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    • Greg1508
    • By Greg1508 28th Jun 16, 3:41 PM
    • 14Posts
    • 4Thanks
    Euro car park letter - 1st appeal rejected, any advice?
    • #1
    • 28th Jun 16, 3:41 PM
    Euro car park letter - 1st appeal rejected, any advice? 28th Jun 16 at 3:41 PM
    Hello, hope you can help. Last month I parked at a Euro Car Park in Manchester, I paid £5.50 in cash for an "up to 12 hour stay", it was one of those machines where you have to input your car reg and the ticket then states your reg number. I put the ticket on my dashboard, clearly visible, it's the same place I always put it. I came back a couple of hours later, and drove him. I didn't keep the ticket as I never do.

    Around two weeks later, I received a letter from ECP, with a penalty charge notice for £100, reduced to £60 if I paid within 14 days! The letter said I hadn't paid for parking, and they put two ANPR images of my reg plate on the letter, but not a picture of my car windscreen. Anyway I immediately appealed on their website stating my case, I didn't do any research, i.e. template letter, I just said that I paid and displayed, that I paid £5.50 in cash, asked them to check the CCTV.

    Yesterday I received another letter, saying my appeal has been dismissed, they sent a list of the transactions paid on the machine around the time I paid and my payment and reg number wasn't on the list. Completely baffling. They also sent an image of the signage at the car park. The letter has a POPLA number and says I can appeal, but if I appeal and am unsuccessful I will have to pay the full £100.

    I have no evidence that I paid, but I did, and I want to appeal to POPLA. Do I have any chance of winning?

    I've read some threads but haven't seen anything that fits my criteria. I'm also now thinking I shouldn't have immediately appealed to them without doing my research first.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated
Page 2
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 30th Jun 16, 4:16 PM
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    I doubt they will because he didn't keep the ticket. Sounds like an error in the machine which Euro won't admit to, but can happen if there's even a temporary interruption in the signal/system. Lost in a black hole.

    I think the OP should use 'no keeper liability' anyway among the usual stuff people use in Euro POPLA appeals and make it so long and detailed that Euro don't contest it (often the case).
    • Greg1508
    • By Greg1508 21st Jul 16, 11:43 AM
    • 14 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Hi again, sorry its taken me so long to come back. I think the deadline to submit my appeal to POPLA is tomorrow, this is what I've skimmed off other appeals so far, any help would be appreciated:

    I wish to appeal the parking charge notice Euro Car Parks issued against the vehicle in question. I would like to have the parking charge notice cancelled based on the following grounds:

    1) Keeper Liability not established - The Notice to Keeper is not compliant with the POFA 2012
    2) BPA Code of Practice - further non-compliance (photo evidence).
    3) The ANPR system is neither reliable nor accurate.
    4) Lack of signage - unclear signage – no contract with driver - no adequate notice of the charge, maximum stay nor grace period.

    1) Keeper Liability not established - The Notice to Keeper is not compliant with the requirements of PoFA (2012).

    The driver of the vehicle has not been identified. In order for the operator to transfer liability for the charge from the driver of the vehicle to the registered keeper, they must with the strict requirements set out in the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (PoFA).

    Although Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (“PoFA”) gives a creditor the right to recover any unpaid parking charges from a vehicle’s keeper, this right is strictly subject to statutory conditions being met by the operator, without which the right to 'keeper liability' does not exist.

    I set out below a non-exhaustive list of reasons why Euro Car Parks’ Notice to Keeper failed to comply with Schedule 4 of POFA:

    (i) Contrary to the requirements of Paragraph 9(2)(a), the Notice to Keeper did not 'specify the period of parking' to which it related. It merely provided the dates and times when the vehicle allegedly entered and exited the car park; these times do not equate to any single evidenced period of parking. There is no evidence of a period of parking and this cannot reasonably be assumed on the balance of probabilities.

