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  • FIRST POST
    • krys
    • By krys 5th Nov 17, 7:50 PM
    • 9Posts
    • 0Thanks
    krys
    EuroCarParks appeal - blocked sign & cropped reg photos
    • #1
    • 5th Nov 17, 7:50 PM
    EuroCarParks appeal - blocked sign & cropped reg photos 5th Nov 17 at 7:50 PM
    Hello,

    I have received a PCN from EuroCarParks. I've read the sticky post and sent an appeal which as been rejected. I have received the following letters:

    Appologies for no hyperlinks, new user and can't paste links

    imgur.com/eswAr8x.jpg
    imgur.com/WwSS0LK.jpg
    imgur.com/Nfe8PvH.jpg

    I have read posts from previous cases and constructed an appeal letter and would appreciate any help with checking it as well as any additional advice.

    My main argument in this letter is the blocked entry sign (links with photographs below) as well as the cropped photos in the letter above.

    Thank you.


    **usual detail stuff here**

    Thank you for your letter.
    One of your reasons for the rejection of my appeal you mention: “On entry to private land it is the responsibility of the driver to check for signage and ensure that your vehicle has been correctly parked”.

    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.

    On the entry to the car park the sign is obstructed by another sign ( see attached photographs) therefore, it is not clearly displayed. As you can see from my photographs the parking signage is blocked by the “IN” sign. and it is 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.

    Photographs:
    imgur.com/gE9fQor.jpg
    imgur.com/arFCr4M.jpg
    imgur.com/maKlLpW.jpg

    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."

    Here, the signs are sporadically placed, indeed obscured and hidden in other 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.

    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.

    I would also bring into question the authenticity of the photographs taken of the vehicle – most notably the time stamps and location coordinates. By close examination of the photographs, the details (time, location, direction) are added as a black overlay box on-top of the photos in the upper right hand corner. It is well within the realms of possibility for even an amateur to use free photo-editing software to add these black boxes and text with authentic looking Meta data. Not only is this possible, but this practice has even been in use by UKPC, who were banned by the DVLA after it emerged.
    I would challenge APCOA to prove that a stationary, highly advanced camera was used to generate these photos (including viewing direction, camera location etc.). I would also challenge APCOA that they possess the technology to generate these precise types of coordinates, as they have been applied to the photo in such an amateurish way (there are much more sophisticated ways of hardcoding photo data).
    Last edited by krys; 05-11-2017 at 9:05 PM.
Page 1
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 5th Nov 17, 8:01 PM
    • 4,731 Posts
    • 3,067 Thanks
    KeithP
    • #2
    • 5th Nov 17, 8:01 PM
    • #2
    • 5th Nov 17, 8:01 PM
    Are you sending a second appeal to ECP?
    Or is this a POPLA appeal?

    If a POPLA appeal, then the opening is wrong.
    POPLA are a separate organisation, so they haven't mentioned any reason for your earlier appeal rejection.

    Are you the keeper of the vehicle or the driver?
    Please don't answer that here, but have ECP used POFA correctly to transfer liability to the keeper?

    If you are submitting a POPLA appeal, try the forum search facility with ECP POPLA, set it to 'Show Posts', and you will find several ECP POPLA appeals - some very recent like this one:

    Perhaps you can glean some detail from that.
    Last edited by KeithP; 05-11-2017 at 8:10 PM.
    .
    • Fruitcake
    • By Fruitcake 5th Nov 17, 8:37 PM
    • 40,512 Posts
    • 80,904 Thanks
    Fruitcake
    • #3
    • 5th Nov 17, 8:37 PM
    • #3
    • 5th Nov 17, 8:37 PM
    Hello,

    I have received a PCN from EuroCarParks. I've read the sticky post and sent an appeal which as been rejected. I have received the following letters:

    Appologies for no hyperlinks, new user and can't paste links


    imgur.com/WwSS0LK.jpg
    imgur.com/Nfe8PvH.jpg

    I have read posts from previous cases and constructed an appeal letter and would appreciate any help with checking it as well as any additional advice.

    My main argument in this letter is the blocked entry sign (links with photographs below) as well as the cropped photos in the letter above.

