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  • FIRST POST
    • RedPen50
    • By RedPen50 12th Sep 18, 12:47 AM
    • 61Posts
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    RedPen50
    Parking in Garage/McDonalds
    • #1
    • 12th Sep 18, 12:47 AM
    Parking in Garage/McDonalds 12th Sep 18 at 12:47 AM
    Hi there, I have been looking at all the help on this site and its giving me hope for my case.

    I wasn't in a car park, but a Macdonald's/garage at the bottom of Salterhebble Hill in Halifax. The way the traffic works is a little strange so I will try to describe it to you - you go into the shared entrance of either McDonald's or the garage. When you want to leave, from McDonalds, you have to drive around the back of the garage and drive up alongside the fence towards the exit - there is only this one from the garage. There are no parking bays, no payment meters, although now I realise that there are double yellow lines by the fence, which I saw for the first time on the notice in the pictures.

    In Feb 2018 I had pulled into the McDonald's restaurant with my cousin (we had just had a hospital appt), and got some food and went around the back of the garage and pulled up side onto the fence to eat. For years, drivers had done this as there is limited parking at McDonald's, but as long as you kept to the left by the fence and didn't stay too long, nothing was said. There is still ample room for two more lines of traffic leaving the garage and so you are not blocking the exit. From August last year there have been extensive roadworks from the Calderdale Royal Hospital (top of Salterhebble Hill) with the whole area under severe lane restrictions. For the majority of the time I bypassed Salterhebble Hill, but, as I said, this was the first time I had gone to McDonalds, or driven around the garage and parked by the fence in nearly a year - another car even parked behind me. Some time later I was shocked to receive a parking charge letter through the post from the Hx Car Park Management Ltd, with video pictures of my vehicle 'parked' and it took me a few minutes to figure out that it was at the garage. I then did something which I now know I shouldn't have done. I called up the company and spoke to an operator, explaining that there had never been parking restrictions before - it was a garage, no bays or parking meters etc - and the op just kept telling me that the signs were there and I should have seen them. I also mentioned I was there for a few minutes whilst I ate my burger and then left. The op told me that they give 5 minutes grace to read the signs. I went back to the garage and found that there were indeed signs, fixed to the fence, not much bigger than A4 size. Nothing else, no warning signs at the entrance to the garage or McDonalds, only on the fence, where other advertising banners were shown. I realised that, as the fence was on the left, and the driver is sitting in the car, even if I had turned and seen the sign, the only text I could see was the 'No Stopping' text, everything else was too small. I also had a passenger sitting on the left, part blocking the sign. I have noted on one of the threads on here, that a judge on a case agreed that if a driver has to get out of the car to read the sign, this was contrary and enticing the driver to breach the conditions.


    I wasn't sure whether to respond to the notice and sure enough received letters from Gladstones, 'inviting' me to pay off the fine. Using a template from a thread on here, I responded, pointing out all the issues above, and some others which I can't remember just now as I'm getting tired due to the late hour, and I was then told to complete a protocol, which I did. I received an email from Gladstones, just really stating everything that they had done previously.



    In other words, she was just re-iterating what had been said previously. When I asked, via the protocol, for a copy of their contract, they replied that the sign was their contract. When I went onto their website, I struggled to find a copy of their contract.

    A short while later I was passing the garage and noticed that all of the signs had been taken down from the fence. I was puzzled and then wondered if the company was changing the signs after receiving my response. It was around a week before I saw someone putting them back on the fence again. I did take before and after pictures, but to me they looked the same, so not sure what that was about.

    I have now received a County Court Business Centre Claim Form. I have again used a thread on here to fill out the online AOS section and that's where I'm at.

    I know this is a long winded first thread, but its the first time I've done anything like this and quite frankly getting very distressed over it all. I have taken some hope from the successes on here and hope someone can help. Do I have a case? Should I have just paid to begin with?


    Many thanks for your advice/input.

Page 4
    • RedPen50
    • By RedPen50 16th Oct 18, 8:53 PM
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    RedPen50
    Ok, so I sent a quick email to the CCBC today enquiring about the N180 form and half an hour later they emailed the form through. I have completed it and emailed it back to the court and to Gladstones - I have posted copies too. Feeling a bit better about this now.


