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Parking ticket

My girlfriend got a parking ticket in charlton retail park. She returned to her car and left the space within the permitted time scales but got stuck in traffic leaving the park. She received a parking fine, appealed and lost. The company is called smart parking.

Anyone experienced anything similar and what did you do. I've said don't pay it as we have photographic evidence of the traffic jam. How can you fine someone for being stuck in traffic?

Comments

  • Things may have changed but in the past, only the council can issue a parking 'fine'. Other organisations can only give a parking 'charge'. You may receive more letters through the post but you can probably ignore them. They will eventually give up. Seems you have some solid evidence anyway (photo of traffic jam).

    I'm sure you will receive better info on here than mine but if it was me I'd ignore it.
  • Have a look at www.parkingcowboys.co.uk
  • The parking contract is with the driver not the vehicle.

    They send the registered owner the bill. If you're not driving tell them so and you don't know who was - can they provide photographic evidence of who the diver was?

    It's down to them to identify whom they had the implied contract with - not you.
  • Fcuk 'em.
  • Firstly, DO NOT ignore it. These things can easily escalate and you may well find bailiffs at your door one morning if the company register the fine as an unpaid debt.

    Fortunately, Smart Parking are a member of the British Parking Association. As such, you have a right of appeal to an independent adjudicator called the Parking on Private Land Appeals (POPLA) service who will consider your appeal.

    POPLA's website can be found at http://www.popla.co.uk/ The site clearly explains how you need to proceed with an appeal.

    If what you say is correct, I should have thought it worth appealing. POPLA is an independent organisation and you will get a fair hearing but you will need to present facts to back up your case not just say it's unfair.

    If you need anymore help, give me a shout.
  • Addickted said:

    The parking contract is with the driver not the vehicle.

    They send the registered owner the bill. If you're not driving tell them so and you don't know who was - can they provide photographic evidence of who the diver was?

    It's down to them to identify whom they had the implied contract with - not you.

    Sorry but as far as I am aware that is wrong.

    In 2012, the Department for Transport strengthened laws around ticketing in private car parks, so unpaid charges can be claimed from the keeper of the vehicle, as well as the driver.
  • I would argue that my parking period ended when I drove off the parking bay. It's a civil dispute and as long as you write and dispute the charge you are legally entitled to reject attempts to recover the charge until a Court has given a judgement against you.

    Claims that you owe money count as harassment if the matter is in dispute. I would guess it is more effort and cost than it is worth to get a Court judgement where you have a sustainable argument and the possibility of a friendly judge taking your side in debating whether you can be regarded as still using the car park when attempting to leave rather than park.

    They prefer to chase the easy cases and likely to give up if they sense you are serious. Helps to write nicely to the MD of the store to say how much you like shopping there and how unfair this is and likely to change your view as a customer. The parking company are just parasites and the store can instruct them to cancel the claim.
  • Addickted said:

    The parking contract is with the driver not the vehicle.

    They send the registered owner the bill. If you're not driving tell them so and you don't know who was - can they provide photographic evidence of who the diver was?

    It's down to them to identify whom they had the implied contract with - not you.

    Sorry but as far as I am aware that is wrong.

    In 2012, the Department for Transport strengthened laws around ticketing in private car parks, so unpaid charges can be claimed from the keeper of the vehicle, as well as the driver.
    Depends if the company sent you a 'fine' or an invoice?

    Councils issue Penalty Charge Notices, Excess Charge Notice or Fixed Penalty Notice. Private cowboys operators issue Parking Charge Notices - which are just an invoice.

    Private operators have no official right to fine you, though they may try to make you think they do. All they're doing is sending you a notice for what they deem to be a breach of contract.
  • Always appeal in my opinion.

    Bexley Council sent a baliff to my door just before November, I appealed via Northampton Court and won - had to pay original fine and not esclated fees.
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  • Surely you need to have a court summons prior to bailiffs being sent?
    If so, why not wait for the summons.
    Personally, after providing your evidence, I would further respond to them saying you will wait your day in court and not to bother me any more as I will not be responding.
  • I would argue that my parking period ended when I drove off the parking bay. It's a civil dispute and as long as you write and dispute the charge you are legally entitled to reject attempts to recover the charge until a Court has given a judgement against you.

    I think the argument should be that you were prevented from leaving the car park due to their failure to provide adequate facilities to leave the car park within the permitted timeframe.
  • edited December 2016
    Cameras can only prove when you entered the car park and when you left, not how long you were in the bay. I imagine most people who pay the fine know they deserve it because they overstayed. I saw someone in the news appealing because he was sent a ticket for using the entrance to the car park to turn around so he was snapped entering but not leaving.

    I imagine the T&Cs are for actual use of a space, not for simply driving into the car park (also it is impossible to consent to the T&Cs until you have actually parked and gotten out to look at the machine). I imagine that these fines are more or less unenforceable unless the CCTV can prove a car occupied a space for the allotted time.
  • Fiiish said:

    Cameras can only prove when you entered the car park and when you left, not how long you were in the bay. I imagine most people who pay the fine know they deserve it because they overstayed. I saw someone in the news appealing because he was sent a ticket for using the entrance to the car park to turn around so he was snapped entering but not leaving.

    I imagine the T&Cs are for actual use of a space, not for simply driving into the car park (also it is impossible to consent to the T&Cs until you have actually parked and gotten out to look at the machine). I imagine that these fines are more or less unenforceable unless the CCTV can prove a car occupied a space for the allotted time.

    Agree. The Beavis case made it clear that the justification for a charge was about occupying a space without agreement and preventing other customers from parking. The Judge also made it clear it was not a signal for car park operators to apply any conditions they wanted, they had to be fair and reasonable. It would arguably be unfair to be charged for a period when a space was not being occupied, no one was prevented from using the car park and the logging of the parking period was wrongly assumed to coincide with entry and exit times. What if a vehicle broke down blocking the exit for an hour?

    I think this should go to the Supreme Court for a ruling to be known as Todd's Law.
  • When using these places to park, put on a Raspberry Beret and take a tip from Prince.
    Go IN through the OUT door (OUT door).
    As long as it is safe to do so.
  • If the bill states the colour of the car, for example they call it a 'blue' Nissan or whatever, say they have it wrong because the car is actually 'Azure', or 'deep Turquoise' or 'Midnight in Mauritius' or 'Thunder grey'. Usually works for me.
  • If you lease a vehicle, as many now do, the fine will be sent to the Lease company who will automatically pay it then will come after you for the money plus their charges.
  • Thanks everyone
  • BDL said:

    If you lease a vehicle, as many now do, the fine will be sent to the Lease company who will automatically pay it then will come after you for the money plus their charges.

    that's an interesting point which I hadn't considered when deciding whether to lease or buy
  • edited December 2016
    https://youtu.be/2Gkiw7zpULo
    This 8 out of 10 cats one always made me laugh.
    Don't know if it's been on here before, but worth a second airing anyway.
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  • Ignore it, the ticket is worthless these company's just try it in the hope people pay up through fear, you may get a couple of threatening letters don't let them fool you. Only tickets issued by the council or OB can be enforced the rest are classed as invoices and if you don't agree with it then you haven't got to pay it, the company will not take you to court as they will not win and will lose money in the process.
  • Why do these companies exist/are allowed to exist if their "services" for private companies are unenforceable?
  • WSS said:

    Why do these companies exist/are allowed to exist if their "services" for private companies are unenforceable?

    Cos it's a lucrative business as most people just pay up through ignorance/goodwill/fear etc.
  • Always look at your ticket - if it uses the words "penalty" or "fine" anywhere, even once - pay it !
    If not - bin it.
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