/ Parking Tickets - variation on a theme

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Greenbanks - on 19 Mar 2013
The place I work at (university) has employed the services of a company to patrol their sites, enforcing parking regulations. At least 2 people I know have fallen foul of this new system, receiving 40 fines as a result.
I'm interested to know what the legal basis for all of this is...especially so when I recall some of the information exchanged (for instance) regarding so called 'illegal' parking in places such as supermarkets etc.
balmybaldwin - on 19 Mar 2013
In reply to Greenbanks:

I may be wrong, but I understand that the legal situation has recently changed following the ban on clamping... I believe this legislation also made it legal for these companies to legally enforce their fines (although it would probably be via civil rather than criminal court.

It's all very annoying to get a fine, but the bottom line is don't park where you shouldn't and you won't get a fine.

Think of it from the other point of view - how would you feel if people kept parking on your drive or blocking access to your business?


Anyway, I'm sure someone will be along in a moment to tell you to just ignore the fines... this certainly used to be a way to get away with it.
Stash - on 19 Mar 2013
In reply to Greenbanks:

perhaps there trying to stop non university staff/students abusing the car park.

stop whining
alexcollins123 - on 19 Mar 2013
In reply to Greenbanks:

My dad works for one of these companies, and I can tell you that **ignoring it does not work**.

They will send the bailiffs round within a few months if you ignore their correspondance.

Sometimes you can get away with stuff because the signage is wrong, for example they write 'Parking Fine' when its not a fine, its a penalty charge. Stuff like this you can complain about, however it usually refers to old signage not changed to reflect new legislation yet. If its a new contract, the signs will be correct.
Steve John B - on 19 Mar 2013
In reply to alexcollins123:
>
> They will send the bailiffs round within a few months if you ignore their correspondance.

You mean private debt collectors or court-appointed bailiffs? The former can't do anything except threaten and cajole.
Sam Warby - on 19 Mar 2013
In reply to alexcollins123:

I did a fair amount of research into this subject when I got a ticket recently and the gist is they can't send bailiffs round, only a court can do that. all they can do is threaten with all kinds of silly threats but from what i've read they'll eventually get board if you ignore them. they aren't going to take you to small claims court and even if they do the charge has to be fair (I.e you parking there for that period didn't cost them anywhere near the cost of the fine) this is just from my own research but i've ignored a ticket i got 2 months ago
Jim C - on 19 Mar 2013
In reply to Greenbanks: I have just challenged Parking Eye for my wife and daughter, over a 50 pound fine for 15 mins over the two hours stated and was in Mother care all that time !

It turn out that if you ignore their ever increasing demands they will leave you alone ( eventually) and they cannot prosecute you under Scottish law. but check your rights online for yourself. however, I phoned Mother care , and by handing over a receipt for that period the 'fine' was cancelled.

I also checked that they were members of the BPA, but their name did not appear to be listed, but an email to BPA was met with a confirmation. All a bit strange.

More annoying is there are no meters , no way of paying to park,even retrospectively, so once you drive past their magic eye and the clock starts ticking, you re a potential victim( if you are prepared to be one, )
mypyrex - on 19 Mar 2013
In reply to alexcollins123: But does your dad know about contract law? That is what this is all about and stinging somebody 50 for overstaying a permitted parking time by about ten minutes would probably not stand up in a CIVIL court.
bigdrew - on 19 Mar 2013
In reply to alexcollins123: Still OK to ignore them, No bailiffs will be round about it. Have a quick read online. The recent changes (October) to the protection of freedom act doesn't really give them any more power than before.
Dax H - on 19 Mar 2013
In reply to Greenbanks: Excel parking seem to have gotten bored with sending me letters now but it took about 9 months and 6 letters before they did.
I went to a gig and paid for parking but they did a couple of extra encores and I was 10 mins late back to the car.
The first letter demanded 80, the second was for the "fine" plus solicitors costs for 170.
The last letter was for about 400.
deepsoup - on 19 Mar 2013
In reply to alexcollins123:
> My dad works for one of these companies, and I can tell you that **ignoring it does not work**.
Yes, in spite of the law change, it usually still does.

> They will send the bailiffs round within a few months if you ignore their correspondance.
Bailiffs? No. They'd need to take you to court, and win, first.

To the OP: moneysavingexpert.com and pepipoo.com are good sources of info about this.
mypyrex - on 19 Mar 2013
andic - on 19 Mar 2013
In reply to alexcollins123:
> (In reply to Greenbanks)
>
> My dad works for one of these companies, and I can tell you that **ignoring it does not work**.
>
> They will send the bailiffs round within a few months if you ignore their correspondance.
>
> Sometimes you can get away with stuff because the signage is wrong, for example they write 'Parking Fine' when its not a fine, its a penalty charge. Stuff like this you can complain about, however it usually refers to old signage not changed to reflect new legislation yet. If its a new contract, the signs will be correct.

Tesco burger
andic - on 19 Mar 2013
In reply to Greenbanks:

Deepsoup's advice is good. Basically even though things have changed you are still ok to ignore but don't take our word get over to pipipoo fightback forum and read what they say.
mypyrex - on 19 Mar 2013
In reply to alexcollins123:
> (In reply to Greenbanks)
>

> Sometimes you can get away with stuff because the signage is wrong, for example they write 'Parking Fine' when its not a fine,

In my experience all these toerags refer to it as a "fine" as a deliberately intimidating tactic. They also invariably print their "tickets" so that the unsuspecting will believe them to have been issued by the police or a local authority.
DNS on 19 Mar 2013
In reply to Greenbanks:

Go to pepipoo, not UKC for good advice.
Jim C - on 19 Mar 2013
In reply to Dax H: it is about time this Government got this sorted out. Years ago in another field it was ok to put in a contract a penalty clause, and if the supplier failed to meet their commitments , they would be due to pay the amount of the penalty.

Now it is a little fairer, in that if the supplier fails to meet their commitment, the buyer would have to prove loss to get the money. That could be having to put on extra shifts to recover the time or loss of earnings etc.

The problem with parking is that, if I deny the parking space for say an extra hour, their loss is the cost of that hour ( say 5 pounds) So how can they claim 50 pounds, and even putting it up to say 140 pounds when the space has been free and earnng as normal. Where is their loss?

This law needs reforming, to bring it in Liine
http://www.e-lawresources.co.uk/Unfair-terms---regulation-by-common-law.php

Are there no lawyers on here that know, or can explain why parking companies get favoured terms?
Greenbanks - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to Greenbanks:

Thanks for these replies. It seems that there are a lot of grey areas. My 'whining' (in response to 'Stash') is more about this lack of clarity, and that the 2 people penalised for inappropriate parking are very poorly paid (hourly) staff - the rap across the knuckles seemed a bit disproportionate.
Steve John B - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to DNS:
> (In reply to Greenbanks)
>
> Go to pepipoo, not UKC for good advice.

...but not about climbing, you're probably better off here ;-)
andrew breckill - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to Greenbanks: gist of it is, they cannot 'fine you' the charge is not going to be successful as is not 'reasonable' the 'contract' is between the driver, can they even prove who the driver is? You are under no legal obligation to disclose the driver. They do word the new letters to make it sound like the law has been changed in their favour it has not. There are lots of previous cases to refer to to defeat then in county court if it ever gets there. My car was parked in a non dedicated bay at the metro centre, no loss was incurred as its free and no obstruction was caused so I await my day in court with relish.
IainRUK - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to Greenbanks: we did this at bangor..

You can normally get our of fines.. appealed all 3 I had and got let off.. but I had a permit just in the other car..
Neil Williams - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to andrew breckill:

"You are under no legal obligation to disclose the driver"

Actually, under the recent change in the law, yes you are. If you don't, you as registered keeper can be taken to court.

