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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 22591
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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This is a UK question. I had breakfast at a McDonalds and

Customer Question

This is a UK question.I had breakfast at a McDonalds and was there for 134 minutes. However, I got a parking charge notice about being there over 90 mins. There were probably notices, but in a McDonalds I did not think there was a limit. Do I have a leg to stand on if I appeal, or should I just pay fine. I have attached the charge notice for your review.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: UK Traffic Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 10 months ago.

Any court action can be defended at the most common defence is that there is not sufficient signage (if there was sufficient signage you would have known it) and it would then be for the court to decide whether the person defending succeeded in defending the claim or not it actually gets as far as going to court. You could defend on the basis that there was not sufficient signage (you will need photographs).

Anyone can make an appeal to the company but they are in the business of collecting money for these charges and therefore they will not give up easily and in my experience, appealing to the parking enforcement company is a waste of time.

Private Charges can be appealed to POPLA.

http://www.popla.org.uk/makinganappeal.htm

if you look ½ way down page the grounds for appeal are limited.

To be frank, I have known very few of these go to court because the cost of enforcing a £60 or £120 charge in the Small Claims Court is firstly risky (because they lose the court costs if you win) and secondly not financially viable. If whoever is dealing with it on behalf of the parking company has to travel from wherever they are based to your local court and sit around for half a day. It is different if they have several in court at the same time or there are several against one owner. Taking someone to court for half a dozen times £100 may be worthwhile, Although not if it is at the other end of the country.

It is small claims court and they will not usually get their legal or solicitor’s costs back (although than court costs) even if they win apart from a fixed fee of 50 quid.

If they do issue court proceedings (which are extremely unusual), it is imperative that you deal with it by submitting a defence. It will then be transferred to your local court.

What you need to do now, is make sure that you do not ignore this write t back telling them that you intend to defend any action they bring. At this stage, the best form of defence is attack.

These parking companies rely on the fact that people just roll over and pay up thinking that they have no option.

Does that answer the question? Can I answer any specific points arising from this?

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Kind regards

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