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
    • dini2k
    • By dini2k 10th Jul 18, 3:11 PM
    • 8Posts
    • 0Thanks
    dini2k
    ParkingEye parking charge help - Popla appeal stage
    • #1
    • 10th Jul 18, 3:11 PM
    ParkingEye parking charge help - Popla appeal stage 10th Jul 18 at 3:11 PM
    Hi all,

    I would greatly appreciate your help and guidence on this matter as I have never received one of these PCNs before and from what I have read on the newbie forum you seem to know your stuff!

    Ok so my Mother has been hit with a parking charge from ParkingEye of £100 because on the 17th of May 2018 I borrowed her car and entered a private car park and left without paying. The anpr cameras have picked up the time of entry and time of exit. I was there for a total of 16 minutes TRYING to park. Unfortuantey the car park was completely full and very tight to drive around, everything is one way and only room for 1 car lane. After I entered more cars entered behind me aswell. To cut a long story short I ended up not parking at all and left. The car park in question is the Airport Pub in Manchester. Those who know it will testify how busy it gets there.

    So let me explain what I have done so far.

    1. I received the PCN letter in the post dated 23/05/18
    this is the letter saying its a £100 charge but I can pay £60 etc..
    it has the POFA / further info statement on back

    2. I have appealed to parkingeye on their appeals page using the template supplied on the newbies forum.

    3. I have now had a letter saying my appeal has been rejected by parkingeye and now I have a POPLA number to appeal their with.

    I am new to this and dont want to make any newbie mistakes, can somebody suggest how best to appeal this. The last thing I want is my mum to have to go to court!!

    If I have missed any important information out please let me know and I will correct.


    Thanks in advance

    Dini2k
Page 1
    • Le_Kirk
    • By Le_Kirk 10th Jul 18, 3:51 PM
    • 2,821 Posts
    • 1,713 Thanks
    Le_Kirk
    • #2
    • 10th Jul 18, 3:51 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Jul 18, 3:51 PM
    You have done well to use the forum to send the template appeal letter. Now return to the NEWBIE section and search for POPLA appeal points. Post your appeal here for critique before submitting it. Do not miss the POPLA deadline, i.e. let the POPLA code expire.
    • dini2k
    • By dini2k 13th Jul 18, 2:49 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    dini2k
    • #3
    • 13th Jul 18, 2:49 PM
    appeal draft 1
    • #3
    • 13th Jul 18, 2:49 PM
    Appeal re POPLA code 606******* - 523***/416*** ParkingEye
    I am writing to you to lodge a formal appeal against a parking charge notice sent to myself as registered keeper of the vehicle in question. I was NOT the driver.
    I contend that I am not liable for this parking charge on the basis of the below points:


    The signs in this car park are not prominent, clear or legible from all parking spaces and there is insufficient notice of the sum of the parking charge itself

    I note that within the Protection of Freedoms Act (POFA) 2012 it discusses the clarity that needs to be provided to make a motorist aware of the parking charge. Specifically, it requires that the driver is given 'adequate notice' of the charge. POFA 2012 defines 'adequate notice' as follows:

    ''(3) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (2) 'adequate notice' means notice given by: (a) the display of one or more notices in accordance with any applicable requirements prescribed in regulations under paragraph 12 for, or for purposes including, the purposes of sub-paragraph (2); or (b) where no such requirements apply, 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''.

    Even in circumstances where POFA 2012 does not apply, I believe this to be a reasonable standard to use when making my own assessment, as appellant, of the signage in place at the location. Having considered the signage in place at this particular site against the requirements of Section 18 of the BPA Code of Practice and POFA 2012, I am of the view that the signage at the site - given the minuscule font size of the £sum, which is illegible in most photographs and does not appear at all at the entrance - is NOT sufficient to bring the parking charge (i.e. the sum itself) to the attention of the motorist.

    There was no contract nor agreement on the 'parking charge' at all. It is submitted that the driver did not have a fair opportunity to read about any terms involving this huge charge, which is out of all proportion and not saved by the dissimilar 'ParkingEye Ltd v Beavis' case.

