Car Park Wins | Enilloedd Maes Parcio

We have had quite a few lovely people contact us to share some details of their successful appeals/court appearances against OPS’s parking tickets from the Llangrannog beachfront car park.

Details of those cases appear on this page. Due to data protection and the burden of admin, we cannot release further details or forward any contact details etc. to these people.

Rydym wedi cael nifer o bobl hyfryd yn cysylltu â ni i rannu rhai manylion eu hapeliadau llwyddiannus/ymddangosiadau llys yn erbyn tocynnau parcio OPS o faes parcio glan y môr Llangrannog. Ceir manylion yr achosion hynny ar y dudalen hon. Oherwydd diogelu data a baich gweinyddol, ni allwn ryddhau rhagor o fanylion nac anfon unrhyw fanylion cyswllt ac ati at y bobl hyn.

Report 11 Sept 2022 from H Rees

Operator Name One Parking Solution Ltd – EW
Decision Successful
Assessor Name Naomi Littler
Assessor summary of operator case

The operator has issued the Parking Charge Notice (PCN) due to parking session purchased after the grace period expired.

Assessor summary of your case

The appellant’s case is that it was not clear that there was a grace period of 10 minutes to make payment from the point of entering the car park. They say that they needed to download the app and make payment details. They state that they were struggling with phone signal and also took a few minutes parking their vehicle. The appellant says that they made payment after 12 minutes, and the time spent in the car park was less that the time paid for. They say the owner has not suffered any financial damages and therefore a £100 PCN is unreasonable and unnecessary. After reviewing the operators evidence pack the appellant has provided some additional comments to reiterate & expand their grounds of appeal and to introduce some new points. In support of their appeal, the appellant has submitted the following evidence: 1. Proof of payment The above evidence has been considered in making our determination.

Assessor supporting rational for decision

By parking on private land, a motorist accepts the terms and conditions of the land. When assessing an appeal, POPLA considers whether a parking contract was formed and, if so, whether the motorist kept to the conditions of the contract. The burden of proof lies with the operator to demonstrate that the appellant has not complied with the terms and conditions and the PCN has been issued correctly. The appellant has raised several grounds for appeal. However, my findings will focus on the amount of the charge as this ground has persuaded me to allow the appeal. The appellant has told us in their response that they consider the charge does not reflect the loss to the landowner and is therefore not a genuine pre-estimate of loss. 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 therefore it does not meet the expectations of ParkingEye v Beavis. I have not considered any other grounds for appeal, as they do not have any bearing on my decision. For the reasons stated above, I cannot determine that the appellant has agreed to pay this fee for breaching the terms and conditions. Consequently, I cannot consider that the PCN has been issued correctly. Therefore, I must allow this appeal.

Report 2-9-2022 N Walker

Assessor summary of your case

In their appeal the appellant states that they entered the car park on a busy Saturday afternoon and had to wait a few minutes for a parking space. They explain that once parked, they immediately went to the payment machine, only to find that there was no card payment, just coins and the app. The appellant has said that they only had notes and their bank card with them, so they returned to their vehicle to get their phone. They have said that they then returned to the machine and tried to download the app several times, but were unsuccessful. The appellant has said that they then tried to phone the number on the machine but due to a bad phone signal it would not connect. They have said that they then visited two local businesses to get enough change, returned to the payment machine and paid £6 for 5 hours parking. They have said that they were well within the 5 hours paid for. The appellant has also said in their appeal that the terms and conditions of the car park were not properly signed. They have said that the signs are too small to read and that there is too much information to read within 10 minutes. The appellant has provided a copy of their parking ticket showing £6.00 paid at 13:24 on 11 June 2022, for vehicle registration xxxxxx. The above evidence has been considered in making my determination. In their motorist comments the appellant has reiterated their case and said that it is not clear that you have to pay within 10 minutes of arrival.