    Thank you.
    Originally posted by krys
    You have left the PCN number in the first image so you need to delete your link, redact the number, then repost the image/link.

    http://imgur.com/WwSS0LK.jpg
    http://imgur.com/Nfe8PvH.jpg

    Images from the second section of your post.

    http://imgur.com/gE9fQor.jpg
    http://imgur.com/arFCr4M.jpg
    http://imgur.com/maKlLpW.jpg

    Have a look at the NEWBIES template PoPLA appeals and customise them to suit your case, then post your draft here for checking.

    Inadequate signage will be one of your best appeal points.
    Last edited by Fruitcake; 06-11-2017 at 8:29 AM.
    I married my cousin. I had to...
    I don't have a sister.

    All my screwdrivers are cordless.
    "You're Safety Is My Primary Concern Dear" - Laks
    • krys
    • By krys 6th Nov 17, 8:51 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    krys
    • #4
    • 6th Nov 17, 8:51 PM
    • #4
    • 6th Nov 17, 8:51 PM
    KeithP - This is a POPLA appeal. Apologies for the low quality as this was a quick draft. Thank you for your tip, I have found a similar case and added my part about the signage to it. I'm posting my second draft

    Fruitcake - the link has been updated. Thank you for spotting it.

    I have read that people don't advise including point 8 about the ANPR system. Should I leave it or remove it?

    POPLA Ref ...................
    EURO CAR PARKS Parking PCN no .......................
    A notice to keeper was issued on xxxx and received by me, the registered keeper of ........ on xxxx for an alleged contravention of ‘BREACH OF THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF USE’’ at the Euro Garages - Heathrow North.
    As the registered keeper of the above vehicle, I wish to appeal the parking charge notice issued by Euro Car Parks Ltd. I would like to have the parking charge notice cancelled based on the following grounds:

    1. SIGNAGE
    2. BPA CODE OF PRACTICE,NON COMPLIANCE TO GUIDELINES
    3. THE OPERATOR HAS NOT SHOWN THAT THE INDIVIDUAL WHO IT IS PURSUING IS IN FACT THE DRIVER WHO MAY HAVE BEEN POTENTIALLY LIABLE FOR THE CHARGE.
    4. LAND OWNER AUTHORITY
    5. OBSERVATION POINTS
    6. GRACE PERIOD
    7. NO EVIDENCE OF PERIOD PARKED
    8. THE ANPR SYSTEM IS NEITHER RELIABLE NOR ACCURATE.

    1. SIGNAGE
    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.
    On the entry to the car park the sign is obstructed by another sign ( see attached photographs in Fruitcake's post) therefore, it is not clearly displayed. As you can see from my photographs the parking signage is blocked by the “IN” sign. and it is 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.

    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:

    xxxx

    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:

    xxxxx

    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:

    xxxx

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

    xxxx

    ''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:

    xxxx

    ''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:
    xxxxx
    This was a victory for the motorist and found that, where terms on a sign are not seen and the area is not clearly marked/signed with prominent terms, the driver has not consented to - and cannot have 'breached' - an unknown contract because there is no contract capable of being established. The driver in that case (who had not seen any signs/lines) had NOT entered into a contract.
    The recorder made a clear finding of fact that the plaintiff, Miss Vine, did not see a sign because the area was not clearly marked as 'private land' and the signs were obscured/not adjacent to the car and could not have been seen and read from a driver's seat before parking.
    So, for this appeal, I put this operator to strict proof of where the car was parked and (from photos taken in the same lighting conditions) how their signs appeared on that date, at that time, from the angle of the driver's perspective. Equally, I require this operator to show how the entrance signs appear from a driver's seat, not stock examples of 'the sign' in isolation/close-up. I submit that full terms simply cannot be read from a car before parking and mere 'stock examples' of close-ups of the (alleged) signage terms will not be sufficient to disprove this.

    2. BPA CODE OF PRACTICE - NON-COMPLIANCE TO GUIDELINES

    The BPA Code of Practice point 20.5a stipulates that: "When issuing a parking charge notice you may use photographs as evidence that a vehicle was parked in an unauthorised way. The photographs must refer to and confirm the incident which you claim was unauthorised. A date and time stamp should be included on the photograph. All photographs used for evidence should be clear and legible and must not be retouched or digitally altered."
    The parking charge notice in question contains two photographs of the vehicle number plate. They do they clearly show the vehicle entering or leaving the car park as required in the BPA Code of practice. The images may have also been cropped and I invite ECP to produce evidence of the original "un-cropped" images showing the vehicle entering and leaving the car park.

