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  • FIRST POST
    • AaronGivens
    • By AaronGivens 19th Nov 17, 9:49 PM
    • 11Posts
    • 4Thanks
    AaronGivens
    PCN - Northern Parking Services - Halfords
    • #1
    • 19th Nov 17, 9:49 PM
    PCN - Northern Parking Services - Halfords 19th Nov 17 at 9:49 PM
    Hi,

    The Keeper has been through all the stickies and read up on all the details of how to pursue a PCN. However The Keeper keep umming and ahhing about the strength of the argument. The Keeper wanted to run it by you all just to gauge if you think its legit.

    The Keeper recieved a postal Parking Charge Notice from Northern Parking Services. They claimed The Driver was over the limit of 45 minutes to stay in their car park which was at Halfords. The Driver popped into the store and had a look around for some speaker equipment however they didn't have anything The Driver liked or wanted. The Driver had a look around the store however there was no one to ask questions. The Keeper went out the store after being there for about 10 minutes and went to run errands. The Driver came back drove off.

    The Keeper got a letter a couple of days later with The Keepers name at the top saying they want the typical £100 or £60 within 14 days. Now The Driver will be honest with you as they had no idea these ANPR camera's where there and if im being totally honest The Driver didn't see any signs. The car park is quite tight and The Driver usually focuses of trying to maneuver rather then look around for signs. The letter looks legit (as much as legit can be) entry and exit times, Reg, reference number, pictures of The Keeper car. The Driver over stayed by 43 minuted so a total of 88 minutes.

    The Driver went back to the store to take pictures as suggested and the entrance sign does say 45 minute 30 minute drop off. The signs themselves are garbage and you have to stand 2 feet from them as there is a explosion of rainbow colours obscuring any legible writing. Lord knows why they aren't clearer (money The Keeper expects). The Driver spoke to a store worker and they said 'well there are loads of signs so you pretty much have to pay'. Cool thanks. The Driver asked about who to speak to they said they didn't know. The Keeper wrote to Halfords complaining of the awful signs and sent pictures to demonstrate but they asked for a receipt which The Keeper does't have.

    The Keeper sent further proof of signage and The Keeper expects a reply back which will be bore off and sorry cant help. The Keeper intends to then appeal to NPS and then take it further to POPLA. Looking at other cases they seem much much stronger then my 'The Driver didn't see the signs otherwise The Driver wouldn't of parked there for that long'. CCTV would show The Driver in the store looking at goods but without a receipt and the fact that the police are only allowed access to the footage how does The Keepers argument stand?

    The Keeper has all of the arguments ready to write out and The Keeper has the BPA write out regarding challenging as keeper of the vehicle. Perhaps The Keeper am looking for someone on here to tell me if The Keeper should bite the bullet or go for it. Its a legitimate error but The Keeper is worried its too weak of an argument.

    Thank you in advance.
    Last edited by AaronGivens; 19-11-2017 at 11:35 PM.
Page 2
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 1st Dec 17, 4:14 PM
    • 15,900 Posts
    • 24,648 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    I have done but the more places I ask for help the more chance of getting it.
    Originally posted by N.C
    Quite the opposite is the more likely outcome of ignoring forum etiquette.
    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.
    • AaronGivens
    • By AaronGivens 1st Dec 17, 5:26 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    AaronGivens
    Popla appeal template, it does need some work at the end but hoping someone could have a quick look through it. Im not sure if the Keeper should include the driver went into the store to have a look at requipment couldnt find any then went to another store to find said equipment or not.

    Dear Sir/Madam,


    Re: Parking Charge Reference Number: ***
    Vehicle registration: ***
    POPLA Validation code:


    A notice to keeper was issues on the 14th of November 2017 and received by me the registered keeper of * Reg * for an alleged contravention of 'Breach of the terms of the parking at Carlton Road'. I am writing to you as the registered Keeper.


    The basis of my appeal is on the following grounds:


    1. The Signage is not clear, legible, obstructive, and not maintained. The amount demanded is a penalty.
    2. Questionable authenticity of the photograph taken of the vehicle
    3. No evidence of Landowners Authority. The operator is put to strict proof in accordance and full compliance within the relams of the BPA code of practice which they belong.
    4. The Operator has not shown that the individual who it is pursuing is in fact liable for the charge.




    1) The amount demanded by Northern Parking Services is a penalty and is punitive, contravening the Consumer Rights Act of 2015. The authority on this matter is in reference to ParkingEye v Beavis. This case was characterised by clear and ample signage, unobstructed and where the motorist had time to read, and then consider the signage and decide whether or not to accept. In this case the signage was neither clear, legible and with large lettering as stated in the BPA Code of practice.


