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  • FIRST POST
    • McMahon
    • By McMahon 16th Sep 17, 8:47 PM
    • 6Posts
    • 8Thanks
    McMahon
    MET parking Stansted BP connect Notice to Registered Keeper (NTK)
    • #1
    • 16th Sep 17, 8:47 PM
    MET parking Stansted BP connect Notice to Registered Keeper (NTK) 16th Sep 17 at 8:47 PM
    Hi,

    Received a Notice to Registered Keeper asking me to pay a charge (£60 within 14 days which is expired, otherwise £100) from MET parking. I wasn't the driver, however the driver didn't notice any of the signs. The place in question is BP connect garage by Stansted Airport.

    I haven't sent anything back, yet. Was thinking to ignore their communication. However, I am a bit worried. Should I send an appeal or reply to them. Never experienced it before, so I would be grateful if anyone could give ame advice.

    There is an airport car park which has 1hr free parking, and if the driver knew she was going to get a penalty by overstaying at BP garage, she would go to the airport car park.

    I understand they need to charge the driver and that I don't have to tell them who it was. Am I correct?

    Thank you
    Last edited by McMahon; 31-10-2017 at 11:11 AM.
Page 1
    • Quentin
    • By Quentin 16th Sep 17, 9:35 PM
    • 33,243 Posts
    • 17,186 Thanks
    Quentin
    • #2
    • 16th Sep 17, 9:35 PM
    • #2
    • 16th Sep 17, 9:35 PM
    Everyone is politely asked to read the newbies faq thread before starting a new thread


    Go there now to get an understanding of the game you are now involved in and how you should set about dealing with this, together with an understanding of POFA


    Come back after familiarising yourself with all this if you have further questions
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 17th Sep 17, 12:22 AM
    • 51,504 Posts
    • 65,107 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    • #3
    • 17th Sep 17, 12:22 AM
    • #3
    • 17th Sep 17, 12:22 AM
    Wouldn't it be good if there was a sticky thread at the top of the forum, explaining everything for newbies who've never experienced this before, asking newbies to read it first, and giving them a template appeal that works to get a POPLA code, and then win?

    I understand they need to charge the driver and that I don't have to tell them who it was.
    Yes, and no, in that order. Do NOT ignore it.

    We will give advice at POPLA stage, once you've submitted the usual template appeal from the NEWBIES thread.
    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.

    • McMahon
    • By McMahon 30th Oct 17, 10:16 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    McMahon
    • #4
    • 30th Oct 17, 10:16 PM
    • #4
    • 30th Oct 17, 10:16 PM
    Got good news today! Appeal successful

    Dear *************

    Thank you for submitting your parking charge Appeal to POPLA.

    An Appeal has been opened with the reference *********.

    MET Parking Services have told us they do not wish to contest the Appeal. This means that your Appeal is successful and you do not need to pay the parking charge.

    Yours sincerely

    POPLA Team

    Special thanks to Coupon-mad and Quentin

    Coupon-mad, your signature-text is very helpful!


    After following Coupon-mad's signature-text directing newbies to the right thread, I started by sending initial appeal to MET Parking on 16/09/2017 (used the draft letter). Within one week got the rejection letter containing POPLA verification code. On 11/10/2017 sent my appeal to POPLA (the text will follow). Today, 30/10/2017, received an email update from POPLA allowing my appeal.

