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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 70199
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I parked my car at the Headland hotel Newquay, I saw no signs

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I parked my car at the Headland hotel Newquay, I saw no signs on entry and only a home made looking sign direct me to a grass area labeled "Parking". Further down the drive into the hotel either side of gate posts were two Armtrac warning signs, I did not pass these signs. On returning to my car there was a parking ticket for £100.00 to pay before 14 days for a reduction or £28 days for an increase. On leaving the parking area I noticed an Armtrac warning sign on a wall near the pedestrian entrance to the hotel grounds at right angle to the drive in, I would have had to get out of my car and walk up to it to see its content. This sign was not seen on entry. I have photos taken as I left that show these signs position.
What is my situation?

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

Who is the issuer of this fine?

I'm just travelling to court so don't panic if I don't respond immediately. I will pick this up soon.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.





I have tried to send a scan of the ticket but the system wont send it.



No, thats fine.

What was the date of the contravention?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

As per my original question 30th May 2013 13:50

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. They will send you debt collection letters in which they will threaten to sue you for their debt collection costs. Do 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.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Are you suggesting I contest this via the appeals process? or just leave it and see what happens?

There's absolutely no point in using the appeals procedure. I have never yet heard of a case where they find in your favour
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

if I did appeal and they did not find in my favour could I then just ignore their letters etc? Would the original claim be the £100 ticket amount or the reduced £60?

They will say the fine has increased but if they do sue they would only get the sum of the original fine plus about £35 in costs.
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