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Railway Station Carpark - CP Plus Limited


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I have received a "Charge Notice" from CP Plus Limited when my car was parked in a railway station car park. I intend to use the information and advice on here to resist this charge. Before I continue, I notice that some additional laws apply to railway land. Does that apply here? The notice look like a typical PPC charge notice with no mention of any specific law.

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I'll check the signs tonight; there is nothing on the charge notice.

 

Another question: My car is parked in this car park everyday. Is it realistic to ignore/resist many charge notices over time, or is that taking the mickey? Are there any examples of a PPC company changing tactics against a persistent "offender"?

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I'll check the signs tonight; there is nothing on the charge notice.

 

Another question: My car is parked in this car park everyday. Is it realistic to ignore/resist many charge notices over time, or is that taking the mickey? Are there any examples of a PPC company changing tactics against a persistent "offender"?

Be wary if they say you will be clamped anywhere on their signage. That is the sort of tactic that they might try on persistent offenders.

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This does not constitute legal advice and is not represented as a substitute for legal advice from an appropriately qualified person or firm.

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Checked the sign this evening and the car-park IS covered by Railway Bye-laws, but it doesn't mention the Transport Act 2000. CP Plus Ltd is a private PPC. What are my options? I've done a search, but only found posts stating "railways are different", without much detail.

Edited by AlexR
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If the car park is covered under railway bye-laws, you cannot simply write to the company and tell them to take it up with the driver. This is not covered under contract law. Any contravention of parking rules is an offence contrary to an act of parliament for which the REGISTERED KEEPER is deemed to be held responsible.

 

The company concerned can take you to court for a contravention of the Transport Act 2000 if it so wishes.

 

This applies to all railway property

 

Section 14 paragraph 3

 

No person in charge of any motor vehicle, bicycle or other conveyance shall park it on any part of the railway where charges are made for parking by an Operator or an authorised person without paying the appropriate charge at the appropriate time in accordance with instructions given by an Operator or an authorised person at that place

 

If the PPC is authorised to act on behalf of the Train Operating Company responsible for operating the station, they have every right to issue charge notices.

 

Section 14 Paragraph 4

 

The owner of any motor vehicle, bicycle or other conveyance used, left or placed in breach of Byelaw 14(1) to 14(3) may be liable to pay a penalty as displayed in that area.

 

For a full copy of the bye-laws see here

http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/rail/legislation/regs/railwaysbyelaws

Edited by RichardM
Edited to add relevent byelaws

MBNA - Agreed to refund £970 in full without conditions. Cheque received Sat 5th Aug.:D

Lloyds - Settled for an undisclosed sum.:D

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was the notice attached to your vehicle or have you had a letter from CP Plus ?

in either event check with the railway authority about enforces for them at that car park. you never know....

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Checked the sign this evening and the car-park IS covered by Railway Bye-laws, but it doesn't mention the Transport Act 2000. CP Plus Ltd is a private PPC. What are my options? I've done a search, but only found posts stating "railways are different", without much detail.

 

Alex,

 

Have written this for a project I'm working on at the moment.

 

The tickets need to be checked carefully as they can sometimes be private parking tickets. Railway Parking Tickets will mention the Transport Act 2000 and the Railway Byelaws Paragraph 14.2(i) or 14.2.(ii). These two clauses relate to parking that may cause an obstruction and parking not as directed by an authorised person.

 

If you can have a good look at the signs particularly if the ticket is not for obstruction. If the issue they are trying to ticket you for something other than obstruction and the signs are not explicit in their directions (e.g. ticket is for not parking in a marked bay and the signs do not say you must park in a marked bay) then you would have a good case for argueing that the ticket is invalid.

 

 

 

The other thing to bear in mind with these tickets is that if they don't mention the byelaws then they are just ordinary invoices.

 

 

One other thing to bear in mind is that any ticket quoting the above legislation and threatening court action will take you to the magistrates court not a civil court. This is another thing that differentiates it from a private parking ticket. The other thing to note is that the owner is liable for the penalty under the byelaws not the registered keeper or the driver.

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Thanks for the replies.

 

The charge notice definitely does not mention the bye-laws. The notice is for "NOT DISPLAYING A VALID PAY AND DISPLAY TICKET, PERMIT OR VOUCHER" and states "IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF CONTRACT RELATING TO PARKING AS DETAILED ON SIGNS".

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as it stands you do not know if they have a contract to enforce the railway by laws or are just chancing their arm. hence my previous post.