Assessor supporting rational for decision

It is the responsibility of the operator to provide POPLA with sufficient, clear evidence in order to rebut the appellant’s claims and prove that it issued the Parking Charge Notice (PCN) correctly. In this case the parking operator has said that the appellant purchased their parking session after the grace period of 10 minutes had expired. The appellant has said in their appeal that the terms and conditions of the car park were not properly signed. They have said that the signs are too small to read and that there is too much information to read within 10 minutes. They have also said in their motorist comments that it is not clear that you have to pay within 10 minutes of arrival. In this case, I would expect the parking operator to provided evidence of the signage on site at the time in question to rebut the appellants grounds of appeal. The operator has provided photographs of the signage on site, however, the images of the signage that display the term that payment is required within 10 minutes of arrival do not have time and date stamps. Therefore, I am unable to determine if these signs were on site at the time the appellant was parked there. Furthermore, these signs in question display this term in very small text. Section 19.1 of the British Parking Association (BPA) Code of Practice states signs must be provided to make it easy for motorists to find out what the terms and conditions are. Section 19.3 continues that signs containing the specific parking terms should be placed throughout the site, so that drivers are given the chance to read them at the time of parking or leaving their vehicle. Signs must be conspicuous and legible, and written in intelligible language, so that they are easy to see, read and understand. Therefore, if this signage was on site at the time the appellant parked there, I am not satisfied that they would have made is easy for the appellant to find out what the terms and conditions of the site were. I am not satisfied that they are easy to see, read and understand. In this instance, I acknowledge the reason the PCN was issued, however I am not satisfied that the operator has adequately rebutted the appellant’s grounds for appeal. I can only conclude that the PCN was issued incorrectly. I note the appellant has raised other issues as grounds for appeal however, as I have decided to allow the appeal for this reason, I did not feel they required further consideration. Accordingly, I allow this appeal.

Report August 2022

OPS Appeal V1 Eva M sent us the PDF you can see at the bottom of the page. Appeal rejected by OPS, sent to POPLA and OPS withdrew. This is the ‘took too long to get the payment to work’ story, which is bay far most of the complaints we receive.

Report June 2022

Hi all on the Llangranog Welfare Committee,

I’ve received the below response from POPLA regarding the appeal I lodged with them over a PCN I received from One Parking Solutions for an alleged infringement at the Llangranog beachfront car park on 12th April this year. OPS had rejected my previous appeal to them. I’m taking this as a win.

See below the arguments I put forward in my appeal, although I do not know which of the points persuaded OPS to cancel the charge. Disappointingly the government’s Private Parking Code of Practice was withdrawn earlier this month, so motorists may not be able to argue in future that OPS are in breach of it.

I believe it was reasonable for us to assume that the £10 charge we paid would allow us to stay for up to 12 hours.

We paid a £10 charge. The tariff displayed in car park indicates that this would allow us to stay for up to 12 hours. Confusingly the Tariff online on the app differs, stating the £10 payment allow us to stay “over 5 hours”. In either case, while the tariff shows a different schedule of charges for the hours 8:00-20:00 & 20:00-8:00, it does not clearly state that parking paid for prior to 8pm expires at that time regardless of the duration paid for.

OPS’ appeal reply letter cites the 2014 Parking Eve v Beavis case as evidence that the penalty charge is neither improper nor excessive. In the case of ParkingEye Vs Cargius however it was held that the Beavis case did not apply since, in that instance as with this, parking was paid for rather than free for a limited period as it was in Beavis case. The judge distinguished it by reasoning that in Beavis the charge was justifiable as it was their only income, whereas in a paid car park, only the hourly charge is being lost by overstaying; anything above that is a penalty which cannot be enforced. While there is a contradiction between OPS’ PCN, which gives my time of leaving the car park as 8:25 pm, and their appeal reply, which claims I left at 20:59 pm, in either case the additional charge would have been £1.25 at the time and £100 is clearly an excessive charge.

The £100 charge exceeds the £50 permissible maximum parking charge (this being a lower level breach) set out in the government’s Private Parking Code of Practice, published 7th February 2022 and in force at the time of the alleged infringement.

The 40% reduction in the charge if paid within 14 days did not meet the 50% discount rate stipulated in the government’s Private Parking Code of Practice, published 7th February 2022 and in force at the time of the alleged infringement.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/private-parking-code-of-practice/private-parking-code-of-practice

Additionally, OPS have not identified who is the creditor is who making the parking charge demand, provided details of the landowner or evidence of their contractual authority to issue or enforce the PCN on behalf of the landowner, despite me requesting this information from them.

