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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I pay an annual fee for staff car parking but there rarely

Resolved Question:

I pay an annual fee for staff car parking but there rarely spaces to park after 08:30. I normally need to park and pay again in the pay and display area but on one occasion due to having no money on me, parked in a space for a different type of staff permit.
Can you advise if it is legal to fine someone if the parking paid for is never available?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts : Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : Do you have a contract with the parking company please?
Customer:

I don't think so. I just applied for a parking permit and have paid for one following notification that I am eligible.

Customer:

I have no contract in my possession.

Alex Watts : How often does this happen please?
Customer:

Hi Alex.

Alex Watts :

Hello

Customer:

I have been paying for staff parking permits since 2010. The company that has taken over parking has taken over from the hospital parking staff and has since changed again from APCOA to a new company. The car parking permit with APCOA was applied for in March 2013 and paid in full. The charge is a percentage of my salary. The latest parking permit has been reapplied for and says under Terms and Conditions "The Recipient agrees to abide by the Terms and Conditions and all other requirements as set out in the North Bristol NHS Trust parking policy". It says we cannot park in the Trust's public car parks, but I have been paying for parking in these car parks when I cannot find a staff parking bay (frequently). If you arrive to work after 8am these days you have little chance of parking in the staff parking bays.

Customer:

Judy

Alex Watts :

Well Judy if you are paying for something then you should be entitled to it

Alex Watts :

You need to ask for a copy of the terms and see what it says about a space

Alex Watts :

But clearly if you are not being given a space then you are not required to pay for it

Alex Watts :

Indeed the company may be in breach of contract and you could sue for loss and damage

Alex Watts :

What I am just wondering is whether they guarantee access to the car park but not a space

Alex Watts :

But yes, it would be a breach of contract if they are charging you for parking and you are not able to park

Alex Watts :

Otherwise there would be no point having a pass

Alex Watts :

Its like going to McDonalds, paying for a burger only for them to say, sorry we are sold out but you are not entitled to a refund

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

Thanks Alex. I will ask for this information tomorrow. If o.k with you I will get in touch tomorrow evening and hopefully we can all be sure where I stand. I believe I just need to give you a rating when this chat is finished. Is that correct?

Alex Watts :

Sure.

Alex Watts :

Speak to you tomorrow Judy

Customer:

Have a good evening. Don't work too hard.

Customer:

Judy

Alex Watts :

I will try not too! :)

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.


Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.


 


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Customer:

Hi Alex.

Customer:

I do apologise for not getting back to you. Unfortunately I crashed the car on 14th May and this has caused a few problems that have taken up my time.

Customer:

I have checked the NBT parking policy and some of the information includes:

Customer:

Policy Objectives

Customer:

i. The Trust aims to operate a safe and fair system for maximising and controlling public and staff car parking on all sites.

I question that it is fair to charge 1.4% of your salary (£400+) for peak parking (peak time 09:00 to 18:00) when you cannot park your car at 09:00).

Alex Watts :

I agree.

Alex Watts :

Please see above, the law says they can't charge for something they do not provide.

Alex Watts :

Therefore you can take action

Alex Watts :

Does that clarify the position?

Customer:

In section 7 it states: parking permits entitle staff to seek an available space but do not guarantee one will be available. When I paid for my permit the car parking the staff member said that they base permits on 1.5 people per car parking space. However the policy clearly says that staff cannot park in public car parking spaces.
In section11 it also stages that the principle of a parking charge notice is "fairness". I guess my question is, is it fair to stop us parking in public car parks if there is no staff car park, and is it fair to expect us to pay again.
If I have accepted a permit based on their rules surely, I cannot sue them for breach of contract?

Customer:

Judy.

Alex Watts :

I agree you have a case.

Alex Watts :

In any event Regulation 5 of


The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999

Alex Watts :

(1) A contractual term which has not been individually negotiated shall be regarded as unfair if, contrary to the requirement of good faith, it causes a significant imbalance in the parties' rights and obligations arising under the contract, to the detriment of the consumer.


(2) A term shall always be regarded as not having been individually negotiated where it has been drafted in advance and the consumer has therefore not been able to influence the substance of the term.

Alex Watts :

Therefore in any event this could be argued.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else?

Customer:

No Alex.

Customer:

Thanks for your help today.

Customer:

Judy

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