Neil
andrew breckill - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to Neil Williams: are you talking about the same thing? Please post a link to where you got your info from.
Neil Williams - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to andrew breckill:

I'm talking about privately issued "parking charge notices". The concession to enforcers was introduced at the same time clamping was banned. After all, while these schemes are misused at times (I fail to see why a supermarket car park nowhere near a railway station needs one, for instance, other than to catch people out), it is entirely right that if I own land I should have a means of controlling parking on it.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/9155/guidance-unpaid-parki...

gives some detail.

Neil
Neil Williams - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to Jim C:

There would be absolutely no need for parking fines or penalty fares or anything like that if people were honest and did not abuse the facility, e.g. by staying more than 2 hours in a 2 hour space, by parking causing an obstruction, by parking inconsiderately across two spaces, or by parking in disabled bays when not disabled. Or, in another area, if train passengers all bought a ticket before travelling, or if there was genuinely no opportunity paid at their destination rather than trying to get away with it.

As one example, the way people in here treat the Pen y Pass car park (which is well known to have no such enforcement) makes it clear that they are necessary.

The trouble is human nature is to get away with such minor things where you can.

Neil
Indy - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to Sam Warby:
My experience as well. You just need the resolve to ignore them and the hassle.
Frank the Husky - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to alexcollins123: I'm sure your dad is very proud of his job. Ignoring these people *does* work. I have a box of letters these bullies have sent and I ignore every single one. Their language is misleading and sometimes threatening. Nothing ever comes of the threats and intimidation because they know they cannot do anything. They simply rely on fear to do their work for them in the majority of cases, and they take a hit on those who, like me and some others, totally ignore these people. This approach has worked in over a dozen cases in the last 5 years, which seems like pretty good evidence to me. I attended one 80yo old gentlemen recently who was having difficulty breathing after getting one of their nasty little letters.
Indy - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:
> (In reply to Jim C)
>
> There would be absolutely no need for parking fines or penalty fares or anything like that if people >were honest and did not abuse the facility

To a large extent I 100% agree with you but this has to be a 2 way street. Too many times I've seen traffic wardens PRE-writing tickets so the absolute second the time is up a ticket gets slapped on the car despite the owner returning within a few minutes. I've also seen wardens SPRINTING to a car up the road where a driver has stopped for 30 seconds to get a newspaper. This is early in the morning and causing no trouble what so ever. Yes there are people who should and deserve to get tickets but theres no common sense anymore.

Too many councils see parking and enforcement has a HUGE MEGA cash cow to the point where wardens are now legally not allowed to (officially at least) be set ticket targets. Parking regulations can be hugely confusing. Here in London there are places where 1 side of the street has 1 set of rules the other side another because they come under different Boroughs.

Neil Williams - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to Frank the Husky:

I got one once in error (for somewhere my car had never been, so I suspect a misread number plate), I wrote back to them and they withdrew it.

Other than that I have never had one. I put this down to parking legally and considerately.

Neil
Neil Williams - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to Indy:

"To a large extent I 100% agree with you but this has to be a 2 way street. Too many times I've seen traffic wardens PRE-writing tickets so the absolute second the time is up a ticket gets slapped on the car despite the owner returning within a few minutes. I've also seen wardens SPRINTING to a car up the road where a driver has stopped for 30 seconds to get a newspaper. This is early in the morning and causing no trouble what so ever. Yes there are people who should and deserve to get tickets but theres no common sense anymore."

That is certainly true - but it's true of society in general. The cost-cutting race to the bottom results in no margin for discretion. Think Ryanair; for things like that society has only itself to blame.

One example where your point fits quite well is the Spar in Betws. There are yellow lines outside, but from observation the police use discretion as there's nowhere else to stop quickly for a paper without paying for a few hours' parking. It could really do with a couple of "10 minutes only" free bays there.

Neil
Neil Williams - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to Indy:

"Too many councils see parking and enforcement has a HUGE MEGA cash cow"

And the cause of that is that Councils are not being allowed to set Council Tax at a reasonable rate to cover the cost of services people want, so they have to get it elsewhere.

Same with banks. We could move to what some might say is a fairer system like in many European countries where you pay a fee for running your current account, or we stick with penalties for overdrawing etc.

Neil
Indy - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:
> (In reply to Indy)
>
> "Too many councils see parking and enforcement has a HUGE MEGA cash cow"
>
> And the cause of that is that Councils are not being allowed to set Council Tax at a reasonable >rate to cover the cost of services people want

Not sure I agree with that. Not wishing to get political but there are some councils that have a funny idea (well to my mind at least) as to what 'reasonable' is.

Living in London yes, parking controls are 100% needed but they need to be used responsibly.

BTW its illegal to use parking controls to raise revenue so the Council Tax thins is a non-starter.
Indy - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:
> (In reply to Indy)
> That is certainly true - but it's true of society in general. The cost-cutting race to the bottom >results in no margin for discretion.

I think that this is the biggest reason for the plunging quality of life in the UK :(


Neil Williams - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to Indy:

"BTW its illegal to use parking controls to raise revenue so the Council Tax thins is a non-starter."

That sounds rather like ring-fencing funding, which is completely pointless as you just divert some of the funding on the same area that isn't ring-fenced away.

Whether legal or not, clearly Councils are treating enforcement as a profit centre.

The solution to this would have been for responsibility for it to remain with the Police.

Neil
Neil Williams - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to Indy:

Agree. Over the last 2 years I've spent a lot of time in Switzerland, where the approach is the opposite - you decide on the quality of service you want to provide, then you set the price. The downside of it is that it makes for a very high cost of living, but the upside is that almost everything is well-run.

Having said that, their railway has just introduced a penalty fare scheme (fine CHF90=about 60 quid) with very little discretion available to staff.

Neil
Stash - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to Greenbanks:

It doesn't matter what the hourly income of the person who is "fined" is. Otherwise you could say a multi millionaire paying the same fine is disproportionate aswell.

If in this day and age of parking enforcement Nazi's you should really check what applies where you are potentially going to park. Clarity is an issue.
No excuse if you knowingly break the "rules" and then complain about the consequences.
Neil Williams - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to Stash:

Interestingly having posted about Switzerland... Government imposed fines there are in proportion to income.

Neil
Indy - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:

Was on a Euroline's redeye to Cham but I think this happened in Switzerland. I bought a cup of coffee and was charged an arm and a leg something like 6. Speaking to the server I asked how can you afford to live here with prices like that!! he said he was on something like 10/hour. In places like Switzerland and other high cost countries its all about the relative cost. Coming from another country short circuits the process.

I have no problem with fines for people who knowingly break the rules but as I've already said there HAS to be a common sense approach to it.

PLEASE don't start me on public transport! ;)
zebidee - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to Greenbanks:

I've done a fair bit of reading on this one after being slapped with a couple of these over 10 years ago.

These are not *fines* - they are parking *charge* notices or penalty *charge* notices. The thought is that a contract is being entered into between the driver and the provider of the parking. Therefore contract law applies in all aspects of this.

The difficulty for these companies will be (because they haven't done it yet) proving in court that a contract has been entered into between the driver and the company. Problems with this could be:
* Signage is not obvious; e.g. not presented at entrance to car park or foot exits
* Signage does not include the full terms and conditions of the contract
* No opportunity to negotiate terms and conditions of the contract

The answer is still to ignore these & wait for your day in court - which will never happen.

The exceptions to this is parking run by a local authority or railway station parking (when it falls under byelaw 14 and isn't being handled by a sub-contractor e.g. NCP).
andy - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to zebidee:
> (In reply to Greenbanks)

>
> The exceptions to this is parking run by a local authority or railway station parking (when it falls under byelaw 14 and isn't being handled by a sub-contractor e.g. NCP).

Just be a bit careful on this - if a private company are operating as the railway companies agents then a ticket is enforceable 9and they can do stuff like clamp you etc) - if they've leased the car park to them (as in quite a few places) then it's the same as any other private car park.

I must say I'm amazed that more of these companies don't go to court - it can't be that hard to put proper signage and therefore have at least a decent chance of winning their case, can it?
ads.ukclimbing.com
andic - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to zebidee:
> (In reply to Greenbanks)
>

>
> These are not *fines* - they are parking *charge* notices or penalty *charge* notices.

