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Successful appeal letter - APCOA PCN at Birmingham Airport IBIS Hotel

Hello 
I recently received a Parking Charge Notice from APCOA after a car registered to me stopping briefly in a layby, directly outside the entrance to the IBIS Hotel at Birmingham Airport. 
I did a lot of research and couldn't find a similar instance, so I thought I'd share my successful appeal letter in case anyone else is landed with this completely illegitimate "invoice", and is able to have it similarly cancelled.
The PCN detailed an alleged contravention of "Dropping or picking up outside designated areas" at "Outside IBIS House (ANPR). 

The driver of the car genuinely did not see any signage to say there was no stopping allowed - due to to position of the sign and a deliberate obstruction to force drivers to pass it before stopping. In addition, a "dropping off or picking up outside designated areas" may not be an enforceable parking charge notice offence. 
I gathered a large amount of evidence and threw them all, hoping one would stick. I'm not sure which was the successful nugget, but something worked, and I really hope someone else can use this to have their illegitimate PCN cancelled.

Below is my successful appeal letter in full - I really really hope it helps someone else.

On the grounds of: "The contravention did not occur"
Reason: "Other"

Further Explanation:
As the keeper of the vehicle, I dispute your 'parking charge notice' and alleged contravention. There will be no admissions as to who was driving, and no assumptions can be drawn. Since your PCN is a vague template with inconsistent and inappropriate accusations, I require an explanation of this allegation and your evidence of how the contravention of dropping off or picking up outside designated area contravenes a “breach of the terms and conditions of use of the car park”, as no car park has been
entered, and no terms and conditions have been provided to the driver to review and agree.

1. APCOA has issued a Parking Charge Notice stating that a vehicle registered to me, has an alleged contravention of “dropping off or picking up outside designated areas”.
A parking charge notice is issued under the BPA Code of Practice when a vehicle is parked in a private car park, and the driver is responsible for paying the tariff fee for parking, for following the terms and conditions which apply and for paying any parking charges.
• The vehicle was not parked, and the vehicle did not enter a car park
• There was no tariff fee presented for parking, nor were any terms and conditions presented to enter any type of contract

2. You state that “The alleged contravention is a BREACH OF THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF USE of the car park. Signs are clearly displayed throughout the area showing these terms and conditions”
• There was no signage, nor any physical barrier stating that the vehicle was accessing a car park.
• The vehicle only accessed the airport road infrastructure.
• As the vehicle did not enter or use a car park at any point, a parking charge notice for the alleged contravention of a “breach of the terms and conditions of use of the car park” is illegitimate and unenforceable.

3. APCOA has illegitimately obtained the registered keeper details under the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, Regulation 27 (1) e of the Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) Regulations 2002. This act allows for disclosures for off road parking to anyone who can demonstrate “reasonable cause” to investigate and enforce alleged contraventions of contract law” on the basis of parking enforcement.
• There has been no parking contravention, as the vehicle was not parked.
• There was no contract information provided upon entry to this private road
• Upon entry to this private road from the public highway, there is no clear notification, physical barrier, or signage detailing terms and conditions, stating this is a private road and its use is bound by certain terms and conditions
• There has been no contravention of contract law as no contracts nor terms and conditions were provided to review and agree to by the driver
• The registered keeper’s details have been obtained under an illegitimate allegation of a parking violation.
• You have breached the BPA’s Code of Practice 4.4 which states “if you receive and process vehicle or registered keeper data, you must adhere strictly to any DVLA  requirements relating to the data” - You have not adhered to the DVLA requirements for requesting “Disclosure for Car Parking and enforcement purposes”, as the vehicle was not parked, at any time.
• The parking charge notice issue states an alleged contravention of “dropping off or picking up outside designated areas”. This is not a parking charge violation, and APCOA has accessed the DVLA’s database using illegitimate and false pretences. I will be reporting APCOA to the DVLA and Information Commissioner’s Office as a misuse of data.