Further to the above, there was no ability to pay via the ticket machine at the time of our visit. The only way to pay was by downloading the app, which was slow due to poor phone signal in the village. Nevertheless there were threatening signs in the car park stating that users would be fined if they failed to pay within 10 minutes. Multiple other car park users us approached us asking how to download the app, as they were suffering poor phone signals. An internet search, along with conversations with people familiar with the area shows that this car park is managed in a predatory manner, is unpopular with local businesses and is deeply damaging to the village’s reputation, evidenced by numerous local newspaper articles, poor Trip Advisor reviews and even the involvement of the local MP.

The £100 fines at Llangrannog car park which are ‘putting people off’ from visiting – Wales Online

 

Llangrannog car park users urged to make a stand | Tivyside Advertiser

 

LLANGRANNOG BEACH – All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (tripadvisor.co.uk)

 

‘Unreasonable’ Llangrannog parking fines ‘deterring visitors’ – BBC News

 

The Welsh village being torn apart by its own car park – Wales Online

Report May 2022

One Parking Solutions response to our appeal was to reject it due to lack of evidence.  My initial intended response was as follows:

“I am in receipt of your letter and refusal of our appeal.   I do not accept this and will be taking the matter further which will include an appeal via POPLA.  Additionally my solicitors are fully informed and have the matter in hand.   They will be taking action should the POPLA result be unsatisfactory, in particular the full details of proven issue of parking tickets during the hour surrounding the sixteen minutes in question and clear and unequivocal evidence that the parking machine was fully operational throughout the hour in question. You claim that sufficient evidence has not been provided but you should be aware that I have a sworn statement stating that the machine was not working at the time stated and no signal was available to reach any alternative either by mobile phone or website   Additionally, you refer to the evidence gathered by the operative at the time.  No human representative appears to have been present but if you claim this to be the case, clear evidence of proof of presence will be required. The only evidence appears solely based on the camera capture of vehicles entering or leaving the park.  A full detail of up to date servicing of the camera and its proven accuracy will be required.”

A review of the activity of One Parking Solutions In Llangrannog on the internet reveals a chapter of very dubious practice and damning comment from the local MP and national and local press and numerous members of the public.  Additionally court cases have been thrown out on the basis that a ten minute time is inadequate and the signage unacceptable in general and in particular regarding the 10 minute grace time.  In each case full costs were awarded to the defendant.”

However I decided to keep it simple with the following:

“Further to your rejection of our claim, we do not accept it and have submitted our appeal directly to POPLA. “

Our submission to POPLA

CONTRACT

Thank you for providing the response to our appeal from One Parking Solution.  It appears to be a pro forma with enclosures.  There is no dispute regarding the entry and departure time and purely hinges on the availability of correctly operating machinery.  O P S claims entry to the car park creates a contract.  This is on the basis that the contract is fully fulfilled with all machinery in good working order.  We contend that this was not the case as the parking machine was failing to operate during our sixteen minutes in the car park.  Thus the contract is in itself invalid.

EVIDENCE

We entered the car park with the intention of staying for an hour.  As stated in our earlier submission it was busy with a sunny Sunday afternoon.  As blue badge holders we initially checked availability but could not find one.  Parking places were fairly limited but we managed to find an empty space and went immediately to the parking machine area.  There were several people waiting to get a ticket issued and despite continued trying the machine was clearly out of order at that time.  On examining the white list for the date and 16 minute time at issue 16.25.06 and 16.41.38 we note that a ticket was issued at 16.27.44, two minutes after our arrival.  The next ticket was not then issued until 16.41.46  by any means at exactly the time we were photographed leaving the Park.  We note further that the next ticket to be issued on a still busy Sunday afternoon was almost an hour later at 17.34.37.  It stretches credibility that the equipment in question was claimed to be in perfect working order.

CONCLUSION

For the entire time at the Ticket station, there were three or four parkers trying to obtain a ticket and has can be seen, none was issued.  We have a witness who was with us for the duration of that time who can confirm that we not only tried for a machine ticket but also to connect to the website  but failing to get it to open.  We contend therefore that we made our best end best endeavour to obtain a parking ticket and had it been issued we would not have left the carpark.  In the circumstances we contend that the PCN had no validity and did not take account of the compelling evidence stated above.  We are confident that you will now find our case proven and dismiss the P C N claim and await your response within the next seven days.P M J

POPLA assessment and decision

18/05/2022

Verification Code

4980982024

Decision

Successful

Assessor Name

Andy Prescott

Assessor summary of operator case

The operator has issued the parking charge notice (PCN) for no payment/ticket.

Assessor summary of your case

The appellant’s case is that they could not obtain a parking ticket due to the parking machine not operating, and that there was no alternative due to lack of mobile signal in the area. The appellant provides evidence of their responses to the operator’s rejection of their appeal. The appellant expands on their grounds in this documentation, and advises they had to leave the site to obtain alternative parking, but this was held up by it being busy, with several other people experiencing the same problem. They advise this accounts for their 16 minutes on site. They also state the PCN of £100 is disproportionate in these circumstances. In their documented response they make reference to evidence of this site receiving bad press. The appellant reiterates their grounds in their comments.

Assessor supporting rational for decision

It is the parking operator’s responsibility to demonstrate to POPLA that it has issued a PCN correctly. In this case the appellant has stated the PCN of £100 is disproportionate to the circumstances of this case. I reviewed the signs in this case and must note the reference to a: “£100” PCN is written in a relatively bold font, but that the terms and conditions signs are very detailed, and are written in a very small font for the most part. 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 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 therefore it does not meet the expectations of ParkingEye v Beavis. As such, I cannot consider the evidence has rebutted the appellant’s grounds in relation to this PCN being disproportionate. As I cannot consider the signage meets the requirements stated above, because the rate of the PCN is written in very small font, despite being slightly more conspicuous to the other text around it. Therefore, I must allow this appeal. Whilst I note the appellant has raised other grounds in this case, as I have allowed the appeal for the reasons above, I will not be considering them.

Report May 2022

Decision: Successful
Assessor Name: Natasha Rhodes
Assessor summary of operator case: The operator has issued a Parking Charge Notice (PCN) for no payment/ticket. 
Assessor summary of your case

The appellant says the signage is inadequate. They explain that the signage is voluminous, confusing and the wording is in very small print. They state that important information about the 10 minute period nor reference to not leaving the site before a ticket is purchased, is not clearly emphasised. The appellant has provided evidence of the signage on site. The appellant does not think the signage complies with Section 19, Paragraph 3 of the BPA code of practice. The appellant says the operator did not address any of the issues regarding being able to pay in a time period that they were unaware of due to inadequate signage. The appellant says the ticket machine was not in use and covered in black plastic with a sign taped to it. They say they looked for another machine but could not find one. They explain that their partner attempted to download the app but after 3 failed efforts and no signal. She gave up. The appellant says they then decided to try and pay over the phone but was unsuccessful on two occasions. The appellant says they did not leave the site during the time they were on there. To support their appeal, the appellant has provided various articles of comments made about the car park and their phone log. 

Assessor supporting rational for decision

It is the responsibility of the operator to provide POPLA with sufficient, clear evidence in order to rebut the appellant’s claims and prove that it issued the Parking Charge Notice (PCN) correctly. Within the operator’s case file, it has provided images of the signage present on site. From this, it states “A 10 minute grace period is permitted to purchase a ticket or a parking session” The appellant explains that their partner attempted to download the app however, due to lack of signal and three failed attempts, they gave up. The appellant says they attempted to call the payment line twice however, this was unsuccessful. They also explain that they were unable to pay at the machine as this has been out of order for some time and was covered in black plastic with a sign on it. The ANPR images show the appellant was on site for 12 minutes and 29 seconds. I do not feel that this is unreasonable given the attempts made by the appellant therefore, I am allowing this appeal. I note the appellant has raised other issues as grounds for appeal however, as I have decided to allow the appeal for this reason, I did not feel they required further consideration.