AIUI: the private ones use the term "parking charge notice" in order to impersonate the legally enforceable "penalty charge notices" issued by councils PCN does not = PCN

Also there is another line of defence/ obstacle that a third party (the PPC) cannot pursue you if the land you parked on is not theirs, eg supermkt car park etc.
andrew breckill - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to andy: I think their arguments fall down in court under the 'reasonable' test, the fees are not reasonable, plus I'd challenge the law regarding the registered keeper being party to the contract, how can they if they were not present at the time?
andy - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to andrew breckill:
> (In reply to andy) I think their arguments fall down in court under the 'reasonable' test, the fees are not reasonable, plus I'd challenge the law regarding the registered keeper being party to the contract, how can they if they were not present at the time?

Do the charges have to be "reasonable"? If (as i thought) this is down to contract law, and by parking you're deemed to have accepted the contract, then aren't you liable for whatever's in "the contract"? However there's certainly something stopping them going to court - I think I read there were only 49 court cases for unpaid parking notices last year.

And I think the registered keeper thing is now law isn't it? Didn't the parking companies get that as a concession when they banned private clamping?

Having said all that I must say that I do try not to park where i shouldn't, and if I've messed up then I tend to pay - I've only had two parking tickets ever - one in Italy and one at Skipton station when I forgot to buy a ticket - so I paid. I must be getting a bit Tory in my old age but I don't see why people shouldn't be able to reasonably enforce parking on their own land.
andic - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to andy:
> (In reply to andrew breckill)
> I must be getting a bit Tory in my old age but I don't see why people shouldn't be able to reasonably enforce parking on their own land.

What about a gate?
Neil Williams - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to andic:

Why should I have to put a gate on my land to ensure you don't park on it, or if I'm inviting you to park on it to ensure you do so considerately?

Neil
andrew breckill - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to andy: maybe you are lol, but seeing as no obstruction was caused, parking is free, there are precidents for the reasonable charges, and also precidents for them being rejected, they are not the land owners so once the letters stop they may hand over to landowner in which case if it goes to court we'll find out. I didn't read the signs as have parked in the same place for years so I await the follow ups with interest.
andy - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to andic:
> (In reply to andy)
> [...]
>
> What about a gate?

I assume you're being facetious, but we have a parking area at the front of our house. It's parallel to the road, and it's not feasible to put a gate or a fence round it. We live in a village that gets pretty busy as there's a steam railway and lots of people start walks up on the fell from here. I'm pretty stuck as to what I'd do if someone came and left their car on it whilst they went for a ride on the train - do you think that it's ok for them to do so?
andic - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:

Why indeed, do you have a door on your house, do you lock it?

andic - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to andy:

Yes I was (mostly) and I accept there are situations like yours which must be infuriating an where you need some kind of enforcement option, but a great many of these ppcs are racketeers and its for the best overall that the legislation has no teeth.
deepsoup - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to andy:
> I must say I'm amazed that more of these companies don't go to court - it can't be that hard to put proper signage and therefore have at least a decent chance of winning their case, can it?

Having proper signage and wotnot still won't make an unreasonable contract enforceable, and still wouldn't give them the right to impose a punitive 'fine'.

But the main reason they don't I think is that it's difficult, labour intensive, the result is uncertain and could actually be counter-productive for them. (The last thing the parking 'control' companies would want is a well publicised court case that raises people's awareness that you don't have to just fold immediately and pay their 'fines'.)

Basically what these companies have is an efficient (and largely automated) threatening letter machine. The people who pay up in response to the letters represent easy profits, and the people who don't are probably not worth chasing (beyond further mass-produced threatening letters and, if they've been daft enough to get in touch and provide a number, a few phone calls).
The New NickB - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to Jim C:
> (In reply to Dax H) it is about time this Government got this sorted out. Years ago in another field it was ok to put in a contract a penalty clause, and if the supplier failed to meet their commitments , they would be due to pay the amount of the penalty.
>
I think the case law relating to penalties dates back to 1915.
The New NickB - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to andic:

It is also quite easy to manage parking and generate revenue from staying longer than a set period of time, a number of supermarkets do this, it is legal and enforceable, but probably not as profitable.
kdr001 - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to andy:
> (In reply to andrew breckill)
> [...]
>
> Do the charges have to be "reasonable"? If (as i thought) this is down to contract law, and by parking you're deemed to have accepted the contract, then aren't you liable for whatever's in "the contract"?


In terms of contract law, the charge has to be a 'genuine pre-estimate of loss', in other words what it has cost the landowner that someone has overstayed in the car park, together with the cost of admin involved with that. It is really difficult to see how it costs 50 to have someone in a parking space for 15 extra minutes, which may well be why there are so few cases in court.
Steve John B - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to andy:
> (In reply to andic)
> [...]
>
> I assume you're being facetious, but we have a parking area at the front of our house. It's parallel to the road, and it's not feasible to put a gate or a fence round it. We live in a village that gets pretty busy as there's a steam railway and lots of people start walks up on the fell from here. I'm pretty stuck as to what I'd do if someone came and left their car on it whilst they went for a ride on the train - do you think that it's ok for them to do so?

Does that happen often? Presumably not, I'm just being facetious ;-)

2 options: (1) if your car's blocked in, pay the local farmer to drag theirs out of the way with his tractor. then smash it up. (2) if your car's not blocked in - block theirs in.

Either way, film it all, stick it on youtube and post the link on here :-)
Neil Williams - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to andic:

Yes. But that doesn't make it OK to go in there.

I don't have gates on my driveway, but that doesn't make it OK for you to park on it.

Neil
Neil Williams - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:

FWIW, I think pay on exit is the friendliest type of car park, as you can't overstay, you just pay for what you use, and if you wish to deter long-term parkers you use an exponential pricing scale e.g. half hour=free, 1 hour=2, 2 hours 5, 8 hours=30. But it isn't always practical.

Neil

Neil Williams - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to kdr001:

Might not fit with case law, but personally I don't think it's unfair to start with the base assumption that the cost of running your car park is the cost assuming everyone is honest, i.e. providing a suitable surface, marked spaces and a means of paying, and that the cost of enforcement should be shared between those who don't use the car park properly.

I include in that lazy people who park across two spaces. I would be happy to see a 100+ fine for that, as it is very easy to spend a few seconds ensuring you are between the lines. The only time it is acceptable is where there is a disabled person in the car and they need the extra space.

Neil
andrew breckill - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to Neil Williams: or when it's new and you don't want it's door denting. I bought a 10 year old car in mint condition, within about a month of having it I had seven dings on the doors from inconsiderate others.
deepsoup - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to andrew breckill:
Nope. He was right.
http://xkcd.com/562/
andic - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:
> (In reply to andic)
>
> Yes. But that doesn't make it OK to go in there.
>
> I don't have gates on my driveway, but that doesn't make it OK for you to park on it.
>

but if you did have a problem a gate would be the most effective way of stopping it, but it is more profitable to get a PPC in to "police" the carpark,
ads.ukclimbing.com
MG - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to andic:
> (In reply to Neil Williams)
> [...]
>
> but if you did have a problem a gate would be the most effective way of stopping it, but it is more profitable to get a PPC in to "police" the carpark,

So rather than expecting people who park on private land to pay for the privilege, you think the owners should pay to put in prevention measures? Seems a bit back to front to me.
Greenbanks - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to Greenbanks:

Here is an update. It'll probably swing things one way or another - though I am no legal expert...

On the signage (which is apparent in several locations) there are the following phrases:

"Please note that this land is privately owned..."

"If you fail to comply with any of these conditions you agree to pay a parking charge of 70...A Civil Parking Notice will be issued to this effect"

"if the CPN is not paid the registered keeper details will be requested from the DVLA..."

