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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I received a Parking Charge Notice by post from Parking Control

Customer Question

I received a Parking Charge Notice by post from Parking Control Management Ltd for an incident on 24th Feb at 11:08am, on Station Approach near Hayes & Harlington train station. The station is currently being renovated so the turning circle outside the station and most of the parking spaces are currently behind hoardings. I drove into Station Approach to pick up 2 colleagues. Since there are few places to park and most of those had work vans parked in them, there was also a delivery vehicle for Tesco blocking several spaces at the time, there were no free spaces to park. I turned in the road, stopped briefly, out of anyone's way, although on double yellow lines, left the engine running, got out to put my bag in the boot, shake hands with my colleagues, we all got into the car and drove off. The photographic evidence provided by them, shows I was there for about 30 seconds before driving away. I wrote to PCM Ltd to say this was unfair and they rejected my 1st appeal. I then went through the Independent Appeals Service (IAS) provided by IPC, and they too have now rejected my 2nd appeal. In my 2nd appeal, I claimed the following:
My car was not parked, but was briefly stationary for the purpose of passengers embarking the car. I did not leave my car unattended and the engine was always running. I said the road did have plenty of PCM signs, but the text which explains the T&C's of parking outside the parking bays is too small to be read from inside the vehicle and requires a driver to stop and exit the car to be able to read it. I stated that I don't see how it's possible to form a contract without stopping to get out and read the signs and therefore I believe the charge is not valid. I also said the car was only stationary for 30 seconds, as shown in the photographic evidence, and therefore it's unreasonable for me to have had time to read and agree to the T&C's on the signs. I surely should be given the chance to reject the T&C's proposed and leave the location within a reasonable time, which I believe would be more than 30 seconds. I also said the amount levied was not based on any loss to the Operator or the Landowner. I also stated that the only appeals service available to me, is managed by the IAS, a company wholly owned by IPC, which exists to further the interests of the Private Parking industry, and therefore was a conflict of interest, throwing into question the possibility of a fair and impartial judgement. I requested that PCM reassign this case to the Ombudsmen Service.
This appeal was rejected for the following reasons:
I was parked outside a marked bay. The signs at the site apparently state ‘No Stopping or Waiting at any time unless parked fully within the confines of a marked bay for a maximum of 20 minutes’ and by ‘parking or remaining on site otherwise than in accordance with the above’ the driver agrees to pay a Parking Charge.
The photographic evidence shows my car with the signs nearby and ‘Private Road’ visible to the front of the car and that I was parked on double yellow lines. The entrance to the street had signs saying ‘Turning Circle Closed’. The adjudicator felt that the signs on site were sufficient and that I was made reasonably aware of the terms contained within these signs. They said signs are neither misleading nor unclear and comply with regulations. (I think the text on the signs is not readable from inside the car)
They state they have viewed photographs of my car from various angles, but I've only been shown photos from 1 angle. They agree the photos suggest I was only parked briefly, but say that the T&C's mean if I am not parked within a marked bay, I could either park elsewhere, or remain parked and agree to pay the charge. (I drove off though and did not remain parked). They say any driver parked outside a marked bay agrees to pay a charge, and they state I clearly brought my car to a halt outside a marked bay, but they agree it was only for a short period of time. They state clear evidence shows my car stationary for a period of time at the site. (around 30 seconds is not long in my opinion). They also say there were unobstructed bays to the rear of my car, which I could have used. (The photos show only a small portion of the bay behind me, so not conclusive of a free space and I actually remember the rear-lift of the 7.5 tonne truck unloading in that space). They rejected my claim that I was "stopped" instead of parked - stating this would entitle a driver to ‘stop’ indefinitely so long as they did not leave their vehicle unattended.
I feel I have been unfairly treated and should not be required to pay the £100 charge. I don't know what to do now - I could just ignore any further correspondence until they decide to pursue through small claims court - should I just pay and forget the incident or continue to fight?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.For now please let me know when you received the charge please?Just to confirm your appeal by the Independent Parking body has been rejected?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The charge was received on 26 Feb - 2 days after the incident.
Yes my appeal to the Independent Appeal Service was rejected today.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Did you have to pay a £15 appeal fee?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
I am trying to see if it was a standard or non standard appeal
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I paid no fee
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I believe it was a standard appeal
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Ok, then the appeal is NOT binding. As such you can refuse to pay and if they issue proceedings they can take you to a small claims Court and a District Judge can decide whether you are liable.Generally if you lose you are only liable for the other sides fixed legal costs and Court issue fee. But they can apply to seek full costs only if you have behaved unreasonably. Usually Judge's are not willing to give these additional costs.But on the basis its a standard appeal its not binding and you can seek a Court to resolve this.Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Alex - would an appearance in small claims court actually be on front of a judge or would it be conducted online or via letter? What size of costs would I be liable to pay if I lost - so I can make a judgement as to whether I would be better off just paying the charge - even if I don't believe it was issued fairly?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Yes it would be a Judge with a hearing. Its quite informal but it would be at your home County Court. If you didnt do the contravention then you dont need to pay. But its up to you whether you want to go before a Judge and put your case.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Does that clarify? Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
how much is a court issue fee and how much are the other sides fixed legal costs likely to be? Tens, hundreds, thousands?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
No its fixed. For £100 claim it would be £25 to issue, £25 to hear the claim and £60 fixed Solicitor fees
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Does that clarify? Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
so if I lost - I'd pay the £100 charge, £25 issue fee, £25 hearing fee & £60 solicitors fees - £210 total?
Are you able to give any opinion on the case as I stated it?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
If you lost yes. I think you have an arguable case. Judges dont really like parking companies anyway. So I think you stand a decent chance of winning.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Does that clarify for you? Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
excellent - many thanks - that clarifies it for me
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Great good luck with it
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
If I could just ask you to rate my answer before you go today please, so the site credits me for my time. Many thanks.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
one last question?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
if I do nothing and hope they do nothing - at what point is it too late to just pay the £100 charge? They may threaten court action to scare me, but at what point have I pushed it too far and have no choice but to go to court?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Once they issue proceedings its too scared, once you get the claim form. You would then be liable for those costs.
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
Ash and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Does that clarify? Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK thanks
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Good luck. Alex

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