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Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 70698
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I received a Parking Charge Notice in a supermarket / railway

Resolved Question:

I received a Parking Charge Notice in a supermarket / railway car park in Polegate, East Sussex.
I went 14 mins over a 2.5 hour parking bay on 24 Dec 2014.
The Parking charge invoice is for £60 if paid within 14 days or £100.
I appealed in writing quoting that the charge is “disproportionate and not a genuine pre-estimate of loss and according to Unfair Consumer Contract Regulations, parking charges on private land must not exceed the cost to the landowner during the period the motorist is parked there”.
CE Enforcement Ltd have responded saying that the signs are clearly visible.
I am not sure what my next course of action will be or what the likely next steps this company will take.
I don’t want to get a criminal record or any blip on my credit rating or court record.
Please advise
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Is this a railway bye law fine? What does the fine say?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No, it's a parking charge notice from a private company that monitors the supermarket car park.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.
Yes, but in the minutia of the fine does it refer to the Railway Bye laws?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I'm not sure - I'll look in to it and get back to you.

I'd like to point out, it's not a fine, it's a penalty charge notice. They're not permitted to call it a fine, as they're a member of the BPA ( and it stipulates that they must differentiate between a fine, and a charge notice. This suggests to me that they have no legal authority passed down to them from local authorities.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.
Please forget all of that. It is a greatly overstated issue on the internet.
No problem though. Come back when you like.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok, that's interesting to hear, thanks.

Will be in touch.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.
No problem.
All the best.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

There's no mention of railway byelaws in the fine print.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.
Ok. We can be fairly confident that this is solely private land whether the railway car park applies or not then.
The loss point is a bit of a myth. I would never have suggested an appeal. It is best to ignore these things. There is a good deal of nonsense on the point of private land fines on the internet. A private land company has a perfectly valid claim against an offending motorist. What they have is a claim that is hard to enforce and not really cost effective.
Ultimately they act for the land owner. The land owner can place qualifications upon how their land is to be used. It is far to say that their notices are not local council fines and don't have the same force of law but there is a perfectly good breach of contract claim.
In terms of the loss issue, the general premise of breach of contract claims is that any sums claimed must be to compensate for any loss. However, depending on what is in the sign, they could argue that these funds were due under the contract. It is quite unlikely that their signs do cover that as they are usually written so badly. If they do specify that in the event of X, Y or Z a fine in the sum of X is due then that would be sufficient to amount to a claim under the contract. Therefore, the loss issue would fall away. If they haven't done that they have to fall back upon the sum of their loss. They do usually get the lost parking revenue and admin costs though.
They will not sue though. They will send some nasty letters but the chances of them suing are minimal. It is not worth the cost of doing so. If you had been issued four or five fines then it might have been a claim worth litigating over.
If they do sue you can always add the land owner as a further defendant and then it will be dropped fast enough.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

That is a very thoroough answer, thank you. Could you please just explain what you mean, in laymans terms, by the following two statements?

"If you had been issued four or five fines then it might have been a claim worth litigating over.

If they do sue you can always add the land owner as a further defendant and then it will be dropped fast enough."


Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.
1 If there were several fines then it would be a greater sum and might be worth suing over.
2 Add the landowner to the claim. He will drop it fast enough as he will have better things to do.
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