    B4.1 If vehicles are parked under a contract, you may take parking control and enforcement action only when the contract entitles you to. This includes issuing parking tickets. The contract terms must be included on a sign British Parking Association Code of practice at each entry point to the site, and on other signs visible throughout the area concerned.


    As provided the sign at the entrance does not provide enough detail in terms of the contract, terms and conditions and parking charges that the motorist agrees to and there is insufficient notice of the sum of the parking charge itself. As stated above in reference to ParkingEye v Beavis there must be time to read the sign. Due to the speed limit and height of the sign on Carlton Road there was not enough time to view, check mirrors, signal and maneuver into the parking area. The signage cannot be read safely from a moving vehicle. Therefore rendering the contract null and void.


    In the Beavis case, which turned on specific facts relating only to the signs, 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.


    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.


    In this case where the vehicle was parked there was obstructed view from seeing any terms of conditions, as well as charges that could be held against the motorist. Please see attached photographs from where the vehicle was parked. The size of the lettering is far too small for a motorist to see unless standing inches from the sign. Also consider the colour palette used for the sign is obscure and also denotes no warning of charges for vehicles. Again from the entrance to the store on Carlton road as provided there is a large tent that blocks a wide angle to see any signs after purchasing goods. I refer again to the BPA code of conduct regarding signage.


    B4.2 Signs must show, in plain and intelligible language, all the terms on which an operator may wish to rely. Signs must be placed at the entrance to the site, and there must be enough signs placed in other locations throughout the site so that drivers are given the chance to be aware of the risk involved at the time of parking or leaving the vehicle.


    From where the vehicle was parked the angles of the signs are again not prominent and the view is masked by there being only two sides to the sign. In reality should a driver be parked at the wrong angle view of the signs are restricted.


    I would like to refer to two cases regarding point 1).


    POPLA decision 5960956830 on 02/06/16, 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.

    ''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.''

    ''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.

    Second case to point 1)


    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.

    This was a victory for the motorist and found that, where terms on a sign are not seen and the area is not clearly marked/signed with prominent terms, the driver has not consented to - and cannot have 'breached' - an unknown contract because there is no contract capable of being established. The driver in that case (who had not seen any signs/lines) had NOT entered into a contract. The recorder made a clear finding of fact that the plaintiff, Miss Vine, did not see a sign because the area was not clearly marked as 'private land' and the signs were obscured/not adjacent to the car and could not have been seen and read from a driver's seat before parking.

    So, for this appeal, I put this operator to strict proof of where the car was parked and (from photos taken in the same lighting conditions) how their signs appeared on that date, at that time, from the angle of the driver's perspective. Equally, I require this operator to show how the entrance signs appear from a driver's seat, not stock examples of 'the sign' in isolation/close-up. I submit that full terms simply cannot be read from a car before parking and mere 'stock examples' of close-ups of the (alleged) signage terms will not be sufficient to disprove this.



    The photographs provided from where the vehicle was parked demonstrate the difficulty in not only seeing charges, maximum times of stay but the terms and conditions that they enforce.


    2) 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) are added as a black overlay box on-top of the photos at the top of the images. 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 also like to challenge Northern Parking Services to prove the legitimacy of these highly advanced stationary cameras and the technology behind them as well as the ability to time stamp the photographs. I would also like to request calibration certifications or parts there of, of the camera system that was used to photograph the vehicle in question.



    I refer to the BPA code of conduct regarding time stamping photographs. The photographs provided don't show a clear and legible time stamp for the photographs.


    7.1 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 altered digitally.


    3) I do not believe that the Operator has demonstrated a proprietary interest in the land, because they have no legal possession which would give Northern Parking Services any right to offer parking spaces, let alone allege a contract with third party customers of the lawful owner/occupiers. In addition, Northern Parking Services lack of title in this land means they have no legal standing to allege trespass or loss, if that is the basis of their charge. I require Northern Parking Services to demonstrate their legal ownership of the land to POPLA.

    I contend that Northern Parking Services is only an agent working for the owner and their signs do not help them to form a contract without any consideration capable of being offered. VCS-v-HMRC 2012 is the binding decision in the Upper Chamber which covers this issue with compelling statements of fact about this sort of business model.

