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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 64046
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I have been contacted by Roxburghe debt collectors re parking

Customer Question

I have been contacted by Roxburghe debt collectors re parking charge notice. They have now escalated this to a solicitors letter threatening court action. The incident happened whilst I stopped very briefly to pick up a disabled person who was dropping off a rental car at Liverpool John Lennon Airport. I have since been back to check the warning signage on the road. The signs with small print are located on a roundabout so stopping to read them is unreasonable anyway. At no point have I responded to any communication so I have not admitted liability to anything. From my understanding, a PCN is to reclaim costs due to financial loss yet this road does not require a fee of any sort for driving along or stopping on. How do I proceed from here?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: UK Traffic Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.
Hi

Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX X will try to help with this.

When did the alleged offence take place?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.


24/4/2013

Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.
Are you asking if you have to pay?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.


Yes I am. I don't believe that the charge is reasonable or fair. Their photographic evidence shows three photos covering a time span of 11 seconds. The signage is impossible to read given its location. They have suffered no financial loss.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.
In a nutshell, they do have a claim against you but its very hard to enforce.
This is a private land fine. They are not parking fines whatever they may look like. I realise that many of them mimic those issued by the council or the police but they do not have the same authority.
A private land firm is not an emanation of the state. It does not have the right to punish you for the manner of your parking any more than your neighbours do.
This is essentially an invoice arising from a civil dispute. They say that you accepted a contract by parking there and breached it by staying too long or otherwise parking at variance with the contract.
Private land fines used to be very easy to escape by refusing the details of the driver. They only have a contract with the driver. Unfortunately the Protection of Freedoms Act came into force in October 2012 and it makes the registered keeper liable for the penalty if he does not disclose the details of the driver within 28 days.
All that means is that the claim runs against the registered keeper. It just makes it easier to find the person against whom there should be enforcement.
The chances are high that they will not sue. Even though the law has recently changed in their favour and they were quite aggressive in the beginning, they do not sue in the majority of cases.
If they do sue then they would only have a claim for the sum of the original fine plus about £35 in costs. Even though they do send debt collection letters in which they will threaten to sue you for their debt collection costs you should not be intimidated by that. They have no claim for that.
Even if they do go to court, they would still have to prove that the signs are adequate and clear. Quite often they are not.
Also, they will have to prove that they have suffered loss. They may be able to claim a very small amount in administration costs but it is going to be the sum they are trying to claim from you. Their loss would seem to amount to no more than about £5.
They will send you some very nasty letters though. You will get debt collection letters making threats of legal action. They will probably get Graham Whyte solicitors to write to you as well. None of these are anything to worry about. It will not impact upon your credit history and it will not add to the costs.
Unless you actually get a court summons, none of these correspondences have any legal basis. If you do get a court summons then you can always part admit the claim and offer £5 for their loss.
Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 64046
Experience: Over 5 years in practice.
Jo C. and 2 other UK Traffic Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.


So I continue to ignore any correspondence until such time as a court summons arrives?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.
Yes, absolutely.

Thats what I would suggest.

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