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  • FIRST POST
    • Why_Not
    • By Why_Not 30th Oct 18, 1:26 PM
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    Why_Not
    met appeal stanstead Starbucks - Mcdonalds
    • #1
    • 30th Oct 18, 1:26 PM
    met appeal stanstead Starbucks - Mcdonalds 30th Oct 18 at 1:26 PM
    HI,

    I would just like a little guidance on a very experience to the above topic. however I have not admitted to being the driver. I initially appealed directly to the operator via their online service (using the template the newbies section), recieved acknowledgement via letter (3.10.18) and thereafter a rejection via email (26.10.18). I have a POPLA code and using the template above I have amended the POPLA appeal to suit the case;

    I read from the previous person (who initially admitted as driver) they are having issues with counter appeal from Met in regards to evidence - the evidence from Met re my case seems to also the apparent driver in the car park too?

    would you be able to have a glance over and advise if I need to change / add anything further to strengthen my case please.

    TIA
    W_N

    POPLA Verification Code: XXXXX
    MET Parking Services PCN no: XXXXX

    A Notice to Registered Keeper from MET Parking Services dated 10th September 2018 which stated that at 15:27 on 20th August 2018 at Southgate Park, Stansted, CM24 1PY the vehicle with registration number XXXX was observed parked in an apparent breach of the terms and conditions. The notice states the reason “Vehicle left in Southgate Park car park without payment made for parking and occupants left Southgate Park premises.”

    Using the operator’s online appeals process – MET Parking Services, an appeal was submitted and acknowledged by the Operator ,via a letter received on the 03/10/2018 and rejected via an email dated 26/10/2018. I contend that as the keeper, I am not liable for the alleged parking harge and wish to appeal against it on the following grounds:

    1) Insufficient evidence of the alleged contravention
    2) The site boundary is not clear.
    3) 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.
    4) No evidence of Landowner Authority - the operator is put to strict proof of full compliance with the BPA Code of Practice.
    5) As per Consumer Rights Act 2015 Section 62 the contract terms and notices are not fair
    6) Amount demanded is a penalty

    Further to the objections above, I understand that the notice to keeper [Schedule 4 of the Protections of Freedoms Act 2012 section 9 (4) and (5)] must be given by sending it by post so that it is delivered within 14 days beginning with the day after that on which the specified period of parking ended. The notice to keeper states that parking took place on 20th August 2018 but is dated 10th September 2018 which is more than this notice period.

    1) Insufficient evidence of the alleged contravention.
    The evidence provided by MET Parking Services for the alleged breach of terms and conditions stated as left the premises are still photos. There is also no evidence that the supposed boundaries are shown on any signs or on a prominent map that drivers can see while on site, in order for them to make a reasonable decision as to what then might be considered 'off site'.
    Even if a sign says a charge can be issued for 'leaving the site' this means nothing if 'the site' is not defined. This could include any number of shops, a cash point, toilets, cafe, drop-off areas, delivery area, the car park itself, rest area/benches and any other section of a retail park.

    The fact that these photographs appear to overstep the mark of data protection - intruding on personal privacy of McDonalds patrons without their authorisation - is another matter that POPLA may wish to raise with the BPA and the Information Commissioner, given the current GDPR legislation.
    Given some parking operators' modus operandi of handing anyone on site (landowners, local busybodies, shop workers, office workers) a camera and telling them they will pay a bounty for 'PCNs' issued, it cannot be assumed that the person who took the images is even a parking firm employee. Even if they are, this is still a random person with no DBS check clearance, taking photos not of cars and PCNs (as per their limited licence by the landowner) but of people and families going about their daily life. MET are then processing these people's personal images and sending those photos in the post, unsolicited, to a registered keeper of a car who may or may not know the persons in the photographs, who may be nothing to do with that vehicle at all.