    I believe there is no contract with the landowner/occupier that entitles Northern Parking Services to levy these charges and therefore it has no authority to issue parking charge notices (PCNs). This being the case, the burden of proof shifts to Northern Parking Services to prove otherwise so I require that Northern Parking Services produce a copy of their contract with the owner/occupier and that the POPLA adjudicator scrutinises it. Even if a basic contract is produced and mentions PCNs, the lack of ownership or assignment of title or interest in the land reduces any contract to one that exists simply on an agency basis between APCOA Parking Ltd and the owner/occupier, containing nothing that Northern Parking Services can lawfully use in their own name as a mere agent, that could impact on a third party customer.



    4) 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. 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.

    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."
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 1st Dec 17, 6:26 PM
    • 15,900 Posts
    • 24,648 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    1. The Signage is not clear, legible, obstructive, and not maintained. The amount demanded is a penalty.
    There are two appeal points there. They need splitting.

    4) In cases with a keeper appellant, yet no POFA 'keeper liability' to rely upon,
    Why is there ‘no PoFA Keeper liability’? If you can prove why, then this must be your opening appeal point - ‘No Keeper Liability’.

    Follow that with your second appeal point ‘The Operator has not shown that the individual who it is pursuing is in fact liable for the charge.’

    The other appeal points can follow thereafter.

    I have to say, at the moment it looks rather unstructured.
    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.
    • AaronGivens
    • By AaronGivens 4th Dec 17, 10:27 AM
    • 11 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    AaronGivens
    hi all,



    Thank you Umkomaas for your constructive words. This interation has gone through many drafts and hopefully it is of better quality. Please have a look and let me know what you think. Hopefully all the kinks are gone now. Thank you so much in advance and please leave feedback should you see fit.



    A notice to keeper was issued on the 14th of November 2017 and received by me, the registered Keeper of Reg *** for an alleged contravention of ‘Breach of the terms of the parking at Carlton Road’.
    The basis of my appeal is on the following grounds.



    1. No contract.
    2. No Landowner authority.
    3. Poor inadequate signage.
    4. The amount demanded is a fine and unjustifiable.
    5. Signs not to a standard ParkingEye v. Beavis.
    6. Questionable authenticity of photographs.
    7. Operator not showing Keeper is the Driver.

    1. It is my understanding that by law, for a contract to form, three main elements must be present: there must be an offer, an acceptance of that offer and a consideration – something of benefit or value for all the parties involved in, or privy to the contract. Thus in a privately owned and operated car park, by parking at Halfords car park, the driver of the vehicle generally accepts the car park owners ‘offer’ of parking at an agreed fee. In this case the fee was free however the alleged contravention of overstaying by 45 minutes I have been invoiced £60 (rising to £100 should I not play by the rules and lose my right to defend myself and my rights).



    I have neither broken any rules or any British Laws by allegedly over staying by 45 minutes. I reject the charge and invoice as no reasonable person who hasn’t seen any signs would assume that this car park would be monitored by ANPR. Also any reasonable person knowing what ANPR stood for. No reasonable person would know that this aggressive monitoring would take place after visiting the store on a very limited basis.



    This point will tie in with point 3 regarding poor signage but the main point of point 1 is to explain no reasonable person would Park in a store and understand the contract agreed when they park in a monitored car park. No reasonable person would understand that by parking their car and going into the store to look for goods they would be in essence liable to receive a charge from an aggressive cowboy company to fleece money of hardworking people who are not aware by any promotion campaigns, any government leaflets / letters and warning to these shady practices.



    I would like to bring up a recent case regarding a Miss Vine (again this links to point number 3 regarding signage) to emphasise the impossible ability for all motorist to accept the terms and conditions of this ‘contract’ whilst parking.



    '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 a binding case law from the Court of Appeal and supports my argument, not the operator's case.


    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.



    2. I do not believe that the Operator has demonstrated a proprietary interest in the land, because they have no legal possession which would give Northern Parking Services any right to offer parking spaces, let alone allege a contract with third party customers of the lawful owner/occupiers. In addition, Northern Parking Services lack of title in this land means they have no legal standing to allege trespass or loss, if that is the basis of their charge. I require Northern Parking Services to demonstrate their legal ownership of the land to POPLA.

    I contend that Northern Parking Services is only an agent working for the owner and their signs do not help them to form a contract without any consideration capable of being offered. VCS-v-HMRC 2012 is the binding decision in the Upper Chamber (Tax & Chancery Chamber) which covers this issue with compelling statements of fact about this sort of business model.