My submission to them was very detailed and I think that the operator’s past history which you have compiled was a significant factor.
Many thanks for your help
Paul

Report May 2022

Hi. Just wanted to thank and encourage you for your efforts in putting up a page of advice for users of your local car park. Please keep up the good work and I hope one day you will be rewarded with a more user-friendly car park arrangement that doesn’t discourage visitors and lets the community keep more of the tourism income.

My daughter took my car in to the car park to pick her parents up after a very enjoyable coastal walk on 28 December. We stopped in the village only to warm up with some hot chocolate and cake but were rewarded with a £100 charge for being too slow to buy a parking ticket. My appeal has now been successful although a little part of me is quite disappointed not to get the opportunity to go to court and watch a judge’s reaction to the ridiculous claim.

General advice seems to be to appeal on as many grounds as you can think of, as only one of those grounds needs to be supported by the appeal assessor in order to be successful. Don’t be put off by the small amount of space on the online forms but attach documents of any size. Your site was very helpful in putting together the appeal although one thing that would have helped me is a few more pictures of the parking area showing the layout and the location of the signs etc. It was quite dark when I was there and I had been enjoying the coastal scenery without paying much attention to the car park.

kind regards

Philip

Assessor summary of operator case

The operator has issued a parking charge notice (PCN) due to the parking session being purchased after the grace period.

Assessor summary of your case

The appellant says that the grace period is to purchase parking is not sufficient. They say that it was not possible to pay within 10 minutes because the machine was not accepting card/contactless payments, and then an app needed to be downloaded. The appellant says that the wifi offered would not work with the mobile phone, and mobile data was weak, so it took 14 minutes to download the app and complete the payment. The appellant says that the signage at the site is inadequate, as the text informing motorists of the 10 minute grace period to pay, is small, with no emphasis placed on it. They say they do not feel that this complies with the British Parking Association (BPA) Code of Practice, Section 19.3. They say that due to the amount of text on the sign, it isn’t feasible to read and understand all of the information within 10 minutes. The appellant also says that the signage is misleading as it states that JustPark is an easy payment method, which it was not, due to reasons they have already explained. The appellant says that there is no evidence that they did exceed the grace period to pay, as the PCN shows images of the vehicle arriving, not parked, and at this point, the contract was not entered into. They say that while the signs do state that there is a 10 minute grace period to pay, it is unclear as to when the 10 minutes starts from, and visitors could easily assume that the grace period begins when they have approached the tariff board and read the information. The appellant says that the need for a grace period is puzzling, as the appropriate parking time was purchased to cover the stay. They say it appears that the time on the parking session should match the entry and exit times, so they would like to see evidence of calibrations between the cameras, and the payment app used. They say they would like to see evidence that the times are synchronised. The appellant has also provided comments in response to the operators evidence. They say the whitelist evidence shows that a parking session was in place from 16:15 until 17:16, but the operator recorded the contravention time as 16:39. The appellant says that all of the signs face inwards. They say if the grace period begins upon entry, it is quite some time from entry to then being able to approach, read and consider the contract. The appellant says that the rules should be straight forward and clear. They say the operator has not provided evidence of synchronisation between the app and the cameras. The appellant says that the operator seems to suggest that the driver should have abandoned attempts to pay at 9 ½ minutes and make a call instead. The appellant has provided photographs of the terms signage, the tariff board, the JustPark signage, and evidence of their payment, as well as a letter of appeal.

