Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    surlyc
    PCN for failing to display season ticket in station car park.
    • #1
    • 7th Nov 13, 9:35 AM
    PCN for failing to display season ticket in station car park. 7th Nov 13 at 9:35 AM
    I am a season ticket holder at a rail station car park operated by Meteor.

    3 months ago, I did not display my season ticket (they don't provide a way to stick it to anything, so it periodically slips from the dashboard) when parked and received a PCN. I emailed them to appeal on the basis of having a valid season ticket and Meteor rescinded the PCN.

    This week, I again failed to display my season ticket as it had slipped from the dashboard. I received a PCN. I again emailed them to appeal on the basis of having a valid season ticket allowing me to park there. This time however they rejected the appeal, saying that they had rescinded one PCN in the past 12 months and the terms and conditions clearly state I am required to display my ticket. They issued me with a POPLA appeal number.

    I am resistant to paying the charge since I have a season ticket entitling me to park in the car park until the end of the year.

    My question is what the best action is to take now? I assume I will be pursued for the £45 charge, rising to £90, and it will be sold to a debt recovery agency at some point. I note that these forums always say not to appeal and to ignore PCN's on private land, but sadly that is not relevant now (so please don't respond saying I should not have acknowledged the PCN with an appeal). Should I appeal to POPLA? Am I obliged to pay? Could this end in a county court judgement?
    Responses appreciated!
Page 1
    • waamo
    • By waamo 7th Nov 13, 9:38 AM
    • 6,865 Posts
    • 9,184 Thanks
    waamo
    • #2
    • 7th Nov 13, 9:38 AM
    • #2
    • 7th Nov 13, 9:38 AM
    Appeal to POPLA. Have a look at the POLA sticky on the first page for an idea of what wins.

    Their failure to show a genuine pre-estimate of loss should see this off.
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 7th Nov 13, 1:28 PM
    • 23,776 Posts
    • 38,055 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    • #3
    • 7th Nov 13, 1:28 PM
    • #3
    • 7th Nov 13, 1:28 PM
    Have you had a Notice to Keeper?
    Does it mention the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 in it?
    Is the POPLA appeals process mentioned in it.
    Is the 'creditor' specifically identified?
    Is there any mention of Railway Byelaws?
    Are the words 'Penalty' or 'Fine' anywhere in the correspondence you've had - ticket or NtK?

    Please also supply:

    Date of parking incident?
    Windscreen ticket?
    Date of receipt of NtK?
    Was the incident in England/Wales?
    Is the car a company or hire vehicle?
    Please note, we are not a legal, residential or credit advice forum, rather one that helps motorists fight private parking charges, primarily at the 'front-end' of the process.
    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.
  • surlyc
    • #4
    • 7th Nov 13, 8:11 PM
    • #4
    • 7th Nov 13, 8:11 PM
    Thank you for the advice, waamo.

    Umkomaas - I have not had a Notice to Keeper. I had a ticket on my windscreen and one email (responding to my appeal).
    The email mentioned the POPLA appeals process.
    No mention of penalty or fine anywhere in the correspondence I've had.

    Date was 5 November. Windscreen ticket. In England. Not a hired vehicle.

    EDIT: Having read some of the other threads, I would guess GPEoL is my best defense? I paid to be in the car park, so they lost nothing by me being there. Is an appeal based on pre-estimate of loss & punitive/unfair charges sufficient, or should I raise the issue of proprietary ownership (I paid Southern Rail for my ticket, not the company issuing the ticket) as well?
    Last edited by surlyc; 07-11-2013 at 8:15 PM.
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 7th Nov 13, 8:59 PM
    • 23,776 Posts
    • 38,055 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    • #5
    • 7th Nov 13, 8:59 PM
    • #5
    • 7th Nov 13, 8:59 PM
    You've been out of the blocks far too quickly. Advice is always to await NtK which should arrive 29 - 56 days later to the RK. It gives the RK far more protection as they will be pursuing under PoFA and they make so many mistakes at this juncture.

    Have you informed them who the driver was? Did they give you a POPLA code?

    Looks like the possibility that you aren't going to get a NtK, but there's always the possibility that you might - if the PPC hasn't got its head completely around this stuff. So you could wait until day 56 to see if they do send you one, then you're back on the RK/PoFA route again. It's a risk. But I'd like to canvass the thoughts of other regulars for their view on this approach.

    If they are not in favour of this, then it's (another) soft appeal to the PPC with an inevitable rejection, with POPLA code, then a much more robust appeal to POPLA.

    Await other thoughts.
    Last edited by Umkomaas; 07-11-2013 at 9:01 PM.
    Please note, we are not a legal, residential or credit advice forum, rather one that helps motorists fight private parking charges, primarily at the 'front-end' of the process.
    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.
  • surlyc
    • #6
    • 7th Nov 13, 9:06 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Nov 13, 9:06 PM
    Here is what I sent to them:

    "Dear Sir/Madam

    I am writing to appeal against the PCN (serial number XXXX) which I received yesterday for my car (reg. XXXX XXX) in the car park at XX Rail Station.

