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edited 28 October 2016 at 9:29AM in Parking tickets, fines & parking
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I'm really delighted, my appeal to POPLA has been upheld. I was issued a notice in July after allegedly not having a valid ticket in St.Ives - the trouble was I DID have a valid ticket, which I even showed the attendant at the time. Of course my challenge to Armtrac failed, but POPLA have upheld my claim that Armtrac had failed to quantify their loss by my contravention. Interestingly POPLA did not decide on other aspects of my appeal such as having a valid ticket, but hey, who cares!! Just to say thanks to all the posters on here who so freely offer good advice as this helped me construct the right appeal letter. For reference and perhaps to return some help to others in a similar situation, the POPLA wording was:
"The parking charge appears to be a sum sought for liquidated damages, in other words compensation agreed in advance. Accordingly the charge must represent a genuine pre-estimate of the loss any breach may cause. The Appellant has requested that the Operator show a loss of income. The estimate must be based upon loss flowing from a breach of the parking terms.This might be, for example, loss of parking revenue, or even loss of revenue at a shopping centre.
The Operator has failed to address this issue.
I must allow the appeal on this ground.
I need not decide on any other issues."
Thanks again, that's £100 I now don't have to find!
Yep, another example of an ill-judged POPLA appeal not bothering to find out what will win, nor to ask for advice on it. Daft, particularly when they had a thread running...all they needed were the magic words 'I put the Operator to strict proof that their charge represents a genuine pre-estimate of loss' and/or 'I put the Operator to strict proof that they have (by showing it to POPLA) a contract with the landowner which is BPA CoP compliant and enables them to make contracts with visiting drivers and to pursue their charges in the courts in their own name as creditor'.
Or words to that effect which we would have TOLD them if they had asked!
CLICK at the top of this/any page where it says:
Forum Home»Motoring»Parking Tickets Fines & Parking - read the NEWBIES THREAD
Those appeals which are forum assisted and use the "magic" words "genuine pre-estimate of loss" or "contract with the landowner" will win and "ordinary" punters who follow the Lead Adjudicator's advice and say what happened will lose.
That a whole "appeal system" can be based only on "insider knowledge" proves that it is a front for the BPA Ltd's keeper liability demands and does not benefit the "ordinary" motorist.
Whilst POPLA increases the PPC's costs, we must remember that with less than 1% appealing, at around £120 a time, POPLA only costs the industry about £1.00 per ticket issued.
Perhaps it increases the payment rate for tickets so costs are covered.
In any event, we have proved that private parking tickets can be reliably defeated.
We do need to spread that word.
At the risk of repeating myself......
I think POPLA is a red -herring in the PPC world.
IIRC less than 1% of tickets are appealed, so yes whilst it's correct to say the PPCs lose £27 per loss at POLA, it's hardly going to break them. They only need to have 50% of the 45% of cases that they do win to pay the usual £100 and they are breaking even at POPLA.
In the meantime they can tout POPLA as evidence to the gov that 'there's nothing wrong going on in PPC world, look we have an independent appeals process, how could we possibly be anything other than a respectable industry???'
See, they are in it for the long game....it's not about winning the 1% at POPLA, it's about being allowed to continue to scam for the other 99% of tickets issued.
Look at the figures....losing 0.5% of tickets at POPLA allows you to keep collecting the 35% that do pay up, with no questions asked by the authorities. Simples.
IMO that's why the PPC will not really bother putting too much effort into their POPLA cases.....they are simply buying cheap PR and business as usual 'insurance'.
It used to be that if you met someone down the pub or in a car park and PPC issues arose you could explain what to do in a few short words - 'ignore everything from a PPC'. Nowadays its more difficult - 'soft appeal to PPC, then POPLA appeal mentioning GPEOL, here's the wording you need to use'
With the mainstream advice from here, Pepipoo and CAG all pointing people in the direction of POPLA, we will see fewer ignorers, fewer court claims, but an ever growing stream of POPLA appeals with the success rate rising all the time as people cotton on to the correct grounds for appeal, not mitigation.
That balloon has to burst at some point.
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.
Are you sure that POPLA is totally underwritten by BPA as opposed to a being paid a fixed fee per appeal??? Seems a bizarre arrangement.
You might be right wrt POPLA numbers growing, but there was several years pre-POPLA when it was easier to avoid PPC charges and many, many people still paid up....despite the various fora/fori/forums [cba looking it up] shouting 'ignore'.
IMO BPA will
1. replace the current POPLA provider with a much cheaper one [fixed costs]
2. find a way of killing GPEOL
3. look for their tame 'friends in high places' to help them
Through various FoI requests made by different people I have:
1) The BPA minutes of meetings regarding POPLA
2) The draft contract (unsigned!)
3) The invoices London Councils send to the BPA
I'm therefore pretty confident POPLA is underwritten by the BPA. The government requested this in some of the other emails I have sight of. I guess because clampers had a habit of phoenixing then re-emerging, so if anyone was going to be stiffed for the bill it should be the BPA rather than the taxpayer.
The average time per case used to be 3 hours, from figures release by London Council under FoI. My guess is that this has come down now, and they skim though looking for the magic gpeol words, but even then they must still check that the charge is for breach of contract and not as a contractual element, and they need to cut and paste the decision into the pdf. I think this probably still takes at least an hour.
GPEOL cases are therefore a godsend to POPLA. The 'mitigating circumstances' cases need to be read all the way through, signage considered, etc, etc, which probably takes a lot longer.
I haven't seen any recent London Council invoices, or POPLA performance stats against their KPI's, but if anyone wants to make an FoI request and point me to the answer, feel free!