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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: UK Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 24551
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Hi I recieved a parking ticket from Parking Control Management

Customer Question

Hi

I recieved a 'parking' ticket from Parking Control Management UK Ltd at the end of January, and today recieved a letter from them asking to be paid and to name the driver.

I was dropping of a friend to do some work at his fathers buissness and behind the place of buissness is a small car park accessed by a narrow alley. (It was impractical and unsafe to stop on the busy 3 lane one-way street out the front). There were no spaces so I stopped in the middle of the car park to let him out and get his tools out of the boot. No sooner had he shut my boot and gone inside a car pulled in behind me and blocked me in this small car park, I couldn't leave, he then proceeded to photograph my number plates and tax disc while I was in the car. I asked him what he was doing and he informed me I was 'parked' without a permit (Engine running, seatbelt on) and that he was writing me a ticket, I explained to him that I was dropping someone off, that I wasn't in a bay, and had no intention of stopping. His reply was that I had my handbrake on, I asked him if I was mean't to throw my friend out of a moving car, he pointed to a small notice in the corner of the car park that was high up and in the corner with cars all around it (very hard to see, wouldn't have spotted it myself), I told him to read that I'd have to stop and get out to read it and through no fault of my own be breaking the rules of the 'contract'. He then told me to write a letter of appeal and gave me the ticket.

To my knowledge there was no notice in the entry/exit alley only in the far corner above parked cars. My friends father spoke to the buissness next door (It was their car park) and they said to ignore it, he also wrote to the company that issued the ticket (PCM) and recieved no reply. When talking to the person that issued the ticket I may have mention my name, although on the letter they have just sent me they say they don't know who the driver was.

I can't see anything on the letter to say that it's from the council.

The letter says "Under the protection of freedoms act, Schedule 4" I am required to pay the fine, provide the full name of the driver and their current address or challenge the PCM. The letter then says after 28 days they have to right to take recovery action against me as the cars owner.

So what I'd like to know is, What should I do next? What do they mean by recovery action? Would it ever end up in court? And if it does what would you expect the outcome to be?

Any help would be very much appreciated, Thank you!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Traffic Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 1 year ago.

Joshua :

Thanks for your question. Please kindly RATE my answer when you are satisfied

Joshua :

Have you contacted the firm yet in any way please?

Customer:

I haven't myself, my friends dad wrote them a letter in January, he hasn't recieved a reply yet.

Joshua :

Thanks. Do you know what was in the letter in summary?

Customer:

I can't be certain, but I believe he wrote querying it.

Joshua :

Thanks. Private tickets used to be unenforceable if the registered keeper refused to identify the driver but that changed last year when the Protection of Freedoms Act outlawed clamping and provided enhanced measures for parking companies to enforce private tickets. The PoFA provides that if a registered keeper refuses to identify the driver within 28 days then the registered keeper is liable for the demand.

Joshua :

However the Act has not authorised private parking firms to issue fines. These demands are still nothing better than invoices demanding payment for breach of contract - the contract is formed by the use of signs warning to display tickets/permits or risk a ticket at the advertised rate.

Joshua :

Being a contract the ordinary rules of contract apply whereby they must prove that they displayed adequate signage to enable a driver parking there to know of the requirements; evidence of loss on their part as a result of the breach of contract and evidence that they have attempted to mitigate their loss.

Customer:

Ok, I personally don't think the sign was clear at all.

Joshua :

The position here is that you were arguably not parked as you were simply dropping off and they have from what you say possibly failed to pay adequate signage and therefore may fail to show that a contract was formed when you entered the car park; they would struggle to show any loss as you barely stopped for any time from what you say. They will attempt to claim admin costs and so on but they would still struggle to demonstrate a loss of any significance compared to the amount they attempt to claim. The doubling of the fee if not paid within a certain period is almost certainly unenforceable in contract law.

Customer:

Ok so what do you think my next step should be?

Joshua :

Accordingly you may either pay the amount demanded or simply ignore the various threatening letters that will ensue should you fail to do so. All they can do is issue proceedings in the County Court to sue you for the amount demanded plus costs which would be in the order of £35. Historically they almost never did so because they would find it very difficult to win. Now they have a better position in that they can sue the registered keeper under the above act but they must still prove loss and so on as above which is not easy. There is no evidence of large scale claims in the county courts though the Act is still relatively young.

Customer:

So there is a chance I could have to pay alot? But a small chance?

Joshua :

If they take this matter to court which they may well not even if they win which is questionable at best as above, you can argue that they have not incurred any loss and therefore argue the invoice down. You would be liable for their court fees of £35 and possibly travel costs in attending court but nothing more.

Joshua :

The demands made for private parking fines do not bare any relationship to actual loss and can readily be argued down in court

Joshua :

If it were me I would simply ignore them until they likely give up and if they issue against me argue the matter in court on the basis that I would likely be no worse off even if I were unsuccessful which I would not expect to be but this is a personal choice and not necessarily the right one for you. However the alternative is simply to roll over because someone demands some money from you

Customer:

Thank you very much, you answers were very helpful. I will ignore them.

Joshua, Lawyer
Category: UK Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 24551
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Joshua
Joshua
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LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice