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  • FIRST POST
    • CR2025
    • By CR2025 7th Jan 18, 1:58 PM
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    CR2025
    Private carpark clamping warning signs - ground for refusing PCN?
    • #1
    • 7th Jan 18, 1:58 PM
    Private carpark clamping warning signs - ground for refusing PCN? 7th Jan 18 at 1:58 PM
    Hi all,

    I have read all the advise on FAQ thread and got all the required letter templates. Just wanted to ask for an advise if clamping warning signs can be ground for fighting back PCN.

    The situation: the driver stopped for no longer than 15mins on a private parking zone due to being disoriented in the area and trying to find a specific address which was nearby. The driver suspected that the parking could belong to the entity which was driver's destination. PCN was issued on 3rd November. The first letter received was dated as of 4th December and it was already a reminder (no initial letter advising regarding PCN received). Second letter came from Debt Recovery Plus dated as of 28th December. There has been no communication with the issuers of the letters. Currently the charge stands at £160.

    As per Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 clamping in England is an offence, however, on the entry to the car-park there are two warning signs saying that private wheel clampers operate in this area. (I can't post the pics as I'm new in the forum). Weirdly enough, one of the signs is from Birmingham CIty Council.

    What's the best way to take advantage of these two? Argue that the driver found them confusing and drove into the private parking zone as there were no other clear signs at the entry? There were notices in the car-park itself though. Can legitimity of the car park be put into question as it obviously uses unlawful signage?

    Also, the car-park operator (Park Watch) wrote this in the letter:
    "(...) under Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 we will have the right to recover from the keeper so much of that parking charge amount as remains unpaid."
    I was under assumption that only the driver can be deemed liable?


    Thank you and kind regards
Page 1
    • Quentin
    • By Quentin 7th Jan 18, 2:01 PM
    • 34,168 Posts
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    Quentin
    • #2
    • 7th Jan 18, 2:01 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Jan 18, 2:01 PM
    Everyone is politely asked to read up on this in the Newbies FAQ thread near the top of the forum before starting a new thread

    Go there now to learn about the game you are now caught up in

    (Pofa does mean the keeper can be pursued)
    • Lamilad
    • By Lamilad 7th Jan 18, 2:08 PM
    • 1,256 Posts
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    Lamilad
    • #3
    • 7th Jan 18, 2:08 PM
    • #3
    • 7th Jan 18, 2:08 PM
    If there are signs about clamping alongside PW's signs then this is, of course, confusing to the motorist. If a contract is to be formed by signs then they have to be absolutely clear and prominent. the motorist has to be in no doubt that they are entering into a contract and what the terms are. Different signs with different messages/terms cannot form a contract.
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 7th Jan 18, 2:24 PM
    • 16,387 Posts
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    Umkomaas
    • #4
    • 7th Jan 18, 2:24 PM
    • #4
    • 7th Jan 18, 2:24 PM
    there are two warning signs saying that private wheel clampers operate in this area. (I can't post the pics as I'm new in the forum). Weirdly enough, one of the signs is from Birmingham CIty Council.
    Whose name is on the other clamping sign?

    Or is it just a generic sign like ‘Guard Dogs Patrolling’ or ‘Trespassers Will Be Shot’, or ‘People Throwing Stones At This Sign Will Be Prosecuted’?
    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.
    • pappa golf
    • By pappa golf 7th Jan 18, 2:38 PM
    • 8,128 Posts
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    pappa golf
    • #5
    • 7th Jan 18, 2:38 PM
    • #5
    • 7th Jan 18, 2:38 PM
    clamping was banned for PRIVATE companies , birmingham counsil is not private
    • Johno100
    • By Johno100 7th Jan 18, 3:08 PM
    • 3,376 Posts
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    Johno100
    • #6
    • 7th Jan 18, 3:08 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Jan 18, 3:08 PM
    clamping was banned for PRIVATE companies , birmingham counsil<SIC> is not private
    Originally posted by pappa golf
    But they aren't the ones who've ticketed the OP it's Park Watch.

    If I remember correctly Birmingham City Council were at the forefront of the campaign to have clamping (and towing) on private land outlawed and one of the things they did was to install signs near known 'honey traps' to warn motorists that private clampers operated nearby.

    https://www.localgov.co.uk/Parking-Councillors-ready-to-clamp-down-on-illegal-clampers/7950

    23 November 2006
    Birmingham City Council is launching a £30,000 campaign to combat illegal wheel clamping in the city.