    I believe there is no contract with the landowner/occupier that entitles Northern Parking Services to levy these charges and therefore it has no authority to issue parking charge notices (PCNs). This being the case, the burden of proof shifts to Northern Parking Services to prove otherwise so I require that Northern Parking Services produce a copy of their contract with the owner/occupier and that the POPLA adjudicator scrutinises it. Even if a basic contract is produced and mentions PCNs, the lack of ownership or assignment of title or interest in the land reduces any contract to one that exists simply on an agency basis between APCOA Parking Ltd and the owner/occupier, containing nothing that Northern Parking Services can lawfully use in their own name as a mere agent, that could impact on a third party customer.




    3. My next point I would like POPLA to investigate is the poor, unmaintained, legible and inadequate signage used at the Halfords site. I will break down this point into a further 2 sub points to demonstrate Northern Parking Services need to change their signage.



    3.A. Ability to see signs.



    Whilst driving down Carlton road which is a 30mph road there is a left turning into the car park to Halfords. Using the rules of the road as set out by British Law Mirror, signal and manoeuvre the ability to see the entrance sign is virtually impossible to see. Regardless of whether or not the entrance sign is there *see image 1* it is an error to suggest that by merely having this sign at the entrance there is an ability to see said sign. The lettering is far too small and to obscure to see. The angle of the sign and also height makes it nigh on impossible to see considering motorists will have to use their attention to navigate through the tight car park and safely drive. I ask POPLA to take into consideration that drivers will be sat and lower to see said signs. It is reasonable to assume that many drivers who drive into the car park will not see this sign due to the location. Another point to note is that by merely having a stock photo face on and up close is evidence enough for Northern Parking Services to have a tick in the box so to speak that their entrance has a warning sign stating maximum time limits.



    I would like to refer to the BPA code of conduct that Northern Parking Services belong to.
    Section B4.2 ‘Signs must show, in plain and intelligible language, all the terms on which an operator may wish to rely. Signs must be placed at the entrance to the site, and there must be enough signs placed in other locations throughout the site so that drivers are given the chance to be aware of the risk involved at the time of parking or leaving the vehicle’.



    I believe Northern Parking Services have failed to adequately position their sign at the entrance to a reasonable standard as well as this the times have been changed and overlaid with a new timing. On top of this information the sign has been damage and it is reasonable to assume based on this that the sight is under maintained and this allows the possibility that the equipment, signage and upkeep could be widespread throughout their monitoring.



    3.B. Sign design and lettering.



    My next point covers the overall sign location, sign design and lettering on the signage. Inspection after receiving the NTK shows that the car park managed by Norther Parking Services show a lack of any considerations towards sign location. Specifically regarding the signs screwed to the outside walls. Should a driver hazard to park towards the middle of the car park, Which the driver did do. It would be unreasonable to assume they would see any of the sign. One prominent wall closest to the vehicle had no signage at all where motorists would walk past should they park in the same location.



    Signage on the far wall is where Halfords lorries drop of equipment and goods to their store and doing so block off a number of signs again that motorist may miss. The sign location is therefore restricted due to this point. * See image 2*.



    When leaving the store there is a large tent that motorist can visit to get their car inspected and worked on. This large tent covers a wide angle that motorists will simply not be able to see warning signs regarding parking. Surely moving the positions of signs would allow motorists to see these signs and the location would prevent being charged by invoice by Northern Parking Services.



    With regards the ‘Main sign’ the angles viewed only cover 180 degress as only two sides are covered as *seen in image 3*. It would be unreasonable to assume motorists have the ability to bend their eyesight to see these signs. The main sign has the same information as the signs bolted to the walls and contain the same lettering, style and colour palette. I dispute the lettering and small text as well as font and colour palette. It is absolutely absurd to believe these would be the best colour and letterings for a warning sign warning motorists should they stay longer then ‘allowed’ they could be charged via invoice.



    I have provided photos * X Y Z * and challenge Northern Parking Services to justify sign placement in respect to where my car was parked and ask if this is reasonable to assume someone in this location could see all the information.



    In the ParkingEye v. Beavis case, which turned on specific facts relating only to the signs, 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.

    In the ParkingEye v. 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.



    The point I would like to make is comparing image 1 and 4 provided to POPLA is that there is a clear distinction between the two. One sign is legible clear and concise, one sign is unclear, populated with far too much text then the eye can see or handle. The terms and conditions are far too small and cannot be read unless within mere inches of the sign. Couple this with the fact the motorist are usually a fair distance away from signs like these it is reasonable to assume that based on these design Northern Parking Services have designed these to accommodate motorists missing them purely to benefit charging motorists in a sly cowboy fashion.



