Car Park

This page will collate information to help those people who have received unfair fines from One Parking Solution, who administer the beachfront car park in Llangrannog.

If you cannot pay within 10 minutes of entering the car park, you should leave and not park there, or you will be fined. They do not listen to reasonable excuses. If the machine is broken, they still expect you to pay.


UPDATE October 2021

Thanks to all of you who have emailed to register your problems with the car park. It helps us to have a dossier of complaints to prove our arguments. The local Community Council are trying to set up a meeting with the owner to discuss issues. We will update on this when we can.

If you have appealed and won, or if you have been taken to court (or any other results other than just losing your appeal) please let us know so we can help others. Currently we don’t have much evidence that people are being taken to court or how they are managing to win appeals. This info would be really useful please!

Below are two report of a successful appeal to POPLA:

Hi just to let you know I have recently successfully appealed a pcn issued at llangrannog based on the excessive cost of the charge plus inadequate signage. I’ve copied the popla decision below fyi.
I intend to make a formal complaint to BPA, OPS ltd and the landowner (based on fact their practice is not compliant with the BPA code of practice) and can happily forward you any further info relating to the appeal of this would help? 
Best wishes
Richard Johnson
Decision Successful

Assessor Name Jamie Macrae

Assessor summary of operator case

The operator issued a Parking Charge Notice (PCN) to the motorist due to expired payment/ticket.Assessor summary of your case

The appellant has provided an extensive document detailing their grounds of appeal, I have summarised these below. The appellant has questioned the signage at the site. The appellant has questioned the operator’s authority to manage the site. The appellant says there is no evidence the camera and payment system has been calibrate and maintained adequately. The appellant says the PCN is not a genuine pre-estimate of loss. The appellant has explained their mitigating circumstances. The appellant has mentioned planning permission. The appellant has provided evidence in support of their appeal, they have provided comments on the operator’s evidence pack.Assessor supporting rational for decision

The name of the driver has not been disclosed, however, as the PCN complies with The Protection of Freedoms (POFA) Act 2012, the operator has transferred liability from the driver to the keeper, and it is the keeper’s liability for the PCN I will be considering. The signage at the site states: “…PARKING IS PERMITTED FOR: Vehicles full and clearly displaying a valid Pay and Display ticket in the front windscreen…BY PARKING OR REMAINING ON THIS SITE OTHER THAN IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE YOU THE DRIVER ARE AGREEING TO THE FOLLOWING CONTRACTUAL TERMS. You agree to pay a Parking Charge Notice (PCN) in the sum of £100.00…”. The operator issued a PCN to the motorist due to expired payment/ticket. In regard to the amount of the PCN, this matter was considered at length by the Supreme Court in the case of ParkingEye v Beavis [2015] UKSC 67. In this case, the Court recognised that parking charges have all the characteristics of a penalty, but nevertheless were enforceable because there were legitimate interests in the charging of overstaying motorists. This “legitimate interests” approach moved away from a loss-based analysis of parking charges: “In our opinion, while the penalty rule is plainly engaged, the £85 charge is not a penalty. The reason is that although ParkingEye was not liable to suffer loss as a result of overstaying motorists, it had a legitimate interest in charging them which extended beyond the recovery of any loss… deterrence is not penal if there is a legitimate interest in influencing the conduct of the contracting party which is not satisfied by the mere right to recover damages for breach of contract.” (paragraph 99) The Court did however make it clear that the parking charge must be proportionate: “None of this means that ParkingEye could charge overstayers whatever it liked. It could not charge a sum which would be out of all proportion to its interest or that of the landowner for whom it is providing the service.” (paragraph 100) It concluded that a charge in the region of £85 was proportionate, and it attached importance to the fact that the charge was prominently displayed in large lettering on the signage. While the specific facts of the case concerned a free-stay car park where the motorist had overstayed, I consider the principles that lie behind the decision remain the same. Taking these principles into account, I am not going to consider whether the loss is a genuine pre-estimate of loss or whether it reflects a correct loss to the landowner. Rather, I am going to consider the charge amount in the appellant’s case, as well as the signage. On this, I conclude the charge is not sufficiently brought to the attention of motorists on the signs and is therefore it does not meet the expectations of ParkingEye v Beavis. Due to this, I confirm the PCN has been issued incorrectly. I note the appellant has raised other grounds of appeal. However, as I have allowed the appeal for this reason, I did not consider them. Accordingly, I must allow this appeal.

