I recently got a PCN from Town & City Parking Ltd for parking in a disabled bay at The Metro Centre in Gateshead ....
As a solicitor, i am fully aware of the private parking companies [problem] and always get my clients out of parking tickets from such companies, I wrote them a nice letter, and a few days later i got a reply saying "Thank you for your recent communication, we note the points raised and would like to inform you that we have cancelled your parking charge"
So.. as it may be beneficial to you lot.. i will copy and paste the letter that i sent to them... feel free to use bits of it to create your own letter to demolish these ******s...
Dear Sir / Madam,
I am writing to you in form of appeal about the above mentioned parking charge notice. I am writing on behalf of the driver of the vehicle at the time of the alleged incident.
After conducting comprehensive research with regards to this matter, I would like to challenge various aspects of the grounds and compliance in which this parking charge notice has been issued. Before making further contact with myself or taking further civil enforcement actions against the driver, I demand that every point within this letter of appeal is answered appropriately, with any supporting evidence supplied.
As I understand from looking at the British Parking Associations directory of members, Town & City Parking Ltd, who operate the parking enforcement at The Metro Centre, are registered with the British Parking Associations “Approved Operator Scheme”. I have looked into the BPA’s “Professional Code of Practice” and have found several contradictions with the operational procedures of Town & City Parking Ltd at The Metro Centre.
BPA Professional Code of Practice – Chapter B5 Section 1 Part N (B5.1N)
“All methods by which drivers may challenge the parking ticket, including at least a phone number for a human operator”
I now refer to the parking ticket as issued by Town & City Parking Ltd, which only states;
“Credit/Debit card payments can be made by calling 0845 230 3082 (24 HOUR AUTOMATED SERVICE)”
This paragraph was taken from the “PAYMENT INSTRUCTION” section of the ticket, and I confirm that there is no phone number under the “APPEAL” section of the ticket, which is a clear contradiction to Chapter B5 Section 1 Part N of the BPA’s professional code of practice.
BPA Professional Code of Practice – General Conditions Section 15 Part 4 (15.4)
“You must not use terms which imply that you are acting under statutory authority; this will include terms such as “fine”, “penalty” or “penalty charge notice”
I would like to refer you to the signs that are erected in various locations throughout the Metro Centre, which has the words “Penalty” and “Penalty Notice” on them.
BPA Professional Code of Practice – Chapter A8 – Signs & Information
In order to carry out parking enforcement by means of issuing a parking charge notice, the warning signs, which acts as a binding contractual agreement between the driver of the vehicle and Town and City Parking Ltd on behalf of The Metro Centre, must include the following information;
“Signs must show, in plain and intelligible language, all the terms on which an operator may wish to rely. Signs must be placed at the entrance to the site, and there must be enough signs in other locations throughout the site so that drivers are given the chance to be aware of the risk involved at the time of parking or leaving the vehicle. They must include the following information;
A. That the land is private property and is managed by the operator
B. That if a vehicle is parked without authorisation, or has breached any parking conditions that apply, parking control and enforcement action may take place at any time or during the hours shown
C. The types of parking control that may be used – for example, immobilisation, removal, the issue of parking ticket, etc
D. The standard fees for parking payable for each day or part-day
E. The parking charges that will apply if the driver is in breach of their parking contract
F. Any particular terms or conditions that are unusual and a driver should be aware of
G. Information about whether there are any concessions for disabled persons (blue badge) holders
H. That is a parking ticket is not paid, vehicle keeper details will be requested from the DVLA
I. The registered company name of the operator, if the operator is using a trading name other than its registered company name, a geographical address where documents can be served
J. A landline number for general enquiries”
As far as I am aware, parts A, B, F, G and H have been breached by the signs that are currently displayed at The Metro Centre.
I confirm that the driver was NOT aware of any terms and conditions or contractual agreements that were in place, due to the signs not being appropriate that of a legally binding contract; therefore the driver has not breached any contract and will not pay your parking charge notice.
BPA Professional Code of Practice – Chapter B7 Part 1 (B7.1)
This section states that photographs must be taken of the vehicle that is parked within breach of the car parks regulations. The section states that photographs should include an automatic date & time stamp.
I have performed a Google search for the companies telephone number in order to speak to a human operator (as this was not stated on the ticket) – The driver spoke with the operator (13/09/2010 at 09.28) and requested a copy of these photographs, The driver was told that as the ticket was issued two days ago, therefore head office does not have access to them yet as they would need to wait until they are downloaded from the operator.
I would also like to point you to Chapter B2 part 3 of the BPA’s professional code of practice which states that “You must do a thorough external visual check” - A thorough external check should obviously include the windscreen and front side windows of the vehicle. Please accept this letter as request for a copy of these photographs, which should be sent to the above address of my self, alternatively they may be emailed to
BPA Professional Code of Practice – Chapter B4 Section 5 (B4.5)
“You may ticket vehicles only where there are visible, clear and legible signs and you must keep record of where all site signs are. Do not let signs be blocked from view. Signs must be easy to see and read”
I now refer to the signs that were erected within the location of issue (Yellow multi-story car park level 3) – Unless you get out of the vehicle and then look directly above you would you see these warning signs, which were also rather difficult to read. The characteristic of this sign does not imply that the details include any warnings or important information with regards to parking restrictions or contracts, and can simply be mistaken for some form of commercial advertisement.
BPA Professional Code of Practice – Chapter B4 Section 1 (B4.1)
“You may take parking control & enforcement when the contract entitles you to”
“Contract terms must be included on the sign”
I note that the parking charge notice states the following Company details;
Town and City Parking Ltd
18 King Street
Company No: SC138255
However from looking at the Companies House registrar, your company registration details are;
Town and City Parking Ltd
8 Charlotte Street
Company No: SC138255
I believe that a formal invoice (PCN) for an alleged breach of contract should state accurate registered company details, which is another concern of mine. (See attached)
I hereby formally demand that you provide me the following information within 7 days from the date of this letter, should a response not be received within 7 days, this parking charge notice will be disregarded and the assumption will be made that this parking charge notice has been cancelled.
· Please provide me with a copy the contract that has been breached
· Please provide me with evidence that the contract has been breached
· Please provide me with evidence that the driver of the vehicle agreed to the contract
· Please provide me with evidence of who has breached the contract –I understand that you may request details of the KEEPER of the vehicle of the time of incident, however the keeper was not the driver therefore your enforcement actions will need to be taken up with the driver of the vehicle at the time.
Thank you for your time, I look forward to hearing from you soon.