    Will post in 'POPLA Decisions' sticky thread, too.
    Last edited by McMahon; 30-10-2017 at 10:50 PM.
    • McMahon
    • By McMahon 30th Oct 17, 10:34 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    McMahon
    • #5
    • 30th Oct 17, 10:34 PM
    • #5
    • 30th Oct 17, 10:34 PM
    POPLA Ref: *********
    MET Parking Services PCN no: ********
    A Notice to Registered Keeper was issued on 25th August 2017 and received by me,
    ***** *******, the registered keeper of the vehicle Reg: ****** for the alleged
    contravention of ‘Breach of terms and conditions’’ at BP, Stansted. I am writing to
    you as the registered keeper and would be grateful if you would please consider my
    appeal for the following reasons.
    1) MET Parking has deliberately chosen not to use the POFA 2012 and has not
    shown that the individual who it is pursuing is in fact the driver who was liable for the
    charge (ref: POPLA case Carly Law 6061796103).
    2) Non-compliance with various requirements set out in Schedule 4 of POFA 2012.
    3) No evidence of Landowner Authority - the operator is put to strict proof of full
    compliance with the BPA Code of Practice.
    4) The signs in this car park are not prominent, clear or legible from all parking
    spaces and there is insufficient notice of the sum of the parking charge itself.
    5) Amount demanded is a penalty
    6) Photo evidence appears doctored.

    1) MET has deliberately chosen not to use POFA has not shown that the individual
    who it is pursuing is in fact the driver who was liable for the charge. (ref POPLA case
    Carly Law 6061796103)
    MET has deliberately chosen not to use POFA and make no mention of such or the
    transfer of liability to the keeper under POFA 2012 in the Notice to Keeper I have
    received.
    In cases with a keeper appellant, yet no POFA 'keeper liability' to rely upon, POPLA
    must first consider whether they are confident that the Assessor knows who the
    driver is, based on the evidence received. No presumption can be made about
    liability whatsoever. A vehicle can be driven by any person (with the consent of the
    owner) as long as the driver is insured. There is no dispute that the driver was
    entitled to drive the car and I can confirm that they were, but I am exercising my right
    not to name that person.
    Where a charge is aimed only at a driver then, of course, no other party can be told
    to pay. I am the appellant throughout (as I am entitled to be), and as there has been
    no admission regarding who was driving, and no evidence has been produced, it has
    been held by POPLA on numerous occasions, that a parking charge cannot be
    enforced against a keeper without a valid NTK.
    As the keeper of the vehicle, it is my right to choose not to name the driver, yet still
    not be lawfully held liable if an operator is not using or complying with Schedule 4
    which they have not in this case. This applies regardless of when the first appeal
    was made because the fact remains I am only the keeper and ONLY Schedule 4 of
    the POFA (or evidence of who was driving) can cause a keeper appellant to be
    deemed to be the liable party.
    The burden of proof rests with the Operator, because they cannot use the POFA in
    this case, to show that (as an individual) I have personally not complied with terms in
    place on the land and show that I am personally liable for their parking charge. They
    cannot.
    Furthermore, the vital matter of full compliance with the POFA 2012 was confirmed
    by parking law expert barrister, Henry Greenslade, the previous POPLA Lead
    Adjudicator, in 2015:
    Understanding keeper liability
    “There appears to be continuing misunderstanding about Schedule 4. Provided
    certain conditions are strictly complied with, it provides for recovery of unpaid parking
    charges from the keeper of the vehicle.
    There is no ‘reasonable presumption’ in law that the registered keeper of a vehicle is
    the driver. Operators should never suggest anything of the sort. Further, a failure by
    the recipient of a notice issued under Schedule 4 to name the driver, does not of
    itself mean that the recipient has accepted that they were the driver at the material
    time. Unlike, for example, a Notice of Intended Prosecution where details of the
    driver of a vehicle must be supplied when requested by the police, pursuant to
    Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, a keeper sent a Schedule 4 notice has no
    legal obligation to name the driver. [...] If {POFA 2012 Schedule 4 is} not complied
    with then keeper liability does not generally pass."
    Therefore, no lawful right exists to pursue unpaid parking charges from myself as
    keeper of the vehicle, where an operator is NOT attempting to transfer the liability for
    the charge using the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 which in this case the
    operator is not.
    This exact finding was made in 6061796103 against ParkingEye in September 2016,
    where POPLA Assessor Carly Law found:
    "I note the operator advises that it is not attempting to transfer the liability for the
    charge using the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 and so in mind, the operator
    continues to hold the driver responsible. As such, I must first consider whether I am
    confident that I know who the driver is, based on the evidence received. After
    considering the evidence, I am unable to confirm that the appellant is in fact the
    driver. As such, I must allow the appeal on the basis that the operator has failed to
    demonstrate that the appellant is the driver and therefore liable for the charge. As I
    am allowing the appeal on this basis, I do not need to consider the other grounds of
    appeal raised by the appellant. Accordingly, I must allow this appeal."
    The same conclusion was reached by POPLA Assessor Steve Macallan, quoted in
    appeal point 5 above.