    2) The site boundary is not clear.
    There are no legible markings distinguishing the boundary of Southgate Park. There is one entrance to the site by vehicle. How does one know that one has left the site? McDonald’s address (for the building in this area) is Southgate Stansted Airport, Southgate Rd, Bishop's Stortford CM24 1PY and Starbuck’s address is London Stansted Airport, Southgate Rd, Bishop's Stortford CM24 1PY, so any reasonable person would see that the parking area around McDonald’s building is Southgate Park.
    In addition, McDonald’s offers a drive through service and the entry point into this would presumably (since there isn’t any boundary marking) be from Southgate Park.

    There is only one entrance to the Southgate Park site. Leaving the site, to a reasonable person, would mean to leave the vehicle within this boundary and go to a place outside the boundary. A reasonable person would understand that this condition would be in place to stop people parking and possibly going to the airport. There isn’t any clearly defined boundary to show that one part of a carpark is different to another part of the car park.

    3) 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.

    The signs in this car park are not prominent, clear or legible from all parking spaces. In addition, there is no reference as the driver enters the car park that the site is split into sections. As the driver turns into the site, this is the view.

    There are two signs which state McDonald’s Customers Only Maximum Stay 60 minutes.

    An initial glance as a driver passes the signs would pick up that there is one car park with 60 minutes free stay. This is a common term and condition at paying car parks to prevent over stay. A reasonable person would understand that 60 minutes stay at the car park to use the various services is sufficient and to prevent long stay parking associated with the nearby airport.
    Further as the driver moves further into the site, the sign below can be seen. Again, it isn’t clear that there is a split between the parking a vehicle in one part of the site and parking in a different part of the site.

    The road markings also suggest that McDonald’s drive thru takes the driver through the same car park.

    There are different MET parking signs all with differing wording within 20 yards of each other. The site as any reasonable person would presume is the whole of the area. If the driver had parked here and gone to the BP fuelling garage then this could be seen as leaving the site. It would be unreasonable to expect a driver to move the car from one area of a single car park to another to satisfy some a term on a sign just so that they could eat.
    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.
    They are unremarkable, not immediately obvious as parking terms and the wording is mostly illegible, being crowded and cluttered. 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.

    4) 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 including exemptions; such as any 'genuine customer' or 'genuine resident' exemptions or any site occupier's 'right of veto' charge cancellation rights - is key evidence to define what this operator is authorised to do and any circumstances where the landowner/firms on site in fact have a right to cancellation of a charge. 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 also authorised 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).
    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

    5) As per Consumer Rights Act 2015 Section 62; the contract terms and notices are not fair
    The Consumer Rights Act 2015, Section 62 states that there is a requirement for contract terms and notices to be fair.
    As it is not clear that there is a boundary between the different parts of the site, this is contrary to the CRA, as it "causes a significant imbalance in the parties; rights and obligations under the contract to the detriment of the consumer" and as such (1) An unfair term of a consumer contract is not binding on the consumer."

    6) Amount demanded is a penalty
    The 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 is neither clear not ample and cannot be read safely from a moving vehicle.
    To suggest that the car park shared by Starbucks, McDonalds and some other food outlets are different car parks (albeit managed by MET) is ludicrous. Further to attempt to obtain £100 for the use of a car park for approximately 30 minutes when the driver has stayed within the physical boundary of the space is nothing more than a penalty. It is this type of practice that has led to the Parking (Code of Practice) Bill 2017-19, currently going through the Houses of Parliament where drivers will receive new legal protections from unscrupulous private parking operators.


    I therefore request that POPLA uphold my appeal and cancel this PCN
Page 1
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 31st Oct 18, 1:54 AM
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    Coupon-mad
    • #2
    • 31st Oct 18, 1:54 AM
    • #2
    • 31st Oct 18, 1:54 AM
    I can't see it in there, did you have something that says:

    Even if MET produce data-intrusive photographs, excessively stalking some individuals through the site, there is no evidence that those people are 'the driver' and at best if they were pictured near the car (and I am having to second guess MET's so-called evidence here) then it is my position that the individuals were either passengers (not the driver) and/or in the alternative, did not actually leave the location at all.
    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
    • Why_Not
    • By Why_Not 31st Oct 18, 10:14 AM
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    Why_Not
    • #3
    • 31st Oct 18, 10:14 AM
    • #3
    • 31st Oct 18, 10:14 AM
    No I don't but thank you . Will add that in point 1.

