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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12181
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I have been issued with a Parking Charge Notice in the sum

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I have been issued with a Parking Charge Notice in the sum of £60 by a private company who own a car park in my town. On the occasion in question I parked in the car park and went to a nearby machine to pay for a ticket. The machine was of a type I had never used before, which required me to insert some money, and then enter my registration number on a keypad, which I did. I can't remember exactly how much I paid, but I had several calls to make in the town, and would have paid for at least an hour. The wording of the notice does not make it entirely clear whether the company are alleging that I overstayed (I was there 33 minutes), or that I didn't pay at all. The only evidence the company have provided is two photographs (front and back) of my car as I arrived in the car park, before I had parked. As the machine didn't issue a receipt, I have no evidence that I paid, and I had assumed that my registration number in their system was sufficient for them to verify I had paid. Other than the photographs, they have provided no evidence that I didn't pay, and I can think of only two possible explanations. I may have keyed my registration number wrongly as I couldn't see the car from where I paid. Alternatively, I may not have completed the process properly as I was unfamiliar with this type of machine, but I certainly put money into it.. I have appealed to the parking company against this charge, which they have declined. I now have the option to either pay the charge or submit a further appeal to an Independent Appeals Service (POPLA), which would bump the charge up to £100 if the appeal fails, or simply pay the £60, which I am reluctant to do as I paid for the parking session at the time. Can you advise me what the chances are of a further appeal being granted, and I wonder whether these people will go to the extreme of taking me to Court if I don't pay. I am simply not the sort of person to avoid paying for a parking session - I don't need to, as I have substantial income, and I would certainly pay this extra charge now if there was the faintest possibility that it was justified. Can you assist, please?

Are you willing to risk being sued?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
In this instance, yes.

OK. Do you accept overstaying?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No I don't - I remember the occasion clearly as it was the day of the local Walking Day procession, which restricts vehicular access to many streets in the town, and I had spent some time finding a car park I could get to. I was unsure how long it would take me to get to the places I needed to visit, and was, therefore, very focused on paying for more time on the car park than I was likely to need. It was at least an hour, possibly two.

Did you display the ticket clearly?

Did you take a picture of it in your windscreen?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Have you read my question? I have explained quite clearly that I wasn't issued with a ticket, and why.

Would it be possible to give me the information I asked for?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
You've obviously not read my original question, and consequently I'm not confident of getting a helpful answer. Please don't waste any more of my time.

OK. Best of luck with this.

You should ignore this. The number plate input system doesn't work in many cases. Don't respond to their letters. They will send threats but they will eventually cease. They can't prove you didn't pay and it's for them to prove non payment not the other way round.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK thank you, that's pretty much what I thought. I just have one lingering concern: I clearly remember being anxious about how congested the town would be due to the local procession having recently finished, and uncertain how long it might take to access my intended destinations, it is in my nature to allow much more time than I might actually need for something like this. The photographic evidence shows a gap of 33 minutes between my arrival and exit; and I cannot believe that, in the circumstances, I would have paid for only half an hour. However, this was the first time I had parked in this fairly recently established location, and this type of machine was unfamiliar to me. I am a conscientious individual and would have carefully read the charges before putting money into the machine. So, my final question is, if in the unthinkable event I only paid for half an hour, could they prove this, and what, therefore, would be the chances of them taking legal action, and winning their case, over such a trivial transgression?

They could establish how much parking you had paid for if the correct registration was entered after payment. However, they generally won't take legal action. For one they would have to prove that you of the terms and conditions of parking because they would have to claim breach of contract. Even if you did know the exact terms and conditions they wouldn't be able to prove that you knew so their case could fail at the first hurdle. I don't think they will sue you. And if they do you have a defence as outlined.

JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12181
Experience: 30 years as a practising solicitor.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, I'm happy with that. I now have an administrative dilemma. As you know, I need to rate my satisfaction with the service I have received from Just Answer. My problem is that I have received answers on this from two sources: Jo C., who I suspect is an automated answering device and who I would give a negative rating; and yourself, who gave good advice, founded both in law and common-sense likelihood, with which I am entirely satisfied. I am going to give you 5 stars, but can my dismay with the Jo C's. answers also be put on record, please.