    3. THE OPERATOR HAS NOT SHOWN THAT THE INDIVIDUAL WHO IT IS PURSUING IS IN FACT THE DRIVER WHO MAY HAVE BEEN POTENTIALLY LIABLE FOR THE CHARGE.


    The operator has not shown that the individual who it is pursuing is in fact the driver who may have been potentially liable for the charge
    In cases with a keeper appellant, yet no POFA 'keeper liability' to rely upon, POPLA must first consider whether they are confident that the Assessor knows who the driver is, based on the evidence received. No presumption can be made about liability whatsoever. A vehicle can be driven by any person (with the consent of the owner) as long as the driver is insured. There is no dispute that the driver was entitled to drive the car and I can confirm that they were, but I am exercising my right not to name that person.
    In this case, no other party apart from an evidenced driver can be told to pay. I am the appellant throughout (as I am entitled to be), and as there has been no admission regarding who was driving, and no evidence has been produced, it has been held by POPLA on numerous occasions, that a parking charge cannot be enforced against a keeper without a valid NTK.
    As the keeper of the vehicle, it is my right to choose not to name the driver, yet still not be lawfully held liable if an operator is not using or complying with Schedule 4. This applies regardless of when the first appeal was made and regardless of whether a purported 'NTK' was served or not, because the fact remains I am only appealing as the keeper and ONLY Schedule 4 of the POFA (or evidence of who was driving) can cause a keeper appellant to be deemed to be the liable party.
    The burden of proof rests with the Operator to show that (as an individual) I have personally not complied with terms in place on the land and show that I am personally liable for their parking charge. They cannot.
    Furthermore, the vital matter of full compliance with the POFA was confirmed by parking law expert barrister, Henry Greenslade, the previous POPLA Lead Adjudicator, in 2015:

    Understanding keeper liability
    “There appears to be continuing misunderstanding about Schedule 4. Provided certain conditions are strictly complied with, it provides for recovery of unpaid parking charges from the keeper of the vehicle.
    There is no ‘reasonable presumption’ in law that the registered keeper of a vehicle is the driver. Operators should never suggest anything of the sort. Further, a failure by the recipient of a notice issued under Schedule 4 to name the driver, does not of itself mean that the recipient has accepted that they were the driver at the material time. Unlike, for example, a Notice of Intended Prosecution where details of the driver of a vehicle must be supplied when requested by the police, pursuant to Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, a keeper sent a Schedule 4 notice has no legal obligation to name the driver. [...] If {POFA 2012 Schedule 4 is} not complied with then keeper liability does not generally pass.''
    Therefore, no lawful right exists to pursue unpaid parking charges from myself as keeper of the vehicle, where an operator cannot transfer the liability for the charge using the POFA.
    This exact finding was made in 6061796103 against ParkingEye in September 2016, where POPLA Assessor Carly Law found:
    ''I note the operator advises that it is not attempting to transfer the liability for the charge using the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 and so in mind, the operator continues to hold the driver responsible. As such, I must first consider whether I am confident that I know who the driver is, based on the evidence received. After considering the evidence, I am unable to confirm that the appellant is in fact the driver. As such, I must allow the appeal on the basis that the operator has failed to demonstrate that the appellant is the driver and therefore liable for the charge. As I am allowing the appeal on this basis, I do not need to consider the other grounds of appeal raised by the appellant. Accordingly, I must allow this appeal.''

    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 may be longer than the bare minimum times set out in the BPA CoP) and basic information such as the land boundary and bays where enforcement applies/does not apply. Not forgetting evidence of the various restrictions which the landowner has authorised can give rise to a charge and of course, how much the landowner authorises this agent to charge (which cannot be assumed to be the sum in small print on a sign because template private parking terms and sums have been known not to match the actual landowner agreement).
    Paragraph 7 of the BPA CoP defines the mandatory requirements and I put this operator to strict proof of full compliance:
    7.2 If the operator wishes to take legal action on any outstanding parking charges, they must ensure that they have the written authority of the landowner (or their appointed agent) prior to legal action being taken.