    Also do I need to add anything about ANPR?
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 31st Oct 18, 11:21 AM
    • 20,237 Posts
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    • #4
    • 31st Oct 18, 11:21 AM
    • #4
    • 31st Oct 18, 11:21 AM
    No I don't but thank you . Will add that in point 1.

    Also do I need to add anything about ANPR?
    Originally posted by Why_Not
    What were you thinking of adding? Anything specific, because there is no evidence that POPLA will deal with any of the template 'rant' stuff about lack of planning permission for cameras up poles!
    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.
    • Why_Not
    • By Why_Not 31st Oct 18, 12:34 PM
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    Why_Not
    • #5
    • 31st Oct 18, 12:34 PM
    • #5
    • 31st Oct 18, 12:34 PM
    No, I just thought having read through previous examples. Some have included issues with ANPR?. However if it will not help my case I'd rather not have a negative impact.

    Otherwise I'm assuming the appeal (with the addition of what coupon-mad has kindly advised)
    Is the appeal ready and strong enough?

    TIA
    • Fruitcake
    • By Fruitcake 31st Oct 18, 12:46 PM
    • 37,748 Posts
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    Fruitcake
    • #6
    • 31st Oct 18, 12:46 PM
    • #6
    • 31st Oct 18, 12:46 PM
    ANPR won't have been used if this is an alleged case of leaving site. It will have been an operative who allegedly saw someone allegedly leaving the undefined site.

    You need to stretch the signage point by using the looooong template point from the NEWBIES, then adding anything specific you know about the site from a subsequent visit by The Keeper.

    Non POFA compliant NTK should be a stand alone point, again using the template point from the NEWBIES and adjusting it for the actual dates applicable to your case and stating which parts of the POFA on which it has failed.

    For the, event never happened, point you need to state that there is no site map and no boundary marked to inform motorists if they are about to leave said site.
    Last edited by Fruitcake; 31-10-2018 at 12:49 PM.
    I married my cousin. I had to...
    I don't have a sister.

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    "You're Safety Is My Primary Concern Dear" - Laks
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 31st Oct 18, 1:06 PM
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    Umkomaas
    • #7
    • 31st Oct 18, 1:06 PM
    • #7
    • 31st Oct 18, 1:06 PM
    If this is truly an ANPR camera capture (up a pole, or mounted towards the top of a building), then how can they claim a 'leaving the site' case? You may need to build that in.

    But, as long as you haven't identified the driver in your initial appeal, this is your strongest point:

    Further to the objections above, I understand that the notice to keeper [Schedule 4 of the Protections of Freedoms Act 2012 section 9 (4) and (5)] must be given by sending it by post so that it is delivered within 14 days beginning with the day after that on which the specified period of parking ended. The notice to keeper states that parking took place on 20th August 2018 but is dated 10th September 2018 which is more than this notice period.
    .... yet it's just added in the pre-amble, rather than a substantive, numbered appeal point. Make this #1 of your list .... and really go to town in explaining to POPLA (almost like showing a child) why it doesn't comply with PoFA.

    Then make point #2:
    The operator has not shown that the individual who it is pursuing is in fact the driver who was liable for the charge
    ...... from the NEWBIES FAQ sticky, post #3 where there's a link to a template appeal point for you to copy and paste.