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"The other thing to bear in mind with these tickets is that if they don't mention the byelaws then they are just ordinary invoices."

 

But they do say "AS DETAILED ON SIGNS"

 

I am still a bit unsure whether I can treat it as a PPC invoice or as a PCN.

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Alex. I have a CP Plus ticket on my desk, only this one is from a hospital car park. From what you have said I'm sure its the same. If so then CP Plus have not differentiated between the railway and any other car park, they have simply used their standard notice.

 

If it is the same then the cover it came in did not say 'Penalty Charge Notice' but 'parking notice inside'. It also states (quite illegally) that 'It is an offence for any person other than the driver to remove this notice'. The SIA would have you believe that this is theft. Not one case exists to substantiate this. The SFA know the weakness of this pathetic argument but are reduced to having nothing more sensible to say about what is an attempt to obtain payment by the use of false representation via a very untrue statement, which IS an offence under section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006.

 

On the reverse side of the ticket, there is a threat to contact the DVLA in order to obtain details of the Registered Keeper in order to obtain payment. Given that the keeper and the driver may well be two different people and given that - according to CP Plus it would be an 'offence' for the keeper to remove the ticket, one might wonder what would happen if the driver never passed on the ticket? The law certainly doesn't require him to do so.

 

Thus by CP Plus's own rules, such circumstances dictate that unless the driver passes on the ticket voluntarily then the person who they allege is responsible to pay is actually prevented from ever seeing the ticket. Further a person who was never at the scene, cannot be part of any 'contract' appertaining to it.

 

To completely expose the SIA ruling as a farce, it only takes Mrs to drive the car home rather than Mr who drove there. What we have here is rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty

 

As the old northern comedians used to say. 'Isn't life grand when you're daft?'

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"The other thing to bear in mind with these tickets is that if they don't mention the byelaws then they are just ordinary invoices."

 

But they do say "AS DETAILED ON SIGNS"

 

I am still a bit unsure whether I can treat it as a PPC invoice or as a PCN.

As they are backed by statute you can't treat them as a standard PPC invoice. The byelaws specifically mention that the owner is liable. They also mention that you are required to give your name and address when asked by an authorised person.

 

From the wording they are seeking to recover under section 14.3 of the byelaws which mention this specific offense. As far as I can tell there is no actual requirement for them to cite the relevant byelaws or act on the ticket although most companies do as this adds authority to their case. Apologies - my previous post was probably misleading in its statement.

 

It would pay you to check with the relevant rail company that the firm is an authorised agent.

 

You also need to check the signs very carefully.

 

Under Section 23.4 of the byelaws

 

Notices

No person shall be subject to any penalty for breach of any of the Byelaws by disobeying a notice unless it is proved to the satisfaction of the Court before whom the complaint is laid that the notice referred to in the particular Byelaw was displayed.

As I read that then unless they specifically mention displaying a valid permit on the sign/paying the relevant charge then you may have a defenese.

Otherwise I think you are screwed. :(

BTW providing they mention clamping on the sign they can also clamp you/tow you away. You would have to pay the penalty under the byelaws and any fees associated it the clamping/towing on top. This is also listed in the byelaws. :mad:

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Fair Parking.

 

Don't confuse the issue by bringing in CP Plus's other non-railway business practices, which are, in this case irrelevent.

 

Tickets issued in a hospital have no relevance to tickets which are issued on railway property. They are two VERY different animals as one is issued in accordance with contract law, and the other is issued with the with the full backing of an Act of Parliament with substantial penalties for failure to comply.

 

Whereas PPC's rarely obtain successful judgements in civil court for failures to comply with privately issued invoices, obtaining judgements for breaches of railway bye-laws in magistrates court is far easier and that is what the OP has to be careful of.

 

The question seems to be whether the ticket has been lawfully issued in accordance with the 2000 Transport Act and by a representative on behalf of the station operator. That can only be answered by seeing the ticket and the signage at the station.

MBNA - Agreed to refund £970 in full without conditions. Cheque received Sat 5th Aug.:D

Lloyds - Settled for an undisclosed sum.:D

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Thanks, some interesting replies there.

 

I'll photograph the sign (the only one I can see is next to the actual ticket machine) and the "Charge Notice", wash and post.

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The owner of any motor vehicle, bicycle or other conveyance used, left or placed in breach of Byelaw 14(1) to 14(3) may be liable to pay a penalty as displayed in that area.