    In the Beavis case, which turned on specific facts relating only to the signs at that site and the unique interests and intentions of the landowners, the signs were unusually clear and not a typical example for this notorious industry. The Supreme Court were keen to point out the decision related to that car park and those facts only:



    link


    In the Beavis case, the £85 charge itself was in the largest font size with a contrasting colour background and the terms were legible, fairly concise and unambiguous. There were 'large lettering' signs at the entrance and all around the car park, according to the Judges.

    Here is the 'Beavis case' sign as a comparison to the signs under dispute in this case:


    link


    This case, by comparison, does not demonstrate an example of the 'large lettering' and 'prominent signage' that impressed the Supreme Court Judges and swayed them into deciding that in the specific car park in the Beavis case alone, a contract and 'agreement on the charge' existed.

    Here, the signs are sporadically placed, indeed obscured and hidden in some areas. They are unremarkable, not immediately obvious as parking terms and the wording is mostly illegible, being crowded and cluttered with a lack of white space as a background. It is indisputable that placing letters too close together in order to fit more information into a smaller space can drastically reduce the legibility of a sign, especially one which must be read BEFORE the action of parking and leaving the car.

    It is vital to observe, since 'adequate notice of the parking charge' is mandatory under the POFA Schedule 4 and the BPA Code of Practice, these signs do not clearly mention the parking charge which is hidden in small print (and does not feature at all on some of the signs). Areas of this site are unsigned and there are no full terms displayed - i.e. with the sum of the parking charge itself in large lettering - at the entrance either, so it cannot be assumed that a driver drove past and could read a legible sign, nor parked near one.

    This case is more similar to the signage in POPLA decision 5960956830 on 2.6.16, where the Assessor Rochelle Merritt found as fact that signs in a similar size font in a busy car park where other unrelated signs were far larger, was inadequate:

    ''the signage is not of a good enough size to afford motorists the chance to read and understand the terms and conditions before deciding to remain in the car park. [...] In addition the operators signs would not be clearly visible from a parking space [...] The appellant has raised other grounds for appeal but I have not dealt with these as I have allowed the appeal.''

    From the evidence I have seen so far, the terms appear to be displayed inadequately, in letters no more than about half an inch high, approximately. I put the operator to strict proof as to the size of the wording on their signs and the size of lettering for the most onerous term, the parking charge itself.

    The letters seem to be no larger than .40 font size going by this guide:


    link


    As further evidence that this is inadequate notice, Letter Height Visibility is discussed here:


    link


    ''When designing your sign, consider how you will be using it, as well as how far away the readers you want to impact will be. For example, if you are placing a sales advertisement inside your retail store, your text only needs to be visible to the people in the store. 1-2' letters (or smaller) would work just fine. However, if you are hanging banners and want drivers on a nearby highway to be able to see them, design your letters at 3' or even larger.''


    ...and the same chart is reproduced here:


    link


    ''When designing an outdoor sign for your business keep in mind the readability of the letters. Letters always look smaller when mounted high onto an outdoor wall''.

    ''...a guideline for selecting sign letters. Multiply the letter height by 10 and that is the best viewing distance in feet. Multiply the best viewing distance by 4 and that is the max viewing distance.''

    So, a letter height of just half an inch, showing the terms and the 'charge' and placed high on a wall or pole or buried in far too crowded small print, is woefully inadequate in an outdoor car park. Given that letters look smaller when high up on a wall or pole, as the angle renders the words less readable due to the perspective and height, you would have to stand right in front of it and still need a stepladder (and perhaps a torch and/or magnifying glass) to be able to read the terms.

    Under Lord Denning's Red Hand Rule, the charge (being 'out of all proportion' with expectations of drivers in this car park and which is the most onerous of terms) should have been effectively: 'in red letters with a red hand pointing to it' - i.e. VERY clear and prominent with the terms in large lettering, as was found to be the case in the car park in 'Beavis'. A reasonable interpretation of the 'red hand rule' and the 'signage visibility distance' tables above and the BPA Code of Practice, taking all information into account, would require a parking charge and the terms to be displayed far more transparently, on a lower sign and in far larger lettering, with fewer words and more 'white space' as background contrast. Indeed in the Consumer Rights Act 2015 there is a 'Requirement for transparency':

    (1) A trader must ensure that a written term of a consumer contract, or a consumer notice in writing, is transparent.
    (2) A consumer notice is transparent for the purposes of subsection (1) if it is expressed in plain and intelligible language and it is legible.

