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  • FIRST POST
    • rusty lee
    • By rusty lee 14th Jun 19, 10:58 AM
    • 4Posts
    • 0Thanks
    rusty lee
    Met parking ticket - Popla appeal
    • #1
    • 14th Jun 19, 10:58 AM
    Met parking ticket - Popla appeal 14th Jun 19 at 10:58 AM
    Hi,
    I received a ticket over the post for parking in front of a building 'like big driveway' controlled by Met parking (no CCTV)
    I stopped there for a few minutes to unload some equipment and the parking attendant came around and took some pictures, I explained that I was unloading and he said 'no problem' and left, he did not leave any tickets.
    After a couple I received a parking charge notice by post (pictures of the vehicle and Met sign available in the Met website).
    I appealed online to MET explaining the situation and the appeal was rejected. Now I have a Popla verification code to appeal, witch I would like to do but need some advise.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks.
Page 1
    • Fruitcake
    • By Fruitcake 14th Jun 19, 11:03 AM
    • 40,678 Posts
    • 90,304 Thanks
    Fruitcake
    • #2
    • 14th Jun 19, 11:03 AM
    • #2
    • 14th Jun 19, 11:03 AM
    What a shame you revealed the driver's identity.

    Mitigation won't work at PoPLA, but loading/unloading isn't parking so that will be one of your appeal points along with inadequate signage and grace periods if relevant.
    Get your own photos ready for your appeal.

    Go to post 3 of the NEWBIES and use all the relevant points you will find there.
    Post your draft here before submitting it.

    Look up the Jopson vs Homeguard case where the judge defined parking as opposed to stopping, paying particular attention to paragraphs 19 and 20 where he refers specifically to loading and unloading.
    Last edited by Fruitcake; 14-06-2019 at 11:06 AM.
    I married my cousin. I had to...
    I don't have a sister.

    All my screwdrivers are cordless.
    "You're Safety Is My Primary Concern Dear" - Laks
    • The Deep
    • By The Deep 14th Jun 19, 11:13 AM
    • 15,307 Posts
    • 15,961 Thanks
    The Deep
    • #3
    • 14th Jun 19, 11:13 AM
    • #3
    • 14th Jun 19, 11:13 AM
    http://nebula.wsimg.com/f6d657adf7df70d27e1dd285688b5701?AccessKeyId=4CB8F 2392A09CF228A46&disposition=0&alloworigin=1

    Nine times out of ten these tickets are scams so complain to your MP.

    Parliament is well aware of the MO of these private parking companies, and on 15th March 2019 a Bill was enacted to curb the excesses of these shysters. Codes of Practice are being drawn up, an independent appeals service will be set up, and access to the DVLA's date base more rigorously policed, persistent offenders denied access to the DVLA database and unable to operate.

    Hopefully life will become impossible for the worst of these scammers, but until this is done you should still complain to your MP, citing the new legislation.

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2019/8/contents/enacted

    Just as the clampers were finally closed down, so hopefully will many of these Private Parking Companies.
    You never know how far you can go until you go too far.
    • rusty lee
    • By rusty lee 25th Jun 19, 12:19 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    rusty lee
    • #4
    • 25th Jun 19, 12:19 AM
    appeal sample
    • #4
    • 25th Jun 19, 12:19 AM
    I'm very new to this forum and this is the best I could find here.

    Any comments gratefully appreciated.

    POPLA!Verification Code: xxxxxxxx
    Vehicle Registration xxxxxxx
    I am the registered keeper of this vehicle. I received a letter dated //2019 acting as a Notice to Keeper. My appeal to the Operator - MET Parking - was submitted and acknowledged by the Operator on 00/0/2019 and rejected via an email on 00/0/2019. I contend that I, as the keeper, am not liable for the alleged parking charge and wish to appeal against it on the following grounds:

    1. Inadequate and poor signage. The signage does not comply with the BPA Code of Practice or POFA 2012 and is not sufficiently prominent to create a contract. There is insufficient notice of the sum of the parking charge itself.
    2. No evidence of Landowner Authority. The operator is put to strict proof of full compliance with Section 7.1 of the BPA Code of Practice: to issue parking charge notices and to pursue payment by means of litigation.
    3. No Grace Period given – non-compliance with clause #13 of the BPA Code of Practice.
    4. Non-compliance with the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice Appendix F
    5. Signage no mentioning loading / unloading area