 

Very good point

 

The RTA 1991 defines the owner as the registered keeper. Howecver, this has nothing to do with that Act and instead the ticket has (probably) been issued under byelaws.

 

The byelaws do not provide a definition of 'owner', thus the standard definition applies (ie the person who owns the vehicle). This is not the same as the registered keeper, and in fact, the V5 as issued by DVLA draws attention to this.

 

I accept that in most cases, the owner and the RK will be one and the same person, but not always. Any prosecution must first find the owner and I am not aware of any legal requirement on the RK to provide that information except in his/her own defence at Court (ie "I am not the owner, Mr X is and here is the proof. I am not liable for this charge")

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The byelaws specifically mention that the owner is liable. They also mention that you are required to give your name and address when asked by an authorised person.

 

But not the name and address of the owner. I do not own the vehicle of which I am RK. Likewise (though not in my case) anybody whose car is on HP is not the owner.

 

 

Otherwise I think you are screwed. :(

No, the owner of the vehicle is - when he/she can be identified/found.

 

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Richard M. As a life long railway enthusiast, I am well aware of the difference between hospitals and the 6 foot. The point was that it was that it appears that CP Plus Ltd has the same notice for both. It maybe that they have failed to spot the difference.

 

I'm sure Dr Dionysius Lardner would have smiled.

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Fair parking.

 

What I was getting at was that you were starting to refer to covers on packets, the SIA etc, none of which have anything to do with railway parking and make not the slightest difference to this case. You were muddying the waters unnecessarily.

 

I used to be involved with station parking, albeit just after privatisation when train operators ran things themselves. The byelaws haven't changed that much. We would only take repetitive offenders to court in those days, but rarely lost a case because the law was so unambiguous. The railway byelaws were a lot better written then the decriminalised parking legislation.

MBNA - Agreed to refund £970 in full without conditions. Cheque received Sat 5th Aug.:D

Lloyds - Settled for an undisclosed sum.:D

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We would only take repetitive offenders to court in those days, but rarely lost a case because the law was so unambiguous. The railway byelaws were a lot better written then the decriminalised parking legislation.

 

Out of interest (and this is not a personal dig at you) but how did you determine who was the owner?

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Richard. I'm sure that the heart of railway by-laws have not changed much, but we have no evidence that they have been contravened in this case. All we have is one ticket the wording of which looks identical or at least, remarkably similar to the one sitting on my desk.

 

I don't remember referring to 'covers on packets' (plural) just the cover of a CP Plus Ltd packet the co-incidence of which may well be very relevant.

 

The SIA statement also has a great deal of relevance if the cover stated that it was an offence for anybody other than the driver to remove what may well a 'parking notice' and not a PCN or an alleged railway offence.

 

Only AlexR can tell us if the ticket or cover he received has the same wording as the one I have or whether there is any reference to railway by-laws written on it.

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But not the name and address of the owner. I do not own the vehicle of which I am RK. Likewise (though not in my case) anybody whose car is on HP is not the owner.

 

No, the owner of the vehicle is - when he/she can be identified/found.

 

 

As always Pat you make some very valid points.

 

Thanks, some interesting replies there.

 

I'll photograph the sign (the only one I can see is next to the actual ticket machine) and the "Charge Notice", wash and post.

I think that'll be best. It's much easier to give a judgement.

 

Just as a matter of interest had you paid for parking?

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This does not constitute legal advice and is not represented as a substitute for legal advice from an appropriately qualified person or firm.

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Out of interest (and this is not a personal dig at you) but how did you determine who was the owner?

 

We left that to the transport police Pat. We passed the details of the offences to them, ie dates, times, copies of notices etc, and they did the rest. That's another big difference. On railway property the police can get involved.

 

Another probable difference in those days was that no offence had been committed until the vehicle had been driven away from the car park without paying or demonstrating an intent to pay. Our tickets pointed out that they were required to pay the appropriate fee, not a penalty charge. This could be paid at the booking office, or ticket machine and the ticket attached to the notice and placed in a box provided. If it was paid, no further action was needed. The National Trust still operate an identical system today to their credit.

 

If I saw the same registrations appearing time and time again on the non payers list, then it was time to take action and that's when the BTP got involved.

MBNA - Agreed to refund £970 in full without conditions. Cheque received Sat 5th Aug.:D

Lloyds - Settled for an undisclosed sum.:D

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