    The Beavis case signs not being similar to the signs in this appeal at all, I submit that the persuasive case law is in fact 'Vine v London Borough of Waltham Forest [2000] EWCA Civ 106' about a driver not seeing the terms and consequently, she was NOT deemed bound by them.

    This judgment is binding case law from the Court of Appeal and supports my argument, not the operator's case:


    link


    This was a victory for the motorist and found that, where terms on a sign are not seen and the area is not clearly marked/signed with prominent terms, the driver has not consented to - and cannot have 'breached' - an unknown contract because there is no contract capable of being established. The driver in that case (who had not seen any signs/lines) had NOT entered into a contract. The recorder made a clear finding of fact that the plaintiff, Miss Vine, did not see a sign because the area was not clearly marked as 'private land' and the signs were obscured/not adjacent to the car and could not have been seen and read from a driver's seat before parking.

    So, for this appeal, I put this operator to strict proof of where the car was parked and (from photos taken in the same lighting conditions) how their signs appeared on that date, at that time, from the angle of the driver's perspective. Equally, I require this operator to show how the entrance signs appear from a driver's seat, not stock examples of 'the sign' in isolation/close-up. I submit that full terms simply cannot be read from a car before parking and mere 'stock examples' of close-ups of the (alleged) signage terms will not be sufficient to disprove this.

    The operator has not shown that the individual who it is pursuing is in fact the driver who may have been potentially liable for the charge

    In cases with a keeper appellant, yet no POFA 'keeper liability' to rely upon, POPLA must first consider whether they are confident that the Assessor knows who the driver is, based on the evidence received. No presumption can be made about liability whatsoever. A vehicle can be driven by any person (with the consent of the owner) as long as the driver is insured. There is no dispute that the driver was entitled to drive the car and I can confirm that they were, but I am exercising my right not to name that person.

    In this case, no other party apart from an evidenced driver can be told to pay. As there has been no admission regarding who was driving, and no evidence has been produced, it has been held by POPLA on numerous occasions, that a parking charge cannot be enforced against a keeper without a valid NTK.

    As the keeper of the vehicle, it is my right to choose not to name the driver, yet still not be lawfully held liable if an operator is not using or complying with Schedule 4. This applies regardless of when the first appeal was made and regardless of whether a purported 'NTK' was served or not, because the fact remains I am only appealing as the keeper and ONLY Schedule 4 of the POFA (or evidence of who was driving) can cause a keeper appellant to be deemed to be the liable party.

    The burden of proof rests with the Operator to show that (as an individual) I have personally not complied with terms in place on the land and show that I am personally liable for their parking charge. They cannot.

    Furthermore, the vital matter of full compliance with the POFA was confirmed by parking law expert barrister, Henry Greenslade, the previous POPLA Lead Adjudicator, in 2015:

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


    Therefore, no lawful right exists to pursue unpaid parking charges from myself as keeper of the vehicle, where an operator cannot transfer the liability for the charge using the POFA.

    This exact finding was made in 6061796103 against ParkingEye in September 2016, where POPLA Assessor Carly Law found:
    ''I note the operator advises that it is not attempting to transfer the liability for the charge using the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 and so in mind, the operator continues to hold the driver responsible. As such, I must first consider whether I am confident that I know who the driver is, based on the evidence received. After considering the evidence, I am unable to confirm that the appellant is in fact the driver. As such, I must allow the appeal on the basis that the operator has failed to demonstrate that the appellant is the driver and therefore liable for the charge. As I am allowing the appeal on this basis, I do not need to consider the other grounds of appeal raised by the appellant. Accordingly, I must allow this appeal.''

    No evidence of Landowner Authority - the operator is put to strict proof of full compliance with the BPA Code of Practice

    As this operator does not have proprietary interest in the land then I require that they produce an unredacted copy of the contract with the landowner.

    The contract and any 'site agreement' or 'User Manual' setting out details - such as any 'genuine customer' or 'genuine resident' exemptions or any site occupier's 'right of veto' charge cancellation rights, and of course all enforcement dates/times/days, and the boundary of the site - is key evidence to define what this operator is authorised to do, and when/where.