"By entering and parking on the property you have agreed to the conditions above and contracted to be legally bound by them"

Seems like this company has all the bases covered, though someone with more detailed legal knowledge might see things differently. For those of us who are uninitiated into these matters, it seems that the company has got you bang to rights.
The New NickB - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to Greenbanks:

I am not a lawyer, but have had first hand experience in this area.

The last one is key, it is also pretty standard, the fact remains that any contract with a penalty like this will be considered unfair and therefore I enforceable.
The New NickB - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to MG:

They can limit access physically. They can have a car removed legally. They can charge and enforce payment.

The cannot extort.
andic - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to MG:

Charges don't stop people. Some make a mistake and don't repeat it but the car is still in your space or whatever for the duration. Not if he culprit cannot gain access in the first place. How much does a length of chain and a padlock cost?
andy - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to Greenbanks)
>
> I am not a lawyer, but have had first hand experience in this area.
>
> The last one is key, it is also pretty standard, the fact remains that any contract with a penalty like this will be considered unfair and therefore I enforceable.

Here's what I don't get - i could own a car park and charge people (say) 20 a day to park in it. This is my legal right to set my own price. But if someone just parked and didn't pay, despite there being a sign saying so, i couldn't charge them a 20 penalty, because the 20 is more than my loss?
The New NickB - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to andy:

You could charge them 20, plus the cost of recovery. 20 is your loss, put a machine or a man in a box in and charge.
andy - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to The New NickB: is 20 my loss? They took up a parking space all day. That stopped twenty people, who would have stayed for half an hour and paid me my minimum fee of 2.50 each from parking. Why can't I have fifty quid?
MG - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to MG)
>
> They can limit access physically. They can have a car removed legally. They can charge and enforce payment.

This and other threads suggests not. Seems to me reasonable to charge for parking on private land subject to reasonable signage etc.
>
> The cannot extort.

Rather different.

Baron Weasel - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to Greenbanks: The way it works is the parking penalty that has been sent to the registered owner of the vehicle is a threat to take civil action if not paid, on the basis that there has been a breach of contract. When a letter was sent to my wife after I had parked her vehicle for too long we simply replied that she had not commited a breach of contract as she had not been driving at the time and that legally she had no obligation to provide any details of who was driving. They stopped writing after this.

BW
andy - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to Baron Weasel:
> (In reply to Greenbanks) The way it works is the parking penalty that has been sent to the registered owner of the vehicle is a threat to take civil action if not paid, on the basis that there has been a breach of contract. When a letter was sent to my wife after I had parked her vehicle for too long we simply replied that she had not commited a breach of contract as she had not been driving at the time and that legally she had no obligation to provide any details of who was driving. They stopped writing after this.
>
> BW

Change in the law last year - if she doesn't say who was driving then she's liable for the breach of contract.
The New NickB - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to andy:

Because the daily rate is 20.
The New NickB - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]
>
> This and other threads suggests not. Seems to me reasonable to charge for parking on private land subject to reasonable signage etc.

Suggests not for what.
>
> Rather different.

Which is my point.

andy - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to andy)
>
> Because the daily rate is 20

This does suggest to me the balance is too far in favour of the parker - if I nick something from a shop i can't just say "ok, i'll pay for it" and there'll be no further action. If i own a car park parking spaces are my "product" - but someone can nick my "product" and apparently my only
comeback is the bloke who nicked it is to ask them to pay me for it after the event?
The New NickB - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to andy:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]
>
> This does suggest to me the balance is too far in favour of the parker - if I nick something from a shop i can't just say "ok, i'll pay for it" and there'll be no further action. If i own a car park parking spaces are my "product" - but someone can nick my "product" and apparently my only
> comeback is the bloke who nicked it is to ask them to pay me for it after the event?

It is the nature of the product. Clearly in the past you could stick a clamp on and charge 300 for removal, but we have judged that to be dodgy. If someone steals something from a shop the very best the shop owner will get is the same as the car park owner, although the consequences for the shoplifter will be more serious.
MG - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to MG)
> [...]
>
> Suggests not for what.

Suggests that charging someone for parking is not really possible if they just refuse to pay or acknowledge requests for payment. 50, or whatever, doesn't seem unreasonable to me if the land owner is forced to go the length of finding the car owner, sending a letter etc. etc.

The New NickB - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to MG:

I understand the law is the original service, so x number of hours parking at the published rate plus reasonable costs. In the case of the parking companies who are highly automated this is probably a a few quid, for a small operator doing it manually, more might be reasonable.

Indy - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to andrew breckill:
> (In reply to andy) I think their arguments fall down in court under the 'reasonable' test

I'm not sure thats correct. I'm sure there was a big test case maybe 1 yr/18mths ago where a court/judge said that fines were O.K after a woman took it to court after having to pay something like 800 to retrieve her car.
zebidee - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to andy:
> (In reply to andic)
> [...]
>
> I assume you're being facetious, but we have a parking area at the front of our house. It's parallel to the road, and it's not feasible to put a gate or a fence round it. We live in a village that gets pretty busy as there's a steam railway and lots of people start walks up on the fell from here. I'm pretty stuck as to what I'd do if someone came and left their car on it whilst they went for a ride on the train - do you think that it's ok for them to do so?

This used to happen to us all the time when we lived in Strathyre (pretty village with some nice basic forest walks).

There was no pavement, just the gravel in front of our house - http://goo.gl/maps/k3gzq - consequently in the summer we used to get people parking outside our front door when the car park opposite was full.

To get round this everyone just puts some large stones at the edge of the road as a hint that "yes this isn't a public car park."

To the person that posted the summary of the conditions ... did it say something like "... full conditions are available on request ..." if so then the argument that this is fair falls down the drain.

As other people have said - this is just TCP/NCP/whoever wanting to do parking revenue on the cheap. Put in appropriate barriers and payment systems and lo and behold you've got an enforceable contractual system which works. Guess they don't want to do that since the income from these charges will be far greater.
Neil Williams - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to zebidee:

Isn't it better that those who are dishonest pay the full cost of enforcement?

Neil
ads.ukclimbing.com
Jim C - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:
> (In reply to andrew breckill)
>
> "You are under no legal obligation to disclose the driver"
>
> Actually, under the recent change in the law, yes you are. If you don't, you as registered keeper can be taken to court.
>
> Neil

How about , "I don't remember who was driving that day"

Can they still take the registered driver to court(not that they ar likely to, as the risk of losing even one, several cases will set a precedent that others can use.

The New NickB - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:
> (In reply to zebidee)
>
> Isn't it better that those who are dishonest pay the full cost of enforcement?
>
> Neil

They will if the enforcers play by the rules, but they would rather get 'fines' out of people that don't know any better.
Neil Williams - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to Jim C:

Yes, they now can. It was a concession to the parking enforcement industry seeing as they got banned from clamping. See my link way upthread.

Neil
Neil Williams - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to The New NickB:

In some cases. Most of the time there is adequate signage.

Neil
Jim C - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to kdr001:
> (In reply to andy)
> [...]
>
>
> In terms of contract law, the charge has to be a 'genuine pre-estimate of loss', in other words what it has cost the landowner that someone has overstayed in the car park, together with the cost of admin involved with that. It is really difficult to see how it costs 50 to have someone in a parking space for 15 extra minutes, which may well be why there are so few cases in court.

Yup, that is what I said earlier, I work in Procurement, getting on for 40 years now, and when things change, Legal send us a note flagging it up. I remember for years quite happily adding Penalty Clauses to my contracts, until about a decade ago, legal told me I would be unlikely to recover it, if the Supplier challenged it, and I was not able to prove the loss. It is a real pain in the Ar** now , as I have to keep really good records do all my filing, watch how long we take to approve documentation (as we will be deemed to delay them, hence contribute to their defaulting)

All in all I suspect the parking companies don't want the hasstle and cost of going court (and the risk of precedence)

There are enough nervous types who don't want to challange authority and will pay up to give them a nice living.

Having just had a 50 quid fine (for 15 mins extra parking) cancelled, on the basis of one phone call, I do not count myself one of as the nervous type who will pay up to these chancers.
andy - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to Jim C:
> (In reply to kdr001)
> [...]