    2) Non-compliance with various requirements set out in Schedule 4 of POFA 2012.
    a) If MET Parking Services did wish to make use of the Keeper Liability provisions in
    Schedule 4 of POFA 2012, which they have not, the Notice to Keeper must meet the
    strict requirements set out in Schedule 4 of POFA 2012; paragraph 8 states
    specifically “The notice must—specify the vehicle, the relevant land on which it was
    parked and the period of parking to which the notice relates;” The notice to keeper
    that I have received does not state the period of parking to which the notice relates,
    only the time the PCN was issued.
    Due to the omission of this detail the notice to keeper does not comply with Schedule
    4 paragraph 6 of POFA 2012 and means that myself, the registered keeper of the
    vehicle cannot be held to account for the alleged debt of the driver
    b) MET Parking does not comply with requirement set out in paragraph 9(2)(f) which
    states:
    The notice must— warn the keeper that if, after the period of 28 days beginning with
    the day after that on which the notice is given—
    (i)the amount of the unpaid parking charges specified under paragraph (d) has not
    been paid in full, and
    (ii)the creditor does not know both the name of the driver and a current address for
    service for the driver,
    the creditor will (if all the applicable conditions under this Schedule are met) have the
    right to recover from the keeper so much of that amount as remains unpaid;
    MET Parking blatantly fails to mention the 28 days timeframe whereas it must have
    set out clearly in the Notice to Registered Keeper when and in what circumstances
    MET Parking would have the right to recover from the keeper the amount that
    remains unpaid. Such omission invalidates the Notice to Registered Keeper that

    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).
    Paragraph 7 of the BPA CoP defines the mandatory requirements and I put this
    operator to strict proof of full compliance:
    7.2 If the operator wishes to take legal action on any outstanding parking charges,
    they must ensure that they have the written authority of the landowner (or their
    appointed agent) prior to legal action being taken.
    7.3 The written authorisation must also set out:
    a the definition of the land on which you may operate, so that the boundaries of the
    land can be clearly defined
    b any conditions or restrictions on parking control and enforcement operations,
    including any restrictions on hours of operation
    c any conditions or restrictions on the types of vehicles that may, or may not, be
    subject to parking control and enforcement
    d who has the responsibility for putting up and maintaining signs
    e the definition of the services provided by each party to the agreement

    4) 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_00
    1.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.
    A number of the signs around the site are not illuminated either through poor
    placement or faulty lighting (see image 1 below). The reported date & time of the
    alleged contravention is 07/02/17 at 19:23. Records show that, on this date, sunset
    was timed at 17:01. Therefore, by 19:23, visibility of the already poorly legible signs
    would have been drastically reduced when not properly illuminated. 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.

    Image 1: Evidence of signage not illuminated, further reducing legibility (see yellow
    circle pointed by arrow)
    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 (see images 2 and 3 below). 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.

    Image 2: Evidence that the signs setting out the terms and conditions are not made
    prominent in and around this site. There is only one sign located on the far left end of
    the car park in front of BP shop (see yellow arrow).