    One question - in the last email from Gladstones they were talking about dealing with this case via papers only. There was nothing on the form about this - is this something I will deal with later? Or do I need to directly email Gladstones and tell them no to this?
    Thanks.
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 16th Oct 18, 9:19 PM
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    KeithP
    One question - in the last email from Gladstones they were talking about dealing with this case via papers only. There was nothing on the form about this - is this something I will deal with later? Or do I need to directly email Gladstones and tell them no to this?
    Thanks.
    Originally posted by RedPen50
    Didn't Bargepole's walkthrough linked from post #2 of the NEWBIES FAQ sticky thread specifically answer that question?
    .
    • RedPen50
    • By RedPen50 16th Oct 18, 10:19 PM
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    RedPen50
    I found the paragraph on second read through - thanks. I knew I had seen it somewhere. There wasn't much room to put the whole paragraph in the D1 box - I have forwarded the paragraph via email to both CCBC and Gladstones, so hopefully that should suffice.
    • RedPen50
    • By RedPen50 1st Nov 18, 10:37 AM
    • 61 Posts
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    RedPen50
    Right, so now got a letter saying that the case has been sent to Bradford Crown Court. Just waiting for notice of allocation ... bring it on!
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 1st Nov 18, 11:13 AM
    • 21,435 Posts
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    Umkomaas
    Right, so now got a letter saying that the case has been sent to Bradford Crown Court. Just waiting for notice of allocation ... bring it on!
    Originally posted by RedPen50
    Is that your local court (or one convenient to you)?
    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.
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 1st Nov 18, 12:21 PM
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    KeithP
    Right, so now got a letter saying that the case has been sent to Bradford Crown Court. Just waiting for notice of allocation ... bring it on!
    Originally posted by RedPen50
    Did the letter really say that?

    I would've expected it to say "Bradford County Court".

    They're both in the same building but don't go the the wrong one.
    .
    • RedPen50
    • By RedPen50 6th Nov 18, 8:24 PM
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    RedPen50
    Apologies, yes it is the County Court, I'm going cross eyed with all of this stress.
    • RedPen50
    • By RedPen50 6th Nov 18, 8:25 PM
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    RedPen50
    Its not my local court, I asked for Halifax, but I can still get to Bradford without too much trouble.
    • RedPen50
    • By RedPen50 7th Nov 18, 5:30 PM
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    RedPen50
    Ok I have got a trial date for 18th Jan 2019.


    There are leaflets inside, again asking me to take up their mediation service, which I won't take up. I want to face them in court and point that finger.

    On the NOA, it states "District Judge Hickinbottom … allocated the claim to the small claims track" - does that mean that he/she will be the judge on the day?
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 8th Nov 18, 1:56 AM
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    Coupon-mad
    No it doesn't, there are several Judges there.

    I seem to recall that Judge is a she, and she was the one in stevey's case that his wife lost, but that same Judge was the one in another case, that was won.

    Search the forum for that Judge's surname and read the cases reported to see what she is like, in case she is at your hearing.

    And we trust you are not going to file that letter and drop the ball re the WS deadline!
    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
    • RedPen50
    • By RedPen50 10th Nov 18, 1:42 AM
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    RedPen50
    Will do - I am putting together my WS as we speak - I assume by 'not going to file that letter' that you mean about the mediation? Cos, no definitely not!
    Just a quick question - I had my cousin with me at the time (it was his hospital appt we had just been to) and so I have asked him to be a witness at the hearing. Do we prepare his witness statement like mine, i.e. the claim number and court at the top? If so, how do we word it i.e. I am xxx, the defendant's cousin etc?
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 10th Nov 18, 1:53 AM
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    KeithP
    I wouldn't draw attention to any relationship between the witness and the keeper.

    "I am Joe Bloggs, and I was an occupant of the car" should be good enough.
    .
    • RedPen50
    • By RedPen50 17th Nov 18, 12:03 AM
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    RedPen50
    I'm still putting my witness statement together along with my cousin's statement but I have dashcam footage of the actual site, showing the lack of signs etc but how would I show / take this to the court? I know I could email a copy of the footage but would they want to play it on the day? Should I take a copy of the footage on my stick?
    • RedPen50
    • By RedPen50 26th Nov 18, 7:57 PM
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    RedPen50
    Well I have finished my WS - I would be so grateful if you would all have a look and see what you think. I originally was starting to include a lot more information and it was starting to look like my defence part 2! Luckily I saw a message from Bargepole and so I have cut it right down - hopefully not too much. Please see below:


    In the County Court at Bradford XXX


    Claim No: XXX


    between


    Hx Car Park Management Ltd (Claimant)


    vs


    Miss XXX (Defendant)




    WITNESS STATEMENT


    1. I, XXX, of XXX, the Defendant in this matter, will say as follows:


    2. Attached to this statement is a paginated bundle of documents marked XXX to which I will refer.


    3. Before I describe what happened on the day I visited McDonald's / garage, I confirm that the essence of my defence to this claim is that:


    a) I did not block the shared exit as per the contravention
    b) I did not breach the terms and conditions of parking.