    7.3 The written authorisation must also set out:
    a) the definition of the land on which you may operate, so that the boundaries of the land can be clearly defined
    b) any conditions or restrictions on parking control and enforcement operations, including any restrictions on hours of operation

    c) any conditions or restrictions on the types of vehicles that may, or may not, be subject to parking control and enforcement
    d) who has the responsibility for putting up and maintaining signs
    e) the definition of the services provided by each party to the agreement.

    5. OBSERVATION POINTS

    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."

    6.GRACE PERIOD
    As per section 13 of the BPA Code of Practice: 'You should allow the driver a reasonable 'grace period' in which to decide if they are going to stay or go. If the driver is on your land without permission, you should still allow them a grace period to read your signs and leave before you take enforcement action.' Therefore, if a driver stops for a short period of time to read a sign, they must have the opportunity to leave and not accept the terms of an alleged contract.
    The total time spent by the car past the point of ANPR control is NOT the same as the period parked.It is also true that waiting in a queue for a petrol pump to become free,filling up your vehicle,using the toilet,browsing the shop and paying for goods is time included and recorded on the ANPR and not actual time a vehicle is parked in the separate car park in the spaces provided.
    Kelvin Reynolds, Head of Public Affairs and Policy at the British Parking Association (BPA) says there is a difference between ‘grace’ periods and ‘observation’ periods in parking and that good practice allows for this.
    “An observation period is the time when an enforcement officer should be able to determine what the motorist intends to do once in the car park. The BPA’s guidance specifically says that there must be sufficient time for the motorist to park their car, observe the signs, decide whether they want to comply with the operator’s conditions and either drive away or pay for a ticket,” he explains.
    “No time limit is specified. This is because it might take one person five minutes, but another person 10 minutes depending on various factors, not limited to disability.”
    The BPA’s guidance defines the ‘grace period’ as the time allowed after permitted or paid-for parking has expired but before any kind of enforcement takes place.
    Kelvin continues: “In the instance of a PCN being issued while a ticket is being purchased, the operator has clearly not given the motorist sufficient time to read the signs and comply as per the operator’s own rules. If a motorist decides they do not want to comply and leaves the car park, then a reasonable period of time should be provided also.”

    7.NO EVIDENCE OF PERIOD PARKED.

    The Notice to keeper clearly states the vehicle was parked during the relevant period. PoFA2012 Sched 4 Para 9 refers at numerous times to the period of parking. By virtue of the nature of a ANPR system recording only entry and exit times, ECP are not able to definitively state the period of parking. Contrary to the mandatory provisions of the BPA code of practice, there is no record to show that the vehicle was parked longer than the time allowed PLUS the mandatory grace periods. These are a minimum of 10 minutes to leave the car park and a similar period to cover the period after the vehicle parks, finds signage, reads the signage and decides whether to accept or reject the terms offered within. The alleged overstay does not meet the binding code of practice. There is no evidence that the vehicle was ‘parked’ for the period stated.

    8.THE ANPR SYSTEM IS NEITHER RELIABLE NOR ACCURATE.

    The ECP evidence shows no parking time, merely two images of a number plate corresponding with that of the vehicle in question. There is no connection demonstrated whatsoever with the car park in question. To capture a vehicle entering Shell Gatwick car park and actually crossing the boundary into the land in question, it would appear that the only conceivable location for a camera would be directly across the road from the entrance therefore outside the car park and taken from public land.
    In any case it is unreasonable for this operator to record the start of 'parking time' as the moment of arrival in moving traffic. If they in fact offered a pay and display system which the driver can only access after parking, and which is when the actual action and period of parking commences. i.e. when the vehicle is stationary, and when the clock should start from. The exit photo image of the rear number plate cannot be evidence of actual 'parking time' at all, and has not been shown to relate to the same parking event.
    Additionally you cannot discount that the driver may have driven in and out on two separate occasions both within the allowable grace period. The BPA even mention this as an inherent problem with ANPR on their website

