Received Paring tickets in the School Car Park at the School I work for

Hello Everyone!

This is my first time writing on the forum, so for whatever replies I get...thankyou! Firstly, I've read countless PCN threads on this page but none seem to apply to my rather specific case.

Smart Parking has issued me 10 fines between the dates October 19th 2020 and 13th November 2020, grossing to an amount of £600. Originally, I was told that I owed £1,700 in fines after being threatened by a debt collection and threatened with a potential court order. Now after pestering Smart Parking countlessly, I have managed to get this reduced to £600 as all the letters were sent to the wrong address (I have since updated the car my address is registered to), and now have about 2 weeks or so to appeal otherwise the fine increases. 

I work as a teacher in a school and the school car park where all the teachers park is actually a privately owned car park. Between the period of late September till 1st February I was working 5 days a week at the school but through an agency as a contractor on site - only recently have I become officially employed by the school. When I first arrived in September, I was never told about the parking arrangement the school has with Smart Parking, and never told that my license plate needed to be put on a "whitelist" to exempt me from receiving fines. I was only made aware of this agreement after I raised the issue of the fines with the school in mid-November directly after receiving them, resulting in my car being placed on the whitelist but by this time it was too late. 

After doing some digging, I discovered that I should have been told on my 1st day on site about (and I quote) "vehicle movements on site" - found in the visitors policy on the school website. As this didn't happen, the visitor policy wasn't execute properly and resulted in me received 10 fines! After taking this to the school and the agency I used to work for they have given me no help at all on this topic, saying it isn't the schools responsibility.......even though it writing in their policy to safeguard visitors in matters like this.

The PCN fines seem like they have a strong case because I have technically not bought a ticket, but the reason this didn't happen was because the school never educated me on the parking procedures of the school. What should I do? How should I combat this with Smart Parking and my school? I am a young adult so £600, with the potential for £1000 if I don't pay the discounted price, is a crazy figure and money I don't have.

Any help on this topic would be greatly appreciated.



  • Coupon-madCoupon-mad
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    Whoever contracted Smart can just tell them to cancel these, you know!  Are you in Scotland or England and is this a state school (can't be!).
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT (except N.Ireland).
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  • fisherjimfisherjim Forumite
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    Firstly you do not have any "fines" they are all speculative invoices.
    You should not consider a debt collector as a threat they are just powerless letter writers that want to bully you into paying them money for sending scrap paper.
    You say the car park is privately owned who owns it?
    Are there signs in the car park telling you what the parking terms and conditions are?
    IT is not your responsibility to search for terms and conditions of employment or parking rules at your place of work on the internet it is your employer's responsibility to give you a proper induction, contract and site specific guidance on all aspects affecting your terms of employment.
    If it were me I would be informing my union, and telling HR that that I would be waiting patiently for the PPC to instigate a court claim where their failings will be brought in front of a judge.
  • Half_wayHalf_way Forumite
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    1: You need to let us know the status of the car park as previously mentioned above - without knowing this its impossible to offer meaningful advice.
    2: do not ( at this stage at least) attempt to identify who the driver on the day was - refer to the parking incident as the car entered the car park and was parked as opposed to Steven Smith drove the/my car into the car park

    3: These are not fines, and if you are dealing with a third party ( ir workplace/landowner/lease or rental company) its incredibly important not to call them as suich
    3: On the Union/HR departments - your union rep may not be that clued up on this and may refer to citizens advice bureau, likewise with HR - CAB's advice on private parking in England at least is wrong to the point it Wil cost you money

    Private parking companies must belong to something grandiosely called an Accredited trade association, such as the British Parking Association limited (BPA), or the International Parking Community  (IPC) whilst both may have something called a Code of practice (COP) neither the BPA or IPC are regulatory authorities.
     The trade associations exist primarily for the benefit of their members, the codes of practice are written and approved by the trade associations and are often changed to suit their members requirements.

    So to start ..
    Do not attempt to Id the driver, these are not fines and what is the status of the car park?
    you can even say where this car park is, as like N.Martin used to say some people on here (I) may be(am) personally familiar with that car park.

    From the Plain Language Commission:

    "The BPA has surely become one of the most socially dangerous organisations in the UK"
  • edited 25 February at 11:23PM
    pogofishpogofish Forumite
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    edited 25 February at 11:23PM
    gmcg4210 said:
    Firstly, I've read countless PCN threads on this page but none seem to apply to my rather specific case.
    What about the Newbies Sticky 1:2:1 then..?
    Which is the very first thread you were directed to read on signup..!
  • gmcg4210gmcg4210 Forumite
    5 Posts
    First Post
    Thankyou for the replies. 

    I have asked my school whether they can get the fines rescinded but there reply was "this isn't our job and there is nothing we can do". The car park is called Medtia Square in Oldham and the school is run by Oldham Council. It is directly in front of my school and it is where all the other staff park but the car park is open to the rest of the public as well.

    I have read up and understand that PCN are not fines and how to properly appeal through POPLA etc.
  • D_P_DanceD_P_Dance Forumite
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    They are not fines, please stop using that word. regulars find it extremely offensive and it shows ignorance of the legal stature of the charges.  
    You never know how far you can go until you go too far.
  • Half_wayHalf_way Forumite
    6K Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    From the Plain Language Commission:

    "The BPA has surely become one of the most socially dangerous organisations in the UK"
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