    4. On 1st February 2018 after taking my cousin to his diabetic hospital appointment, we realised that the long delay at the appointment had forced us to miss his lunch. We decided to stop at the McDonald's Restaurant at the bottom of Salterhebble Hill.


    5. The entrance to the site is a shared on between McDonald's and the garage and the vehicles must keep left to either enter the drive thru lane or the outside lane which leads around the back of the building to the few parking spaces around the side. To leave McDonalds, vehicles must follow the arrowed exit signs which lead around the outside of the garage, by the air and water pumps and down along a perimeter fence, leading to the shared exit at the back of the garage (please see Exhibit X). After finishing our food, I drove off the site, dropped my cousin off at his flat and continued back to work.


    6. Upon receipt of the Parking Notice and, subsequently, the Notice to Keeper, from the Claimant's solicitors, Gladstones, and not being experienced in these matters, I call the number given and spoke to an operative from the Hx Car Park Management Company. During this conversation, I asked why I had not been given time to a) see the signs and b) read the signs. The operative told me that they do give a grace period of approximately five minutes and proceeded to tell me that I should have seen the signs. I appealed via email (please see Exhibit X).


    7. I checked my vehicle dash cam but, unfortunately, as it records only minutes at a time in a loop, by the time I was aware of the PCN, the footage from the day in question had already been erased.


    8. After my appeal was refused, I sent an email (please see Exhibit X).


    9. On 11th June 2018, I received a Letter before Claim letter from Gladstones.


    10. On 4th July I was asked to create a login on Gladstones website to I could register a Pre-Action Protocol which I did. I had already sent the Protocol via MCOL and so copied it on Gladstones.


    11. On 13th July 2018 I received another email from Gladstones, refusing to accept the Protocol in which the litigation assistant provided me with exactly the same information previously sent to me for me to prepare my case (Exhibit X).


    12. I have responded to all correspondence from Hx Car Park Management Ltd and Gladstones Solicitors, however they have elected to refuse my evidence and appeals and have pursued this matter via litigation.


    13. I invite the Court to dismiss this claim in its entirety and to aware my costs of attendance at the hearing, such as are allowable pursuant to CPR 27.14.


    Statement of Truth.


    I believe that the facts stated in this Witness Statement are true.


    Signature:


    Date:
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 26th Nov 18, 8:17 PM
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    KeithP
    Redpen, I think you need a lot more in that Witness Statement.

    I've just re-read your Defence in post #42.

    Are you not going to expand upon, and evidence, all the points in your Defence?

    Just one example, para 5 in your Defence is titled "5. Signage-Prohibitive".
    There is no mention of prohibitive signs in your WS.
    You perhaps need pictures of those signs and need to refer to those pics in your WS. You need to state how they are prohibitive.
    .
    • RedPen50
    • By RedPen50 26th Nov 18, 9:06 PM
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    • 20 Thanks
    RedPen50
    Hi KeithP - I thought I had cut it down too much - I did try to build from the defence but it was ending up 8-9 pages long, almost word for word. No problem, I will start to expand on sections from my defence. I do have pictures, dash cam footage and copies of court cases etc but still need to work out what I have and where I will insert them. Many thanks.
    • RedPen50
    • By RedPen50 30th Nov 18, 12:12 AM
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    • 20 Thanks
    RedPen50
    Ok, so I have now put back in everything that I had originally taken out so it's a bit more relevant. I know there are still areas that need going through etc but just wondered how its looking and if I am heading in the right direction. Any notes would be appreciated.


    In the County Court at Bradford XXX

    Claim No: XXX

    between

    Hx Car Park Management Ltd (Claimant)

    vs

    Miss XXX (Defendant)


    WITNESS STATEMENT
     
    1. I, XXX, of XXX, the Defendant in this matter, will say as follows:

    2. Attached to this statement is a paginated bundle of documents marked XXX to which I will refer.

    3. Before I describe what happened on the day I visited McDonald's / garage, I confirm that the essence of my defence to this claim is that:

    a) I did not block the shared exit as per the contravention
    b) I did not breach the terms and conditions of parking.