    xxx

    The BPA's view is: 'As with all new technology, there are issues associated with its use. Some ‘drive in/drive out’ motorists that have activated the system receive a charge certificate even though they have not parked or taken a ticket. Reputable operators tend not to uphold charge certificates issued in this manner...'
    Additionally under paragraph 21.3 of the BPA Code of Practice, parking companies are required to ensure ANPR equipment is maintained and is in correct working order. I require ECP to provide records with the location of the cameras used in this instance, together dates and times of when the equipment was checked, calibrated, maintained and synchronised with the timer which stamps the photo images to ensure the accuracy of the ANPR images. As the parking charge is founded entirely on 2 photos of the vehicle number plate allegedly entering and leaving the car park at specific times (not shown within the photographic images), it is vital that ECP produces evidence in response to these points.
    In addition to showing their maintenance records, I require ECP to show evidence to rebut the following assertion. I suggest that in the case of this vehicle being in that car park, a local camera took the image but a remote server added the time stamps. As the two are disconnected by the internet and do not have a common "time synchronisation system", there is no proof that the time stamp added is actually the exact time of the image.

    The Operator appears to use WIFI which introduces a delay through buffering, so "live" is not really "live". Hence, without a synchronised time stamp, there is no evidence that the image is ever time stamped with an accurate time. Therefore I contend that this ANPR evidence from the cameras in this car park is just as unreliable and unsynchronised as the evidence put forward in the recent case of ParkingEye v Fox-Jones on 8 Nov 2013. That case was dismissed when the judge deemed the evidence from ParkingEye to be fundamentally flawed because the synchronisation of the camera pictures with the timer had been called into question and the operator could not rebut the point. As its whole charge rests upon two timed photo images, I put ECP to strict proof to the contrary.

    I respectfully request that this parking charge notice appeal be allowed and await your decision.
    • krys
    • By krys 7th Dec 17, 11:02 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    krys
    • #5
    • 7th Dec 17, 11:02 PM
    • #5
    • 7th Dec 17, 11:02 PM
    I have sent off a letter with my previous reply and I have received a following letter. Is there anyway I can dispute it further?

    drive.google.com/file/d/1Rf6OHcRF43NQ0i3JOsWovjvcBFT6wZ_O/view?usp=sharing

    One thing I have notice about the signage is that the initial letter with the picture of the sign said 45min and the one sent through now say 20mins.
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 7th Dec 17, 11:43 PM
    • 4,731 Posts
    • 3,067 Thanks
    KeithP
    • #6
    • 7th Dec 17, 11:43 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Dec 17, 11:43 PM
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Rf6OHcRF43NQ0i3JOsWovjvcBFT6wZ_O/view

    Yes, you need to go through that and challenge every point.

    you have seven days to do that. don't you?

    Not sure how you are going to fit a stay of 1 hour and 39 minutes into 45 minutes plus grace periods.
    Maybe as the signs say 'parking limited to 45 minutes' your presence on site could be attributed to things other that parking - from the pics, things like refuelling, vacuuming, checking air in tyres comes to mind.

    Make a point about the 20/45 minute sign discrepancy and also that the £90 charge certainly isn't in a prominent font.

    I'll leave you to find other points.
    Last edited by KeithP; 07-12-2017 at 11:52 PM.
    .
    • krys
    • By krys 10th Dec 17, 11:13 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    krys
    • #7
    • 10th Dec 17, 11:13 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Dec 17, 11:13 PM
    I was thinking of disputing it with the following points. Please let me know if you would change or add something:

    -Outdated authority agreement by Euro Garages (April 2017)
    -Asking for more recent pictures of the signage (April 2017)
    -Keeping my point about the blocked entry sign and it being completely blocked from the driver's seat. (no photos provided to disprove it)
    - £90 charge not being clearly visible on the signs
    - 20/45 minute sign discrepancy
    -Possibility of being in the 6.9% of misread of the ANPR camera and escalating it to the Technical Department for full investigation
    • Johnersh
    • By Johnersh 11th Dec 17, 12:28 AM
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    Johnersh
    • #8
    • 11th Dec 17, 12:28 AM
    • #8
    • 11th Dec 17, 12:28 AM
    1. Probably not going to fly, most are on a rolling basis - but worth getting the full agreement from them. Most are for an initial period of 1 year, so it's current enough.
    2. Actually, i'd argue that ALL of the entrance signs are inadequate. Their own photos show how difficult it would be to read them turning off a busy A-road with the hazards of traffic and the vehicle and pedestrian movements adjacent to a petrol forecourt. The entrance sign should be much bigger than the restrictions signs, such that it is visible from the moving car. For example, the wording "Welcome/Cash Machines/Toilet" has been chosen to be big writing so it is visible from a moving car.
    The pathetic sign at the perimeter is significantly smaller. Since there appears to be a "feeder (slip) lane" onto the site signage could actually be placed so as to be visible prior to turning in - but that would just be sensible, wouldn't it? The question is then whether you should have seen the other signs once on foot - assuming someone did exit the car.
    3. I actually had to look for the fee on that sign. I'd agree it's small (much poorer than the Parking Eye signage considered by the Supreme Ct). That doesn't mean it's definitely a winning point though.
    4. Voiding the contract for uncertainty or conflict of terms would be great (if it's not 20 and it's not 45 and the Court can't choose which it is after the event, one might argue no restrictions apply given the doubt) but you may be imperiled by the fact that your overstay is well outside both periods and the judge may not like that rather narrow interpretation.
    5. On the balance of probabilities that is not in your favour, is it? Unless you KNOW that there has been a technical error in this regard, i'd drop this point like a stone.
    The best advice I ever got was that knowledge is power and to keep reading. David BaileyDISCLAIMER: I post thoughts as & when they occur. I'm unlikely to respond to DMs seeking personal advice. It's ill-advised & you lose the benefit of a group "take" on events. Your home is at risk if you don't meet mortgage payments or other loans secured on it
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 11th Dec 17, 1:00 AM
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    Coupon-mad
    • #9
    • 11th Dec 17, 1:00 AM
    • #9
    • 11th Dec 17, 1:00 AM
    One thing I have notice about the signage is that the initial letter with the picture of the sign said 45min and the one sent through now say 20mins.
    Originally posted by krys
    Yes I noticed that, you MUST mention these issues in bullet points, look for their errors. That detail (20/45 mins) is crucial to the entire allegation and contractual terms, even if your overstay was longer than BOTH times. At court (luckily ECP never try) I'd agree with Johnersh not to mention the discrepancy, but at POPLA stage - YES.

    I also see the first page says the PCN was dated 30th August but they reckon you appealed 3 months earlier, on 13th May - how?! Mention that and say all these discrepancies call into question the evidence, which is clearly cut & pasted from another evidence pack, hence the dates/details not matching up and even the signage pictures contradicting each other.

    Also mention the ambiguity of having two postal Notices, with two different 'dates of issue' and liability deadlines. the first, the PCN, says that the keeper will be liable after 29 days from the date given (i.e. 7th October) yet they also sent a Notice to Keeper (the document required by the POFA) too late, and with a new date for liability, this time saying 'after 28 days beginning with the day after which THIS notice is given (i.e. 25th October). Such ambiguity is unfair and prejudicial to the consumer and the NTK itself arrived too late and misled the keeper about liability dates by having two, 18 days apart.

    ECP protest that this is 'standard practice' but we know of no other PPC that issues a postal 'PCN' followed by another similar document that they confusingly call the 'NTK' giving different dates.

    Say that to POPLA. If you lose, never mind, no big deal - WE STILL DO NOT PAY THESE.


    Asking for more recent pictures of the signage (April 2017)...
    Possibility of being in the 6.9% of misread of the ANPR camera and escalating it to the Technical Department for full investigation
    No, you can't ask for more information. This stage is you commenting on their evidence.
    Last edited by Coupon-mad; Yesterday at 10:15 PM.
    PRIVATE PCN? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT TWO Clicks needed for advice:
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    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 11th Dec 17, 1:06 AM
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    KeithP
    Krys, you appear to have two days left. Don't miss it.
    .
    • krys
    • By krys 11th Dec 17, 5:28 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    krys
    Thank you so much for your replies Coupon-mad, Johnersh and KeithP!

    Your points are really helpful and I wouldn't have spotted them myself!

    This is what I came up with. I feel I could add a bit more to point 3 and 4. Also how should I end this letter?

    Feel free to suggest any changes.

    Once again, thank you for your help

    This is a response to your letter dated 06/12/2017, POPLA Case Number XXX.

    1. POSTAL NOTICES AMBIGUITY
    First of all I want to bring up the issue of the postal notices that were sent out. The first Parking Charge Notice that has been issued on the 06/09/2017 which states that the keeper will be liable after 28 days from the date given (04/10/2017). Then, the Notice To Keeper has been issued on the 22/09/17 stating that the payment should be made within 28 days (20/10/17). Such ambiguity is unfair and prejudicial to the customer and cannot be called a standard practice as it is simply confusing. The Notice To Keeper letter has arrived too late which misled the keeper about the liability dates by having two 16 days apart.