    I am appealing against this on the basis of having a valid season ticket to park in this car park. Please find attached a scan of this ticket, which is valid between October 2013 and January 2014. This shows that my car (reg. XXXX XXX) was entitled to park in the car park at XX Rail Station on the date the charge was issued.

    I also attach a scan of the notice received, to confirm that the car registration number (XXXX XXX) matches that on the parking ticket.

    I should appreciate it if any fine would be frozen at the amount of £50, pending the resolution of this appeal.

    Kind regards"

    Honestly because I received a PCN once before and they waived it (I sent the exact same email), I went too quickly in responding this time too. Can't change that now though!

    They have provided me with a POPLA verification code.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 7th Nov 13, 9:53 PM
    • 73,709 Posts
    • 85,856 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    • #7
    • 7th Nov 13, 9:53 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Nov 13, 9:53 PM
    You have thrown away a whole host of appeal points that you could have used at POPLA if you had only checked here first and waited for the Notice to Keeper. At train station car parks you can normally argue that there is no registered keeper liability AT ALL but you've chucked that away by appealing as the driver.

    Never mind, you are right, you should appeal to POPLA on no genuine pre-estimate of loss (hopefully you realise that 'GPEOL' is a forum shorthand only). As the ticket (presumably) says the driver was 'in breach of the terms and conditions: Failing to display a valid ticket or voucher' it is clear that Meteor are attempting to allege that liquidated damages are due (which is denied). In that case the whole amount of the charge must be a genuine pre-estimate of loss. Clearly, when a driver has a valid paid-for permit with Southern Rail which has been scanned and shown to Meteor, they cannot possibly have made any loss whatsoever as a result of this parking incident.

    Also as you say, add a paragraph about 'punitive/unfair' charge in breach of the UTCCR 1999 (chuck in some quotes you will find on other threads and/or cite other cases like Excel v Hetherington-Jakeman or UKCPS v Murphy that you'll find stuff about, by searching the forum for those names).

    And they have no proprietary interest or legal standing to charge you, because you paid Southern Rail for your ticket, not Meteor, and Meteor don't own the land. They are therefore required to show POPLA their contract with the landowner (not a witness statement about it) to show specifically that they have the standing required to make contracts with drivers and pursue them to the courts as creditor in their own right. In fact, you contend they are merely an agent of the rightful owner/occupier. As such, whilst a business contract to 'manage parking' as a service for another party may exist, where the company has no legal title in the car park themselves, any business contract cannot legally impact on drivers - as was found recently in Parking Eye v Sharma 23rd October 2013.

    And you could throw in for good measure, just to cause Meteor to have to do more work and provide maps and information to cost them time and money(!!), that their signage is inadequate at that site, misleading about byelaws (maybe...?!) and incapable of forming any fair agreed contract with a driver who has a paid permit and who was neither trespassing nor was 'unauthorised' by Southern Rail.

    And throw in that the permits not fit for purpose as there is no robust holder to adhere to the windscreen which means any passer by could dislodge them from a dashboard. So the business model is unfair and again, you contend, in breach of the UTCCR 1999. If a firm want to 'manage the car park' (which is denied because private firms in fact farm car parks for profit!) they need to provide permit-holders with a means to display their permits securely, not penalise them when the flimsy tickets are dislodged by the wind or even accidentally by a passing Meteor ticketer.

    As you have already outed yourself as the driver there's no point hiding as the registered keeper like you will see in most examples, you've lost that advantage - but you'll win on no GPEOL anyway.



    P.S. Easy solution to the problem is = carry a blob of blutack in your Glovebox
    Last edited by Coupon-mad; 07-11-2013 at 9:56 PM.
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT UNLESS IN SCOTLAND OR NI
    TWO Clicks needed Look up, top of the page:
    Main site>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets Fines & Parking - read the NEWBIES THREAD
  • surlyc
    • #8
    • 7th Nov 13, 10:14 PM
    • #8
    • 7th Nov 13, 10:14 PM
    You see, I knew that I'd been stupid and thrown away a host of appeal points by being hasty. I believe the word naive is probably appropriate, but there's no changing that now.

    I know what GPEoL means. I've read many threads about it on this forum today, so I am familiar with the basics. I'm not foolish enough to write my POPLA response without checking here though, I've been naive enough already!

    Thanks for the advice, it's really helpful. I'll draft something up and post it here for you guys to look at. One last question - is there any point in me waiting? Since I've already run through my appeal, do I have any avenues to explore beyond POPLA? I have a feeling I want to take a case for genuine pre-estimate of loss now, before any chance of a change in the people administering it.