Assessor supporting rational for decision

The burden of proof lies with the operator to rebut the appellants grounds of appeal and demonstrate that the PCN was issued correctly. The appellant has raised a number of grounds of appeal however, I will be focussing on their grounds that it is unclear when the grace period begins, as this is what has persuaded me to allow the appeal. The appellant says that there is no evidence that they did exceed the grace period to pay, as the PCN shows images of the vehicle arriving, not parked, and at this point, the contract was not entered into. They say that while the signs do state that there is a 10 minute grace period to pay, it is unclear as to when the 10 minutes starts from, and visitors could easily assume that the grace period begins when they have approached the tariff board and read the information. I have reviewed the terms and conditions which state: “A 10 minute grace period is permitted to purchase a ticket or parking session”. Section 19.3 of the BPA Code of Practice states: “Signs must be conspicuous and legible, and written in intelligible language, so that they are easy to see, read and understand”. Having reviewed the signage, and considered the standard set by the BPA, I do not consider it to be clear to motorists that the 10 minute grace period goes from the point of entry or time of arrival. If this is the case, this should be clearly stated on the signage so that there is no ambiguity for motorists using the site. I do not consider it unreasonable that a motorist would believe that it begins from when they park and review the terms. If the grace period begins on arrival, this should be expressly and clearly stated. Where contract terms are ambiguous, the interpretation should go against the party that drafted the contract. In this case, the terms set out by the operator have been misinterpreted, in a reasonable way. The motorist has no control of the clarity of the terms set out. For the reasons above, I cannot conclude that the PCN was issued correctly. Accordingly, I must allow this appeal. I acknowledge the grounds of appeal and evidence provided by the appellant however, as I have allowed this appeal for the reasons above, and focussed on this reason, the further grounds do not require consideration.

Report March 2022

Hi,
I just want to thank you for the link to POPLA on your webpage, and the encouragement to challenge car parking fines from Llangrannog car park.
I received a car parking fine from one parking solution for parking in Llangrannog 1/1/22. They said the reason was that I took longer than the 10 mins ‘grace’ to pay for my parking, despite 3 out of 4 of their payment methods not working i.e. cash via parking meter, card via parking meter, card via telephone (phone line went dead after 4 mins as I was trying to give my card details). I appealed to one parking solution but was unsuccessful. I appealed to POPLA, and my appeal was successful. So thank you very much.
A.K.

Report 1

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

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.

Report 2
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

Report 3 (Feb 2022)

Just to let you know that today, I defended myself in court against One Parking Solutions Ltd in regards to a PCN issued from Llangranog car park in Aug 2019. In my favour, The Judge dismissed the claim. 
 
She recognised that it was clear that I wanted to pay for my parking ticket and noted that I have sent the £2.50 by cheque. She referred to my statement, observing that I had visited two local businesses in order to try to find out if there was another means to pay. She determined that the time it would have taken to do this, as well as try and pay at the broken machine and try and pay via the app,  would have taken me over the grace period. 
 
She accepted that the Terms and Conditions contract was indeed frustrated, as the machine was out of order and a lack of phone signal made it impossible to pay.
 
She accepted the BPA report and a newspaper article as evidence that the machine was regularly out of order and there was a lack of phone signal in the village to pay via the app.
 
I would like to sincerely thank you all for putting together the welfare website and including the BPA report and other useful resources.  It has been an immense support for me through this very stressful experience.  
 
I really hope that the company can some how be stopped and the people who live and visit Llangranog can eventually breathe a sigh of relief, like I have done today. 
 
With Gratitude 
 
Amy
 
Report 4 (Feb 2022)
Just a note to let you know I also successfully appealed against a ticket using the inadequate signage defence.

For your information, there is a clause in their contract (ATTACHED) which states that they should behave “reasonably” (Clause 7a).

Personally I think that given they have clearly not behaved reasonably they are in breach of contract – whether the owner of the car park cares or not is another matter…

B
 
Report 5
Annwyl Dr Dawes

By way of update, I am pleased to report that Deputy District Judge Henderson sitting at Blackwood Civil and Family Court today held that the grace period of 10 minutes at the Llangrannog car park was unreasonable and consequently the fine was un-enforceable. One Parking Solution Ltd was also ordered to pay my Court Issue Fee.
 
I am pleased to say that one parking solution have not appealed the judgement and have paid the costs as ordered.

I am happy for you to report this result. Any users of the car park that paid for their parking, albeit outside the 10 minute grace period, should seek to challenge any penalty charge notice on the basis that given the circumstances of this particular location, the Judge held 10 minutes was unreasonably short.

