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POPLA Appeal help please - Athena ANPR (Lidl car park)



  • The_Slithy_ToveThe_Slithy_Tove Forumite
    4K Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts
    Shepss wrote: »
    In order to ensure that sufficient parking spaces are available at all times to our customers, Lidl employs third party contractors to monitor and control our car parks.
    Even when such activities:
    * Breach planning permission for the car park
    * Allows a company to operate a commercial, profit-making business on land which is zero-rated for business rates
    * Really p**s off your customers
  • ShepssShepss Forumite
    42 Posts
    Received the actual letter confirming cancellation from Athena this morning.
  • ColliesCarerColliesCarer Forumite
    1.6K Posts
    Nice one - bet it felt good to see it in writing :)
  • ShepssShepss Forumite
    42 Posts
    Even though I have had a cancellation notice from Athena as above I've received their evidence pack in connection with the POPLA appeal !
    I'll paste a bit below in case any of it is of use in the future. The contract with Lidl mentioned was dated August 2008 .

    . The Appellant appealed to us, (Section E) and following our rejection of this appeal, to POPLA. In
    doing so;
    • The Appellant has not denied being the registered keeper.
    • The Appellant has not denied being the driver at the time in question, although this has not
    been admitted either.
    • The Appellant has not denied the length of stay.
    • The Appellant has not claimed to be unaware of any signage illustrating the contractual terms
    of usage of this private land.
    • The Appellant has made no claims as to the visibility of the signage on this site.
    • The Appellant has, however, made a claim that Athena is attempting to impose an unlawful
    penalty, which we dispute.
    • The Appellant does not claim to have not understood the clearly signed rules which apply on
    this private land

    7. There are very many signs positioned throughout this site and we try to make our signs as visible
    as possible. The terms and conditions signage measure out at 80cm x 60cm, whilst our Entrance
    Signage exceeds the standards of Appendix B Entrance Signs of the BPA Code of Practice and
    measures at 60cm x 45cm.

    8. Parking restrictions apply 24 hours per day and this is clearly stipulated on the 16 signs around the
    car park. These signs refer to all areas of the car park and we have attached a plan showing their
    9. The Appellant had a full 90 minutes to read and consider the parking terms displayed on the 20
    signs that are prominently displayed throughout the site, giving notice to an area of 180 parking
    spaces, which gives a ratio onsite of roughly 1 sign to every 9 spaces. There are very clear
    entrance signs in place, directly in the view of the driver as they drive onto the site. It is impossible
    to enter or exit the car park and/or use the shopping facilities on-site without seeing the signage in
    place. The Appellant had a full 60 minutes to decide whether to stay in the car park and continue
    to use it during the charging period or whether to leave it before the charging period began and
    not incur a charge. The Appellant had every opportunity to make a reasoned and carefully
    considered decision whether to leave this private property, avoid the clearly signed charge and to
    park elsewhere, thereby preventing the issuing of the charges arising in the first place.
    10. Athena ANPR Ltd have a contract with Lidl UK Gmbh (who are the owner of the land in question),
    which authorises us to issue parking charges, to enforce those charges and to pursue any non-
    payment of those charges. This arrangement is specifically allowed under the Protection of
    Freedoms Act 2012. Our contract is commercially confidential but we have attached a letter
    (Section G Other Evidence) from Lidl UK Gmbh to confirm it is in place and that we are authorised
    to issue parking charges.
    11. We maintain that the Appellant entered into a contract with Athena ANPR Ltd by virtue of the very
    clearly displayed car park signage and consequently is liable for the parking charge. Our contract
    with the landowner allows us to act as their agent. The landowner is offering the option to park on
    their private land, subject to a charge of £90 for parking periods which exceed 60 minutes and
    they employ us to collect those charges.
    12. Athena ANPR are not seeking damages as a result of breach of contract. We are in fact seeking
    to enforce that contract. We are seeking payment of a charge which the Appellant incurred as a
    result of parking a vehicle on this private land, which is clearly signed and in which they had 60
    minutes to leave before the charging period commenced, but which the Appellant then chose not
    to do. We believe that the Appellant has in fact created this situation, at the very least by acting
    without reasonable due care.