    All the above predicated on you not having already identified the driver.
    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.
    • Why_Not
    • By Why_Not 31st Oct 18, 11:25 PM
    • 5 Posts
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    Why_Not
    • #8
    • 31st Oct 18, 11:25 PM
    • #8
    • 31st Oct 18, 11:25 PM
    please can you check over this draft. changes to sections 1 (new) 3 and 4 (took a lot from newbies post - had to delete links as couldn't post otherwise) made as advised. point to add is that I am unable to travel to the car park the alleged incident took place as I live over 2 hours away - so ill be unable to put images into the appeal.. is the appeal strong enough on its own as it is?
    as always your help is much appreciated! TIA

    A Notice to Registered Keeper from MET Parking Services dated 10th September 2018 which stated that at 15:27 on 20th August 2018 at Southgate Park, Stansted, CM24 1PY the vehicle with registration number xxxx xxx was observed parked in an apparent breach of the terms and conditions. The notice states the reason “Vehicle left in Southgate Park car park without payment made for parking and occupants left Southgate Park premises.”
    Using the operator’s online appeals process – MET Parking Services, an appeal was submitted and acknowledged by the Operator, via a letter received on the 03/10/2018 and rejected via an email dated 26/10/2018. I contend that as the keeper, I am not liable for the alleged parking charge and wish to appeal against it on the following grounds:

    1) Non-compliance with requirements and timetable set out in Schedule 4 of POFA 2012
    2) Insufficient evidence of the alleged contravention
    3) The site boundary is not clear.
    4) 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.
    5) No evidence of Landowner Authority - the operator is put to strict proof of full compliance with the BPA Code of Practice.
    6) As per Consumer Rights Act 2015 Section 62 the contract terms and notices are not fair
    7) Amount demanded is a penalty

    1) Non-compliance with requirements and timetable set out in Schedule 4 of POFA 2012

    This Notice to Keeper (NTK) is not compliant with the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (POFA) due to the dates and the wording used.

    Under schedule 4, paragraph 4 of the POFA, an operator can only establish the right to recover any unpaid parking charges from the keeper of a vehicle if certain conditions are met as stated in paragraphs 5, 6, 11 & 12. MET Parking Services have failed to fulfil the conditions which state that the keeper must be served with a compliant NTK in accordance with paragraph 9, which stipulates a mandatory timeline and wording:-

    ’’The notice must be given by— (a) handing it to the keeper, or leaving it at a current address for service for the keeper, within the relevant period; or(b) sending it by post to a current address for service for the keeper so that it is delivered to that address within the relevant period.’’

    The applicable section here is (b) because the NTK was delivered by post. Furthermore, paragraph 9(5) states: ’’The relevant period...is the period of 14 days beginning with the day after that on which the specified period of parking ended’’

    I understand that the notice to keeper [Schedule 4 of the Protections of Freedoms Act 2012 section 9 (4) and (5)] must be given by sending it by post so that it is delivered within 14 days beginning with the day after that on which the specified period of parking ended. The notice to keeper states that parking took place on 20th August 2018 but issue of notice is dated 10th September 2018 which is more than this notice period.

    If MET Parking Services want to make use of the Keeper Liability provisions in Schedule 4 of POFA 2012 and MET Parking Services 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 PoFA Schedule 4. 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 20th August 2018 and notice issued on the 10th of September.

    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.

    2) Insufficient evidence of the alleged contravention.
    The evidence provided by MET Parking Services for the alleged breach of terms and conditions stated as left the premises are still photos. There is also no evidence that the supposed boundaries are shown on any signs or on a prominent map that drivers can see while on site, in order for them to make a reasonable decision as to what then might be considered 'off site'.
    Even if a sign says a charge can be issued for 'leaving the site' this means nothing if 'the site' is not defined. This could include any number of shops, a cash point, toilets, cafe, drop-off areas, delivery area, the car park itself, rest area/benches and any other section of a retail park.

    The fact that these photographs appear to overstep the mark of data protection - intruding on personal privacy of McDonalds patrons without their authorisation - is another matter that POPLA may wish to raise with the BPA and the Information Commissioner, given the current GDPR legislation.
    Given some parking operators' modus operandi of handing anyone on site (landowners, local busybodies, shop workers, office workers) a camera and telling them they will pay a bounty for 'PCNs' issued, it cannot be assumed that the person who took the images is even a parking firm employee. Even if they are, this is still a random person with no DBS check clearance, taking photos not of cars and PCNs (as per their limited licence by the landowner) but of people and families going about their daily life. MET are then processing these people's personal images and sending those photos in the post, unsolicited, to a registered keeper of a car who may or may not know the persons in the photographs, who may be nothing to do with that vehicle at all.