    4. On 1st February 2018 after taking my cousin to his diabetic hospital appointment, we realised that the long delay at the appointment had forced us to miss his lunch. We decided to stop at the McDonald's Restaurant at the bottom of Salterhebble Hill.

    5. The entrance to the site is a shared one between McDonald's and the garage and the vehicles must keep left to either enter the drive thru lane or the outside lane which leads around the back of the building to the few parking spaces around the side. To leave McDonalds, vehicles must loop around the building and back to the entrance, following the exit arrows which lead around the outside of the garage, past the air and water pumps and down along a perimeter fence. This leads to the shared exit at the back of the garage. On page X of X please refer to Exhibit X, which is dash cam footage of the route I took from the A629.

    6. As my cousin suffers from various conditions, one of which is an anti-social disorder, and he had already had a long hospital appointment, we decided not to go into MacDonald's due to the people inside. We bought our food and I parked the car along the fence and we ate our lunch. I had finished eating first and so I set off, re-joined the A629, drove my cousin back to his flat and I continued on my way back to work.

    7. Upon receipt of the Parking Notice, I called Hx Car Park Management Ltd contact number and spoke to an operative. During this conversation, I asked why I had not been given time to a) see the signs and b) read the signs. The operative told me that they give a grace period of approximately five minutes and proceeded to tell me that I should have seen the signs and not seeing them was not an excuse.


    8. I appealed via email, on page X of X, please see Exhibit X which is a copy of my email.


    9. The contravention on the PCN states I was 'Parked in an area that should be kept clear at all times'. I previously disputed the accuracy of the photographic evidence due to them being taken at ground level, on an angle and side on to the garage building which distorts the true width of the area.


    10. As stated in my defence document, paragraph d, "even if the court is minded to accept that a sign is visible, the wording on the sign was prohibitive. Unlike in the Beavis case, the Claimant offered no licence to park if unauthorised". Please see page X of X, Exhibit X which is a photograph of one of the signs on the site taken approximately one foot away.


    11. In addition, please see page X, Exhibit X, which shows a paragraph from Part E, Schedule 5-Parking Charges from the IPC Code of Practice "When a motorist parks on private land that you control, you will have put in place terms and conditions by which motorists must abide if they wish to park on the land. If the motorist abides by the conditions they enjoy the normal tariff for parking and no Parking Charges are issued ... The signs should make clear that motorists are entering into an agreement to either pay the normal tariff and park in accordance with reasonsable conditions or park otherwise than in accordance with your conditions and pay a higher sum. In this case the motorist has entered into a contract to pay the higher fee and that fee is the 'price' of parking". Please refer to page X, Exhibit X, showing a sign from the site and, as highlighted above, reveals that the sign does not offer a licence to park and so can only be deemed prohibitive.


    12. There are no entrance signs to warn motorists that they are being monitored, contrary to the IPC Code of Practice, Part E Schedule 1 - Signage, "Signs should, where practicable, be placed at the entrance to a site. Otherwise the signage within the site must be such as to be obvious to the motorist". Please see page X, Exhibits X and X which are Google Earth Street View photographs (June 2018) showing both the shared entrance and exit of the site respectively, taken from the Brewer's Fayre Restaurant opposite the garage. These photographs clearly show:
    a) there are no entrance signs or, indeed any signs around the MacDonald's Restaurant and no signs around the actual garage building and forecourt. The only place where signs are displayed is on the perimeter fence. Please also refer back to Exhibit X, the dash cam footage. Please also note that on the original PCN, taken in February 2018, the side of the garage building is bare, showing an air vent; on the recent dash cam footage, (October 2018), there is now a Hx Car Park sign on the garage building.
    b) how the section of the exit where I had parked was the wider part, freely allowing multiple columns of vehicles to exit without obstruction.
    13. he text on the signs are too small to be seen from even a slow moving vehicle - please refer back to Exhibit X, the previous dash cam footage, showing the whole site.

    14. When I conducted my investigative visit to the site I looked for the ANPR camera which recorded my entrance and exit to the site. As stated in the IPC CoP, Part B, 3. Automatic Number Plate Recognition 3.2 "Where ANPR technology is used, this must be clearly stated using appropriate signage". It is only when viewing the photograph as evidence in Exhibit X, the only reference to any camera at all is in the very small text and also a small camera icon at the bottom of the sign.

