/ Another parking poser

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Greenbanks - on 30 Oct 2012
Mrs Greenbanks takes daughter to hospital for an x-ray (non-emergency, but a worry nonetheless).
Hospital car parking fee paid (2 hours) but x-ray over-runs by 21 mins. Parking fine dished out by "UK Parking Control".
We appeal the fine, & response by letter is that they'll investigate.
After investigation they say that the fine is still payable, as the ticket was correctly given.

Technically it was...but isn't there an issue of common-sense here: Mrs G didn't want to leave our girl on her own to go out and feed the meter. Besides, the x-ray was underway.

Feel a bit miffed. Is it worth pursuing - or do we suck it up at pay?
gethin_allen on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Greenbanks:
Unfortunately, the recent changes in the law have made parking tickets issued on private properties where signs are clear legally enforceable.
It sucks but you'll probably have to pay up.
gcandlin - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Greenbanks: I would imagine the car park is operated by an independent private company and as such is unlikely to care about the reasons why... I think the fact that you have to pay at hospitals at all is disgusting...

Imagine a little old man or woman who has to go everyday to visit a husband or wife and shell out £5 a pop from a state pension
coinneach - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Greenbanks:

Just don't pay it............it's not legally enforceable, they'll send threatening letters etc. but eventually give up.
Ava Adore - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Greenbanks:

I had to go to see a specialist at my local hospital recently. The car park is MILES away from the Department I'm visiting (which I didn't know at the time). I put in an hour on the ticket thinking that should be fine. I hadn't even been SEEN after an hour. As it happened I didn't get a ticket but I would have played merry hell if I had.
Philip on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to coinneach:
> (In reply to Greenbanks)
>
> Just don't pay it............it's not legally enforceable, they'll send threatening letters etc. but eventually give up.

That's not true, it isn't enforceable against the vehicle owner unless they confess. Which it would appear the OP has done.
Graham Mck on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Greenbanks: Lots of threads on this topic on here in the past. If it is a Parking Charge then ignore it and the increasingly aggressive letters you will no doubt receive. If it is a fixed penalty notice issued by local authority then you may have to pay unless you take your appeal higher. It is unlikely to be a penalty notice as most NHS Hospitals sub-contract out their car park management and they can only issue "parking charges", which they dress up with lots of pseudo legal nonsense to con you into paying.
Steve John B - on 30 Oct 2012
Graham Mck on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to gethin_allen:
> (In reply to Greenbanks)
> Unfortunately, the recent changes in the law have made parking tickets issued on private properties where signs are clear legally enforceable.
> It sucks but you'll probably have to pay up.

When did this happen? If this is the case then the Op should ignore my previous out of date advice :)
off-duty - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Graham Mck:
> (In reply to Greenbanks) Lots of threads on this topic on here in the past. If it is a Parking Charge then ignore it and the increasingly aggressive letters you will no doubt receive. If it is a fixed penalty notice issued by local authority then you may have to pay unless you take your appeal higher. It is unlikely to be a penalty notice as most NHS Hospitals sub-contract out their car park management and they can only issue "parking charges", which they dress up with lots of pseudo legal nonsense to con you into paying.


I wouldn't claim to be an expert, but I understood that the "non-enforceable" part hinged on the fact that the owner couldn't be prosecuted as they couldn't be either proved to have been the person parking or compelled to id the driver at the time
Unfortunately the OP appears to have done just that
Greenbanks - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Greenbanks:

thanks for these replies - really appreciated. On the question of 'parking charge' v 'penalty notice', if the company does cut up rough, surely the natural course of action for them would be to secure a County Court judgement? If they managed that wouldn't it wreck your personal credit rating etc etc?
andic - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Philip:
> (In reply to coinneach)
> [...]
>
> That's not true, it isn't enforceable against the vehicle owner unless they confess. Which it would appear the OP has done.

Unfortunately you responded to the initial "fish-o-gram" and thusly implicated yourself, probably better pay, sorry.

in future no contact
vark - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Greenbanks:
Speak to the hospitals PALS (patient advice and liaison service). Mentioned the word complaint and they will probably make it all go away.
PixieNinja - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Greenbanks: all so agree that its disgusting that hospital parking isn't free! BUT as it isn't wouldn't it make more sense to have a system where you pay at the end rather than pay and display?
Also, if they keep persuing it could you see if the hospital would do anything (give you money back or sonething) a very long shot but might be worth a try.
Caterham - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Greenbanks:

I've had a few of these from various places and like already mentioned find if you just ignore them after a few letters they go away.