    Even if MET produce data-intrusive photographs, excessively stalking some individuals through the site, there is no evidence that those people are 'the driver' and at best if they were pictured near the car (and I am having to second guess MET's so-called evidence here) then it is my position that the individuals were either passengers (not the driver) and/or in the alternative, did not actually leave the location at all.

    3) The site boundary is not clear.
    The notice to keeper states that the reason for issuing rhe charge notice is; vehicle left in southgate park car park without payment made for parking and occupants left the southgate park premises. For this reason a parking charge of £100 is due.
    No where on the signage does it state:
    - What the site boundary is.
    - Show any map of where site boundary begins and ends.
    - or that leaving the site fails to comply with terms and conditions.
    I require evidence from MET Parking Services to show a site map and a picture of the signage that would have communicated to the driver the defined boundary of the site they are alleged to have left.
    There are no legible markings distinguishing the boundary of Southgate Park. There is one entrance to the site by vehicle. How does one know that one has left the site? McDonald’s address (for the building in this area) is Southgate Stansted Airport, Southgate Rd, Bishop's Stortford CM24 1PY and Starbuck’s address is London Stansted Airport, Southgate Rd, Bishop's Stortford CM24 1PY, so any reasonable person would see that the parking area around McDonald’s building is Southgate Park.
    In addition, McDonald’s offers a drive through service and the entry point into this would presumably (since there isn’t any boundary marking) be from Southgate Park.

    There is only one entrance to the Southgate Park site. Leaving the site, to a reasonable person, would mean to leave the vehicle within this boundary and go to a place outside the boundary. A reasonable person would understand that this condition would be in place to stop people parking and possibly going to the airport. There isn’t any clearly defined boundary to show that one part of a carpark is different to another part of the car park.

    4) 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.

    The BPA Code of Practice, (Section 18.2) states:
    “Entrance signs play an important part in establishing a parking contract and deterring trespassers. Therefore, as well as the signs you must have telling drivers about the terms and conditions for parking, you must also have a standard form of entrance sign at the entrance to the parking area.”
    The BPA Code of Practice APPENDIX B ENTRANCE SIGNS (Text Size) states:
 

    “The sign should be placed so that it is readable by drivers without their needing to look away from the road ahead. Any text on the sign not intended to be read from a moving vehicle can be of a much smaller size”
    The BPA Code of Practice (28.1) states:

    “A driver who uses your private car park with your permission does so under a licence or contract with you. If they park without your permission this will usually be an act of trespass. In all cases, the driver’s use of your land will be governed by your terms and conditions, which the driver should be made aware of from the start. You must use signs to make it easy for them to find out what your terms and conditions are.”
    The BPA Code of Practice (18.3) states: 

    “Specific parking-terms signage tells drivers what your terms and conditions are, including your parking charges. 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.”
    The signs in this car park are not prominent, clear or legible from all parking spaces. In addition, there is no reference as the driver enters the car park that the site is split into sections. As the driver turns into the site, this is the view.

    There are two signs which state McDonald’s Customers Only Maximum Stay 60 minutes.

    An initial glance as a driver passes the signs would pick up that there is one car park with 60 minutes free stay. This is a common term and condition at paying car parks to prevent over stay. A reasonable person would understand that 60 minutes stay at the car park to use the various services is sufficient and to prevent long stay parking associated with the nearby airport.
    Further as the driver moves further into the site, the sign below can be seen. Again, it isn’t clear that there is a split between the parking a vehicle in one part of the site and parking in a different part of the site.

    The road markings also suggest that McDonald’s drive thru takes the driver through the same car park.

    There are different MET parking signs all with differing wording within 20 yards of each other. The site as any reasonable person would presume is the whole of the area. If the driver had parked here and gone to the BP fuelling garage then this could be seen as leaving the site. It would be unreasonable to expect a driver to move the car from one area of a single car park to another to satisfy some a term on a sign just so that they could eat.
    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.
    They are unremarkable, not immediately obvious as parking terms and the wording is mostly illegible, being crowded and cluttered. 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.