Regards

Dafydd
 
 
Report 6 (March 2022 via Sara Powell)
Appeal submission
Llangrannog carpark signage requested payment and display of a valid PAY AND DISPLAY TICKET which was not possible as the PAY MACHINE was NOT IN USE. An alternative payment option using Easy Payment with the JustPark app telephone,text,system was listed. NO FREE WIFI and no mobile phone signal meant no way of paying on site or contacting the advertised number for help.
My friend went to request use of The Ship Inn WiFi. Meanwhile I stayed in the carpark asking other carpark users if they had managed to pay and photographing the pay machine before joining my friend after 13.19pm assuming payment to have been completed. It was not possible to know that the payment would take so long and exceed the time allowed. The signage says EASY PAYMENT with the JustPark app. This was misleading as the payment time exceeded the grace period. The signage on site was inadequate. The text was small with no emphasis placed on the 10 minute period nor the reference to not leave the site before purchasing a TICKET for parking. I do not think it complies with section 19 paragraph 3 of the BPA Code of Practice. Neither I nor my friend saw either of these conditions on the signage. The carpark also appears to be integral to The Ship Inn with the camera being located on the side of the Inn. One Parking Solution signs advise you to leave the site if you cannot pay but you do not know that you cannot complete payment within the allocated grace period until after you have gone through the payment process and been entrapped. It is then too late to leave the site. One Parking Solution state they have complied with the BPA Inspector’s report after his visit on 5.11.19. The Inspector’s report required a WORKING pay machine and that alternative means to pay using the JustPark App should be removed as it was not possible to use them. The situation on 2.12.21 was no different to the situation on 5.11.19. The pay machine was out of use, free WiFi unavailable and there was no mobile phone coverage
Response from POPLA
Successful
Assessor Name
Assessor summary of operator case
The operator has issued a parking charge notice (PCN) due to the parking session being purchased after the grace period expired.
Assessor summary of your case
The appellant says that the machine was out of service and there was no mobile service. They say the Wi-Fi that was meant to be provided was also non-existent. The appellant explains that they went in to the Ship Inn, so their friend could download the JustPark app to make payment. They say the app was tricky and it took a few attempts to pay, and the whole process took around 20 minutes. The appellant says that they did not realise that using the pub Wi-Fi was a breach of the parking conditions.. The appellant says that a British Parking Association (BPA) inspector has visited this site in 2019 because of failures with the machine. They have quoted from this report, and say that the recommendations have not been put in place. The appellant says that internet posts show long standing issues with the car park. They say the signage is confusing and the wording is in small print, in both English and Welsh, but the important information about paying within 10 minutes is not clearly emphasised. The appellant has provided photographs of the machine and signage on it, evidence of poor network coverage, a witness statement from their friend, and evidence of the payment.
Assessor supporting rational for decision
The burden of proof lies with the operator to demonstrate that the PCN was issued correctly. The operator must evidence that the terms are adequately brought to the attention of motorists. The appellant says that the signage on site is confusing. The operator has provided evidence of its signage containing the terms, but the particular issue in this case is the term that informs motorists that payment needs to be made within 10 minutes of arrival. The photograph provided by the operator shows a smaller sign underneath the terms which states: “WARNING PAY WITHIN TEN MINUTES OR YOU WILL RECEIVE A PENALTY NOTICE”. The appellant has also provided a photograph of a small sign on the payment machine. This shows a sign on the machine which states: “You have TEN MINUTES to park and pay… IF YOU CANNOT PAY, DO NOT PARK or you will receive a fine”. While it may seem that the operator has adequately informed motorists of the requirement to pay within 10 minutes, it is alarming to see the use of the words ‘penalty’ and ‘fine’ for not complying with the terms on this private land. I would consider that this is confusing signage, as it should state ‘Parking Charge Notice’ Section 14.2 of the BPA Code of Practice states: “You must not use terms which imply that parking is being managed, controlled and enforced under statutory authority. This includes using terms such as ‘fine’, ‘penalty’, ‘penalty charge notice’ or ‘excess charge notice’”. The operator is responsible for any signage within the car park that it manages, and the evidence presented shows that not all signage is BPA compliant. Particularly the signs relating to the specific term in dispute. While the operator has issued a parking charge notice, some of the terms on the signage within the car park incorrectly refer to it as a penalty or fine and I therefore cannot conclude that the PCN was issued correctly. Accordingly, I must allow this appeal. I acknowledge the grounds and evidence provided by the appellant however, as I have allowed this appeal for the above reason, these do not require further consideration.