>
> Having just had a 50 quid fine (for 15 mins extra parking) cancelled, on the basis of one phone call, I do not count myself one of as the nervous type who will pay up to these chancers.

Did you offer (or were you asked) to pay for the extra 15 minutes?
Neil Williams - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to andy:

There does seem to be a need for a bit of discretion. As another example, I didn't buy a ticket before travelling on the train to London a few weeks ago as I wanted to pay using a rail travel voucher and the ticket office was closed. At the barrier at Euston I was not charged a penalty fare on the condition I went and bought a ticket there and handed the outward over to him. Not being one for taking the mick, I did so.

Parking is normally charged in full hours, so it would seem to make sense to allow 10 minutes or so grace. Much beyond this and you are taking the mick.

Neil
andy - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:
> (In reply to andy)

>
> Parking is normally charged in full hours, so it would seem to make sense to allow 10 minutes or so grace. Much beyond this and you are taking the mick.
>
> Neil

I agree absolutely - there was a bloke so keen on clamping up in Haworth they made a telly programme about him - but with parking there does seem to be this imbalance between the "supplier" and the customer. There's a pub in Skipton that has a largeish car park and is 100 yards or so away from the expensive, often full, council one. They get dozens of people leaving cars there whilst they go shopping, meaning their genuine customers can't park, so they lose business. But now there is nothing they can do other than put a barrier or gate on their car park, which would deter customers and/or cost them a fortune.
Neil Williams - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to andy:

Could one (not uncommon elsewhere) option for them be to install a pay and display machine, the parking fee being slightly less than the cost of a pint, redeemable against the purchase of food or drink in the pub?

They could I'm sure get an enforcement company to deal with it for free (on the principle of "offender pays").

Neil
The New NickB - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
>
> In some cases. Most of the time there is adequate signage.
>
> Neil

Which has got very little to do with the issue.
The New NickB - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to andy:

There are loads of things they can do! All legal and with minimal cost.
Neil Williams - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to The New NickB:

Why?

If it is abundantly clear that you pay to park, and you do not pay to park, why is a penalty an unreasonable course of action on the part of the car park owner?

I think it is entirely reasonable, and as I say I have never had one other than one issued in error which was rescinded.

Neil
The New NickB - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:

I think it is entirely reasonable to pay to park.

I think it is entirely reasonable to pursue people who evade paying.

I think penalties are unreasonable and the law agrees with me.
andy - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to andy)
>
> There are loads of things they can do! All legal and with minimal cost.

Can they? What? Small, market town boozer - who clearly don't want to put barriers or machines (or indeed charge for parking - they want people to park, eat and drink).
andy - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to Neil Williams)

>
> I think penalties are unreasonable and the law agrees with me.

But they're not unreasonable if you're the council?

Neil Williams - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to andy:

One way might simply be to have a list of registration numbers on the bar with a prominent sign to give yours in when you arrive and buy something. Then contract some enforcers.

Neil
Neil Williams - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:

A pub local to me used to do exactly that. May still do, though it's changed hands since I last went in.

Neil
The New NickB - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to andy:

I tend to think it is unreasonable, but the law disagrees with me on that one.
MG - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to andy)
>
> I tend to think it is unreasonable, but the law disagrees with me on that one.

Why? You surely accept that parking restrictions are necessary given limited space and high demand? What sanction would you use instead?

The New NickB - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:
> (In reply to andy)
>
> One way might simply be to have a list of registration numbers on the bar with a prominent sign to give yours in when you arrive and buy something. Then contract some enforcers.
>
> Neil

You can improve that system by actually having a charge for non-patrons and a way of paying, then anyone who abuses the parking can actually be pursued for the parking charge and costs.
The New NickB - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to MG:

Charges, but not penalties.
Neil Williams - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to The New NickB:

True. And if you make that charge bordering on reasonable, you might actually make a profit out of some people choosing to pay it.

So if the Council car park is 6 all day, charge a tenner. Enough to put most people off, but if there's the odd one that considers it worthwhile, e.g. on expenses, great, it's a tenner you wouldn't have had.

Neil
MG - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to MG)
>
> Charges, but not penalties.

And if people don't pay the charge, then what?
MG - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to MG)
>
> Charges, but not penalties.

Speed limits but not penalties?
Car insurance but not penalties?
Taxes but not penalties?
MG - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to Neil Williams: That's fine if the pub has plenty of space. But if it doesn't it is probably more interested in keepings its customers happy and returning to make long term profit, rather than the odd but of passing parking trade.
Blue Straggler - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:
>
> Parking is normally charged in full hours, so it would seem to make sense to allow 10 minutes or so grace. Much beyond this and you are taking the mick.

What is "much beyond 10 minutes"? As soon as a cut-off point e.g. 2 hours starts to get blurred with your "grace period", it gets murky. People assume they get 10 minutes, get used to it, and start to feel that 10 minutes beyond the 2h10 should be "grace".
It's like when a dimwitted schoolfriend of mine commented that there shouldn't be a last week of term :-)
The New NickB - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to MG:

Well it depend if you think parking is a civil or criminal matter, with a couple of exceptions it is a civil matter, which makes it different to the examples you give.
The New NickB - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]
>
> And if people don't pay the charge, then what?

Have you read this thread? If people don't pay the charge you can legitimately pursue them for the charge plus costs.
MG - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to MG)
> [...]
>
> Have you read this thread?

Not really - I assumed from a few posts it was the usual "I parked on private land, why should I have to pay" type of thing.

If people don't pay the charge you can legitimately pursue them for the charge plus costs.

In practice it seems not though (e.g. endless posts about how you just ignore letters and they go away).

andy - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to Neil Williams)
> [...]
>
> You can improve that system by actually having a charge for non-patrons and a way of paying, then anyone who abuses the parking can actually be pursued for the parking charge and costs.

They don't want non-patrons. So what can they do? If they put up a sign that says "parking - 200 an hour for non-patrons", can they chase non-patrons for 200 per hour?

All they want is for people not to park if they're not using the pub - not to run a car park.
The New NickB - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]
>
> Not really - I assumed from a few posts it was the usual "I parked on private land, why should I have to pay" type of thing.
>
> If people don't pay the charge you can legitimately pursue them for the charge plus costs.
>
> In practice it seems not though (e.g. endless posts about how you just ignore letters and they go away).

OK I understand, you are coming from a position of complete ignorance. You can ignore penalty charges from private companies, you cannot ignore claims for unpaid parking charges plus reasonable costs. This could end in court with a ruling against you.
The New NickB - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to andy:

They want to make money, they appear to have a pub and a car park. They will make money by effectively managing both of these assets.
andy - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to The New NickB: So there's no answer to the business that owns a car park (well, actually I assume it's anyone that owns some land?), doesn't want non-patrons to park in/on it, and doesn't want to charge or to put infrastructure in place to physically control access?

Don't you think that's a bit shit? Why shouldn't it be allowed to have some deterrent to parking on someone else's land if they don;t want you to?
The New NickB - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to andy:

Vacant land is considered as much a liability as it is an asset. Worse things than parking goes on on land that isn't managed. If you own the land it is your problem. This thread isn't really about that though, it is about the management of land that is used for parking and the controls that can be put in place.
MG - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to The New NickB: Err no I know all that. You have a very odd view of thos in my view. Something tells me you might change your view if somone parked on your lawn
The New NickB - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to The New NickB) Err no I know all that. You have a very odd view of thos in my view. Something tells me you might change your view if somone parked on your lawn

Well wouldn't be after a penalty, but I would be pursuing them for the cost of rebuilding the wall they would have to have driven through and any other damage.

I find you thinking my view on this to be odd quite comforting.
The New NickB - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to The New NickB) Err no I know all that.

In which case some of your coments make no sense what so ever.
andy - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to andy)
>
> If you own the land it is your problem.