You have broken the golden rule by replying but surely got to be worth just sitting tight until they send you something concrete not just threatening letters! I'd have thought so many people just pay up without questioning its not worth their while chasing up/taking to court the handful who just ignore them.
EddInaBox on 31 Oct 2012
The law was changed with regard to parking on private land, from the first of October The Protection of Freedoms Act made clamping and towing vehicles illegal (in most circumstances) but it also made the registered keeper of a vehicle liable for privately issued penalties if the driver is not known. Whereas previously it was safe to ignore such penalties/fines they are now legally enforceable and you can be taken to court, although if the issuer is a member of the BPA (British Parking Association - and UK Parking Control is a member) there is an independent appeals process where one can appeal against a fine, this process is not binding on either side and the matter could subsequently still go to court.

I suggest that the O.P. complains to the hospital directly and contacts the local press at the same time, but there's nothing to lose by going through the appeals process.
gethin_allen on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to Graham Mck:
The full document is here: http://assets.dft.gov.uk/publications/guidance-unpaid-parking-charges/guidance-unpaid-parking-charge...

The summary is
"The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 makes a number of changes to the law related to parking on private land. It bans vehicle immobilisation and/or removal without lawful authority, and provides private landholders with additional powers to pursue the registered keeper of a vehicle for unpaid parking charges providing certain conditions are met. This guidance summarises the main provisions in the Act concerning the recovery of unpaid parking charges."

This came into force in September.
butteredfrog - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to gethin_allen:

Interesting, still working under the premise of an implied contract between the driver and landowner though. Still very much a grey area as far as the courts are concerned.

To the OP have a look at moneysavingexpert.com there is a lot of advice relating to parking charges.

Cheers Adam
buzby - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to butteredfrog: as above check out money saving expert as it goes into it in detail, however as you have now admitted you were the driver at the time i think that makes a big difference and you may now have to pay up.
BIgYeti86 - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to Graham Mck)
> [...]
>
>
> I wouldn't claim to be an expert, but I understood that the "non-enforceable" part hinged on the fact that the owner couldn't be prosecuted.

Parking tickets on private land are wholly and completely a civil matter, as such there is no chance of prosecution.

What can happen is that the parking company can sue you for breach of contract, as the OP stayed longer than he paid for. However only reasonable costs can be recovered, so the idea of a penalty is null and void. Check out money saving expert forums for more advice (where I have got this info from).
ads.ukclimbing.com
antdav - on 31 Oct 2012
Apparently if they take you to court they can only claim for lost income so you would end up paying for the extra time you were parked so another couple of quid. Don't know if the new rules would change this. The money supermarket guy was on ITV1 discussing this. I would assume the information given was correct when it was aired.
Jenny C on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to PixieNinja:
> (In reply to Greenbanks) ............wouldn't it make more sense to have a system where you pay at the end rather than pay and display?

Agreed, pay&display at a hospital is a licence to make money IMO. I'm not opposed to a modest fee but generally when we are ill is the very time that we NEED to use our car.

Had a spate of bad health recently in our family and two of the hospitals I've visited made you pay on exit and the other two had a flat fee per day . These were four different health authorities and all avoid the unpleasant situation that the OP is in.
Tall Clare - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to PixieNinja:
> (In reply to Greenbanks) all so agree that its disgusting that hospital parking isn't free! BUT as it isn't wouldn't it make more sense to have a system where you pay at the end rather than pay and display?
>


Calderdale Hospital (and, iirc, Huddersfield Royal Infirmary) have that system. Makes far more sense.

deepsoup - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:
> Makes far more sense.

From any point of view other than that of a private company solely interested in maximising its profits. *Plenty* more of that coming soon to our health service, whoop-di-do.
thebrookster on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to Greenbanks:
Contest it!!

Going back to the basics, I assume that said daughter is under 16 (sorry, 18 in England I think), possibly younger? If that is the case you (or your wife in this case) are the designated adult, or whatever you wish to call it and therefore cannot leave the child behind!