    One of the most puzzling decisions is to have the terms and conditions of the alleged ‘contract’ (please see point 1 regarding contract) is so small lettering that is is virtually impossible to see. It is unreasonable to assume ALL motorists have clear and excellent eyesight and that these terms and conditions are legible. Not only this but the ‘charge’ and also Max time motorists are ‘allowed’ to stay in the car park are small and unremarkable to suggest this is a warning sign warning motorists of ‘fines’.



    I would like to bring to POPLA’s attention a case below:



    POPLA decision 5960956830 on 02/06/16, 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.

    ''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.''

    ''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.




    I would finally also like to refer to Lord Denning’s red hand rule regarding the signage.
    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.

    In conclusion point 3 sets out that Northern Parking Services have not to a reasonable standard design their signs, the location of the signs and that the lettering and colour palette make it easy for drivers to see.
    • AaronGivens
    • By AaronGivens 4th Dec 17, 10:28 AM
    • 11 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    AaronGivens
    4. The amount demanded by Norther Parking Services is a penalty and punitive fine. I ask Northern Parking Services to justify how ‘allegedly’ parking 45 minutes over the ‘allowed’ time constitutes as a £60 fine. I would like Northern Parking Services to show in detail how £60 is relative and to how this figure is established, it is up to Northern Parking Services to prove to POPLA that this fine is reasonable and is justifiable. In stark reality the charge is way out of proportion and exceeds the amount of goods shopped for on that day. Northern Parking Services should be aware that this fine goes against any privity of contract rules, that is, only the parties of a contract can sue each other for damages – but prevent third parties from doing so.



    5. This point ties in with point 3 and has been discussed however I would like to bring up the attention between both photographs to compare the clear distinction and the precedent that ParkingEye v. Beavis outlined. In the Beavis case the sign was clearer and much more to the point in regards how long motorists were allowed to stay in the car park for, the charging fine is much clearer and more detailed in terms and conditions. I would like POPLA to compare the two and that due to this difference in standard of signs it is not comparable to simply say we had a number of signs at the Halfords site and this should be enough. This is simply not the case and isn’t reasonable. The signs at the Halfords car park and provided by Northern Parking Services isn’t at the calibre in the precedent court case and needs to be presented to Norther Parking Services to argue that their signs are as comparable to the fact that this is on the same standard as ParkingEye v. Beavis. It is simply not.



    Please see photographs X and Y.



    6. 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) are added as a black overlay box on-top of the photos at the top of the images. 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. This case was in September 2015.
    BPA boss Patrick Troy said "If there's a repeat of any kind of misbehaviour, that will almost certainly result in expulsion or further suspension."
    UKPC was suspended from using the DVLA database to trace drivers' addresses from 18 September to 4 November.

    I would also like to challenge Northern Parking Services to prove the legitimacy of these highly advanced stationary cameras and the technology behind them as well as the ability to time stamp the photographs. I would also like to request calibration certifications or parts thereof, of the camera system that was used to photograph the vehicle in question.


    I refer to the BPA code of conduct regarding time stamping photographs. The photographs provided don't show a clear and legible time stamp for the photographs.


    7.1 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 altered digitally.




    7. 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. 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.

    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."

    I appreciate you taking the above into account during your objective considered assessment.



    Kind regards,
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 4th Dec 17, 10:45 AM
    • 15,900 Posts
    • 24,648 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    Are you appealing on the basis of ‘No Keeper Liability’ (the strongest hand in most POPLA appeals where the PPC has not met the requirements of PoFA.)? If you are, then your appeal point #7 isn’t strong enough - and in any case should be your opener.

    The ‘batting order’, in my view would be:

    1. No Keeper Liability
    2. The operator has not shown that the individual who it is pursuing is in fact the driver who was liable for the charge
    3. Signage (all aspects of signage, you currently have 2 separate sections)
    4. Landowner Authority
    5. Beavis-related appeal points
    6. Any other points

    I’m not sure where you are with this, given you’ve missed a whole chunk of stuff out. You need to be on top of everything. You mustn’t rely on others to spot glaring errors/omissions.

    It’s all a bit ‘rambling’ - have you used the template appeal points from the NEWBIES FAQ sticky, post #3. They are written in the style which POPLA seem to find sufficiently adequate and on-point to deliver successful adjudication.
    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.
    • AaronGivens
    • By AaronGivens 4th Dec 17, 3:02 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    AaronGivens
    Ok I understand no point in feeling sorry for ones self. The Keeper will keep working on this until its right, thank you Umkomaas.
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