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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 49803
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I am race director for Gloucester Marathon. I had a quote

Customer Question

I am race director for Gloucester Marathon. I had a quote for Traffic Management from a company prior to the event which I accepted. In the lead up to the event the route had several changes which meant that there were several road closures not required this was directed to the company and they issue new drawings and road plans however there invoice does not reflect these changes and is as per original quote. In addition I have some serious issues with the management on the day. It is a stipulation that ALL traffic marshals are accredited this is a legal requirement and I believe that on the day several of the TM's supplied by Astar Traffic Mgt were not actually employed by them and I assume not accredited. The invoice received is for £27,000 plus vat. This is the email I sent to them with my list of complaints .... and then the reply from our contact copied in to his directors.
The invoice as far as I can see reflects the initial quote which included large road closures at St Oswalds and Priory Road and TM points through the town. These need to be adjusted on the invoice. In addition there were a lot of things on the TM plan that were simply not done. Roads that came onto the route that had cones and signs ready to close were left open and the cones and signs not used. The junction by landrover garage was one, end of Snowdon? By Hare n hounds was another. Escourt Rd was not coned at all as per the plan and the runners were left to guess when to cross from the right to the left, luckily they were all following my lead cyclist at this point. Several other TM points that were supposed to be manned were not.
Runners in road signs on Cheltenham rd were all facing the wrong way. The left carriageway was closed and traffic was only moving on the right towards Gloucester but the signs were all on the left and facing the runners.
We personally had to take down some road closed signs that were still up the day after the race. The one in Montpellier still blocked the road, by the old spot the road ahead closed sign was still up and you know about the complaint of runners in road signs left up on Cheltenham Rd.
Then as you say we have the issue of the bus for which we have received an official written complaint. We had an official complaint against the TM at the end of Down Hatherley who was rude and laughed at a driver who had to turn around. He gave his name as Kyle laughed and said good luck with the complaint.
Spa Road. The opening of Spa Road for 2 hours was not an issue however the position of his closure was ridiculous and was highlighted when I took over his position for 15 minutes while he went to move the closure that was in the wrong place on Quay Street.
There were no road ahead closed signs at the end of Southgate which meant traffic was meeting the closure on Spa Rd roundabout with no way to turn around. While I was manning your chaps post and trying to turn cars round an 18 wheeler came through which I had to allow onto the course to have any chance to turn round. When your man returned I asked him why he didn't put the closure at the end of Southgate to prevent traffic coming down to a dead end. Eventually he agreed and moved.
The wrong closure on quay street was again causing a dead end and forcing traffic to turn around until I got him to move it further up.
The pre event signs were late being put out and did not give enough notice to locals. There were no signs saying this road will be closed between etc etc and we have received a lot of complaints about this. There is s lot of work for us to do on this also with our website and info etc.
Lastly and probably the most important I spoke with one of your TM guys asI had a marshal shirt on and was moving some barriers he assumed I was just a helper. He was not an accredited TM person and was being paid cash in hand to sit there for the day! He was not the only one.Arthur Daley who was monitoring the race for UKA was told the same thing from another TM chap.
With this in mind we want a list of all traffic marshals provided, their locations and their accreditations.
With all these points in mind please can you supply a new invoice to reflect the changes to the TM plan, the work not done and only charges for accredited TM personnel.
We know the event was a success on most fronts and we are not trying to avoid paying your invoice. We do however expect an invoice that reflects the work carried out.
We appreciate the job done by you and AStar and would like to continue to use you next year once we are happy that these points are addressed and reflected in the invoice. I was hoping to see you face to face to go through all these points before next Thursday's debrief.
His reply...Andy,
You are quite right- we will sit down and discuss this face to face before we meet with Phil and Mark. You can propose what sort of discount you are after and I will discuss with my directors(in cc) where we go with this.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok can you read the email I sent to Astar above ?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Based on what you have described, please can you tell me what the ideal outcome would be for you so that I can advise you of your options. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
At present I have an invoice for £27k plus vat but this includes work not carried out and changes.
I need to know do I pay nothing and say "see you in court" or do I look for a discounted invoice of say £20k .... where do I stand?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are you still there Ben ?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Also, please do not responded to this message as it will just push your questions to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Many thanks for your patience. First of all in relation to the changes in the work requirement. There is no legal right to expect an automatic reduction in the invoice amount if the work has changed or reduced in volume. A company can charge whatever they want, so if they supplied an invoice for specific work and then the work reduced by say 30%, it does not mean that their original invoice must also reduce – they are entirely within their right to charge you the original amount if they wanted to and if you had accepted that without challenging it, then you could be liable for that. Not saying it applies here, but as an example many companies can have a minimum charge for doing certain things so regardless of the volume of the work they can still charge a minimum amount, regardless of how high it when it covers small amounts of work.

Your rights would therefore be best aimed at the services they quoted for but did not provide as this is where you could mostly be seeking a discount on the invoice amount. At present you have an invoice which is just a request for payment. You cannot be forced to pay it if you do not agree with it. You have a couple of options – you can continue negotiating with them but if no agreement is possible then you can consider sending them payment for an amount you are happy to pay and label it as being in full and final settlement of the services in question. If they accept that and do not reject or challenge it then it would be assumed they had agreed to it being the final payment and the terms of the agreement would vary to reflect that. Alternatively, you can refuse to pay anything and the ball is then in their court, whether they go to court or not. If they do it is for them to prove that they are due the full amount and you can shoe why this should not be the case by providing the examples mentioned. The court would then decide who is in the right and what should be paid.

I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. If this has answered your question please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars from the top of the page. I spend a lot of time and effort answering individual queries and I am not credited for my time until you leave your rating. If you still need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Many thanks.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.