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 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.
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
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.
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?
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  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!!
Report 3 (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…
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 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.