    (ii) Contrary to the requirements of Paragraph 9(2)(b), the Notice to Keeper did not inform the keeper that the driver is required to pay parking charges in respect of the specified period of parking and that the parking charges have not been paid in full;

    BOTH the above prescribed requirements must be stated in the NTK and they were not.

    (iii) Contrary to the requirements of Paragraph 9(2)(e), the Notice to Keeper did not state that the creditor does not know both the name of the driver and a current address for service for the driver and invite the keeper: ... to pay the unpaid parking charges; or ... if the keeper was not the driver of the vehicle, to notify the creditor of the name of the driver and a current address for service for the driver and to pass the notice on to the driver;

    The NTK fails to include all of the above wording, as prescribed under the statute.

    (iv) Contrary to the requirements of Paragraph 9(2)(f), this NTK fails in the prescribed requirement - in exact words and with the correct deadline - to:

    ''warn the keeper that if, after the period of 28 days beginning with the day after that on which the notice is given— ...the amount of the unpaid parking charges specified under paragraph (d) has not been paid in full, and...the creditor does not know both the name of the driver and a current address for service for the driver, the creditor will (if all the applicable conditions under this Schedule are met) have the right to recover from the keeper so much of that amount as remains unpaid;''

    (v) Contrary to the requirements of Paragraph 9(2)(h), the Notice to Keeper does not identify the creditor and specify how and to whom payment or notification to the creditor may be made;

    (vi) Contrary to the requirements of Paragraph 9(2)(i) the Notice to Keeper does not specify the date on which the notice is sent (where it is sent by post) or given (in any other case).

    A date of preparing or batching of NTKs ready for mailing later by iMail is often stated by BPA AOS members, misleadingly, as a 'date of issue' or similar. This fails the requirement to state the date SENT or GIVEN, neither of which are defined as the date the document was drawn up by back office staff, several days before iMail actually put the NTK in the post via Royal Mail.

    Consequently, Euro Car Parks has forfeited its right to recover any unpaid parking charges from the keeper of the vehicle.

    If Euro Car Parks should try to suggest that there is any method outwith the prescribed statute (POFA 2012) whereby a registered keeper can be held liable for a charge where a driver is not identified, I would remind them of the words of Mr Henry Greenslade, the 2015 POPLA Chief Adjudicator who ensured consistency of decisions since 2012, whereby POPLA never found against a registered keeper where a clearly non-POFA Notice to Keeper was served, as in this case.

    The Lead Adjudicator reminded operators (and his team of Assessors, in their training) of the following facts about a keeper's right not to name the driver and, of course, still not be lawfully able to be held liable, under Schedule 4:


    Understanding keeper liability
    “There appears to be continuing misunderstanding about Schedule 4. Provided certain conditions are strictly complied with, it provides for recovery of unpaid parking charges from the keeper of the vehicle.

    There is no ‘reasonable presumption’ in law that the registered keeper of a vehicle is the driver. Operators should never suggest anything of the sort. Further, a failure by the recipient of a notice issued under Schedule 4 to name the driver, does not of itself mean that the recipient has accepted that they were the driver at the material time. Unlike, for example, a Notice of Intended Prosecution where details of the driver of a vehicle must be supplied when requested by the police, pursuant to Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, a keeper sent a Schedule 4 notice has no legal obligation to name the driver.”

    The wording in the Protection of Freedoms Act (POFA) 2012 is as follows:

    ''Right to claim unpaid parking charges from keeper of vehicle: 4(1) The creditor has the right to recover any unpaid parking charges from the keeper of the vehicle. (2) The right under this paragraph applies only if—

    (a) the conditions specified in paragraphs 5, 6*, 11 and 12 (so far as applicable) are met;

    *Conditions that must be met for purposes of paragraph 4:
    6(1) ''The second condition is that the creditor (or a person acting for or on behalf of the creditor)— (b) has given a notice to keeper in accordance with paragraph 9.''