A problem that you are not apparently allowed to solve by deterring people from parking on your land by clearly stating the consequences of doing so (and I mean deterring by making the consequences actually negative). I know that private clampers etc needed to be controlled because it was basically extortion, but I do find it bizarre that the pub I was on about now has no way of deterring people from damaging their business short of spending large amounts of money and/or deterring genuine customers. And yet it's "their problem".

The New NickB - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to andy:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]
>
> A problem that you are not apparently allowed to solve by deterring people from parking on your land by clearly stating the consequences of doing so (and I mean deterring by making the consequences actually negative). I know that private clampers etc needed to be controlled because it was basically extortion, but I do find it bizarre that the pub I was on about now has no way of deterring people from damaging their business short of spending large amounts of money and/or deterring genuine customers. And yet it's "their problem".

There are lots of cheap, legal, even money making ways of solving this problem, a number have been outlined. Penalty charges are not legally enforceable and you know as well as I do that the business models of these companies is getting money out of people who don't know any better through intimidation.
andy - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to andy)
> [...]
>
> There are lots of cheap, legal, even money making ways of solving this problem, a number have been outlined.

Sorry, Nick, but unless I've missed it they haven't - someone suggested charging people and then they can pursue people for the unpaid parking fee. They don't want to - it's a pub. I asked you of they could put a sign up saying "parking fee - 200 for non-customers", so that they could (using your argument that they can chase the unpaid fee but not charge a "penalty") pursue people for 200 quid - either you didn't answer that or I missed the response.

They simply want their car park to be freely available to be used by their customers. They used to have clampers and it wasn't a problem. because people saw the sign and went elsewhere. Now they don't and it is.
ads.ukclimbing.com
MJ - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to The New NickB:

Is not paying 'Penalty Charges' on parking a poor mans 'Tax Avoidance'?

:)
andy - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to The New NickB: and here's an odd parallel - it was apparently ok for a bloke to charge his time at 10 a minute or whatever it was when he asked a PPI ambulance chaser to stop calling him. Could the pub charge someone 10 a minute for their time in chasing (say) a nominal 10p parking fee?
The New NickB - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to andy:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]
>
> Sorry, Nick, but unless I've missed it they haven't - someone suggested charging people and then they can pursue people for the unpaid parking fee. They don't want to - it's a pub. I asked you of they could put a sign up saying "parking fee - 200 for non-customers", so that they could (using your argument that they can chase the unpaid fee but not charge a "penalty") pursue people for 200 quid - either you didn't answer that or I missed the response.

As Neil said at the time, customers just have to give their registration numbers to the bar staff. In operation at a pub near him. I am not sure on the 200 thing, it may not pass a fairness test through being considered a penalty in all but name. Uncompetative would be fine, ie if the local Council car park is 6 for the day, 10 would deter most, as would going into the pub to buy the ticket.

The New NickB - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to MJ:

I am not sure poverty has anything to do with it. Getting revenue from parking land is certainly easier than closing all the tax loopholes.
The New NickB - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to andy:
> (In reply to The New NickB) and here's an odd parallel - it was apparently ok for a bloke to charge his time at 10 a minute or whatever it was when he asked a PPI ambulance chaser to stop calling him. Could the pub charge someone 10 a minute for their time in chasing (say) a nominal 10p parking fee?

I am not familiar with the PPI case, but the stuff I have read about "reasonable costs" would suggest not.
MJ - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to The New NickB:


I am not sure poverty has anything to do with it.

When I said 'Poor Man's', it was meant figuratively, not literally.
andy - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to andy)
> [...]
>
> As Neil said at the time, customers just have to give their registration numbers to the bar staff. In operation at a pub near him. I am not sure on the 200 thing, it may not pass a fairness test through being considered a penalty in all but name. Uncompetative would be fine, ie if the local Council car park is 6 for the day, 10 would deter most, as would going into the pub to buy the ticket.

But it's not worth pursuing someone for ten quid, is it, unless you could get your expenses of chasing it paid as well - in which case they'd probably want to employ a sub-contractor to do the collecting for them and they'd want to take costs and a margin out of it...and...blimey - look where we are - about fifty quid. Which is apparently "unreasonable"!

I work for a mortgage lender. We are allowed to charge a fee to people who owe us money that reasonably covers the cost of collecting it. Most lenders charge between 35 and 50 a month. I fail to see why it couldn't be viewed as reasonable to charge 50 to chase your 10 fee.

And this is the PPI chap:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20068927

They settled out of court though. So he, in a way, was doing exactly what the parking companies do that we all think is evil - but of course he was applauded for "standing up for the little man"!


MG - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to MG)
> [...]
>
> In which case some of your coments make no sense what so ever.

Only because you are going out of your way to not understand he points being made. It's a pretty simple idea - if someone parks on your land when told not , obtaining a payment of reasonable amount to deter a repeat offence should be possible without resort to court proceedings every time.
The New NickB - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]
>
> Only because you are going out of your way to not understand he points being made. It's a pretty simple idea - if someone parks on your land when told not , obtaining a payment of reasonable amount to deter a repeat offence should be possible without resort to court proceedings every time.

You are the one not understanding.

Court proceedings are always a last resort and have little bearing on what people can do to protect their parking asset.

The law says penalties are not enforceable unless backed by a RTO or the relevant railway order, I believe this is correct, although I am not convinced that public bodies need these powers in most cases.

Private property owners can protect their assets in a number of ways.
The New NickB - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to andy:

Testing the reasonableness of the charge is what counts, but the key thing is actually establishing a value to pursue, if you charge in the first place, you can do that. If you don't you would have to make a case for liquidated damages.
andy - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to The New NickB: so if I understand you, there is nothing this small pub landlord can realistically do to deter people from parking in his car park and potentially damaging his business? Do you think that's right?
The New NickB - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to andy:
> (In reply to The New NickB) so if I understand you, there is nothing this small pub landlord can realistically do to deter people from parking in his car park and potentially damaging his business? Do you think that's right?

No you don't understand me. I would go as far as saying that you are wilfully misunderstanding me.
andy - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to The New NickB: I'm honestly not - but I've asked you what the things are this bloke with his pub car park can do to deter people, and I can't see you've suggested anything that is realistic or effective. if he charges a tenner then someone doesn't pay he has no comeback as it's not worth his while to chase a tenner. You've said he can't make it punitively high as that wouldn't be "reasonable" (although I don't see what legislation stops someone from charging what they like for stuff, unless they're a utility company). He doesn't want to put a gate on. And he doesn't want to pay a car park attendant. So what can he do?

He can't clamp - and apparently he can't put a punitive charge on because it won't be "reasonable".

So what are these legal and low cost things he can do to deter people (because once they're in and parked the damage, as in deterring or stopping real customers, is done)?
The New NickB - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to andy:

Why can't he pursue a tenner plus reasonable costs, it is not the money as such it is the fact that it is enforced, has the full weight of the law behind the enforcement and people know it is enforced.
MG - on 22 Mar 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to MG)
> [...]
>
> You are the one not understanding.
>
> Court proceedings are always a last resort and have little bearing on what people can do to protect their parking asset.
>


All your "solutions" involve substantial time and money on behalf of the land owner. They are impractical, particularly for a small landowner whose business isn't parking, such as a pub, or flats with associated parking. Yet for these sorts of landowner, having others park on their land will result in considerable loss, either through revenue in the pub or loss of value of the flats. You still haven't explained why you think allowing them to charge a penalty to prevent people parking without permission is unreasonable. I am sure you and all the others who think parking should be a free for all would be immediately complain if someone slept in your spare room without permissions and there was no comeback, or if someone had a picnic in your garden without permission. Why do think there is god-given right to free parking on other people's land?
LastBoyScout on 22 Mar 2013
In reply to Indy:
> (In reply to Neil Williams)
>
> BTW its illegal to use parking controls to raise revenue so the Council Tax thing is a non-starter.

Then explain why Reading town centre has sprouted ticket machines at many of the previously free parking spaces?

These now cost 50p for 20 minutes from early morning to late at night when they were free for 1-2 hours and unlimited after 6pm.

