might apply because the differences in rules between areas is far from prominent.

    All signs look very much the same and there are no barriers or warnings to a driver that they are moving from a staff area, to a pay & display areas, to a permit area, or vice versa. All signs here essentially look so similar, that there can be no agreement on the £100 charge where so many rules conflict.

    Therefore, unlike the findings regarding the Beavis case car park, the driver here was certainly not 'bound to' have seen the terms nor could be considered to have 'agreed' to a parking contract like Mr Beavis did.


    This leads me onto my point below.
    Would this be enough?


    3) Breach of the BPA Code of Practice on ANPR

    It is submitted that this charge was not properly given because it breaches the BPA Code of Practice regarding ANPR which requires checks to be made to ensure that a charge is ‘appropriate’ before issuing a PCN.

    I put this point forward as I have parked in the same spot many times before, at the same times. This can be proved with ANPR’s very own footage showing me leaving and entering the site at the same locations and the same times.

    I have not once received a penalty charge notice for parking in a similar fashion.

    This begs the question as to whether ANPR’s cameras are now correctly working but were not working the previous times I had parked here, if on this occasion the camera was faulty and incorrectly issued a charge, or if the rules of the car park have suddenly changed within the last few months and it has not been clearly advertised as required by law.

    Either way, this is a breach of the BPA code of practice on ANPR. At some stage, either then or now, the ANPR cameras must have been faulty.

    So I suggest these checks were not made and that the operator has contravened the requirements of professional diligence; a duty of consumer-facing service providers.

    I put this operator to strict proof that these checks were made (showing full records from that day including the VRN list of payments around the time in question) and to explain why a charge was issued

    To charge under these circumstances with a faulty camera, was not ‘appropriate’ or fair and contravenes the ANPR requirements of the BPA CoP.

    Further, the signs fail to inform a driver what the ANPR data will be used for. When parking in good faith to reach a shift, obeying the terms of the car park, I had no idea that secret camera data would later be used against me to bind me to a charge I knew nothing about and did not agree to. I thought the cameras were there for security, due to the lack of any other information (a black icon showing a camera communicates nothing). Failure to tell me how the data will be used is an ICO breach AND a ‘misleading omission’ of a material fact – prohibited by consumer law.
    Is this worth keeping? Added in purely because I've parked in the same place many times before. Is there a better argument I could use?


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


    5) Grace period of 20 minutes and free parking 8pm-8am
    Again, highlighting the multiple ambiguous sources of information, the grace period on Kingston Hospital’s website clearly states:

    "The car parking system has a grace period designed to ensure that you are not unfairly charged for the time spent finding a parking space or if you are just quickly dropping off or collecting from the site. This grace period is 20 minutes. If you are entering and leaving the site within 20 minutes then no charges will be applicable, if you are on site for 1h 20 minutes you will need to pay for 1 hour etc."

    This clarifies that if you are on the site for 1 hour and 20 minutes, you only pay for 1 hour. Therefore the same rule would apply if I was on site for 10 hours 51 minutes, I would pay for 10 hours 31 minutes. However in this case I was parking during a free parking period and I should by definition not pay any parking charge.

    As mentioned, the car park is free to park in between 8pm-8am. I include text from the NHS patient, visitor, and staff car parking principles:

    “Concessions, including free or reduced charges or caps, should be available for the following groups:
    • disabled people
    • frequent outpatient attenders
    • visitors with relatives who are gravely ill, or carers of such people
    • visitors to relatives who have an extended stay in hospital, or carers of such people
    • carers of people in the above groups where appropriate
    • staff working shifts that mean public transport cannot be used”

    My shift on this particular day was from 8pm-6am, meaning public transport could not be used without impacting on my ability to get to my shift and back home safely and in good time. Parking is free between 8pm-8am for this reason and I should therefore not be charged for this. Once again this would impact on my primary duty to patients and their safety.

    The text below from the NHS patient, visitor, and staff car parking principles also states:
    “Additional charges should only be imposed where reasonable and should be waived when overstaying is beyond the driver’s control (eg when treatment takes longer than planned, or when staff are required to work beyond their scheduled shift).”

    It is necessary to arrive to my shift on time with sufficient time to park safely, which means making use of the 20 minute grace period on offer by the hospital. This need is supported by the text above and therefore is not a reasonable implementation of an additional charge:

    “‘Reasonable’ implementation of additional charges practice might include additional charges for people who do not have legitimate reasons for parking (eg commuters), or who persistently flout parking regulations (eg blocking entrances). A period of grace should normally be applied before a parking charge notice is issued.”

    [LINK]

    I have legitimate reasons for parking at the site, being a staff member at the hospital arriving for a shift. Although I have parked in the same fashion before, making use of the grace period and the free parking period, my parking has always obeyed the rules and regulations of the car park. Hence I have never flouted parking regulations – this is my first and only PCN, which I believe to be incorrect. Therefore this is not a reasonable implementation of an additional charge.
    How much bearing do principles from the gov.uk website have on POPLA cases?


    Realistically, what are my chances here?
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