Hit the local rags with this. Make the point that a Hospital Parking Authority are fining you for being a responsible parent!

May also be worth finding contact details for the CEO of "UK Parking Control" and sending him an email, maybe cc your local mp in as well?? I often find going straight to the head guy has good results!

Make the point that your wife was willing to pay the extra charge, but she could not leave her daughter to whom she had a legal and moral responsibility for. Also point out they were only 21 mins late. If it was me, I would also offer to pay the lowest fee charge applicable as well (either the 30min or the 1 hr).

Good luck!!
Jim C - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to coinneach:
> (In reply to Greenbanks)
>
> Just don't pay it............it's not legally enforceable, they'll send threatening letters etc. but eventually give up.

or worst case send tghe bailiffs to repossess your car:)

Neil Williams - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to deepsoup:

Our local hospital has switched to pay on exit rather than pay and display. Given that NHS budgets mean that parking has to be paid for, that seems the most friendly solution, as you need only pay for what you used.

Neil
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to Greenbanks: No one can beat this parking poser

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPgx_E9ffbg
highclimber - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to Greenbanks: You CANNOT get prosecuted for failing to pay an INVOICE from a 3rd party PRIVATE company. They can, however, take you to court for failure to pay an INVOICE and this may lead to a CCJ but mostly it will be a judgement to pay the initial invoice plus costs. Even this isn't likely as the onus is on the claimant to prove it was you, the owner, that was in charge of the vehicle at the time and unless you say it was you in charge at the time, they'd have a hard time getting you to tell them who it was!

MJ - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to highclimber:

as the onus is on the claimant to prove it was you, the owner, that was in charge of the vehicle at the time and unless you say it was you in charge at the time, they'd have a hard time getting you to tell them who it was!

According to some posters above, the reverse is now true.

Ken Lewis - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to MJ:
> (In reply to highclimber)
>
> as the onus is on the claimant to prove it was you, the owner, that was in charge of the vehicle at the time and unless you say it was you in charge at the time, they'd have a hard time getting you to tell them who it was!
>
> According to some posters above, the reverse is now true.

I read it as being the posters above agree with highclimber. The problem is the OP admitted he committed the heinous crime which was detailed on the invoice, therefore the company who issued the invoice can go to small claims court to get payment for an unpaid bill.

Never had the problem myself but it just sounds like its basic tort law stuff with a bit of Unfair Contract Terms 1977 thrown in - ie, just ignore them and laugh as they waste money on postage sending you amusing letters.
EddInaBox on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to all the people who aren't aware the law has changed:

From:
http://assets.dft.gov.uk/publications/guidance-unpaid-parking-charges/guidance-unpaid-parking-charge...

3.1 The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 makes a number of changes to the law related to parking. It bans private sector wheel-clamping and vehicle removal where there is no lawful authority to do so, and, as a balance to that, provides landholders with extra powers to manage parking on their land once the ban comes into force. It does this by allowing landholders, in certain circumstances, to hold the registered keeper of a vehicle liable for unpaid parking charges if the registered keeper refuses or is unable to name the driver at the time...

3.5 Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act... allows, providing certain conditions are met, the landholder to pursue the registered keeper of a vehicle for unpaid parking charges if the registered keeper refuses or is unable to identify the driver at the time the parking charge was incurred. This is often referred to as “keeper liability”. However the registered keeper cannot be liable for any unpaid parking charges if he or she identifies the driver of the vehicle at the time the parking charge was incurred.

3.6 In order to enforce a parking ticket a landholder first has to be able to show that a contract to park existed between the driver and the landholder, and that the terms and conditions of that contract have been broken by the driver.

5.2 For Schedule 4 to apply the driver of a vehicle must first be liable for unpaid parking charges. There are broadly two situations where a driver could become liable for parking charges:
a. where a driver has entered into a contract to park on private land and failed to comply with the terms and conditions of that contract; or
b. where a driver has trespassed on private land where signs showing charges for unauthorised parking are displayed.

7.1 Contracts for parking on private land can arise in a number of ways. However normally a car park will have signs setting out the terms and conditions upon which parking is offered. Drivers can then decide whether or not to accept those terms and conditions. In most cases a driver who parks in a car park with clear signage setting out the terms and conditions will be deemed to have accepted the terms and conditions and therefore entered into a contract to park with the
landholder.