Dear Amanda & Kat
Finally – almost four months on, I have just received a decision from POPLA that my appeal against OPS & the PCN they issued on 7.5.21 has been SUCCESSFUL!!
I worked SO hard on this and went through hours & hours of frustration, researching and composing the horribly limiting forms, but I wanted you both to be the first to know! 
Anything I can do to pass on information that will help others I will gladly do, but basically the POPLA assessor upheld my “inadequate signage” line of appeal as well as actually making reference to my statement of “entrapment”. The POPLA assessor did not consider the signage (ref: 10 minute Grace period) to be easy to read and understand or in compliance with section 19.3 of the BPA Code of Practice.
The assessor also noted that I had raised other evidenced grounds for appeal but, as they considered the signage issue enough, he didn’t feel they they needed to be taken into consideration.
My plan now is to communicate this situation all to members of the Sennedd (for Powys where I live as well as Ceredigion) and it’s been suggested that I take this to Lucy Owen of BBC Wales. (I never did get any response from Ben Lake so will just add him in as a cc somewhere along the line). As you rightly said, most people would just take the easy option of paying up the initial £60 especially as the appeal process is threatening/quasi-legal/clumsy/long-winded/technically off-putting and seems weighted in favour of the operator who must be making MILLIONS; it is so SO wrong.  
But, right now I am truly very happy feeling that justice has been done!!
Best wishes
Katherine Lewis

There is also a thread where people can post their POPLA decisions. This helps others to know which points have been successful when appealing to POPLA. 

https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/4488337/popla-decisions/p407


Note that this car park is no longer run by the Ship Inn. The owner of the car park, Mr Anthony Ramsay Williams, does not live in the area and has appointed One Parking Solution to run the car park. The Welfare Committee and local people have tried (and are still trying) very hard to find a solution and get rid of this company, but we have been unsuccessful so far, and the owner is not sympathetic. 

Please read all the information here and if you still have questions, contact llangrannogwelfare@gmail.com

If you have any information which may help others appeal unfair fines, please let us know.

This page will be updated as we know more. UPDATED October 2021.

A thread about Llangrannog on the MoneySavingExpert Private Parking Forum. Please feel free to contribute to it:
https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6043478/llangrannog-beach-car-park-pcns-when-prevented-from-paying

Here are some articles about OPS from the Sunday Times: (sorry about the strikethrough, the links work but will not render properly!!)

One Parking Solution

Abuse of process

Veteran

Baron

Village parking options

There is a large free car park field five minutes up the road. In high season and guidelines permitting, the village-run Park & Ride scheme will be running again.

There is limited parking on the roadside with seasonal restrictions of one hour. Although there is rarely a parking warden down here, please don’t park here all day if possible, so others can use for pick up and drop off and loading. There is one disabled parking space.

Please do not park blocking access to the toilets or the emergency defibrillator (AED), on double yellows, where the cones indicate the Cardi Bach bus has to turn round, in the boatyard (they have CCTV), or on the hatched areas at the beachfront (emergency services access).

General Advice

How to avoid ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) car parking charges.

You can appeal to via the One Parking Solution website https://oneparkingsolution.co.uk/

If you are unhappy with the verdict, you can appeal via POPLA, an independent appeals service for Parking Charge Notices issued on private land. https://www.popla.co.uk/

It is very important that you reply and defend the claim, otherwise you will automatically get a default CCJ after 14 days and the court will order you to pay the full amount within 30 days. If you don’t pay in full, the CCJ will be registered on your credit file, and you might also get bailiffs from the court. 

The first thing you need to do, within 14 days of the claim date, is to do an Acknowledgement of Service (AOS). 

Log on to www.moneyclaim.gov.uk using the password on the claim form and acknowledge receipt of the claim, denying all the debt. Do not submit a defence yet. This will give you a total of 33 calendar days to submit your defence online. 

Here is a guide to doing the AOS. You could get a CCJ if you don’t do anything. You only have 14 calendar days to do the AOS, from the issue date on the claim form.

See this post on MoneySaving Expert which explains the claim form procedure.

https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/5546325/court-claim-procedure-updated-october-2016/p1

This post explains the whole process, from getting a PCN to going to court-

https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/4816822/newbies-private-parking-ticket-old-or-new-read-these-faqs-first-thankyou#latest

This website has a lot of useful information about parking tickets –
https://www.nationaldebtline.org/fact-sheet-library/parking-charge-notices-ew/

The Area Manager from the BPA who visited the car park and wrote the report in 2019 was Chas Cannon. Please could you ask anyone who has received an unfair PCN to complain to him, as well as complaining to Ben Lake.
https://www.britishparking.co.uk/area-managers
His email address is chas.c@britishparking.co.uk and his mobile number is 07786 973105.

Frustration of contract

was mentioned by MPs during a Parliamentary debate on Sir Greg Knight’s Parking Code of Practice:

https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2018-02-02/debates/CC84AF5E-AC6E-4E14-81B1-066E6A892807/Parking(CodeOfPractice)Bill

Tim Loughton (East Worthing and Shoreham) (Con)
Does my right hon. Friend agree with my frustration—I have had lots of cases in Worthing—that people legitimately try to pay at the machines and the machines do not work? They try and ring a number, and that does not work and it is so complicated. Or they have to download an app. The average resident of Worthing does not have apps. If the equipment does not work, there should be no basis on which the charge should go through. Does he agree that there should be a system like that?

