I am hoping somebody can give me some advice on the following.
I parked in a car park which states that there is 1.5 hours free parking for customers of the shops there.
I parked for 1:45:16 on a Sunday morning at 8:15am.
The shops all opened at 10am.
I had intended to leave well before the 1.5 hours but unfortunately my key battery was not working (I had been aware of the need to change it but hadn't) and therefore had to wait for my partner to bring me a spare key. This took her over 30 minutes as we live 15 minutes away, she had to dress herself and the kids and find the spare key.
I explained this to ParkingEye who rejected this
I therefore appealed to POPLA who rejected my claims using ParkingEye vs Beavis which is a completely different case with different circumstances.
I argued that I could not be in breach of contract because there is no contract offered for the car park when the stores are closed which is true.
POPLA rejected my claims as follows:
'The appellant has identified as the driver of the vehicle on the day of the parking event.
As such, I am considering the appellant’s liability for the PCN, as the driver.
When entering onto a private car park such as this one, any motorist forms a contract with the operator by remaining on the land for a reasonable period.
The signage in place sets out the terms and conditions of this contract.
The appellant explains that is he parked to use the Gym on site on a Sunday morning.
The appellant states the Gym did not have any parking facilities.
The appellant states did not overstay on site.
The appellant states his car was immobilised in the period it was there for a short time, meaning he was unable to access the car.
Whilst I note this comment, and the situation raised by the appellant.
I am unable to allow the appeal on this basis.
The operator has provided photographic evidence of the signage in place in the car park, which states:
“1 ½ hours max stay… Customer Only Car Park…
For use only whilst shopping in store…
Failure to comply with the following will result in a Parking Charge of: £100”.
The operator has provided photographic evidence of the appellant’s vehicle, entering the car park at 08:15, and exiting at 10:00, totalling a stay of 1 hour, 45 minutes.
The evidence provided shows that the appellant’s vehicle was parked on site longer than permitted as stated on the signage.
The appellant states that the signage does not offer a contract outside of store opening times and therefore cannot be subject to a PCN.
Whilst I note this comment, the signage clearly states that the parking on site is for store users only whilst shopping.
The appellant has stated within their appeal that they were attending a nearby gym.
The appellant has not identified that he was shopping on site on the day of the event.
Whilst I note the signage does not specify what parking restrictions apply when the shops are closed, the signage does not suggest that parking is without restriction during the time the shops are closed. Therefore, I am satisfied that the terms are applicable at all times on site.
It is the onus of the motorist to review the terms and conditions of the signage before parking.
Should they reject these terms, they have the opportunity to exit the site within a reasonable timeframe, usually 10 minutes, to seek alternative parking before any enforcement action is taken. However, as the appellant’s vehicle remained parked, they have accepted the terms and ultimately a £100 Parking Charge.
The appellant states that there is no landowner consent to persons being charged outside of store opening hours.
The operator has provided evidence that it has the appropriate landowner authority to manage parking on site. A
s such, I am satisfied based on the available evidence that it can issue PCN’s under authority.
The appellant states that the PCN is unfair and disproportionate.
The appellant states he has been asked to pay when no monetary loss has been subjected on any of the shops at the venue when they were closed.
The legality of parking charges was considered in a high profile court case, Parking Eye v Beavis.
This case was ultimately decided by the Supreme Court which concluded that:
“… the £85 charge is not a penalty.
Both Parking Eye and the landowners had a legitimate interest in charging overstaying motorists, which extended beyond the recovery of any loss.
The interest of the landowners was the provision and efficient management of customer parking for the retail outlets.
The interest of Parking Eye was in income from the charge, which met the running costs of a legitimate scheme plus a profit margin.
Further, the charge was neither extravagant nor unconscionable, having regard to practice around the United Kingdom, and taking into account the use of this particular car park and the clear wording of the notices.”
The charge in this instance, while it may not be a genuine pre-estimate of loss, is in the region of the £85 charge decided upon by the Supreme Court, is neither extravagant nor unconscionable and is therefore reasonable. Ultimately, it is the motorist’s responsibility to comply with the terms and conditions of the car park.
Upon consideration of the evidence, the appellant parked for longer than permitted and therefore did not comply with the terms and conditions.
As such, I conclude that the PCN has been issued correctly.
Accordingly, I must refuse this appeal.
I find this hard to accept and see this as completely unfair.
I am thinking of going to court and arguing this but am reluctant to have to pay anymore than the £100 fine!