    Furthermore, 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:

    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:


    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:

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

    ''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.''

    ''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:

    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.

    5) 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 including exemptions; such as any 'genuine customer' or 'genuine resident' exemptions or any site occupier's 'right of veto' charge cancellation rights - is key evidence to define what this operator is authorised to do and any circumstances where the landowner/firms on site in fact have a right to cancellation of a charge. 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 also authorised 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).
    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

    6) As per Consumer Rights Act 2015 Section 62; the contract terms and notices are not fair
    The Consumer Rights Act 2015, Section 62 states that there is a requirement for contract terms and notices to be fair.
    As it is not clear that there is a boundary between the different parts of the site, this is contrary to the CRA, as it "causes a significant imbalance in the parties; rights and obligations under the contract to the detriment of the consumer" and as such (1) An unfair term of a consumer contract is not binding on the consumer."

    6) Amount demanded is a penalty
    The 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 is neither clear not ample and cannot be read safely from a moving vehicle.
    To suggest that the car park shared by Starbucks, McDonalds and some other food outlets are different car parks (albeit managed by MET) is ludicrous. Further to attempt to obtain £100 for the use of a car park for approximately 30 minutes when the driver has stayed within the physical boundary of the space is nothing more than a penalty. It is this type of practice that has led to the Parking (Code of Practice) Bill 2017-19, currently going through the Houses of Parliament where drivers will receive new legal protections from unscrupulous private parking operators.
    I therefore request that POPLA uphold my appeal and cancel this PCN
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 31st Oct 18, 11:32 PM
    • 63,872 Posts
    • 76,518 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    • #9
    • 31st Oct 18, 11:32 PM
    • #9
    • 31st Oct 18, 11:32 PM
    A Notice to Registered Keeper from MET Parking Services dated 10th September 2018 which stated that at 15:27 on 20th August 2018 at Southgate Park, Stansted, CM24 1PY the vehicle with registration number xxxx xxx was observed parked in an apparent breach of the terms and conditions. The notice states the reason “Vehicle left in Southgate Park car park without payment made for parking and occupants left Southgate Park premises.”
    Using the operator’s online appeals process – MET Parking Services, an appeal was submitted and acknowledged by the Operator, via a letter received on the 03/10/2018 and rejected via an email dated 26/10/2018.
    Looks very good - but you never need a wordy introduction like the above, I have no idea how or when this style of intro crept into POPLA appeals seen on here, but it's just not necessary to tell POPLA when you appealed, etc.

    You will win due to the late NTK.

    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
    • Why_Not
    • By Why_Not 9th Nov 18, 9:58 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Why_Not
    Hi guys

    just wanted to thank everyone for their inout and help. I received a reply via email from POPLA as follows;

    [[[.Thank you for submitting your parking charge Appeal to POPLA.

    An Appeal has been opened with the reference xxxxxxxxxx.

    MET Parking Services have told us they do not wish to contest the Appeal. This means that your Appeal is successful and you do not need to pay the parking charge.

    Yours sincerely

    POPLA Team ]]].

    PS; I used the above draft .
    • The Deep
    • By The Deep 10th Nov 18, 11:34 AM
    • 10,567 Posts
    • 10,401 Thanks
    The Deep
    Leavibg site is almost impossible for a PPC to prove is a breach of contract.

    Thay have to prove that the driver left the site, that attempts were made to dissuade him/her from doing so, (mitigation of loss), that the clause is not harsh and unreasonable, and, here is the clincher, that it does not conflict with The Human Rights Act.

    You are proudly wearing your brand new Montecristo Panama, (£300 from Lobb), when the wind blows it off-site. Do you not run after it,

    To my knowledge, the last time a PPC took such a claim to court they came a cropper.

    https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-2150607/Landmark-parking-case-means-thousands-overturn-fines.html
    You never know how far you can go until you go too far.
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