IMPORTANT REMINDER: Please make sure your posts do not contain any personally identifiable information. If you are uploading images, please take extra care that you have redacted all personal information.

Parking Fines

I have recently had two 'parking invoices' from Horizon Parking (on behalf of Tesco in Stretford) overturned by POPLA. I appealed because:
  • The site has next to no signage. (none anywhere in the large below store parking area (for hundreds of cars).
  • The main entrance signage is on the wrong side of the road, low down and therefore hidden behind traffic waiting to exit the site.
  • I was not parked at all... I was charging my electric car and paying for the service the entire time. 
  • The charging area specifically forbids parking and states 'for charging only' - which also makes parking and charging mutually exclusive.

The process has been fraught... I initially appealed the first invoice, using Horizons own appeals page, providing screenshots of the charging data/invoice/connection times, etc, along with photos of the excellent signage in the charging bays and the lack of other signage which might contradict or add to that... It was rejected within 2 days with a simple form letter.... you arrived at... you departed at... you overstayed... now pay! The following day a second invoice arrived for the second visit... This time I wrote a rude letter appealing both invoices with the same photos and evidence... but clearly laid out for an idiot to read... It too was rejected with the same nonchalant response, except, that a note was added, that all activities beyond the ANPR camera were considered as a compliance with the 'terms' which I should have read and considered parking whether parked or not.

Bearing in mind, I was on business, had a paid parking space at a local hotel and specifically moved the car to charge it made me quite cross! I wrote a letter of complaint to Horizon threatening to go to court. They sent details for an appeal via POPLA.

As research, I contacted the BPA (who supposedly regulate these cowboys) for a copy of their rules. They were very helpful and the document they supplied, made it very clear that Horizon and Tesco were miles out of step on a number of counts... So I have made a complaint to them about Horizon and am waiting their verdict.

I put in appeal to POPLA providing the exact same photos and evidence... and Horizon withdrew the tickets days later without any adjudication and without providing a reason. POPLA emailed to say the charges had been cancelled.

Today, Horizon have written again still demanding I pay them and threatening to go to the next stage. I have written back and told them I will not pay and pointing out their own withdrawal from the appeals!

All of this has taken an inordinately large amount of time and effort... not to mention stress. I have had to compile evidence and go back to the site (I live 130 miles from Stretford), engage in 4 separate appeals processes, two complaints processes and strike up a correspondence with the BPA. I have also been billed by the car's lease company for them having to handle the mis-sent invoice letters.

In doing so, it has become clear that Horizon have a 'nice little earner'... a webcam which takes photos and a server which issues threats... add in a non existent customer interface (just a money laundering portal) and funds rolls in. It also seems clear their appeals process is nothing more than a means of applying further pressure on those who bother to engage and that it is nothing to do with reviewing evidence. 'Kangaroo Court' is a term mentioned in another post which also seems most appropriate. Mention of POPLA is nowhere to be seen and was only offered after I threatened court in a complaint.

I have already tried talking to Tesco Stretford, but there customer service people just batted it away and said, it was Horizon who I need to talk to. Tesco also seem to have no other form of customer complain portal.... Needless to say, I will avoid Tescos for charging purposes from now on!

However, I am still worried that others will get caught in the same scam by these 'cowboys'... Whilst i understand why they need to limit parking time... if they offer other services on site, they need to take this into account... It upsets me to think that I could now sit back and let every individual have to fight their own case, as many will not have the wherewithal to do that. I am therefore after ideas as to how to get this sorted properly... not a 'we have decided to show goodwill on this occasion, but do not actually believe your were right' which provides a continuing basis for them to continue to abuse....

To that end... has anyone any experience of issuing a counter invoicing for business time and effort to one of these companies? If so, do I go after Horizon or Tesco... or both?
I am hopeful that the BPA will sanction them and maybe force changes... but will not hold my breath.

Is there any other organisation that has sway over these people and might help to force them into line... or might be willing to go after them and make them behave?


  • edited 14 February at 6:15PM
    115.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    edited 14 February at 6:15PM
    Welcome!  We are with you.

    We wish you'd come here first because if you'd just read the NEWBIES thread and appealed as keeper (NEVER AS DRIVER!) then you'd have seen Horizon off easily with one email appeal, per PCN.

    They don't use the POFA 2012 keeper liability law, so if you don't tell that firm who was driving, you win.

    No effort, no stress.

    Having said that, other EV owners agree with you:

    So the way to get revenge is in 4 possible ways:

    (a)  complaint to the DVLA, that Horizon are not exempting vehicles in the (separately leased by the charging company) EV bays and Horizon got your data without 'reasonable cause';

    (b). you could sue Tesco and/or Horizon but you need a properly pleaded claim and a clear cause of action set out under specified law.  Sending an invoice will be laughed at, and suing is the only way but not guaranteed you'd win;

    (c). complaint to your own MP to complain to Tesco and Horizon and the BPA and also to "lean on" the DLUHC to cover EV bay exemption in the new statutory Code;

    (d). please join us in having your voice heard in the final Public Consultation shortly, about the level of parking charges and rip-off fees they'd have layered on top, had you not seen these off at POPLA.  The rip off add-on fees need banning outright as part of the Code, and you can lobby your MP to back it and be heard yourself.

    Public Consultation is coming. Explained here:

    Don't miss it!  Bookmark the necessary thread to get an email alert, if you are not likely to hang around here regularly lurking.
    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
Sign In or Register to comment.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Did you know there's an MSE app?

It's free & available on iOS & Android


Regifting: good idea or not?

Add your two cents to the discussion

MSE Forum

Energy Price Guarantee calculator

How much you'll likely pay from April

MSE Tools