    2. INADEQUATE SIGNS
    In one of your points you state that "when entering private land it would be the driver's responsibility to read the terms and conditions" followed by a photograph (Figure 2 - Section 7) which unreadable because of the small font even in the photo you have provided as evidence. These signs do not clearly mention the parking charge, which is hidden in small print or your terms and conditions which is presented in even smaller, unreadable font.
    Regarding my original point which is argued that parking signage is blocked by the "IN" sign and it is unable to be seen by a driver and certainly could not be read without stopping, and therefore doesn't comply with the BPA code of practice. In Figure 4, a British Parking Association Code of Practice you have provided does not fully explain any of the points in detail. Therefore, expanding on point "8. Signage", I will be referring to the full British Parking Association Code of Practice Document.
    Point 18.1 states that "The size of the sign must take into account the expected speed of vehicles approaching the car park, and it is recommended that you follow Department for Transport guidance on this" which refers to Appendix B Entrance Signs in the document:
    "Car park entered from higher-speed road (in this case Shepiston Lane) or using a length of access road where the typical approach speed is 25mph the minimum capital text height should be 90mm". Meaning that your sign does not meet the requirements as the font is much smaller than it should be, plus it is blocked by the "IN" sign. Additionally, continuing with Appendix B Entrance Signs "The sign should be placed so that it is readable by drivers without their needing to look away from the road ahead." Your sign is not placed at the right angle to be able to read it without stopping so it is not visible from the driver's seat. In addition as point 18.3 details that "Signs showing your detailed terms and conditions must be at least 450mm x 450mm" meaning sign marked "K2" in Figure 7 hasn't got the right measurements, plus it is blocked by the "IN" sign.
    Furthermore, point 18.10 states "There should be at least one sign containing the terms and conditions for parking that can be viewed without needing to leave the vehicle. Ideally this sign should be close to any parking bays set aside for disabled motorists." From the photos you have provided illustrating the positioning of each sign, no sign is the right height that could allow the driver to read it from their car.
    I believe all of your entrance signs are inadequate, hard to read and do not fully comply with the BPA COP.

    3. MAXIMUM STAY DISCREPANCY
    In the EPC notice of rejection to my appeal you have stated that the parking site is limited to 45mins, you have also included a picture of the sign showing "maximum stay 45 minutes". Now in the ECP response to POPLA you are stating that the maximum stay is 20 mins, you have also provided pictures of signs showing "maximum stay 20 minutes". I find this very unprofessional, unfair and confusing.
    It looks like your response to my appeal has been simply copied and pasted from a template without a through review which brings me to my next point to prove this further.

    4. DATE INCONSISTENCY IN CASE SUMMARY
    Please note that the the Date of Event on the received PCN is dated 30/08/17, the issue date is 06/09/17. Now in Section 1 "Case Summary and Rules/Conditions" they state
    "An official appeal representation was received on the 13/05/2017"
    The date 13/05/2017 is over 3 months earlier than the date of event on the issued PCN.
    I would like to bring your attention to all the inconsistencies in the ECP's response to my appeal which call into question all the evidence provided. The response has clearly has been used from a template, hence the dates/details do not match plus the signage pictures contradict each other.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 11th Dec 17, 10:21 PM
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    Coupon-mad
    These are my comments on the evidence pack for POPLA Case Number XXX
    This is how to start it, make it clear it's 'comments on evidence'.

    Your first point has the dates wrong; my version (I believe) had the dates right. You forgot to add the extra days.

    And you need to re-write it - you are writing to POPLA, not ''you'' (because the PPC do not get to see these comments).

    These comments are far too long, you need a MUCH shorter signage comment, otherwise POPLA's eyes will glaze over and they might not read it; they might assume you are trying to add to the appeal.

    You will not fit all that in on the Portal and it is BEST to make it short enough for the portal, not sending it by email as I think (just a feeling from other cases) that POPLA Assessors are less likely to read comments by email.
    PRIVATE PCN? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT TWO Clicks needed for advice:
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