    13. We also maintain that the charge is not excessive, particularly when the Appellant could have paid
    the clearly signed discounted rate of £45 for early payment, or could have made representations
    to us at any point outlining any mitigating circumstances in their favour, which we would have
    sympathetically and reasonably considered. Regardless, an offer was clearly made of parking for
    a period of longer than 60 minutes which would incur the charge we issued. The Appellant parked
    a vehicle in the car park, thereby agreeing to the contractual terms and conditions displayed on
    the signs, which include the specific wording: “Anyone entering with or using a vehicle and
    remaining in this car park hereby agrees in full the terms and conditions of use and is contractually
    agreeing to abide by them and to pay the charges as described below”. This included the
    condition that parking for longer than 60 minutes incurred an agreed charge of £90.
    14. Information as to who the creditor is can be clearly found on the reverse of the Parking Charge
    Notice and the appellant has also entered into communication/correspondence with the creditor.
    The appellant freely admits that the “operator requires a payment to Athena ANPR”. To suggest
    that this is or was not clear, would intimate that the appellant was merely looking at another option
    to avoid the payment of the charge.
    15. Our systems are networked and are checked internally as regards of general operations, accuracy
    and image quality daily. Each individual event is also verified by two separate members of staff
    prior to any charges being raised. There were no issues as regards this event. The ANPR system
    that we use is rated to the BOF2 standard and is also in use with many UK Police forces. Our
    systems are also subject to normal planned and reactive maintenance inspections and our
    equipment is maintained to BS EN ISO 9001:2008 (Monitoring and measurement of processes
    8.2.3 and Monitoring and measurement of product 8.2.4) – please see attached our most recent
    ISO 9001 Certificate of Registration (Section G – Other evidence).
    16. We have attached a copy of our fully compliant ICO Registration for the sake of completeness
    although this has no bearing whatsoever on the facts of this event. (Section G – Other evidence).
    17. Finally if the Appellant was not the driver then, because they have not confirmed who the driver
    was within 28 of the service of Notice to Keeper, under schedule 4 of The Protection of Freedoms
    Act 2012 they must be responsible for payment.

    To summarise:
    • We are enforcing agreed charges rather than seeking a breach of contract.
    • We have identified ourselves as the creditor in all correspondence to and from the
    • Our contract allows us to act as an agent of the landowner and we have provided evidence
    to that effect.
    • The Appellant has not disputed any of the facts of this case concerning the actual
    circumstances of being on this private land for longer than the allowed time, as per our
    paragraph 6 above.
    • We have exceeded the requirements set out in the BPA Code of Practice in ensuring that
    our equipment is in working order and have provided evidence of our data entry register
    with the Information Commissioners Office.

  • edited 17 May 2014 at 4:00PM
    ColliesCarerColliesCarer Forumite
    1.6K Posts
    edited 17 May 2014 at 4:00PM
    Hi Shepss,
    Clearly their admin procedures leave a lot to be desired :)
    I think you should send POPLA a copy of the cancellation notice from Athena and also reply to the evidence pack.

    Who was the letter (copy in section G other evidence) mentioned in point no 10 signed by and what was the date on it ?
  • ShepssShepss Forumite
    42 Posts
    Hi CC ! Signed by Monica Mininni and dated 1/8/08.
  • edited 17 May 2014 at 4:20PM
    ShepssShepss Forumite
    42 Posts
    edited 17 May 2014 at 4:20PM
    Yes , and btw I have acknowledged the pack and advised them of their cancellation notice. Over to them , if they want to waste money so be it !
    p.s I'm told I can have the first of my ops around July time so something to look forward to!
  • edited 17 May 2014 at 4:45PM
    ColliesCarerColliesCarer Forumite
    1.6K Posts
    edited 17 May 2014 at 4:45PM
    Ok - sorry about initial response - hadn't noticed you had already responded.

    Good luck with the op in July - let us know how you go on
  • ShepssShepss Forumite
    42 Posts
    CC , It not sure about those signs. Not sure how to cut and paste the from the all in one list. Will have a go .Yes , the signs are from the actual Lidl branch.
  • ShepssShepss Forumite
    42 Posts
    Yes , looking at the pics again , they are the same sign I uploaded originally.
This discussion has been closed.
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