Sir Greg Knight
If there are a number of payment machines and one of them is not working, that is not an excuse, but if there is only one machine or all the machines are out of order, that ought to be a perfect defence. The company operating the car park has in effect invited the motorist on to the car park to park the car on payment of a fee, and if it is not going to facilitate payment, it should not be able to extract a penalty. Rip-offs from car park cowboys must stop. Most parking operators have nothing to fear from the Bill, but we must stop unscrupulous operators who are undermining the whole sector with their bad practices.

Grace Periods

There is a court case, NCP v HMRC, which says that a parking contract starts at the time the motorist pays, not when they first drive into the car park. https://www.taxjournal.com/articles/national-car-parks-v-hmrc

The grace period should allow time to park, read the signs and pay. If it takes longer than 10 minutes to do all this, but the motorist has paid, the operator should take account of this. 

The BPA have said this about grace periods:
https://www.britishparking.co.uk/News/good-car-parking-practice-includes-grace-periods

MHCLG press releases about the progress of the Parking Code of Practice. 

Press release 1 – Parking code enforcement framework

Press release 2 – Govt consultation on parking charges

Advice from Sara Powell, retired local barrister

Essentially, OPS should not be trying to recover anything more than the £100. As you know they try and recover more than this. Their actions are considered unlawful and an abuse of the court process.  On this basis the court can strike their claim out so they have nothing and also order OPS to pay the other sides costs.  Sadly, not many cases get defended as people either pay up or ignore it to their detriment.  

What is helpful is that the individual facts of a case aren’t particularly relevant to this type of case other than in a frustration of contract scenario. Essentially by law OPS can’t charge more than £100 plus interest at 8%. That is it. By the time it gets to court many cases are in the region of £250-£300. Now the court costs including the fee and solicitor costs amount to at most £80. So even if they are just trying to recover an additional £60 which is what they do on average this would be classed as an abuse of the system as it is unlawful. There is a saying ‘you have to come to equity with clean hands’. The judges seem quite happy to strike these claims out because of this. When you combine the harassment and intimidation and general bad conduct and sloppy pleadings then it all helps the person seeking to challenge it. So even if OPS had a lawful claim, which they would if someone overstayed etc or didn’t pay, then by their actions in trying to add more on than they know they can legally claim, it makes it abusive. 

With a frustration of contract, which appears most common, then there is a complete defence there. Someone being unable to pay within the allotted 10 minutes and then purchasing a ticket but being charged. Even if they didn’t keep their ticket, OPS have the technology to find out whether they did pay or not.  

As an aside in small claims proceedings which is a tier within the court system based on value of a claim, then costs are usually fixed at £50. The court does have a discretion to award a person additional costs based on certain circumstances including the conduct of a party. From my reading of recent cases, the judges seem quite keen to do this. It is useful as cost orders aren’t really appealable. 

Sara has kindly provided the following letter, which can be amended and used when solicitor’s letters are being received:

Advice to those in receipt of a PCN when the machine was out of order – 2019

You should fill and return the ‘Acknowledgment of service’ form immediately, either on form or online. You’ll need your government ID number if you do it online.

This then gives you a little time.

The British Parking Association sent an officer to the site to assess the situation. He reported back stating the car park was ‘unfit for purpose’ due to lack of WiFi and regularly not accepting money or ‘out of service.’ The machine was solar powered and often ran out of juice (the new one is mains connected).

During these periods the ANR (automatic number recognition) was still issuing tickets. They knew very well that this was the case, as we informed both the owner and One Parking Solution. They carried on until we got the BPA involved and they closed the machine in the November.

Ms. Alice Kelly headed this investigation. The report was published 5th Nov 2019. Download it here.

This implies that many PCN’s issued should have been struck off due to the findings. We have had over 100 letters from people all over the country and abroad.

The Area Manager from the BPA who visited the car park and wrote the report in 2019 was Chas Cannon. Please could you ask anyone who has received an unfair PCN to complain to him, as well as complaining to Ben Lake.
https://www.britishparking.co.uk/area-managers
His email address is chas.c@britishparking.co.uk and his mobile number is 07786 973105.

Further help

Money Saving Expert website has a lot of information on unfair parking tickets: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/tax-parking-reclaim/

Signage in the car park

NEW SIGNAGE photos taken 17 October 2021

Note that you can’t phone up to pay – coins and cards only.

car park sign - tariff
car park machine

Earlier tariff photos (sorry not sure when it changed).

This is the main car park sign at the entrance to the car park and next to the machine
There are four of these boards around the edge of the car park.
Note the end of the first section where the 10 minute grace period is posted.