Help challenging unfair parking notice
Hello Everyone, (SORRY FOR THE LONG POST)
I have joined this community to try and fight back against what I believe to be an unfair parking ticket. Forewarning, from now reading the NEWBIES thread and other various posts, I haven’t followed the recommended steps thus far. I have never been in this situation before and should have done more thorough research before engaging with anyone. Anyway, current situation is as follows:
My partner received a PCN from G24 for allegedly breaching the contractual terms of the Homebase car park back in June 2023. Long story short, we drove in together at 21:27:04 on the 25 Jun 2023, stopped in the middle of the empty car park to put L plates on, I took the wheel to practise some driving, spent what felt like 10 minutes driving around the empty car park to gain some confidence before leaving at 21:42:28 the same evening.
Timeline of events since that day:
5th July 2023 – first letter issued (probably received within a week of issue date)
22nd August 2023 – I emailed G24 effectively refuting the parking charge notice without identifying myself as the driver. At the same time, I had contacted Homebase to try and help me but didn’t get anywhere with the customer support
6th October 2023 – first letter issued from Trace chasing £160
24th December 2023 – Try contacting Homebase again for help, don’t get anywhere.. in their response they acknowledge that G24 received my email back in August as point of first contact. At this point I was trying to identify myself as the driver so the letters wouldn’t be addressed to my partner.
15th January 2024 – first letter from BW Legal issued chasing £170
29th January 2024 – Contact Homebase again only to get a response from the CEO of the response team basically saying because I wasn’t a customer, Homebase cannot intercept the parking charge to waiver it and that Homebase do not own the car park, it “is owned by a separate landlord and is run by the G24 Ltd on their behalf”.
31st January 2024 – ring BW Legal, they won’t speak to me because of GDPR and the letters are addressed to my partner. Ring back next day with my partner to give me authority to speak to them. Ask them to address the letters to me but they wouldn’t over the phone saying I needed to write in. They will likely be expecting me to call back in 7 days since they put the account on hold whilst I said I would try and contact G24. Formally appealed the G24 fine though their website and got an automated response saying, nope.
I am at a bit of a loss at what to try before the next batch of letters and potential legal proceedings. I am aware that current advice is to just ignore all debt letters until a letter before action is issued – from now I will return to ignoring whatever I receive through the post unless anyone suggests otherwise. My main reason for trying to reach out was that I thought it may look favourably on me should any legal proceedings start, that I did attempt to remove the charge.
What can I do between now and the start of potential legal proceedings to prepare or challenge the notice?
Will my partner be forced to challenge this in court despite me identifying myself as the driver to G24? I don’t want my partner to suffer due to my inaction.
Has anyone else had to dispute a charge with G24 Homebase car park and do you know who the legal owners of the car park are to contact them directly?
I know I am a numpty for not following procedure, I hope that hasn’t scuppered my chances of fighting this claim. Alternatively, if anyone thinks I won’t be able to challenge the charge based on the scenario I described above, I would like to know now so I can settle the amount and learn my expensive lesson.
Thanks in advance, any advice is greatly appreciated
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