7.2 Parking contracts, like any contract, must be made in accordance with the general law – for example, consumer protection law would be relevant to establishing whether or not the signs at a car park were sufficient, and the terms and conditions were fair. If it can be shown that a contractual term was unfair, it follows that the term cannot be relied upon to enforce a parking charge.

8.1 A driver can be liable to pay a charge for parking on land where parking is not invited and they are trespassing. For Schedule 4 to apply to trespass situations the landholder needs, as a minimum, to place clear signs stating that parking is not permitted and setting out the charge that will be sought for unauthorised parking (i.e. damages for trespass). For example “No parking – charge £50 for unauthorised parking”. Charges sought for trespass must be appropriate.



The new law only covers England and Wales, Scotland has different rules.
highclimber - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to EddInaBox:
> In most cases a driver who parks in a car park with clear signage setting out the terms and conditions will be deemed to have accepted the terms and conditions and therefore entered into a contract to park with the
landholder.

the key words here are 'clear signage'. it doesn't really say what clear signage is. There is a sign on my uni car park that's clear but only if you go up close to read it as it's about size 12 font. There are many others I have seen where the font is much smaller and generally very wordy and not in plain English.
Neil Williams - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to highclimber:

I think this also risks car parks behaving in a Ryanair style manner, e.g. painting the white lines too short and issuing fines for parking "not fully between the lines" if your larger car overhangs the end by an inch or two. While you'd think that would fail the "reasonable" test, it doesn't seem to stop Ryanair.

That said, I agree people should be able to seek redress against people parking on their land without permission. If I own land, it's up to me and nobody else to decide what is done on it, and I shouldn't have to put up a big fence to protect it if I don't want to. To me, morally, if it's not obviously the public road and it doesn't say you *can*, the default is and should be that you *can't*. (In some European countries that even applies on the public road, and does lead to tidier city streets).

Neil
Aly - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to EddInaBox:
Whilst the law has changed, the consensus from the consensus from Moneysavingexpert and pepipoo seems to be that the response to PCC fines should be the same i.e. ignore them as they not legally enforcable.

From what I understand the PCC can invite the registered keeper to name the driver, and if they don't then they can pursue the RK but they are no more liable for the charge than an offender would have been pre-law changes.

It looks like if the PCC is a member of the BPO AOS then you can lodge an appeal (which costs you nothing and the PCC about £30), the result of which is not binding so if you lose you can still ignore.


Here's the pepipoo link:
http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=46975

and the MSE forums:
http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/forumdisplay.php?f=163

I'm sure someone with more legal knowledge and more time than me can figure out what's actually going on.
deepsoup - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Neil Williams:
> I think this also risks car parks behaving in a Ryanair style manner, e.g. painting the white lines too short and issuing fines for parking "not fully between the lines" if your larger car overhangs the end by an inch or two. While you'd think that would fail the "reasonable" test, it doesn't seem to stop Ryanair.

Regarding the 'reasonable' test - I imagine that would also have an impact on imposing a fine as opposed to recovering an unpaid fee.

I mean if they charge a fiver for three hours in a P&D, its hardly reasonable to then charge a further 80 quid if you over-stay by twenty minutes is it?
wilf1 - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Greenbanks:

Dear Mr Greenbanks,

In my opinion, which I have no doubt Mrs G will contest, you should make her sell some of her shoes and pay the fine.
You could also use the same tactic to get her to fund her new green motorbike...

Very best regards,

Wilf
SCrossley on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to gcandlin:
> (In reply to Greenbanks) I think the fact that you have to pay at hospitals at all is disgusting...
>
>
But why do they charge? To make money to be honest I doubt it.
Maybe it is because people park on a hospital car park and leave the car there all day, and go somewhere else, such as work, climbing, shopping whatever, so the Hospital has to control this some how and the most efficient way of doing it is by charging.
Agree charging at the end is the best way.
John Rushby - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to sjc:

I disagree with the cowboy parking monkeys, but I thin it should be within a man's rights to batter any able bodied person who parks in the disabled bay with a baseball bat in a Caponesque manner. .
SCrossley on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to John Rushby:
I saw guy who owns a local Italian Restaurant park his Maserati at the local Tesco in the Disabled bays, presumably because they are wider so his car will not get marked by more plebian cars. There were 20 disabled bays, all empty, should he be battered or was it reasonable?
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JH74 - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to deepsoup:
> (In reply to Neil Williams)
> [...]
> I mean if they charge a fiver for three hours in a P&D, its hardly reasonable to then charge a further 80 quid if you over-stay by twenty minutes is it?