    Image 3: Evidence that the sum of the parking charge in not displayed at all on the
    sign positioned at the entrance to the site.
    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 .36 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 less than 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 believe that the photographic evidence I have
    submitted here supports this view. Mere 'stock examples' of close-ups of the
    (alleged) signage terms will not be sufficient to disprove this.

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

    6) I would also bring into question the authenticity of the photographs taken of the
    vehicle – most notably the time stamps. By close examination of the photographs,
    the details are added as an overlay boxes on-top of the photos in the upper left hand
    corner. It is well within the realms of possibility for even an amateur to use free
    photo-editing software to add these white boxes and text with authentic looking
    metadata. Not only is this possible, but this practice has even been in use by UKPC,
    who were banned by the DVLA after it emerged.
    I would challenge MET Parking Services to prove that a stationary, highly advanced
    camera was used to generate these photos (including viewing direction, camera
    location etc.). I would also challenge MET Parking Services that they possess the
    technology to generate these precise types of photographs, as the date stamps have
    been applied to the photo in such an amateurish way (there are much more
    sophisticated ways of hardcoding photo data)
    I therefore request that POPLA uphold my appeal and cancel this PCN.
    Last edited by McMahon; 30-10-2017 at 10:49 PM.
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 30th Oct 17, 10:57 PM
    • 15,490 Posts
    • 24,201 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    • #6
    • 30th Oct 17, 10:57 PM
    • #6
    • 30th Oct 17, 10:57 PM
    Yay. There you go. Good result.

    Would you mind copying and pasting both posts into the POPLA Decisions sticky, for the information of others who become ensnared by MET, as this thread, once comments dry up, will disappear down the forum faster than Everton down the Premiership, and ultimately into oblivion.

    The sticky will keep your win and its details much more in view.

    Thank you.

    EDITED TO ADD: Just spotted you’ve already posted the result there (excellent), but posting your actual appeal there will be very useful.
    Last edited by Umkomaas; 30-10-2017 at 11:01 PM.
    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.
    • McMahon
    • By McMahon 31st Oct 17, 11:08 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    McMahon
    • #7
    • 31st Oct 17, 11:08 AM
    • #7
    • 31st Oct 17, 11:08 AM
    Thanks Umkomaas,

    All done!
    • The Deep
    • By The Deep 31st Oct 17, 11:45 AM
    • 7,376 Posts
    • 6,423 Thanks
    The Deep
    • #8
    • 31st Oct 17, 11:45 AM
    • #8
    • 31st Oct 17, 11:45 AM
    Well done OP, an excellent kitchen sinker, but I think you would sunk them if your appeal had been just one sentence, "not relevant land, no keeper liability".
    You never know how far you can go until you go too far.
    • KS27
    • By KS27 14th Nov 17, 8:48 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    KS27
    • #9
    • 14th Nov 17, 8:48 AM
    • #9
    • 14th Nov 17, 8:48 AM
    Really sorry for being thick but where is the Newbies Thread? I've tried to search for it but no results. The registered keeper received a parking fine from MET at Costa Stansted. the driver genuinely didn't see the small signs and went 7 mins over. I've used this page to sent an appeal and refusal to name driver and now recieved the standard reply ( as seen on this page) rejecting the appeal. I know have to request a Popla appeal? Any help will be greatly appreciated
    • fisherjim
    • By fisherjim 14th Nov 17, 8:55 AM
    • 2,580 Posts
    • 3,839 Thanks
    fisherjim
    Really sorry for being thick but where is the Newbies Thread? I've tried to search for it but no results. The registered keeper received a parking fine from MET at Costa Stansted. the driver genuinely didn't see the small signs and went 7 mins over. I've used this page to sent an appeal and refusal to name driver and now recieved the standard reply ( as seen on this page) rejecting the appeal. I know have to request a Popla appeal? Any help will be greatly appreciated
    Originally posted by KS27
    The newbies thread is the second one down on this forum.
    Seven minutes is within grace periods.
    Start a new thread of your own don't hi-jack others.
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