Unless this is the new way of paying for the wardens that patrol the areas.
zebidee - on 22 Mar 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]
>
>
> All your "solutions" involve substantial time and money on behalf of the land owner. They are impractical, particularly for a small landowner whose business isn't parking, such as a pub, or flats with associated parking.

Why some people do well in business and some don't is because they think too narrowly - "I'm in the pub business."

I've heard it said that Tesco makes more money out of its shelf placement selling than it does out of actually selling the stock.

Businesses should be in the "making profit for the owner" business.

The pub landlord has an asset (his car park) which he's using for marketing ("come to my pub - you can drive here and park your car"); it's arguable that he could use this asset for direct revenue generation ("you can park here if you come to my pub for free, otherwise it's 20/day no part charge").

He could end up getting enough money from the parking charges to cover the cost of a barrier system to make himself a tidy profit.

If he doesn't _want_ to do that then isn't he cutting off his nose to spite his face?
andy - on 22 Mar 2013
In reply to zebidee: and there we have it - it seems that the landlord who just wants to be a landlord apparently has to get himself to business school and "diversify" because of an over-reaction to some rogue clampers and a tabloid campaign that gave some motorists the belief that they have a God-given right to park wherever they like.
MG - on 22 Mar 2013
In reply to zebidee: So if someone takes up in my spare room, I am thinking too narrowly by not wanting to turn my house in to a B&B?
MJ - on 22 Mar 2013
In reply to zebidee:

He could end up getting enough money from the parking charges to cover the cost of a barrier system to make himself a tidy profit.

You couldn't have a barrier system in a pub car park. They're difficult enough to use as it is, let alone after a few pints.
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The New NickB - on 22 Mar 2013
In reply to MG:

When have I advocated a god given right to park for free on other people land, if you are going to argue with me, try not to attribute arguments I haven't made. It doesn't reflect well.
andy - on 22 Mar 2013
In reply to The New NickB: it was me that used the term "god given right to park where they want" - and it wasn't attributed to you. You have to admit that there are a certain breed of motorist (small minority, but significant) who look only at themselves ("hey, there's plenty of other space!", "hey, I was only 10/15/20 minutes" etc) and think they can stick their car where they like. My point is that the small business owner who doesn't want to diversify into car park management or small-ticket debt recovery is basically stuffed - I think there should be a legal, regulated way they can deter people from taking the piss.
The New NickB - on 22 Mar 2013
In reply to andy:

MG did as well. A little further up, it confused me for a moment when I saw you had written it too.
The New NickB - on 22 Mar 2013
In reply to andy:
> (In reply to The New NickB) My point is that the small business owner who doesn't want to diversify into car park management or small-ticket debt recovery is basically stuffed - I think there should be a legal, regulated way they can deter people from taking the piss.

I think there is a way of doing that without parking management companies taking the piss.

Sainsbury's in Lancaster is right in the town centre so they have ticket machines in the car park, you get half an hour free and longer periods can be validated in store, but importantly you can pay for longer periods if you want to use it as a town centre car park, I suspect not many do, because it is more expensive than other paid parking in the town. This is all legal and anyone who doesn't pay can be legitimately pursued.

This is a good example of the existing law being used sensibly for the benefit of everyone but those determined not to pay. The solution for the pub you mention isn't the same, but it also isn't much different.
The New NickB - on 22 Mar 2013
In reply to andy:
> (In reply to zebidee) and there we have it - it seems that the landlord who just wants to be a landlord apparently has to get himself to business school and "diversify" because of an over-reaction to some rogue clampers and a tabloid campaign that gave some motorists the belief that they have a God-given right to park wherever they like.

I think landlord is the key word here.
andy - on 22 Mar 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to andy)
> [...]
>
> I think landlord is the key word here.

As in he should charge people to use his car park.

But why can't he specify "I only want people using my pub to park here". It's NOT ABOUT MAKING MONEY FROM THE CAR PARK. Busy saturday his car park gets full of people who go off and wander round the shops. People who want to come and have lunch in the pub go elsewhere because they can't park. Your suggestion is he has to set up some way of charging the people who park, and you're now compelling him to be a car park operator rather than run a pub.

I'm struggling to see why you don't think it's reasonable for him to say "I don't want people to park here who aren't using my pub. I wish to deter them from doing so. I will do that by making it very clear that if non-customers park here there will be a charge of sixty quid. And i will pursue them for it."

However: You keep saying charges have to be "reasonable", which gives the problem of the charge being so small as to be not worth chasing - so now we're back to people getting away with it and potentially damaging his business. If he could say "that car park space could have gone to a real customer. They would have had lunch for four people and would have stayed for 90 minutes. That would make me thirty quid profit. You went to the shops for three hours. Therefore the parking fee is sixty quid." Even if he could do that I still don't see why he should have to. It's his bloody car park. He should be able to have who he wants in it, and be able to charge what he wants when people ignore his wishes.
MG - on 22 Mar 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to MG)
>
> When have I advocated a god given right to park for free on other people land, if you are going to argue with me, try not to attribute arguments I haven't made. It doesn't reflect well.


Maybe you could engage properly with the points being made rather than constantly deliberately misinterpreting or quibbling over mild exaggeration. It doesn't reflect well.
Dax H - on 22 Mar 2013
In reply to andy: I am with you right down the line on this Andy. My old workshop was in a mill complex and a new tennent opened a gym. Despite a big sign on my door saying that 24 hour access required, do not block my door people parked there. Almost every time I went in outside of normal working hours my door was blocked.
Once I put a very official looking clamping sign on the door parking stopped, it started again once clamping became against the law but as I was moving anyway it no longer mattered.

What option's would I have re collecting damages?
My biggest customer spends 300 to 400k a year with me and in return I am obliged to offer a call out service covering all of Yorkshire with a 2 hour response time.
What would be fair if I loose that contract?, a claim for a few quid as a parking charge, a claim for a years turn over, I have 3 years to run on the contract so would claiming for a cool million quid be reasonable?.

The most annoying part of the whole parking problem was that my doorway was only 20 yards closer to the gym door than the large free carpark that belonged to the gym.
The New NickB - on 23 Mar 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]
>
>
> Maybe you could engage properly with the points being made rather than constantly deliberately misinterpreting or quibbling over mild exaggeration. It doesn't reflect well.

You are just being dick now.
The New NickB - on 23 Mar 2013
In reply to andy:

What I m saying is that as the landlord he or she has to manage the business as a whole, one of the reasons pubs are closing is because too many landlords don't appreciate this, they are operating in a difficult climate so yes they do have to have better business brains.

The car park that a pub has is part of it's asset, a decent landlord will adapt his or her business model because of that anyway, probably will let focus on the wet trade and more on food. All assets are also liabilities which require investment, a car park requires maintenance and if it isn't going to be abused management. I guess we are probably agreeing so far.

Clamping was a bad thing because it was abused, penalties are a bad thing because they are abused and are often disproportionate, I guess if they are not disproportionate they are not penalties, also in the context of the law as it stands, in relation to private land, they are dishonestly applied. Everyone who will regularly abuse parking on private land, I'm not one by the way, knows this. So it also doesn't work.

I guess you want a change in the law so that these penalties can be applied, I don't, I think perfectly good deterrents exist in the current law without handing powers to the same people operating the clamping rackets.

So you have a pub car park, parking is free for pub patrons, they can just give their registration number at the bar, anyone else can go in to the pub and purchase a parking ticket. This will be very rare though because the price of parking would be much more than local rates, probably best set as an all day rate for ease of management. Staff could check the car park a few times a day, they don't have to catch everybody every time. They can then bill the people abusing the parking, it is worth the effort, whilst it may only bring in a small amount of money, not that this won't be welcome, it will show that the parking restrictions are being enforced rather than just a follow threat.