Good point. If it comes to it there must be some mileage in that surely.
mountainmadness on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Greenbanks:

> Another parking poser

I thought this was going to be a thread about Mr Cool parking his DB9 :-)
Trangia - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Greenbanks:

I am now driving again following major surgery a month ago, however getting in and out of the car is difficult, particularly in a restricted parking bay, if someone parks alongside me and I can't fully open the door. A couple of days ago I had to go back to the hospital for a follow up appointment with the consultant. When I asked if I could use a disabled space this was refused because I din't have a blue badge.

Inquiries have revealed that there is no blue badge provision for temporary disablement, you only qualify if your disability is permanent.
Greenbanks - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to wilf1:

> In my opinion, which I have no doubt Mrs G will contest, you should make her sell some of her shoes and pay the fine<

What? She'd never allow her shoe-count to drop below the 1000!


Neil Williams - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to deepsoup:

True. But equally, it is not reasonable for a landowner to lose money on enforcement.

Therefore, enforcement needs to cover its costs, which if you don't have parking attendants patrolling all the time, £80 might be reasonable.

Of course, the best approach is pay on exit. Then there is no need to fine anybody.

Neil
thebrookster on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to EddInaBox:
> 7.2 Parking contracts, like any contract, must be made in accordance with the general law – for example, consumer protection law would be relevant to establishing whether or not the signs at a car park were sufficient, and the terms and conditions were fair. If it can be shown that a contractual term was unfair, it follows that the term cannot be relied upon to enforce a parking charge.

I suspect this may well be the identifying factor for hospital car parks, if someone wanted to challenge legally. I would expect you could challenge on the basis of an unfair contract as you can be detained in a hospital for circumstances outwith your control, as in the case above where care of a minor prevents the ability to add time to a ticket, or maybe a consultation requires unexpected action (i.e. something found medically that was unsuspected that required immediate medical intervention in an otherwise routine appointment). I would have thought you may have an argument for unfair contract at that point possibly?

I don't know, not being a lawyer, but I would guess you could make an argument here? Guess this would need a court case to find out though!!


> The new law only covers England and Wales, Scotland has different rules.

Yep, thank god! In Scotland, as I understand it, only a council can legally enforce parking and charges, private car parks can't. One company tried to stick me with an £80 fine for parking on what was effectively a piece of waste land for a couple of hours, at night! (It was an official car park, I hasten to add!) Simply ignored the letters, they reached the point of telling me they were going to take legal action, and that was the last I ever heard from them.
lithos on 01 Nov 2012

no idea about the legalities but seems to me that you had a scheduled appointment with a scheduled length and probably bought the ticket as appropriate.

If the overrun was due to a delay by the hospital (your appointment was late/delayed) seems to me that they (hospital/deptartment/consultant) should suck it up and pay it
(whatever that means)

perhaps they should run a system of a fixed fee for an appointment, getting your tickets stamped etc (sure it can be figured out)
John Rushby - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to sjc:
> (In reply to John Rushby)
> I saw guy who owns a local Italian Restaurant park his Maserati at the local Tesco in the Disabled bays, presumably because they are wider so his car will not get marked by more plebian cars. There were 20 disabled bays, all empty, should he be battered or was it reasonable?

Depends, was it a Gran Corsa, 4200 or 3200 GT. If the latter the doors will probably fall off.
deepsoup - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Neil Williams:
> Therefore, enforcement needs to cover its costs, which if you don't have parking attendants patrolling all the time, £80 might be reasonable.

It seems *way* over the odds to me, in the light of this for example:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2009/feb/26/bank-charges-case

Ten quid might be reasonable, at a push, including the couple of quid they pay DVLA for your details. I really can't see it being anything like the £50 - £100 that they tend to be asking for.

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