    The operator has failed to meet the second condition for keeper liability due to the multiple flaws in the NTK. Therefore, no lawful right exists to claim unpaid parking charges from myself as keeper of the vehicle as they have not met the required conditions within Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act (POFA) 2012.

    This too was confirmed by Mr Greenslade, POPLA Lead Adjudicator. in page 8 of the 2015 POPLA Report:

    ''If {POFA 2012 Schedule 4 is} not complied with then keeper liability does not generally pass.''

    Notice to keeper incorrectly addressed- does not give the initial of the registered keeper, simply Mr Hirst and sent to an address where there are two people known as Mr Hirst.

    2) BPA Code of Practice - further non-compliance - photo evidence.

    The BPA Code of Practice point 20.5a stipulates that:

    "When issuing a parking charge notice you may use photographs as evidence that a vehicle was parked in an unauthorised way. The photographs must refer to and confirm the incident which you claim was unauthorised. A date and time stamp should be included on the photograph. All photographs used for evidence should be clear and legible and must not be retouched or digitally altered."

    The parking charge notice in question contains two photographs of the vehicle number plate. Neither of these images contains a date and time stamp on the photographs nor do they clearly identify the vehicle entering or leaving this car park (which is also not identifiable in the photos as of any particular location at all).

    The time and date stamp has been inserted into the letter underneath (but not part of) the photographs. The images have also been cropped to only display the number plate. As these are not the original images, I require Euro Car Parks Limited to produce evidence of the original "un-cropped" images containing the required date and time stamp and to evidence where the photographs show the car to be when there is a lack of any marker or sign to indisputably relate these photos to the location stated.

    3) The ANPR system is neither reliable nor accurate.

    The Euro Car Parks evidence shows no parking time, merely two images of a number plate corresponding with that of the vehicle in question. There is no connection demonstrated whatsoever with the car park in question. To capture a vehicle entering Browncross Street car park and actually crossing the boundary into the land in question, it would appear that the only conceivable location for a camera would be directly across the road from the entrance therefore outside the car park and taken from public land.
    In any case it is unreasonable for this operator to record the start of 'parking time' as the moment of arrival in moving traffic if they in fact offer a pay and display system which the driver can only access after parking and which is when the actual action and period of parking commences, when the vehicle is stationary, and when the clock should start from. The exit photo image of the rear number plate cannot be evidence of actual 'parking time' at all, and has not been shown to be synchronized to the pay and display machine clock nor even to relate to the same parking event.

    Additionally you cannot discount that the driver may have driven in and out on two separate occasions both within the allowable grace period. The BPA even mention this as an inherent problem with ANPR on their website; work URLLINK

    The BPA's view is: 'As with all new technology, there are issues associated with its use. Some ‘drive in/drive out’ motorists that have activated the system receive a charge certificate even though they have not parked or taken a ticket. Reputable operators tend not to uphold charge certificates issued in this manner...'

    Additionally under paragraph 21.3 of the BPA Code of Practice, parking companies are required to ensure ANPR equipment is maintained and is in correct working order. I require Euro Car Parks to provide records with the location of the cameras used in this instance, together dates and times of when the equipment was checked, calibrated, maintained and synchronised with the timer which stamps the photo images to ensure the accuracy of the ANPR images. As the parking charge is founded entirely on 2 photos of the vehicle number plate allegedly entering and leaving the car park at specific times (not shown within the photographic images), it is vital that Euro Car Parks produces evidence in response to these points.

    In addition to showing their maintenance records, I require Euro Car Parks to show evidence to rebut the following assertion. I suggest that in the case of this vehicle being in that car park, a local camera, one of which was located outside the car park, took the image but a remote server added the time stamps. As the two are disconnected by the internet and do not have a common "time synchronisation system", there is no proof that the time stamp added is actually the exact time of the image. The Operator appears to use WIFI which introduces a delay through buffering, so "live" is not really "live". Hence, without a synchronised time stamp, there is no evidence that the image is ever time stamped with an accurate time. Therefore I contend that this ANPR evidence from the cameras in this car park is just as unreliable and unsynchronised as the evidence put forward in the recent case of ParkingEye v Fox-Jones on 8 Nov 2013. That case was dismissed when the judge deemed the evidence from ParkingEye to be fundamentally flawed because the synchronisation of the camera pictures with the timer had been called into question and the operator could not rebut the point. As its whole charge rests upon two timed photo images, I put Euro Car Parks to strict proof to the contrary.

