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MSE News: British Parking Association agrees to face its critics

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Former_MSE_Natasha
Former_MSE_Natasha Posts: 672 Forumite
edited 19 September 2009 at 12:15AM in Parking tickets, fines & parking
This is the discussion thread for the following MSE News Story:

"After scores of harsh comments from consumers about private parking companies, the representative body, the British Parking Association (BPA) has agreed to answer their questions directly..."
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Comments

  • bargepole
    bargepole Posts: 3,231 Forumite
    Name Dropper Combo Breaker First Post First Anniversary
    edited 19 September 2009 at 8:01AM
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    Legally Unenforceable Tickets
    This is an area of concern for us all. The current situation is, when parking on private land the driver enters a contract with the land owner and therefore any ‘parking tickets’ issued as a result of a breach is enforceable through the law of contract. We agree that this area needs further clarification and is, again, something we have been discussing with Government, requesting further, clearer legislation on this area.
    So they are effectively admitting that these are unenforceable, especially if they don't know who was driving.
    Those that continually perpetrate bad practice are not likely to be our members – or would not remain one for long as we have procedures in place for investigating any breaches of our code.
    So the fraudulent and misleading letters from the likes of Excel, NCP, UKCPS, Euro Car Parks, etc. are from companies unlikely to be members - er, hang on, these are some of the biggest players in the PPC industry, and key members of the BPA.

    Fines

    Members must not misrepresent to the public that the parking management work is carried out under the statutory powers of the police or some other public authority.
    Clear information about what parking activities are allowed and what is unauthorised must be clear, and the public must not be mislead into believing that the rules being enforced are based upon the powers of an agency regulated by Statute.
    Ha ha ha .... ROFL:rotfl:

    I have been providing assistance, including Lay Representation at Court hearings (current score: won 57, lost 14), to defendants in parking cases for over 5 years. I have an LLB (Hons) degree, and have a Graduate Diploma in Civil Litigation from CILEx. However, any advice given on these forums by me is NOT formal legal advice, and I accept no liability for its accuracy.
  • peter_the_piper
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    So they read all the complaints whilst wearing blindfolds, that way they can say they have not seen any problems.
    I'd rather be an Optimist and be proved wrong than a Pessimist and be proved right.
  • Coblcris
    Coblcris Posts: 1,862 Forumite
    edited 19 September 2009 at 2:26PM
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    Contract law has been long established as is well understood. There is absolutely no need for any more legislation at all.

    In my opinion the BPA's claim that more legislation is needed is not only patently spurious it is also clearly a stalking horse they are trotting out to help their own members and to give themselves some patina of legitimacy.

    This extra legislation should be opposed. To give the BPA any kind of judicial role in a Tribunal would be sheer madness whatever form it took. They clearly operate in the interests of the plaintiffs. They have not enforces their own Code of Practice in any way, this also disqualifies them in my view. Their hands are not clean and they are provably biased.

    I have just linked to artlce posted on the top of this thread.
    Already the misrepresentation and bias of the BPA is shown in full measure.
    For the time being I will use just one illustration out of vent many that arise form the words of the BPA.

    "We suggest that if a parking ticket remains unpaid further action can be taken in stages. Firstly, sending a formal demand, then a reminder letter (optional) and Final demand in which the member must make it clear what action will be taken if payment is not received."

    Their own Code of Practice says that they should not use their initial letter to issue a demand but that it merely should ask for the name of the driver and not mention the amount being sought.

    After reading the BPA's text and considering extant legislation is is now clear in my mind why this is interaction is being sought by the BPA. please make a mental note of the next few paragraphs as they speak to the heart of the matter in my opinion.

    Every Private Parking Company commits multiple breaches of The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 including the criminal elements. This legislation completely destroys the methods that the Private Parking Companies use, read the legislation and its will become easily apparent. furthermore I can state with confidence that these regulations have that effect.
    I can also state with absolute certainty that BPA consulted with Trading Standings over this and that this legislation was the cause of the BPA revising its Code of Practice.
    This Code was clearly created to protect the BPA's status with the DVLA. The BPA has not enforced it this clearly showing that they merely operate a protectionist Trade Association and only pay lip service to their code.
    The BPA is clearly looking for a way to circumvent or disregard The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 so that their members may carry on regardless.

    I look forward to the BPA refuting this but they cannot. Meanwhile I suggest that they need to change the text they have released as it fools no one.
    I should add that Private Parking Companies transgress a wide variety of legislation and that the BPA is clearly attempting to ring fence their members from all of it.
    This is a scandal not a forward step at all.

    Beware of Greeks bearing 'gifts'.
  • oldone_2
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    Perhaps the first question to ask the BPA is how many members they have expelled for breaking their 'code'.
  • Coblcris
    Coblcris Posts: 1,862 Forumite
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    None at all. Yet all their members do and there have been many complaints to the BPA about it. The BPA has failed to uphold the DVLA's conditions for continuing as an Approved Trade Association in my opinion. Meanwhile the DVLA continues to charge 2.50 gbp for each request made by these companies.

    I await Kelvin's point by point reponse to post numer four ( #4) above.

    I would also like to draw Martin's attention to the same post as the 'discusion' with the BPA is proceeding in the completely the wrong light in my opinion. If Martin wants detailed examples of how these companies all breach The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 then I will be happy to provide it. The breaches are manifold and in my opinion the criminal elements are clearly breached. My detailed analysis will clearly show this. I would suggest that Martin could ask JK Macleod for his independent opinion. And ask Trading Standards about their consultation with the BPA over the 2008 regulations.
  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 132,824 Forumite
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    Quote from the BPA:
    'We welcome the opportunity to work with MoneySavingExpert to help in any way we can the consumer and their queries relating to the industry. We are in the process of setting this up and will engage with your readers in the forums, helping wherever we can.'