    It cannot be assumed, just because an agent is contracted to merely put some signs up and issue Parking Charge Notices, that the agent is authorised on the material date, to make contracts with all or any category of visiting drivers and/or to enforce the charge in court in their own name (legal action regarding land use disputes generally being a matter for a landowner only).

    Witness statements are not sound evidence of the above, often being pre-signed, generic documents not even identifying the case in hand or even the site rules. A witness statement might in some cases be accepted by POPLA but in this case I suggest it is unlikely to sufficiently evidence the definition of the services provided by each party to the agreement.

    Nor would it define vital information such as charging days/times, any exemption clauses, grace periods (which I believe may be longer than the bare minimum times set out in the BPA CoP) and basic but crucial information such as the site boundary and any bays where enforcement applies/does not apply. Not forgetting evidence of the only restrictions which the landowner has authorised can give rise to a charge, as well as the date that the parking contract began, and when it runs to, or whether it runs in perpetuity, and of course, who the signatories are: name/job title/employer company, and whether they are authorised by the landowner to sign a binding legal agreement.

    Paragraph 7 of the BPA CoP defines the mandatory requirements and I put this operator to strict proof of full compliance:

    7.2 If the operator wishes to take legal action on any outstanding parking charges, they must ensure that they have the written authority of the landowner (or their appointed agent) prior to legal action being taken.

    7.3 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

    Non-compliance with requirements and timetable set out in Schedule 4 of POFA 2012
    If APCOA want to make use of the Keeper Liability provisions in Schedule 4 of POFA 2012 and APCOA have not issued and delivered a parking charge notice to the driver in the place where the parking event took place, your Notice to Keeper must meet the strict requirements and timetable set out in the Schedule (in particular paragraph 9). I have had no evidence that APCOA have complied with these BPA Code requirements for ANPR issued tickets so require them to evidence their compliance to POPLA. Furthermore, the notice to keeper was not received within the maximum 14 day period from the date of the alleged breach. Specifically, the alleged breach occurred on 17th May 2018, and the notice to keeper was received on 4th June 2018.

    The BPA code of practice also says '20.14 when you serve a Notice to Keeper, you must also include information telling the keeper the ‘reasonable cause’ you had for asking the DVLA for their details.' The PCN does not provide this information; this does not comply with the BPA code point 20.14.

    Amount demanded is a penalty
    Amount demanded is a penalty and is punitive, contravening the Consumer Rights Act 2015. The authority on this is ParkingEye v Beavis. That case was characterised by clear and ample signage where the motorist had time to read, and then consider the signage and decide whether to accept or not. In this case the signage was neither clear not ample, and the motorist had not time to read the signage, let alone consider it, as the charge was applied instantly the vehicle stopped. The signage cannot be read safely from a moving vehicle.


    No Grace Period Given (Clause #13 BPA Code of Practice)
    As per section 13 of the BPA Code of Practice: 'You should allow the driver a reasonable 'grace period' in which to decide if they are going to stay or go. If the driver is on your land without permission, you should still allow them a grace period to read your signs and leave before you take enforcement action.' Therefore, if a driver stops for a short period of time to read a sign, they must have the opportunity to leave and not accept the terms of an alleged 'contract'. 90 seconds, I would argue does not breach a fair 'grace period', and therefore APCOA are in breach of the BPA Code of Practice.

    I therefore request that POPLA uphold my appeal and cancel this PCN.

    • dini2k
    • By dini2k 13th Jul 18, 2:51 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    dini2k
    • #4
    • 13th Jul 18, 2:51 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Jul 18, 2:51 PM
    This is my 1st draft , please let me know if there is anything obvious I have left out and I should include.


    thx
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

152Posts Today

1,464Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Donald Trump has apologised and admits he said would when he meant "wouldn't" when siding with Putin over US inte? https://t.co/z1CRJSkEO1

  • About to watch #AckleyBridge on C4+1. I do enjoy it, even though I always feel somewhat stressed and depressed after watching.

  • RT @stevenowottny: 19/30 UK airports now charge you for spending 10 mins dropping someone off at the terminal - good investigation from @je?

  • Follow Martin