Private Land Fiasco
Thanks in advance for your help and your patience. This is my first thread ever, so please bear with me.
On 14th January 2016 I was slapped with a parking charge notice by Parking Control Management (UK) Ltd
for my car being on The Runway, Salisbury Village, Hatfield.
I had gone to a small planning exhibition and I was in the community centre opposite for no more than 10 minutes.
There was a small amount of parking inside the gates of the community centre
but when I got there it was chaos, and so I noticed a space on the opposite side of the road
and thought it would be okay to park there. No
yellow lines and another car parked close by.
Unfortunately for me, when I came out of the centre I saw there was a notice affixed to my windscreen.
I also only then noticed that there was a parking about 10 metres away with all the gobbledygook about permits and contracts.
The reason I did not see the sign was that I am a carer for 2 people
and I was in such a hurry to get in and out of the planning exhibition that I forgot to check for parking signs.
The PCN stated that it was issued for "Parked without clearly displaying a valid PCM UK Ltd permit (at the time of enforcement)".
They did put a reference on the PCN showing photographic evidence.
I had no idea it was private property and I was surprised because The Runway is actually part of a public bus route.
I had read up quite a bit of stuff on MSE and Parking Cowboys and so I decided to wait for the NTK.
This arrived posted on 16th Feb with given date as 18th Feb.
It did mention the POFA 2012 and worded it that I am required to do one of the following
pay the outstanding amount £100
or if I was not the driver, provide the full name of the driver etc.
It did also mention the appeals service IAS (but I understand this is about as impartial as a tied agent).
I thought long and hard about what to do and say.
As far as I was concerned, it was just an honest mistake.
However, when I replied (as the keeper and not the driver) I declined to name the driver
and said "apparently the driver did not see any parking sign and given that the ticket was issued at 16.27 hours on 14th January,
I am not surprised, as it was 10 minutes after sunset on a murky winter afternoon.
Therefore, as the driver did not see the parking sign, there was no contract formed and no offence committed".
I continued that as keeper of the vehicle I am therefore declining to pay this charge and asked them to cancel the ticket.
Incidentally, nowhere has it given a parking period. It has only specified 16.27 - I don't know if this is relevant.
PCM replied on 17th March that they are
" confident that the signage is adequate and clearly states that contractual obligations you agree to by parking.
PCM maintain that the terms of this contract are concise and clearly displayed throughout the parking area.
It is not sufficient to assume that the parking restrictions didn't apply.
Further advice should hae been sought or alternative unrestricted parking should have been found."
I actually felt like writing back to them asking
"what part of the driver did not see the parking sign" do you not understand?
However, I decided not to engage in any more letter tennis.
I decided not to appeal to the IAS because they do not allow mitigating circumstances to be taken into consideration.
I have now had a letter from Debt Recovery Plus,
advising me that I should now pay the amount owed ££160) by 9th May,
so I decided to ignore that as well.
I note that DRP are quoting Parking Eye vs Beavis, but I don't really see there is any connection.
I have spoken to the person on Salisbury Estate who liaises with PCM and found out the landowner is Bovis.
I think the next move will be to ask the landowner if PCM have their authority to take people to court.
Well, that is my story so far.
Obviously I would prefer not to have to go to court,
but it may be that this is the only place where I can actually tell my side of things.
I would be very grateful for any constructive comments you have for me.