    4) Lack of signage - unclear signage – no contract with driver - no adequate notice of the charge, maximum stay nor grace period.

    The entrance signage was not suitably placed to be read from a distance for a driver in an approaching car whilst manoeuvring into the car park from Browncross Street and many of the words are in a small font and are not legible or intelligible.

    The BPA Code of Practice states that- “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. Keep a record of where all the signs are. Signs must be conspicuous and legible, and written in intelligible language, so that they are easy to see, read and understand. Signs showing your detailed terms and conditions must be at least 450mm x 450mm. “

    There were no conspicuous signs throughout the site, and the signage at the pay machines contains texts so small as to be unintelligible, furthermore I put Euro car Parks to strict proof otherwise, As well as a site map they must show photographs of the signs as the driver would seem them on entering the car park bearing in mind that they may be completely unfamiliar with the area, the approach to the car, the entrance to the car park, or the layout of the car park. A Notice is not imported into the contract unless brought home so prominently that the party ‘must’ have known of it and agreed terms. If the driver did not notice any signs; there was no consideration/acceptance and no contract agreed between the parties. Furthermore as stated (point #4) a suitable grace period must be allowed for the driver to find a suitable parking space, find the signs containing the parking terms, (should they be easily located), decide whether to accept these terms and leave the car park in a safe manner.

    Furthermore the driver has not been identified and I have no obligation to assist an operator in this regard, even if I was certain which of several drivers could have used the car that day. As liability for this charge depends entirely upon this operator fulfilling all requirements of Schedule 4, it is mandatory that the driver(s) are unambiguously and clearly informed of terms and the parking charge itself:

    (3) ''For the purposes of sub-paragraph (2) “adequate notice” means notice given by — (b)...the display of one or more notices which—

    (i) specify the sum as the charge for unauthorised parking; and

    (ii) are adequate to bring the charge to the notice of drivers who park vehicles on the relevant land.''

    In fact, their signs are not visible from a car seat before parking and the words are completely unreadable and incapable of forming a contract before the act of parking (it is trite law that afterwards - after parking in this case - is too late).

    The sign also breaches the BPA CoP Appendix B which effectively renders it unable to form a contract with a driver.

    The £100 sum on the yellow sign shown in the Euro Car Park’s letter is completely unreadable. The £100 is in such a small font that it seems to be at least half the size of the font used for the tariffs. Any reasonable driver looking at that sign, either inside or outside of their car, would conclude that the highest possible charge is £6.50. No driver could be held to have read about the £100, on the balance of probabilities.

    The sign is also incapable of creating any 'relevant obligation' or 'relevant contract' being the basic requirements leading to the possibility of 'keeper liability' under Schedule 4 of the POFA.

    In the Beavis case, the Supreme Court Judge concluded that signs must be in 'large lettering and prominent' and very clear as to the terms by which a driver will later be bound. I have made my detailed submission to show how the applicable law (POFA), the BPA Code of Practice and case law (Beavis) undoubtedly supports my appeal, which I submit should now be determined in my favour.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 21st Jul 16, 12:13 PM
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    You've missed out 'no landowner authority' probably due to copying one where the OP removed it because they knew ECP were Leasehold owners of the site. In all other cases, you need this sort of thing shown in point #3:

    BTW are you sure the PCN you have there fails paragraph 9 of the POFA in the ways you have copied from another appeal? I saw a ECP NTK on pepipoo forum and they've very recently improved the wording, AFAIK.