    15. I could not find the ANPR mast on the site but I did find the white lampost that is on the right hand side of the evidence photographs provided by the Claimant. The photographs are taken at ground level which suggest they were not taken on an ANPR camera but on a personal camera, which could be seen as a breach of data/vehicle information.

    16. Once I received notification about the PCN I immediately checked vehicle dash cam footage for the 1st February, but unfortunately, as it records only ten minutes at a time in a loop, by the time I was aware of the PCN, the footage from the day in question had already been erased.


    17. In the Glossary of the IPC CoP, it also states that a "Creditor" means a person who is for the time being entitled to recover unpaid parking charges from the driver of the vehicle". Indeed, in Schedule 1-Signage Other Signs 1) Identify yourself as 'the Creditor', however nowhere on the sign does it state that Hx Car Park Management Ltd is the official creditor for the private land. I have previously requested a copy of the contract between the garage and Hx Car Park Management Ltd but they refused, stating it would be a data breach however, they also told me that if this claim were to go ahead they would provide a copy for the court. To this date, I have not yet received a copy of the contract.

    18. The first I was aware of the alleged charge was when the PCN which arrived by post, demanding payment of 100, which suggests that Hx Car Park Management Ltd had already applied for my details with the DVLA. This is a breach of Schedule 1, 3) Schedule 1 - signage - other signs 3) "Advise drivers that if a charge remains unpaid for a period of 28 days after issue then an application will be made for the Keeper's details from DVLA".

    19. Continuing with Schedule 1-Signage - Other Signs 5) "Have clear and intelligible wording and be designed such that it is clear to the reasonable driver that he is entering into a contract with the creditor or committing a trespass as the case may be".


    20. With reference to Grace Periods, please refer to page X, Exhibit X, the IPC CoP, Part B Operational Requirements Applicable to All Operators 15. Grace Periods 15.1 "Drivers should be allowed a sufficient amount of time to park and read any signs so they make an informed decision as to whether or not to remain on the site". This, together with the telephone conversation by the Hx Car Park Management operative, should have allowed me between five to ten minutes to first see the signs, to get out of the vehicle and read them, make a decision and then either stay or leave the site. This did not happen in this case; photographs were taken of my vehicle both parked and leaving within a few minutes.

    21.This initial parking charge notice of 100 now stands at X. Apart from properly incurred court fees this is a breach of the protection of Freedoms Act 2012 Schedule 4, where is does not permit the Claimant to recover a sum greater than the amount specified in the Notice to Keeper. Please see Page X, Exhibit X which shows a copy of the Schedule 4 where it states this.
     
    22.From 2nd March 2018 onwards I at first received correspondence from both Hx Car Park Management Ltd and subsequently Gladstones Solicitors, stipulating that in no uncertain terms they will win the case and that I should pay the fine. I responded by pointing out the legal points above, however they have elected to refuse my evidence and appeals and have pursued this matter via litigation. Please see page X, Exhibit X, X and X which are copies of emails sent between myself and both Hx Car Park Management Ltd and Gladstones.


    I invite the Court to dismiss this claim in its entirety and to award my costs of attendance at the hearing, such as are allowable pursuant to CPR 27.14.


    Statement of Truth.


    I believe that the facts stated in this Witness Statement are true.


    Signature:


    Date:

    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 30th Nov 18, 12:31 AM
    • 66,122 Posts
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    Coupon-mad
    I confirm that the essence of my defence to this claim is that:

    a) I did not block the shared exit as per the contravention
    b) I did not breach any terms and conditions of parking, and it is now apparent that there was no licence to park on offer.
    c) The elements of a contractual agreement - offer/agreement and consideration flowing between the parties - did not exist
    Maybe add to the above as shown?
    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
    • RedPen50
    • By RedPen50 4th Dec 18, 11:09 PM
    • 61 Posts
    • 20 Thanks
    RedPen50
    Hi Coupon-mad, that's thanks. What about the rest of it, is it ok, not too long? I remember seeing on one of the posts that the judge didn't like the amount of evidence paperwork that someone had brought to court and didn't want to read through it all. But, as KeithP said, I needed more. I'm working on collecting all the evidence I need too. Want to be fully prepared.
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 4th Dec 18, 11:15 PM
    • 12,210 Posts
    • 12,992 Thanks
    KeithP
    But, as KeithP said, I needed more.
    Originally posted by RedPen50
    Yes I did say that, but not just more for the sake of it.

    I suggested that you need evidence to prove all the arguments you have already put forward in your Defence.

    That's all I said.
    .
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