    Background
    I have identified as the driver of this vehicle. I was working as a delivery driver on 00 Month 2019. I had boxes to deliver to a property in GF adjacent to this car park. I stopped there for a few minutes to unload some equipment and the parking attendant came around and took some pictures, I explained that I was unloading and he said 'no problem' and left, he did not leave any tickets. I then returned to the vehicle and drove out.



    1. Inadequate signage
    Section 18. 2 of the British Parking Association (BPA) Code of Practice states:
    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.!
    Appendix B of the BPA Code of Practice states:
    Terms on entrance signs must be clearly readable without a driver having to turn away from the road ahead.

    Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012: Recovery of unpaid parking charges:
    Section 7.1 states: Clear signage in the car park can allow the establishment of a “contract to park” between a landowner and a driver.
    Section 7.2 states: If the signage is insufficient, the contractual term is not fair, and thus the premise noted in Section 7.1 is invalid and “cannot be relied upon to enforce a parking charge”.
    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.

    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 was keen to point out that 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.!

    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 terms and conditions signs are placed above head height on the exterior walls of the shops, so they can only be read after having parked and left the car. 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. There is one small sign next to one of the parking spaces, but it is placed so low that it is obscured from view by any parked vehicles.

    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 the entrance sign). There are no full terms displayed - i.e. with the sum of the parking charge itself in large lettering - at the entrance, 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.!

    ''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.
    In addition, under consumer contract law, terms must be clear and fair and the offer must be communicated clearly. There can be no acceptance if the other party is not fully aware of the offer. Given the illegibility of the signage giving terms and conditions, and the lack of information on the one and only poorly located signage at the entrance, it is suggested that a clear and fair offer was not made adequately enough for a contract to be formed. There is no offer, hence no acceptance and no contract.!

    I put this operator to strict proof of the appearance of their signs at the date and time of the alleged contravention, from the driver’s perspective (not just stock images of a sign in isolation), from photographs taken in the same lighting conditions. I require the operator to demonstrate that full terms and conditions, applying to the parking area as a whole, were clearly displayed and easy to understand for a driver in the context in which the vehicle was used and parked, and that an offer was clearly made and accepted in the circumstances.
    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 signage in this car park does not comply with the requirements of Section 18 of the BPA Code of Practice and POFA 2012. There is one entrance sign which is affixed to a railing in front of a brick wall parallel to the exit. It is not visible to drivers approaching from the south as it is behind this brick wall and facing away from them. In addition, vehicles such as MPVs or small vans exiting the car park can obscure the view of the main entrance sign for drivers approaching from the north as the sign is only 1.5m above ground level.
    The wording and layout of the entrance sign do not comply with the BPA Code of Practice. There is no mention of the penalty for breaching the terms and conditions, or that CCTV monitoring is being used.
    The terms and conditions signs are too small to be legible from a vehicle, affixed too high to be easily read and the charge for breaching the conditions is not prominent or noticeable.
    Therefore no contract was formed between the driver and One Parking Solution.

    2. 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).

    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!POPLAbut 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 information such as the land boundary and bays where enforcement applies/does not apply. Not forgetting evidence of the various restrictions which the landowner has authorised can give rise to a charge and of course, how much the landowner authorises this agent to charge (which cannot be assumed to be the sum in small print on a sign because template private parking terms and sums have been known not to match the actual landowner 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


    3. Grace Period: BPA Code of Practice 2019 – non-compliance

    Under the new code of practice (15/03/2019) Kelvin Reynolds, BPA Director of Corporate Affairs, states the following - there is a difference between ‘grace’ periods and ‘observation’ periods in parking and that good practice allows for this.
    “An observation period is the time when an enforcement officer should be able to determine what the motorist intends to do once in the car park. Our guidance specifically says that there must be sufficient time for the motorist to park their car, observe the signs, decide whether they want to comply with the operator’s conditions and either drive away or pay for a ticket,” he explains.
    “No time limit is specified. This is because it might take one person five minutes, but another person 10 minutes depending on various factors, not limited to disability.”