4. The Parking Charge Notice states that “by parking here you have entered into a contract which includes an agreement to park in association with the Terms and Conditions of Parking and you agreed to your information being processed for this purpose as part of that contract.”
• The vehicle was not parked anywhere, at any time
• There is no signage stating that by stopping on this road, an agreement has been established to “park in association with the terms and conditions of parking”
• Due to the lack of signage upon entering this road, it is impossible to establish any implied contract observance or agreement.
• The Road Traffic Act states that when a vehicle is stopped for more than three minutes to drop off passengers or to collect passengers, or to load or unload goods, this is not considered as parking. The vehicle was temporarily stopped and did not enter a car park.

5. The Parking Charge Notice states that it is in APCOA’s legitimate interests to regulate the parking in this car park.
• The vehicle did not enter any car park at any time
• The vehicle was not parked

6. Under the BPA’s Code of Practice, a condition of membership states under 4.4: “It is a condition of the Code that, if you receive and process vehicle or registered keeper data, you must … iii. adhere strictly to any DVLA requirements relating to the data”
• You have not adhered to the DVLA requirements for requesting “Disclosure for Car Parking and enforcement purposes”, as the vehicle was not parked, at any time.

7. Under the BPA Code of Practice, 13.1:“ Consideration and Grace Periods, the driver must have the chance to consider the Terms and Conditions before entering into the ‘parking contract’ with you.”
• The are no Terms and Conditions made clearly available at any point to the driver. Therefore, there has been no “parking contract” entered, considered, implied or agreed.
• The bay in front of the IBIS hotel is not designated as a Blue Badge Holder area, nor does it have hatched areas, nor is it in front of emergency exit, nor on an entry or exit ramp.
• The BPA’s Code of Practice does not cover No Stopping Zones.

8. The BPA Code of Practice, 19.2: “Entrance signs play an important part in establishing a parking contract and deterring trespassers. Therefore, as well as the signs you must have telling drivers about the terms and conditions for parking, you must also have a standard form of entrance sign at the entrance to the parking area. Entrance signs must tell drivers that the car park is managed and that there are terms and conditions they must be aware of.”
• There is no entrance sign on the airport access road, stating that the driver must be aware of any car park terms and conditions.
• The vehicle did not enter any parking area, at any point.

9. The BPA Code of Practice, 19.3: “Specific parking-terms signage tells drivers what your terms and conditions are, including your parking charges. You must place signs containing the specific parking terms throughout the site, so that drivers are given the chance to read them at the time of parking or leaving their vehicle.”
• The bay is approximately 2 x car-lengths long 
• The only sign outlining terms and conditions is located at the end of the bay. This is not only completely illegible from a stationary car, but also at the end / exit point of the bay (not the entry) and you must get out of the car to read it.
• The first “restricted zone” sign is before the bay entry point and behind pedestrian rails and would not be a consideration to drivers as they pull into the bay, as it is before the bay entrance
• The second “restricted zone” sign is in the first third of the bay. This sign has a bin positioned directly between it and the curb, meaning the driver would need to pass this sign (and bin), in order to stop and open the passenger door. This sign and bin are positioned so strategically to force a car to pass them and therefore miss them, one wonders if it is deliberate
• By anyone’s definition, the bay directly by the front entrance of the IBIS hotel appears to be a loading bay specifically located to pick up / drop off hotel guests. Under the BPA Code of Practice, you have a duty as an AOS member to clearly provide the terms and conditions of an area you wish to enforce. These signs must be visible and readable when a vehicle is in motion and while driver is still in the vehicle. You have failed in this regard so seriously that I can only believe it is intentional revenue generation.

10. The BPA Code of Practice signage requirements state specific details must be provided for Group 1, including at least one of the below 6 items, and text must be 50% larger than following groups:
i. Pay and display [except/free for blue badge holders]
ii. [x minutes’/hour’s/hours’] free parking [for [business name] customers only]
iii. Pay on exit
iv. Pay [on foot/at machine] when leaving
v. Parking for [business name] customers only
vi. Permit holders only
• Group 1 wording on your sign does not include any of the above.
• Group 2 and 3 wording on your sign is the same size as G1 wording
• All this signage is in breach of the BPA’s code of practice