    And you need a section stating:

    No evidence of a contravention - the driver did pay and display

    ...and put ECP to strict proof otherwise. You can say (talking about the driver in the third person) that:

    the driver often uses that car park in Manchester and certainly paid £5.50 in cash for an "up to 12 hour stay". The driver states it was one of those machines where you have to input your car reg and the ticket then states your reg number. The driver paid and put the ticket on the dashboard, clearly visible. There was no contravention and the driver cannot understand what has failed in ECP's machine and system on this day but believes an interruption in the technology has caused a gap in the data held, meaning their records have missed a payment, in error.
    Last edited by Coupon-mad; 21-07-2016 at 12:18 PM.
    • Greg1508
    • By Greg1508 21st Jul 16, 12:24 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    what does AFAIK mean?
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 21st Jul 16, 12:26 PM
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    Google it...!
    • Greg1508
    • By Greg1508 21st Jul 16, 12:38 PM
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    • 4 Thanks
    fair point. That's a new one for me, I thought it was the name of a forum user or something.

    I think I'm on dodgy ground with the paragraph 9 points, so I'm going to remove them.

    Also, I've added a landowner authority clause in:

    5) No landowner Authority:

    I question Euro Car Parks Limited’s authority from the landowner, to enforce parking charges regarding alleged breaches at this car park.

    BPA CoP paragraphs 7.1 & 7.2 dictate some of the required contract wording. I put Euro Car Parks Limited to strict proof of the contract terms with the actual landowner (not a lessee or agent who has no more title than the operator). I question Euro Car Parks Limited’s legal status to enforce this charge because there is no assignment of rights to pursue PCNs in the courts in neither their own name nor standing to form contracts with drivers themselves.

    They do not own this car park and appear (at best) to have a bare licence to put signs up and ‘ticket’ vehicles on site, merely acting as agents on behalf of a principal. No evidence has been supplied lawfully showing that Euro Car Parks Limited is entitled to pursue these charges in their own right in the courts which is a strict requirement within the BPA CoP. I suggest that Euro Car Parks Limited are certainly not empowered by the landowner to sue customers and visitors in a free of charge enormous car park and that issuing 'PCNs' by post is no evidence of any right to actually pursue charges in court.

    In addition, Section 7.3 of the CoP states:

    “The written authorisation must also set out:

    a) the definition of the land on which you may operate, so that the boundaries of the land can be clearly defined
    b) Any conditions or restrictions on parking control and enforcement operations, including any restrictions on hours of operation
    c) Any conditions or restrictions on the types of vehicles that may, or may not, be subject to parking control and enforcement
    d) Who has the responsibility for putting up and maintaining signs
    e) The definition of the services provided by each party to the agreement.''

    I put Euro Car Parks Limited to strict proof of compliance with all of the above requirements.

    This is vital; especially in view of the signs where it is clear on close scrutiny, is that someone (identity not established and I ask the operator for evidence in this regard) has changed the time limit to 4.5 hours at some point. So, I contend that the contract - if this operator produces one - does not reflect the altered signage and if only a basic agreement or 'witness statement' is produced, then this will fail to demonstrate compliance with 7.3 (in particular, point b and d, above).

    It is eminently possible that the contract states only the original free parking period (whatever that was) and therefore a sticker over a sign is unsupported by the will of the landowner in any contract. This would destroy any attempt by this operator to argue there is a Beavis-case-style 'legitimate interest' backed by any commercial justification and wishes of the landowner to sue customers after just 4.5 hours in a car park where they have only allowed this agent to issue PCNs after a completely different period.