    OK lets be 'avin you then, BPA. All you have to do is register with a valid pretty-coloured special BPA username. :rolleyes:

    But I am not quite sure how you will be 'helping' if you can't comment on individual cases and you persist in denying there are any problems among your own members?
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT (except N.Ireland).
    CLICK at the top of this/any page where it says:
    Forum Home»Motoring»Parking Tickets Fines & Parking - read the NEWBIES THREAD
  • oldone_2
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    PPC's regularly troll forums such as this, using various user names. So now we will have the BPA doing the same.

    What is the betting their 'advice' or help will be along the lines pay the PPC and then use their appeal process.They will also strongly suggest you don't ignore a PPC Invoice.
  • Alx*27
    Alx*27 Posts: 128 Forumite
    edited 21 September 2009 at 4:55PM
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    Let's have a look at some BPA members' tactics and maybe the association would ike to comment on each of these instances...


    2v1srdk.jpg

    NCP - parking tickets claiming they are issued under Railway Byelaws whereas in fact they are mere scam invoice. Absolute fraud and you will see it up and down the country at train station car parks.

    ukcps.jpg

    UKCPS - imitation Notice to Owner. Lies about owner/keeper 'requirements' - more fraud.


    g24.jpg

    G24 - imitation Charge Certificate. Lies about 'responsibility' - more fraud.


    eurocarparks.jpg

    Euro - more attempts to get the keeper/hirer to pay.
  • Hi there and apologies for the delay in responding to the points made. I’ve taken each of the points made and responded below with reference to the poster or posters to help identify which point we’re addressing.

    bargepole

    There is precedent that says on the balance of probabilities the driver of a motor vehicle is the registered keeper unless the registered keeper advises to the contrary. This is why parking companies write to the registered keeper seeking payment for breach of contract. The keeper is at liberty to advise who was driving at the time if they weren’t.

    Coblcris


    To clarify, the BPA do not want to take on a judicial role. Any appeals or adjudication process that is put place to regulate off-street private parking needs to be completely neutral. The BPA is a voluntary member association for the parking industry and therefore could not (and does not want to) take on this role. We have made this very clear. The Daily Mail, early last week, suggested that we might be able to (which is where you may have picked up this idea from) but we have written to the Mail to clarify that the BPA does not want to take on the role of an adjudicator.

    Oldone/coblcris/coupon-mad

    It is correct that we have not yet expelled any members although we are currently in the process of fully investigating two members for serious breaches of the Code.There were also many companies who applied to be members and were turned away.

    Whilst we appreciate that expelling a member would seem to be the ultimate punishment and perhaps seem like the most satisfying outcome for the public, as the current situation stands (i.e. there is no requirement to be a BPA or other ATA member) it would only result in that company still being able to practice and not having any Code of Practice to comply with at all. We firmly believe that rectifying the issues by working with the company to sort out the problems is a better solution than expelling a company and not having any contact or influence with them in the future.

    Alx*27

    It is not for the BPA to comment on any particular form of action used. The BPA believes that it would be fairer for everyone if the law was able to define and describe a ‘parking ticket’ and that a universal form existed for all operators – this is currently not the case and therefore confusing for all.

    Until the government makes this happen and better regulation comes in to existence car park operators will have to interpret the Law of Contract and Consumer Protection Regulations themselves. This can, and does, lead to a variety of documents and forms which sometimes cause confusion and uncertainty amongst the motorist.

    Where a motorist decides to park on a piece of private land and there is a risk of trespass or breach of contract a landowner will have the right of redress which is usually delivered in the form of parking enforcement notice The ‘parking ticket’ is an easily understood mechanism for communication between the landowner (or his agent/operator) and the motorist and therefore is regularly used. Clarity in this area is a must and we hope the government will act soon on this.

    In relation to the NCP ticket example:

    There are many Railway Byelaws under the various Railways Acts and these are legally enforceable. The train company or station operator may use contractors to undertake this parking enforcement. It is a matter for the railways how they do this and any appeals to such enforcement acts must be made using the mechanisms established by the Railways Acts and Byelaws.



    I hope I've answered all the points made but please do come back to me if I've missed anything or something needs clarifying.
    Official Company Representative
    I am the official company representative of the British Parking Association. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries about the company, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
  • downhiller
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    There is precedent that says on the balance of probabilities the driver of a motor vehicle is the registered keeper unless the registered keeper advises to the contrary. This is why parking companies write to the registered keeper seeking payment for breach of contract. The keeper is at liberty to advise who was driving at the time if they weren’t.


    The RK is under no obligation to say who was driving at the time. The RK is in no way responsible for the actions of anyone else driving the car, therefore they cannot be held responsible for parking tickets they did not receive.

    Yet time and time again members of your organisation harass the RK with letters filled with lies in an attempt to get the RK to pay.


    Where a motorist decides to park on a piece of private land and there is a risk of trespass or breach of contract a landowner will have the right of redress which is usually delivered in the form of parking enforcement notice The ‘parking ticket’ is an easily understood mechanism for communication between the landowner (or his agent/operator) and the motorist and therefore is regularly used. Clarity in this area is a must and we hope the government will act soon on this.

    There's no need for any "act" from the government. Landowners can only recoup their losses, not the exorbitant penalties that a PPC will try to extort.

    Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co. Ltd. v. New Garage and Motor Co. Ltd. (1915) has already established that a private company cannot issue penalties
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