    To be launched in December, the initiative will see trading standards and police officers monitor and challenge clampers on the job. Officers plan to install warning signs at known clamping blackspots and help drivers who have been illegally clamped to take action through civil courts.
    I suspect the OP has spotted some of those residual signs.
    • CR2025
    • By CR2025 7th Jan 18, 7:03 PM
    • 6 Posts
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    CR2025
    • #7
    • 7th Jan 18, 7:03 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Jan 18, 7:03 PM
    The first warning sign says: "Warning. Private wheel clampers operate in this area. Beware." Signed by West Midlands Police and Birmingham City Council.

    The second one: "Warning. Off-street areas. Private land Wheelclamping in operation." Looks like a generic sign, there's no name on it.
    -------------------------------------------------------
    Thanks for the replies so far, after reading them and doing some more digging on the forum I have two points to argue as a car keeper:

    - There was no contract due to confusing and unlawful signs warning of clamping.

    - There was no contract as the driver stopped in a bay in front of which was only a notice saying: "Parking conditions apply. Permit holders only. See notices for further information". The notices (containing info about the charge) were out of driver's visibility. 15 minutes the driver spent on the private parking is a reasonable time to read the first notice, search for the further notices, read them and drive off in rejection of contract (?).

    -------------------------------------------------------
    Couple other points I would like to explore:

    - The keeper is not liable since the first NTK was never received. Would it be up to me to prove it or up to the PPC?

    - One of the notices at the parking reads: "Permits must be displayed for inspection at all times". Shouldn't the person inspecting it leave PCN on the car? There was no PCN left on the car and the driver didn't see anybody inspecting the car (the driver didn't go further than 35ft from the car while searching for the further notices).

    - The wording of reminder NTK. As per Schedule 4 of PoFA:

    9. (2) (a) The notice must specify the vehicle, the relevant land on which it was parked and the period of parking to which the notice relates;

    1) The PCN has only the reg of vehicle, is that sufficient to specify the vehicle?
    2) The relevant land in the PCN is "Kings Parade, Dale End, BirminghHm, B4 7LN". Shouldn't it be more specific and be something like "Private Car Park of The Square Shopping Centre, Kings Parade. Dale End etc."?

    9. (2) (c) The notice must describe the circumstances in which the requirement to pay them arose (including the means by which the requirement was brought to the attention of drivers).

    3) The PCN mentions only that "In accordance with the signage (...) those drivers who break the T&Cs of parking are liable to pay a charge." Is that sufficient to comply with 9.(2)(c)?

    Thanks and kind regards
    • pappa golf
    • By pappa golf 7th Jan 18, 7:34 PM
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    pappa golf
    • #8
    • 7th Jan 18, 7:34 PM
    • #8
    • 7th Jan 18, 7:34 PM
    having seen one or more signs that you are able ton read , warning of clamping , the Apocalypse , and even the threat of kidnapping your kittens , why did you park/stay there for 15 mins?
    • Lamilad
    • By Lamilad 7th Jan 18, 9:56 PM
    • 1,256 Posts
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    Lamilad
    • #9
    • 7th Jan 18, 9:56 PM
    • #9
    • 7th Jan 18, 9:56 PM
    why did you park/stay there for 15 mins?
    Probably because it was clear there was no coherent, legitimate parking enforcement in operation.
    • Half_way
    • By Half_way 7th Jan 18, 10:44 PM
    • 3,957 Posts
    • 5,577 Thanks
    Half_way
    The signs warning of private clamping, signed/placed by the council/police could be as the area was a clampits playground, and the council/police were getting fed up with complaints about a private clamping operation for which they had no control
    From the Plain Language Commission:

    "The BPA has surely become one of the most socially dangerous organisations in the UK"
    • CR2025
    • By CR2025 15th Jan 18, 5:36 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    CR2025
    I have sent Park Watch a letter which includes the below:

    I do not give you consent to process data relating to me or this vehicle. As the keeper of the car I deny liability for any sum at all due to the reasons listed above and you must consider this letter a Section 10 Notice under The Data Protection Act 1998. You are required to respond within 21 days.
    The reply was as below:

    In response to your appeal received 12th January 2018. As per BPA code of practice, the time to challenge the charge now expired. The opportunity to raise your dispute with Independent Appeals Service is no longer available. For any further assistance that you may require, please contact DRP as the matter is now with them.
    It doesn't directly respond to my Section 10 Notice under The Data Protection Act 1998. Does it mean the clock is still ticking for them to address it within 21 days?
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 15th Jan 18, 5:44 PM
    • 16,387 Posts
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    Umkomaas
    I have sent Park Watch a letter which includes the below:



    The reply was as below:



    It doesn't directly respond to my Section 10 Notice under The Data Protection Act 1998. Does it mean the clock is still ticking for them to address it within 21 days?
    Originally posted by CR2025
    I wouldn’t be overly concerned on that front right now. What I’d be a bit more perplexed about is the following:

    In response to your appeal received 12th January 2018. As per BPA code of practice, the time to challenge the charge now expired. The opportunity to raise your dispute with Independent Appeals Service is no longer available.
    What was the date of your Parking event?
    On what date did you receive the Notice to Keeper (through the post)?
    On what date did you submit your initial appeal?
    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.
    • The Deep
    • By The Deep 15th Jan 18, 6:08 PM
    • 7,674 Posts
    • 6,743 Thanks
    The Deep
    Clamping is illegal on private land. Read about unfair terms in consumer contracts here.

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/15/contents/enacted
    You never know how far you can go until you go too far.
    • CR2025
    • By CR2025 15th Jan 18, 6:36 PM
    • 6 Posts
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    CR2025
    What was the date of your Parking event?
    On what date did you receive the Notice to Keeper (through the post)?
    On what date did you submit your initial appeal?
    The parking event happened on 3rd November. The first letter received was dated as of 4th December and it was already a reminder (the first letter was not received). My first letter to Park Watch was submitted on 11th January. I moved houses in November so that's why it came to my attention only in January.

    Clamping is illegal on private land. Read about unfair terms in consumer contracts here.
    I'm aware of that, I have addressed it in the letter to Park Watch:

    To start with, there was no contract between the driver and the Park Watch. Firstly, at the entrance of the private parking in question there are two signs warning of clamping. First sign reads “Warning. Private wheel clampers operate in this area. Beware.", while the second contains “Warning. Off-street areas. Private land Wheelclamping in operation.” As per Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 clamping in England is an offence. For a contract to be legitimate, the signage in the parking has to be clear and prominent. Moreover, such signage breaches BPA’s Code of Practice as it implies the private parking operates under statutory authority. Only statutory authority has a right to clamp vehicles. Displaying signs which are misleading and unlawful, confuses the drivers and such signage cannot be a basis for a contract between the driver and the Park Watch. Also, the Park Watch is in breach of BPA’s Code of Practice as there were no other signage except clamping warnings at the entrance of the private site.
    • CR2025
    • By CR2025 16th Jan 18, 6:24 PM
    • 6 Posts
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    CR2025
    so does anybody could give me some advice please??
    • Redx
    • By Redx 16th Jan 18, 6:40 PM
    • 17,198 Posts
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    Redx
    yes , IGNORE DRP

    see post #4 of the NEWBIES FAQ sticky thread
    Newbies !!
    Private Parking ticket? check the 2 sticky threads by coupon-mad and crabman in the Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking Board forum for the latest advice or maybe try pepipoo or C.A.G. or legal beagles forums if you need legal advice as well because this parking forum is not about debt collectors or legal matters per se
    • CR2025
    • By CR2025 16th Jan 18, 6:47 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    CR2025
    I have been ignoring DRP...

    Any advise of how do I deal with Park Watch please?

    Do I wait 21 days and tell them that they didn't respond to Section 10 Notice under The Data Protection Act 1998? Do I keep sending letters to them despite their referrals to DRP? Do I appeal to the landlord?
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 16th Jan 18, 7:22 PM
    • 52,914 Posts
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    Coupon-mad
    How about a complaint to the ICO online, showing the Section 10 notice that you sent and the reply which has ignored it?
    PRIVATE PCN? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT TWO Clicks needed for advice:
    Top of the page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    Advice to ignore is WRONG, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • Redx
    • By Redx 16th Jan 18, 7:45 PM
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    • 21,494 Thanks
    Redx
    I have been ignoring DRP...

    Do I appeal to the landlord?
    Originally posted by CR2025
    a COMPLAINT (not appeal) should be made to the landowner , this goes without saying and you should not even need to ask, its a given
    Newbies !!
    Private Parking ticket? check the 2 sticky threads by coupon-mad and crabman in the Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking Board forum for the latest advice or maybe try pepipoo or C.A.G. or legal beagles forums if you need legal advice as well because this parking forum is not about debt collectors or legal matters per se
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