    I require Euro Car Parks Limited to provide a full copy of the contemporaneous, signed & dated contract with the landowner showing evidence to meet 7.3 of the CoP. In order to comply, a non-landowner private parking company must have a specifically-worded contract with the landowner – not merely an ‘agreement’ with a non-landholder managing agent – otherwise there is no authority.

    and I'll add your bit about the evidence too. Thank you, much appreciated.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 21st Jul 16, 12:41 PM
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    Get rid of stuff from that about a 'sticker over a sign' which isn't the case for you is it? Proof reading your final draft or getting a fresh pair of eyes in the family to read it is a good plan.
    • Greg1508
    • By Greg1508 21st Jul 16, 4:33 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    on the POPLA 'Start New Appeal', which option do I select? Is it Other?
    • Greg1508
    • By Greg1508 21st Jul 16, 4:52 PM
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    • 4 Thanks
    I selected Other and it was the correct one, appeal submitted. Thanks to all who advised me, in particular Coupon-Mad (apologies CM for my numerous stupid/lazy questions).

    Hopefully ECP won't contest it, either way I will provide an update on the outcome.

    If POPLA reject my appeal, do I have no option but to pay ECP the £100? If I refuse to pay them, could I end up with a CCJ?
    • bod1467
    • By bod1467 21st Jul 16, 5:08 PM
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    If POPLA reject your appeal your situation is unchanged ... you DO NOT have to pay the PCN; POPLA rulings are binding only on the PPC.

    The PPC would need to take you to court, win, and you fail to pay any judgment in the stated time ... only THEN would you get a CCJ. The chances of all those happening is remote. (ECP don't do many, if any, court claims; you'd defend any claim and would have a reasonable chance of winning; if you lost you'd pay the judgment which would only be £50 ish more than the PCN anyway ... none of those lead to a CCJ, only non-payment of a judgment does).
    • Greg1508
    • By Greg1508 2nd Sep 16, 5:09 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    So, I submitted my appeal on 21st July, kept checking POPLA as I wasn't sure whether they would email me with the decision. They emailed me on 30th August:

    Decision - Successful

    Assessor Name *****

    Assessor summary of operator case
    The operator has failed to provide any evidence in relation to this appeal.

    Assessor summary of your case
    The appellant states the driver made a valid payment to park on the site.

    Assessor supporting rational for decision
    The operator has issued an £100 Parking Charge Notice (PCN) due to the appellant not making a valid payment to park on the site. The appellant states the driver purchased a valid parking ticket and displayed it on the dashboard of his vehicle. By issuing the appellant with a PCN, the operator has implied that the appellant has not complied with the terms and conditions of the car park in question. In terms of POPLA appeals, the burden of proof belongs with the operator to demonstrate that it has issued the PCN correctly. As the operator has not provided a response to the appeal it has not demonstrated that the PCN is valid. Accordingly I must allow the appeal.

    They couldn't even be bothered to provide a rebuttal to my appeal. They must be making that much money off the poor mug's who don't appeal that they are happy to let some appeals slide. In fairness, I genuinely did pay for my ticket, god knows why the machine didn't record my transaction after it had issued me with a ticket. But it has taught me a valuable lesson - always keep hold of your parking tickets for at least a month before binning them, you never know when these idiots will try to charge you for something you've already paid for.

    Thanks again to all those who gave me advice.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 5th Sep 16, 9:14 PM
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    Just seen this - well done!
    • disgruntled of ...
    • By disgruntled of ... 8th Aug 18, 5:01 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    disgruntled of ...
    euro car parks - PCN Uxbridge

    I recently received PCN from euro car parks IN A FREE CUSTOMER CAR PARK for exceeding one hour.
    I used your template to appeal the £90 fine and today they have confirmed that they will waive the fine "as a goodwill gesture"
    The car park is a small retail site in Uxbridge - I also took your advice and wrote to Halfords and Wickes who occupy the site.
    Halfords responded saying that Euro Car Parks "owned" the car park, there are signs to clearly state the time restrictions and that I should take it up with ECP directly.
    Wickes asked me to pop in to see the store manager with the PCN to resolve but as I've been travelling I've not been to Wickes as yet.
    I'm so glad that I took the time to research before paying!!
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