Under th existing law this would be far more effective than these penalty type notices and as I say I don't think legalising penalties would be a good thing.
andy - on 23 Mar 2013
In reply to The New NickB: All sounds very reasonable, Nick, apart from a couple of things. One of which is that I simply don't see why a pub landlord (or other business owner - see above post) should be expected to be in the parking fee collection game. Also the fact that you're saying the parking charge has to be "reasonable", for which read "inconsequential". If it's inconsequential then it ceases to be worth collecting. Add that to the fact that anyone being chased for it will be advised by Martin Lewis and dozens of other websites not to pay because "they'll get bored and go away" suggests pretty strongly that there's absolutely no incentive or likelihood for people to pay.

My view is that penalties should be permissible - with very clearly set out rules for how they can be applied to stop the cowboys (say a maximum of 50 plus costs). And if the process is followed properly and fairly the court should support the claimant.
silhouette - on 23 Mar 2013
In reply to andic:
> What about a gate?

Even by the gibberring standards of UKC that is prize-winningly stupid.
MG - on 23 Mar 2013
In reply to The New NickB: I'll take it you have no idea about how to respond to the points made then if abuse is the best you csn do. In fact your following post showd this. Just pay for parking rather than expecting yo freeloader on others property.
The New NickB - on 23 Mar 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to The New NickB) I'll take it you have no idea about how to respond to the points made then if abuse is the best you csn do. In fact your following post showd this. Just pay for parking rather than expecting yo freeloader on others property.

I had a long response, but what is the point, you would just continue your ignorant ranting as your last line shows, if you had actually read my posts, you would see that I always do pay for parking or at least respect why parking is sometimes provided for free. I just don't like these cowboy operations. Sometimes you just have to call something as it is.
The New NickB - on 23 Mar 2013
In reply to andy:
> (In reply to The New NickB) All sounds very reasonable, Nick, apart from a couple of things. One of which is that I simply don't see why a pub landlord (or other business owner - see above post) should be expected to be in the parking fee collection game. Also the fact that you're saying the parking charge has to be "reasonable", for which read "inconsequential". If it's inconsequential then it ceases to be worth collecting. Add that to the fact that anyone being chased for it will be advised by Martin Lewis and dozens of other websites not to pay because "they'll get bored and go away" suggests pretty strongly that there's absolutely no incentive or likelihood for people to pay.

I disagree on the first point, I think it is part of the business model and needs to be considered. The get bored and go away advice is based on the fact that the penalties are not legal, my idea is legal so can be enforced
>
> My view is that penalties should be permissible - with very clearly set out rules for how they can be applied to stop the cowboys (say a maximum of 50 plus costs). And if the
process is followed properly and fairly the court should support the claimant.

This is a third idea, in the current situation 70-80 seems standard, although I have seen 300 at a motorway service station. A maximum that reflected reasonable costs of the first stage of the process seems OK to me, we could debate exactly what that is. The key thing is, if the law if behind the charge, which it is in relation to reasonable charges, the collection rate will increase and the amount of people abusing the parking will decrease.

MJ - on 23 Mar 2013
In reply to The New NickB:

I just don't like these cowboy operations. Sometimes you just have to call something as it is.

So if they ran them the same way as the Council do, you would be OK?
The New NickB - on 23 Mar 2013
In reply to MJ:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
>
> I just don't like these cowboy operations. Sometimes you just have to call something as it is.
>
> So if they ran them the same way as the Council do, you would be OK?

You will see higher up the thread that I am not a huge fan of this form of enforcement even when it is legal as in the case of Councils, especially when they are effectively acting as private car park landlords. On road stuff, which is effectively committing road traffic offences is slightly different.
MJ - on 23 Mar 2013
In reply to The New NickB:

You will see higher up the thread that I am not a huge fan of this form of enforcement even when it is legal as in the case of Councils

You might not be a fan of it, but it's been decreed as legal and unfortunately not every law is ageeable to everyone.
I assume, that if you were caught out by the Council, that you would pay the fine and not take a moral stance on the 'Unfairness' of it - fair play to you if you do though.
Why should Private businesses be any different?
Why not change the law, so that Private businesses have the same power of enforceability as Local Councils?
At the moment, people (not necessarily you) are expoiting a loophole and are basically abusing any 'Free' parking space that is available and caring nothing about the consequences to the car park owner.
Installing gates and the suchlike is nonsense, as is paying a token fee which is slightly more than the local available pay to park sites - the cost of administration and recovery of fees would make that prohibitive.


Dax H - on 23 Mar 2013
In reply to MJ: There is only one solution. Tow the car away. This would involve nice big signs at the entrance so that no one can claim ignorance.
Park without the right to do so and get towed away and have to pay to get the car back, 200 would be fair to cover the costs of the towing company. No messing about charging people or taking them to court, just remove the car.
If this became law illegal parking would stop pretty well overnight.
It never will though because the general public feel they have the right to park anywhere and when they get caught out they use sites like pepipo to get off with it.
The New NickB - on 23 Mar 2013
In reply to MJ:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
>
> You will see higher up the thread that I am not a huge fan of this form of enforcement even when it is legal as in the case of Councils
>
> You might not be a fan of it, but it's been decreed as legal and unfortunately not every law is ageeable to everyone.
> I assume, that if you were caught out by the Council, that you would pay the fine and not take a moral stance on the 'Unfairness' of it - fair play to you if you do though.

I would pay as it is backed by the law, the only time I ever have got a parking ticket, was due to being instructed to go directly to hospital by the Council issuing the ticket (long story) they told me they would sort out the ticket I would inevitably get.

> Why should Private businesses be any different?

I agree for private land, even if it is Council car park, but see the solution to be the other was around.

> Why not change the law, so that Private businesses have the same power of enforceability as Local Councils?

> At the moment, people (not necessarily you) are expoiting a loophole and are basically abusing any 'Free' parking space that is available and caring nothing about the
consequences to the car park owner.

I have presented a solution.

> Installing gates and the suchlike is nonsense, as is paying a token fee which is slightly
more than the local available pay to park sites - the cost of administration and recovery of fees would make that prohibitive.

These costs are also recoverable, as long as they are reasonable. The point is that it can be enforced, so it gets regular exploiters, even if not every time. So reduces abuse.
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Sarah G on 24 Mar 2013
And people wonder why town centres, pubs etc can't make money! C'mon, it's now a car-led society, and frankly if I am going to be charged silly money or even at all in ome circumstances, to park then I simply don't place my custom there. Why should motorists be seen as a cash cow for parking? I don't think it is unreasonable that if someone wants my custom and they have a parking facility, that I can use it for free.

I no longer go in to Newcastle because the parking charges are so high now. I don't bother to shop in Chester le st for the same reason, and of course the shops there are crap- a related issue, I think. When parking chrges were free then upped to a nominal charge, the shops were of a better quality. I don't see why I should pay to park though just to pop into Wilkinson's. So I no longer do that. I do shop for odd bits and pieces in my local town becuase there is some free parking available- if it wasn't then I either would pack in altogether or drastically reduce the frequency of my visits to the detriment of the local businesses and market stall-traders.

For the above, read any activity- climbing, museums,parks etc. A reasonable day out starts to become an expensive one once you get into multiple pounds' worth of parking charges- for example, at the last count (a few years ago) a day at York Railway Museum (entry free but you are heavily importuned for a "donation") the adjacent car park cost 7. I haven't been for years- that charge puts me right off. It takes an hour and a half of solid motoring for me to get there (with all the fuel costs that that implies- so for me to then have to pay even more just to park is frankly a fecking insult. The NRM has lost out on my custom big style- and let's not forget that even if the entry to the museum is free,nothing else is and one always ends up purchasing incidentals like pots of tea and what not. At least the parking at Shildon is free......for now.

I do sympathise with those businesses who find that their space is used by non-customers- but there are ways round this, as you have all been exploring above.

What I'm trying to say is that, what with everything else, paying to park a car just for the priviledge of shopping locally (as opposed to going to Tesco's) or going to any other event, museum, attraction, etc is not on. So no wonder that motorists try to park where they can without paying.

We are now locked into a society that depends on cars- get over it.

Sx

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