MCOL Defense UK CPM
I have until 04 September to submit my defence, which I have drafted using the information and template in the NEWBIES thread and will paste my edited section in para. 3 below. I will file this in good time via email and not the online portal.
Sadly, the incident happened in an area hours away from where I live and it was not practical to return there easily. As the PCN was issued by post rather than stuck on the windscreen I did not take any photographs of the signage prior to leaving. I have been back recently and discovered that a new car park operator has replaced UK CPM at this site with an entirely different parking arrangement.
In a nutshell, it was an underground public car park with no barriers and a pay machine near the vehicle exit. It was a pre-paid pay and display system where you guess your maximum time and display a ticket. A massive sign by the pay machine that said '4 hours free parking' was the only readable font from the location of the parked car. The reason for the PCN is 'not displaying a valid permit', i.e. there was a requirement to use the pay machine to obtain a ticket even if your period of stay was within the free period. I believe this to be an unusual arrangement. As the large sign meant my stay would be not requiring payment, it, as far as I was concerned, meant there was no reason to approach the payment machine.
The restaurant we were visiting warned us of this system and asked if we had displayed a ticket. I returned to the payment machine and followed the instructions on its screen to get a ticket and displayed it on the dashboard. However, a few days later I receive a PCN in the post for the period of time it was not displayed.
The defence is as follows:
"3. On DATE, the Defendant parked the vehicle bearing registration number XXX in the XXX car park. A large sign near the pay machine stated that there were ‘4 hours free parking’. This was in a large font which was easy to read from a distance. The Claimant alleges that the Defendant breached the terms and conditions of the car park for the reason of ‘not displaying a valid permit’. The car park in question is open to the public and was operated a pre-paid pay and display arrangement where customers pay for a maximum stay period in advance. However, the Defendant knew for certain that they would not be exceeding the free period, and therefore did not approach the payment machine.
The terms ‘pay and display’ imply
that a ticket is required along with payment. The requirement to approach the
pay machine and obtain a ticket for the free period was not adequately signed and
it would be expected that the requirement to use the payment machine to obtain
a ticket for a free period would be readable at the same distance as the large ‘4
hours free parking’ which can be read from the area where the vehicle is
parked. The requirement to display a permit for this free period from the
payment machine was not readable from this distance and the payment machine area
would have had to be approached to discover this, which the large ‘4 hours free
parking’ sign discourages the need for. The pedestrian exit to the car park
does not require walking past any signage which clearly marks the requirement
of a ticket for the free period nor does it require walking past the payment
machines, which are located near the vehicle entrance and exit. Had the large
sign stating ‘4 hours free parking’ not been on display, it would have been
necessary to approach the payment machine to find the payment terms of the car
park. Therefore, the presence of this sign and the absence of the requirement to
display a permit for the free duration that can be read from the parking bays
means that the Defendant was misled. Furthermore, the absence of barriers and
the presence of a manned office by the vehicle entrance causes further
confusion, as there will be no ticket required to exit the car park and there
are staff members which can monitor stay periods.
The staff at the restaurant the Defendant was visiting knew that this car park arrangement was atypical and misleading, as, without prompt, they notified the Defendant’s party of the need to get a ticket for the free period. At this point the defendant returned to the vehicle XXXX and approached the payment machine to print a ticket. This was then displayed on the dashboard for the duration of the stay.
The total length of stay in the car park was 2 hours 6 minutes, which the Defendant can evidence."
My question is, in your opinion is this adequate? I want to do my best to make UK CPM retreat with their tail between their legs.
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