Car Park | Maes Parcio

Tudalen yn Gymraeg: Maes Parcio

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. The wifi provided by the machine is slow, so trying to download their app and pay this way often takes you over ten minutes.

We welcome emails to log your complaint, even if you have paid the fine/lost an appeal, as we are keeping a record to assist us in our efforts. Let us know what happened and provide evidence if you can. llangrannogwelfare@gmail.com


UPDATE May 2022

The machine is currently accepting coins.

UPDATE Feb 2022

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 machine still says ‘out of use’; we are still receiving confused complaints from people who have tried to pay yet been served a PCN.

If you have appealed and won, or if you have been taken to court and lost, please let us know so we can help others. All information we have about wins against OPS are detailed on the Car Park Wins page.

We were recently sent a copy of the OPS contract for this car park which may help in appeals (see Wins page).

The UK Government has announced that private car parks will have to display prices more clearly, introduce a fairer system for appeals and give drivers a 10 minute grace period. Most fines in Wales, England and Scotland will be capped at £50. This is great news, but we contend that the grace period just does not work here, and people will still get unfair £50 charges. We await clarification on the other aspects to see just how useful they will be. More info on this RAC page.

Are you interested in shaping how a new appeals system should operate? The Department for Levelling Up has published an online survey to ask drivers about their experiences with regards to the current appeals process. If you want to give your views, please take the survey here (wasn’t working when I last checked but give it a go and I’ll hassle them too!).


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.

The local Community Council have had a meeting (Nov 2021) with the owner of the car park, who has agreed to take steps to make the signs clearer. Recent vandalism of the machine has not helped the cause – even if the machine is broken you have to pay online!

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.

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/

British Parking Association – investigation of complaints.

To give you some background of what we do our role is to investigate any complaints about alleged non-compliance with our Code where evidence can be supplied; however, the BPA is a membership organisation and we are not set up to deal with disputes from the general public about parking, nor can we cancel or suspend Parking Charge Notices. Therefore, the Code does not provide a way for a driver to challenge how a landowner or operator has applied parking control and enforcement on private land. Any challenge or appeal is a matter for the landowners or operators procedure, with the option of taking it to POPLA, and or the courts. The BPA will not get involved in the arbitration of a dispute between an operator and an individual.

Please submit your complaint and supporting evidence to our portal:

https://portal.britishparking.co.uk/compliance/LogComplaint

Submitting your enquiry or complaint via our web portal will allow us to obtain the required information to thoroughly investigate. The portal will also provide you with an instant reference number which enables you to track the progress of your complaint.

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.

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.