    The BPA’s guidance defines the ‘grace period’ as the time allowed after permitted or paid-for parking has expired but before any kind of enforcement takes place.
    Kelvin continues: “In the instance of a PCN being issued while a ticket is being purchased, the operator has clearly not given the motorist sufficient time to read the signs and comply as per the operator’s own rules. If a motorist decides they do not want to comply and leaves the car park, then a reasonable period of time should be provided also.”
    [Link]
    The PCN doesn't state for how long the vehicle was in the car park.

    4. Non-compliance with Surveillance Camera Code of Practice 2013 Appendix F.

    The entrance sign does not mention that CCTV is being used, or that images from it will be used in order to issue PCNs.
    The terms and conditions signs fail to transparently warn drivers of what the CCTV/ANPR data will be used for. This breaches the BPA Code of Practice and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 due to inherent failure to indicate the 'commercial intent' of the cameras.!
    Paragraph 21.1 of the BPA Code of Practice advises operators that they may use CCTV/ANPR camera technology to manage, control and enforce parking in private car parks, as long as they do this in a reasonable, consistent and transparent manner. The Code of Practice requires that car park signs must tell drivers that the operator is using this technology and what it will use the data captured by CCTV cameras for. One Parking Solution signs do not comply with these requirements because the car park signage fails to accurately explain what the CCTV data will be used for, which is a 'failure to identify its commercial intent', contrary to the BPA CoP and Consumer law.!


    In circumstances where the terms of a notice are not negotiable (as is the case with the car park signage, which is a take-it-or-leave-it contract) and where there is any ambiguity or contradiction in those terms, the rule of contra proferentem shall apply against the party responsible for writing those terms.!
    This is confirmed within the Consumer Rights Act 2015 including: Paragraph 68: 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.!
    and Paragraph 69: Contract terms that may have different meanings:!
    (1) If a term in a consumer contract, or a consumer notice, could have different meanings, the meaning that is most favourable to the consumer is to prevail.!
    Withholding material information from a consumer about the commercial (not security) purpose of the cameras would be considered an unfair term under The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 because the operator 'fails to identify its commercial intent':!
    [Link]
    Misleading omissions: 6. - (1) ''A commercial practice is a misleading omission if, in its factual context, taking account of the matters in paragraph (2) -!
    (a) the commercial practice omits material information,!
    (b) the commercial practice hides material information, (c) the commercial practice provides material information in a manner which is unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely, or (d) the commercial practice fails to identify its commercial intent, unless this is already apparent from the context, and as a result it causes or is likely to cause the average consumer to take a transactional decision he would not have taken otherwise.''!
    It is far from 'apparent' that a camera icon means a car's data is being harvested for commercial purposes of charging in a free car park. A camera icon suggests CCTV is in operation for security within the car park.!
    Under POFA 2012, organisations are encouraged to comply with the Security Camera Code of Practice Appendix F. I require the operator to provide proof that they comply with the 12 principles in the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice June 2013.

    !5. Sign does not specifically anything about loading / unloading.
    • MistyZ
    • By MistyZ 25th Jun 19, 6:44 AM
    • 1,067 Posts
    • 2,150 Thanks
    MistyZ
    • #5
    • 25th Jun 19, 6:44 AM
    • #5
    • 25th Jun 19, 6:44 AM
    Okay, so that's not your appeal, but one you like the look of? There's a lot of exclamation marks for no apparent reason.

    I like the fact that it relates the signage points to the specific car park. But shouldn't point 15 be in the first signage section? As a stand alone paragraph maybe, but with the other signage points nonetheless. Why just 'Sign'? If it refers to one key sign then best to identify it. I'd lose the word 'specifically' too, if there is no mention of loading / unloading then say that the sign / signs do not refer to loading / unloading.

    Can you get photos of the signs to embed in the appeal and refer to?

    You will also have to patiently explain to POPLA that unloading is not parking. Did you check out the Jopson vs Homeguard case that Fruitcake mentioned?