    Note: I reused the sticky plastic holder of the PCN to fix my season ticket to the dashboard. So at least something came out of the whole situation...
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 7th Nov 13, 10:26 PM
    • 73,709 Posts
    • 85,856 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    • #9
    • 7th Nov 13, 10:26 PM
    • #9
    • 7th Nov 13, 10:26 PM
    No, don't wait when you have the Golden Ticket of a POPLA code.

    Sorry for stating the obvious in the above reply, just wanted to check about the acronym thing because people on here sometimes mention 'PPCs' in their POPLA appeals when 'PPCs' is another forum acronym which has no accepted/understood meaning elsewhere. I do fear that all this mention of 'GPEOL' in threads here will one day lead an appellant to just use that GPEOL acronym in an appeal to POPLA which will reject the appeal as it means nothing...!
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT UNLESS IN SCOTLAND OR NI
    TWO Clicks needed Look up, top of the page:
    Main site>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets Fines & Parking - read the NEWBIES THREAD
  • surlyc
    My first draft of an appeal to POPLA. I would really appreciate some feedback.

    POPLA Verification Code: XXXXXXXXXX

    A notice was issued to me (The registered keeper of vehicle reg XX) for an alleged breach of the terms and conditions: - Failure to display a valid ticket or voucher on 5 November 2013.

    Appeal of Meteor Parking Charge Notice: XX

    1. Proprietary Interest

    The keeper does not believe that the operator has demonstrated a proprietary interest in the land, because they have no legal possession which would give Meteor Parking any right to offer parking spaces, let alone allege a contract with third party customers of the lawful owner/occupiers. In addition, Meteor Parkingís lack of title in this land means they have no legal standing to allege trespass or loss, if that is the basis of their charge.

    The keeper holds a season ticket for the car park and payment for this was made to Southern Rail. The keeper contends that as Meteor Parking has no legal title in the car park themselves, any business contract cannot legally impact on a third party customer - as was found recently in Parking Eye v. Sharma 2013. The keeper contends that Meteor Parking are only an agent working for the owner and their signs do not help them to form a contract without any consideration capable of being offered. VCS v. HMRC 2012 is the binding decision in the Upper Chamber which covers this issue.

    The keeper believes there is no contract between Meteor Parking and the landowner/occupier that entitles them to levy these charges and that Meteor Parking therefore has no authority to issue parking charge notices (PCNs). This being the case, the burden of proof shifts to Meteor Parking. The keeper expects Meteor Parking to prove that they are not in breach of section 7.1 of the BPA code.

    The keeper requires that Meteor Parking provide the written contract with the landowner, rather than any witness statement, showing specifically that they have the standing required to make contracts with third party customers and pursue them to the courts as creditor in their own right. Even if a basic contract is produced and mentions PCNs, the lack of ownership or assignment of title or interest in the land reduces any contract to one that exists simply on an agency basis between Meteor Parking and the owner/occupier.

    2. Genuine Pre-Estimate of Loss and Punitive Charges

    The BPA have stated categorically that private parking charges do not attract VAT (based on the VCS -v- HMRC 2013 appeal decision) and therefore it follows that private parking charges cannot be a contractual matter, and can only represent a genuine pre-estimate of loss. A private parking company cannot allege a contract exists on the one hand (for POPLA and for the public) and yet suggest it's non-contractual and therefore a non-VAT matter (for HMRC). If it is a true Parking Charge, then the keeper will also require a VAT invoice.

    The keeper requires that Meteor Parking provide support for the charge as a genuine pre-estimate of loss. This cannot include any expenses that would be tax deductible as trading costs (e.g. uniform costs, staff costs etc.) or the POPLA fee. A valid ticket was held for vehicle reg XX (please see attached ticket) at the time of the alleged contravention, entitling the car to be parked in the car park. This fact is not disputed by Meteor Parking (please see attached response). Therefore should Meteor Parking be held to have the right to offer parking spaces, which is denied, it holds that they received payment for the car being parked in the car park on the day in question and did not lose on any compensation due in any way.

    The amount of the charge is therefore disproportionate to any loss incurred by Meteor Parking and can only be considered punitive, contravening the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1997. The keeper also considers PCN XX to be a penalty, as Meteor Parking have alleged a breach of terms and conditions and yet have not quantified their alleged loss.

    3. Unfair & Unreasonable Terms in Consumer Contract

    The charge Meteor Parking are levying is an unfair term (and therefore not binding) pursuant to the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999. In particular, Schedule 2 of those Regulations gives an indicative (and non-exhaustive) list of terms which may be regarded as unfair and includes at Schedule 2(1)(e) "Terms which have the object or effect of requiring any consumer who fails to fulfil his obligation to pay a disproportionately high sum in compensation." Furthermore, Regulation 5(1) states that: "A contractual term which has not been individually negotiated shall be regarded as unfair if, contrary to the requirement of good faith, it causes a significant imbalance in the parties' rights and obligations arising under the contract, to the detriment of the consumer" and 5(2) states: "A term shall always be regarded as not having been individually negotiated where it has been drafted in advance and the consumer has therefore not been able to influence the substance of the term."

