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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 70110
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Hi there, I was issued a parking ticket by PCM for parking

Customer Question

Hi there,
I was issued a parking ticket by PCM for parking out of bay in the car park of Bluewater shopping centre. The car park was absolutely full and many cars were parked on these "out-of-bay" spaces. I did not see the signs (apparently, there were signs, now I found them). Also, we come there very often and we have seen many times cars were parked in these spaces when car park was full, never seen them clamped or fined, so I never expected this would be a problem. In addition, I think there are no signs on the pavement on these spaces like 'no parking' or something similar. I went on some forums and people advised to ignore the letter PCM sends. I did and now I've got a reminder containing an increased fine. What should I do? We left a considerable sum of money at Bluewater on that day. Can I ignore or I must pay?
Would appreciate your quick answer,
Many thanks,
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: UK Traffic Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 years ago.

Who is the issuer of this fine?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
PCM (Parking Control management) on the letter, Debt recovery Dept. with the address 1A Cranbourne Rd., Slough, Berkshire, SL1 2XF

Their website is:

I do not think I have more info, but I may try to have a better look,
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 years ago.
Was there any mention of the local council on any of their documentation?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
nothing like this. They say that because I did not reply within 14 days, they requested from DVLA my details and hence I've got the letter. There is also an appeal procedure mentioned on the ticket and the letter. In particular, a NOtice to Owner is mentioned which could be served to the owner of the vehicle, a debt recovery company (no name) and issue of court proceedings.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 years ago.

Don't worry about any of that.

Have you admitted being the driver?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
NO, I have not been in any communication with them so far.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 years ago.
Good. If the facts are as you say then this is a private land fine. They are unenforceable. This is not a parking fine however it may look. These companies are private firms that have no more right to punish you for the manner of your parking than your neighbour does. Only the police or the local council can do that. These are issued on the basis that you have accepted a contract by parking there and breached it by staying too long. To make that work they would have to hang signs over almost every bay and anyway, they still cannot show loss. The way to stop them dead is to write back refusing to give them the name of the driver. They have no power to make you as they are not the police. They only have a 'contract' with the driver and not the registered keeper. That will not stop them writing to you but it will put a stop to any real action being taken. They won't know who to sue. Nothing will ever happen over this.

Please note though that they will keep writing to you. They will send you lots of very threatening letters. Unless you actually get a Court summons they have no standing in themselves.

I'm happy to discuss this but please remember to click on accept.
Jo C. and other UK Traffic Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
thanks for this. Does it mean that I basically I ignore this issue altogether? Do not reply, burn their letters, etc. Or should I write to them saying that I am not going to disclose who the driver was?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 years ago.

It depends.

Who is the last correspondence from?

I am happy to discuss this but please remember to CLICK on ACCEPT.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I am happy to click accept, but I am not sure how the web system would respond as I still need some clarification. Would I be able to continue asking follow-up questions?

Answering your question, I have the ticket (left on the windscreen), and now a ltter from them arrived 2 days ago. That's it.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 years ago.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
sorry, I got an empty reply
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 years ago.
Yes, sorry, I've opted out of this question because I can see you are displeased with my responses because you have not accepted.

The question is open to others.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
NO, I am not displeased! Sorry, there must be some misunderstanding or clicked something accidentally
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 years ago.
No, you haven't' clicked anything and I can still answer and you can ask follow up questions.

But please remember to click on accept.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 years ago.

What you do as a result of this is really a matter for you.

I must admit that I usually write to them refusing details of the driver but the truth is that I really only do that to annoy them. It doesn't serve any other purpose. I usually write back arguing with their nonsense claims of seeking disclosure as well.

Ignoring them is just as good and probably a little safer too. They may instruct a debt collection company to call you as well. The way to deal with any conversation over the phone is just refuse to engage. They will ask you a series of questions in the beginning. Just refuse to answer them and then they can't discuss this with you any more because they can't identify you under the DPA.

But do expect lots more letters. They do not give up quickly any more.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Many thanks
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 years ago.
No problem. Good luck.