    The point about no mention of CCTV doesn't seem relevant as you say in your opening post that there was no CCTV and someone came round and took pictures ....
    Last edited by MistyZ; 25-06-2019 at 6:56 AM.
    • Le_Kirk
    • By Le_Kirk 25th Jun 19, 9:00 AM
    • 6,716 Posts
    • 6,807 Thanks
    Le_Kirk
    • #6
    • 25th Jun 19, 9:00 AM
    • #6
    • 25th Jun 19, 9:00 AM
    The exclamation marks might be a leftover from the forum glitch that was around last year and can and should be removed.
    • rusty lee
    • By rusty lee 26th Jun 19, 11:43 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    rusty lee
    • #7
    • 26th Jun 19, 11:43 PM
    • #7
    • 26th Jun 19, 11:43 PM
    This is the best sample I could find here, I made a couple small changes.
    I'm new to the forum and don't know much about finding posts etc, so couldn't find the ''Jopson vs Homeguard'' case.
    Didn't manage to upload the pictures here, ''Insert Image'' only applies to links...
    Thanks.
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 27th Jun 19, 6:33 AM
    • 25,200 Posts
    • 40,680 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    • #8
    • 27th Jun 19, 6:33 AM
    • #8
    • 27th Jun 19, 6:33 AM
    I'm new to the forum and don't know much about finding posts etc, so couldn't find the ''Jopson vs Homeguard'' case.
    Case CS038 via this link:

    http://www.parking-prankster.com/more-case-law.html

    Didn't manage to upload the pictures here, ''Insert Image'' only applies to links...
    NEWBIES - HOW TO UPLOAD LINKS TO PHOTOS/SCANS TO MSE

    To upload a photo/scan link, you first need to host it on a free photo hosting site (like Dropbox or Imgur), copy the URL, paste it here, but change the http to hxxp and we'll do the conversion. Newbies can't directly upload links to photos/scans until they've a few posts under their belt.

    Please do not use TinyPic or PhotoBucket as they drop all sorts of gratuitous and unsolicited dross on computer screens when their links are opened.
    Please note, we are not a legal advice forum. I personally don't get involved in critiquing court case papers, so unable to help on that front. Please don't ask.
    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.
    • rusty lee
    • By rusty lee 28th Jun 19, 1:00 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    rusty lee
    • #9
    • 28th Jun 19, 1:00 AM
    • #9
    • 28th Jun 19, 1:00 AM
    UPDATED appeal. Any comments gratefully appreciated.


    POPLA!Verification Code: xxxxxxxx
    Vehicle Registration xxxxxxx
    I am the registered keeper of this vehicle. I received a letter dated //2019 acting as a Notice to Keeper. My appeal to the Operator - MET Parking - was submitted and acknowledged by the Operator on 00/0/2019 and rejected via an email on 00/0/2019. I contend that I, as the keeper, am not liable for the alleged parking charge and wish to appeal against it on the following grounds:

    1. Inadequate and poor signage. The signage does not comply with the BPA Code of Practice or POFA 2012 and is not sufficiently prominent to create a contract. There is insufficient notice of the sum of the parking charge itself. Signs do not refer to loading / unloading.

    2. No evidence of Landowner Authority. The operator is put to strict proof of full compliance with Section 7.1 of the BPA Code of Practice: to issue parking charge notices and to pursue payment by means of litigation.
    3. No Grace Period given – non-compliance with clause #13 of the BPA Code of Practice.
    4. Definition of 'parking'


    Background: I have identified as the driver of this vehicle. On the day in question I was working as a delivery driver on 00 Month 2019. I had boxes to deliver to a property in GF adjacent to this car park. I stopped there for a few minutes to unload some equipment and the parking attendant came around and took some pictures, I explained that I was unloading and he said 'no problem' and left, he did not leave any tickets. When I finished I then returned to the vehicle and drove out.


    1. Inadequate signage
    Section 18. 2 of the British Parking Association (BPA) Code of Practice states:
    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.!
    Appendix B of the BPA Code of Practice states:
    Terms on entrance signs must be clearly readable without a driver having to turn away from the road ahead.

    Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012: Recovery of unpaid parking charges:
    Section 7.1 states: Clear signage in the car park can allow the establishment of a “contract to park” between a landowner and a driver.
    Section 7.2 states: If the signage is insufficient, the contractual term is not fair, and thus the premise noted in Section 7.1 is invalid and “cannot be relied upon to enforce a parking charge”.
    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 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.!

    ''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':!

    The signage in this park do not refer to loading / unloading.

    2. 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).

    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 information such as the land boundary and bays where enforcement applies/does not apply. Not forgetting evidence of the various restrictions which the landowner has authorised can give rise to a charge and of course, how much the landowner authorises this agent to charge (which cannot be assumed to be the sum in small print on a sign because template private parking terms and sums have been known not to match the actual landowner 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


    3. Grace Period: BPA Code of Practice 2019 – non-compliance

    Under the new code of practice (15/03/2019) Kelvin Reynolds, BPA Director of Corporate Affairs, states the following - there is a difference between ‘grace’ periods and ‘observation’ periods in parking and that good practice allows for this.
    “An observation period is the time when an enforcement officer should be able to determine what the motorist intends to do once in the car park. Our guidance specifically says that there must be sufficient time for the motorist to park their car, observe the signs, decide whether they want to comply with the operator’s conditions and either drive away or pay for a ticket,” he explains.
    “No time limit is specified. This is because it might take one person five minutes, but another person 10 minutes depending on various factors, not limited to disability.”

    The BPA’s guidance defines the ‘grace period’ as the time allowed after permitted or paid-for parking has expired but before any kind of enforcement takes place.
    Kelvin continues: “In the instance of a PCN being issued while a ticket is being purchased, the operator has clearly not given the motorist sufficient time to read the signs and comply as per the operator’s own rules. If a motorist decides they do not want to comply and leaves the car park, then a reasonable period of time should be provided also.”
    The PCN doesn't state for how long the vehicle was in the car park.

    4. This appeal case could also be put in another way. The purported prohibition was upon “parking”, and it is possible to draw a real and sensible distinction between pausing for a few moments or minutes to enable passengers to alight or for awkward or heavy items to be unloaded, and parking in the sense of leaving a car for some significant duration of time.

    Neither party was able to direct the court to any authority on the meaning of the word “park”. However, the Shorter Oxford Dictionary has the following: “To leave a vehicle in a carpark or other reserved space” and “To leave in a suitable place until required.” The concept of parking, as opposed to stopping, is that of leaving a car for some duration of time beyond that needed for getting in or out of it, loading or unloading it, and perhaps coping with some vicissitude of short duration, such as changing a wheel in the event of a puncture.
    Merely to stop a vehicle cannot be to park it; otherwise traffic jams would consist of lines of parked cars. Delivery vans, whether for post, newspapers, groceries, or anything else, would not be accommodated on an interpretation which included vehicles stopping for a few moment for these purposes. Discussion in this area left the respondent in obvious difficulties

    Whether a car is parked, or simply stopped, or left for a moment while unloading, or (to take an example discussed in argument) accompanying a frail person inside, must be a question of fact or degree. I think in the end this was agreed. A milkman leaving his float to carry bottles to the flat would not be “parked”. Nor would a postman delivering letters, a wine merchant delivering a case of wine, and nor, I am satisfied, a retailer’s van, or indeed the appellant, unloading boxes.

    Any other approach would leave life in the block of flats close to unworkable, a consideration which those instructing me seemed reluctant to accept. I am quite satisfied, and I find as a fact, that while my vehicle had been stationary for more than a minute and without its driver for the same period (whatever precisely it was), while I carried goods, it was not “parked”. Accordingly, for that reason too,I was not liable to the charge stipulated in the respondent’s notice.
    • The Deep
    • By The Deep 28th Jun 19, 8:16 AM
    • 15,307 Posts
    • 15,961 Thanks
    The Deep
    As a delivery driver you must surely often place yourself in a position where a PPC has an opportunity to issue a PCN. |Have you had any tickets previously, and if so what did you do?

    Have you complained to your MP?
    You never know how far you can go until you go too far.
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