    The charge Meteor Parking are levying is an unreasonable indemnity clause pursuant to section 4(1) of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 which provides that: "A person cannot by reference to any contract term be made to indemnify another person (whether a party to the contract or not) in respect of liability that may be incurred by the other for negligence or breach of contract, except in so far as the contract term satisfies the requirement of reasonableness.Ē


    This concludes my appeal to POPLA.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 10th Nov 13, 3:07 PM
    • 73,709 Posts
    • 85,856 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Looks good to me. I would amend this sentence:

    ' The keeper holds a season ticket for the car park and payment for this was made to Southern Rail. '

    to:

    ' The driver holds a season ticket for the car park and payment for this was made to Southern Rail, so this has formed the only relevant contract (between the driver and Southern Rail exclusively, the consideration being the payment made and accepted between those two parties). '


    And in POPLA appeals I always like to suggest a paragraph contending that the signage is not BPA code-compliant so the burden of proof shifts to Meteor to show a contemporaneous and accurate site map and detail of signage. Always have a paragraph about that EVEN if you think the signs were OK! As per:

    http://parking-prankster.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/highview-parking-send-in-map-of-wrong.html

    Well worth a laugh at PP's various amusing blogs!
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT UNLESS IN SCOTLAND OR NI
    TWO Clicks needed Look up, top of the page:
    Main site>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets Fines & Parking - read the NEWBIES THREAD
  • surlyc
    Another win for GPEoL.

    Many thanks to Coupon-mad and everyone else whose work here helped me draft my reply.

    I'll post the response from POPLA later when I have time.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 22nd Jan 14, 10:22 PM
    • 73,709 Posts
    • 85,856 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Nice - well done! Please do post the full decision wording which we like to see, for consistency.
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT UNLESS IN SCOTLAND OR NI
    TWO Clicks needed Look up, top of the page:
    Main site>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets Fines & Parking - read the NEWBIES THREAD
  • surlyc
    Full response:
    (Appellant)

    -v-

    Meteor Parking Limited (c/o Vinci Park) (Operator)

    The Operator issued parking charge notice number arising out of the presence at X, on November 5 2013, of a vehicle with registration mark XX.

    The Appellant appealed against liability for the parking charge.

    The Assessor has considered the evidence of both parties and has determined that the appeal be allowed.

    The Assessorís reasons are as set out.

    The Operator should now cancel the parking charge notice forthwith.


    Reasons for the Assessorís Determination

    At 13:28, on November 5 2013, a parking operative observed the Appellantís vehicle parked at the X car park.

    The Operatorís case is that the Appellant breached the car parking conditions by failing to display a valid ticket or voucher.

    The Appellant made representations stating his case. The Appellant raised a number of points and one of them was the Operator must provide support for the charge as a genuine pre-estimate of loss.

    The Appellant has submitted that the parking charge does not represent a genuine pre-estimate of the Operatorís loss, and so is not enforceable.

    The losses suffered by breaches of a parking contract may vary depending on the nature of the car park, and the nature of the breach. That a parking charge at a certain level is held not to be a penalty in one car park, does not mean that the same sum is a pre-estimate of the loss caused in every car park.

    The Operator has produced a list of costs; however, a substantial proportion of these appear to be general operational costs, and not losses consequential to the Appellantís breach. The aim of damages for breach of contract is to put the parties in the position they would have been in had the contract been performed. Accordingly, the Operator cannot include in its pre-estimate of loss costs which are not in fact contractual losses, but the costs of running its business and which would have been incurred irrespective of the Appellantís conduct.

    The onus is on the Operator to prove its case on the balance of probabilities. Accordingly, once an Appellant submits that the parking charge is not a genuine pre-estimate of loss, the onus is on the Operator to produce some explanation or evidence in order to tip the balance in its favour.

    Consequently I must find that the Operator has failed to produce sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the parking charge is a genuine pre-estimate of loss.

    I need not decide any other issues.

    Accordingly, the appeal is allowed.

    Sakib Chowdhury
    Assessor
    • Computersaysno
    • By Computersaysno 23rd Jan 14, 6:27 AM
    • 1,116 Posts
    • 886 Thanks
    Computersaysno
    We need to get POPLA decisions on some of the 'single point [other than GPEOL] appeals that are in the pipeline.


    Anyone got any of these on the go [I think PPRankster has]??


    Any idea when they are due for a decision??
    Welcome to the world of 'Protect the brand at the cost of free speech'
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

2,965Posts Today

7,573Users online

Martin's Twitter