11. Under the BPA Code of Practice, 20.2: “parking charges means charges arising from enforcement under three different circumstances:
i. when a motorist breaks the terms and conditions of a parking contract
ii. when a motorist trespasses by parking without permission
iii. agreed charges that are advertised in the contract; for example, for an overstay.
• None of these violations have been breached:
i. There has been no parking contract entered
ii. There has been no trespass without permission
iii. There has been no overstay

12. Under the BPA Code of Practice, 21.11: “The Notice to Keepers serves three purposes, the primary one invites the keeper to pay the unpaid parking charge:
• This Parking Charge Notice (NTK) issued does not reference payment for any “unpaid parking charge”
• It does not state that the driver has a parking charge, nor that it has not been paid in full
• As there is no unpaid parking charge, this Parking Charge Notice (NTK) is illegitimate.
• The Parking Charge Notice (NTK) states an alleged contravention of “dropping off or picking up outside designated areas”. This is not a parking violation.
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Comments

  • Worked for me as well.  Thanks a TON, mirrie
  • Top work 👏 
  • Just sent this off now.

    Hoping it works !
  • Umkomaas
    Umkomaas Posts: 41,138
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    Just sent this off now.

    Hoping it works !
    This would equally do the job!

    'As your Parking Charge Notice does not comply with the requirements of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (Schedule 4), you are, in law, unable to hold the registered keeper of the vehicle liable for the parking charge; I suggest therefore that you contact the driver. As there is no legal requirement placed on the registered keeper to identify the driver, I will not be doing so'.
    Please note, we are not a legal advice forum. I personally don't get involved in critiquing court case Defences/Witness Statements, so unable to help on that front. Please don't ask. .

    I provide only my personal opinion, it is not a legal opinion, it is simply a personal one. I am not a lawyer.

    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.

    Private Parking Firms - Killing the High Street
  • Hello everyone.. happy new year.

    I booked a room for the night at the Ibis hotel on the 3rd Jan 2023 for one night.
    Our taxi driver dropped us off right out side hotel in the layby.

    I see now that the sign saying "hotel drop off only" has been removed.
    Images from google maps show that in 2018, the sign was there right under the NO parking sign... and very visible.

    There also a few years where the sign has a black bag over the sign to cover it up.
    So could the sign have been stolen..
    As the sign says "Hotel Drop off only", despite there being a red route there, it makes no sense to use that as an argument.

    These images may be seen here.. they are in a .rar format.
    hxxxs://cdh.uk/ibisparking/Ibis.rar
  • Grizebeck
    Grizebeck Posts: 2,655
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    Umkomaas said:
    Just sent this off now.

    Hoping it works !
    This would equally do the job!

    'As your Parking Charge Notice does not comply with the requirements of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (Schedule 4), you are, in law, unable to hold the registered keeper of the vehicle liable for the parking charge; I suggest therefore that you contact the driver. As there is no legal requirement placed on the registered keeper to identify the driver, I will not be doing so'.
    Nice and to the point 
    Advocate in the County Court dealing with a variety of cases, attending the courts in the North East and North Yorkshire
  • This is the response i got today.

    Cancelled

    CONTRAVENTION DATE: 16 December 2022 18:11 

    Thank you for your letter received on 04 January 2023 regarding the above Parking Charge Notice.

     You were issued a PCN for an alleged contravention at Birmingham International Airport. 

    Having investigated further, we have found that your vehicle was pictured in breach of the terms set by Birmingham International Airport. 

    The area where your vehicle stopped is clearly designated as “No stopping at any time”. 

    After reviewing the CCTV footage, we have found that you did in fact stop in this area.

     The signage at this lay-by makes it clear that this area is a red route and will allow no stopping at any time. There is a designated area behind the hotel that is available for any relevant pick up/drop offs. 

    Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the motorist to ensure that they seek out, read, and comply with the terms and conditions of parking that are in place.

     Having considered the circumstances, we have cancelled the Parking Charge Notice on this occasion. Please retain this letter as proof of cancellation, should you need it in the future. 

    Yours sincerely Appeals Department APCOA Parking (UK) Ltd

  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,251
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    Haha!

    As predicted.  Easy when you know how!
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT (except N.Ireland).
    CLICK at the top of this/any page where it says:
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