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UKSolicitorJA
UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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I work as a Location Manager, dealing with the filming of commercials. Part

Customer Question

I work as a Location Manager, dealing with the filming of commercials.

Part of my duty is to arrange what we call 'unit bases' these are areas where the film crew will normally meet up and use as a base for the days filming. Typically at a 'commercials' base we will have -

12 - 15 private cars. these are likely to be parked up for the day (0700 - 2000hrs)

6 larger technical vehicles ranging from a 18ton lighting generator lorry. to the sound mans VW transporter - these will leave the base and travel with us to the location or locations we are filming at. They may return form lunch.

4 Unit base facilities vehicles which will remain at the base during the day these are likely to be a Caterers vehicke (we do our own on site catering) which is normally a large van or small 7.5 ton lorry, a dining bus / office normally an old double decker bus, a trailer base mobile toilet and sometimes a Hair and Make up truck normally 7.5 ton horsebox size vehicle.

We are sensible about where we put this vehicles and will often use local sports clubs etc to reduce ant impact on the local area. However at times we do ask local councils if we can park them up on the side of suitable roads. Most councils are sensible and only charge us a nominal fee, which although there are often question marks over what we are being charged for, we pay (as generally we need their good will for other things!). However now certain councils are starting to get very greedy and lots of us are asking 'what are we actually being charged for'.

All the vehicles are taxed and legally drive on the road. We are not normally parking in any marked restricted parking areas (and if we did would count this as a separate case). At the moment I am being charged £750 (plus vat) to park the above listed vehicles in a totally unrestricted area in London (separately to that I am also paying the same council £2000 for one days filming at four locations in their area - a small high street, a zebra crossing, a park and a cul de sac) They have also charged us £1000 to apply for traffic management control (stop /go boards) in the Cul de sac and zebra crossing (also a quite Cul de Sac)

I understand that the later payments are probably more complicated, but I would be greatfull for your views on the legality of their charge of £750 to park on the unrestricted highway
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 2 years ago.
Hello,

It is well known that councils use parking charges as a cash cow and many have huge surpluses derived from parking charges.

In your case, if the parking is on an unrestricted stretch of the highway, that means there are no parking restrictions in force and therefore there is no legal basis to charge you for the parking. You may raise this with the relevant council or simply stop paying them as they will not be able to take any action against you as such unless the vehicles are obstructing the highway which is another matter.

May I help further?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

so just to clarify - as long as they are parked in a normal fashion and we are not obstructing the highway / pavement with equipment - the fact that we are using one vehicle as a dining area and another for cooking will make no difference to being charged or not.


 


is there any restriction as to what can be 'parked' on the side of an unrestricted road?


 


Would we ever be able to claim back monies paid in the past and if the local council persisted with this, where would we go to pursue this?


 


Thank you for your assistance

Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 2 years ago.
The Highway Code has parking rules which must be observed and there are specific restrictions which apply to goods vehicles.

You may ask for the refund of the monies paid in the past where the council had no legal basis for asking for this money and if they refuse to pay, complaints may be made to the local government ombudsman


http://www.lgo.org.uk/making-a-complaint/

But you could lose "goodwill" built up with the council if it goes into dispute.

All the best, please remember to leave feedback.

I am about to go offline shortly.


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