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PWE PCN - Brockholes, Lake District National Park - what's the legal position?


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(Note: I have also posted this on Pepipoo, little response to date)

 

Hi guys,

 

I visited the Lake District Visitor Centre at Brockholes (near Ambleside) on the 7th August, staying there for a little over 5 hours. The centre is widely advertised as "free admission" and I was not aware that there were signs stating that you had to pay.

 

I was also NOT parked in the car park area but in the coach park, I'm not sure if this technicality makes any difference.

 

I have now received a letter stating that I owe £6.55 parking charge and a £20 administration charge. (See attachments, front and back of letter, personal details removed)

 

The payment methods stated are:

Pay & Display

Pay on Exit

Pay online up to 48 hours after your visit.

 

Additionally on researching the issue I found this snippet from 13/12/12 in the Westmorland Gazette:

 

By LDNPA development manager Adam Thomas (near the foot of the article) :

“Park With Ease is very user friendly. It allows motorists to pay on entry, on exit or up to 10 days after they have parked."

 

//www.thewestmorlandgazette.co.uk/news/10103794

 

This seems to be 48 hours, not 10 days but how could I pay for something I didn't have a ticket/invoice for and didn't know about until I got the letter?

 

There were no tickets issued (so nothing to display then) and no barriers at the entrance or exit. Your car is apparently clocked by a number plate recognition system. If there was a notice and pay machine at the exit, I didn't see it and I should not have to go looking for it, it needs to be clearly displayed.

 

My point is that it was not abundantly clear that a pay to park scheme was in force and nobody is going to go looking for something on the off chance that it might exist! It's a ludicrous system that must catch hundreds of people out.

 

I am not normally too concerned about dealing with private parking tickets but the the Lake District National Park authority seem to have their own bye-laws (see top of attachment B2) so I am wondering where I stand with this. As far as I am concerned the signage was unclear, or I would have seen it. I suspect an official appeal will only receive the usual rubber-stamped rejection.

 

The other thing is the letter states that "If...no payment is made we will pursue the matter through the Magistrate Court which can lead to fines and costs in excess of £250."

 

Fines for what? Magistrates court for an unpaid parking ticket?

 

Any advice appreciated

 

Thanks

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]45929[/ATTACH]

[ATTACH=CONFIG]45928[/ATTACH]

 

Sorry, not sure why the copy of the letter pics are comig out tiny and blurry, will try to update them.

I only mouth my opinion, please look elsewhere for sensible advice! :)

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Dx100 – Instructions on uploading pdfs

 

scan the required letters/agreements/sheets

as a picture file

remove all pers info inc barcodes etc using paint

but leave all figures and dates.

go to one of the many free online pdf converter websites

convert the image to pdf format.

or ir you have PDF as an installed printer drive use that

open a new msg box here

hit go advanced below the msg box

hit manage attachments below that box

hit the add files button on the top right

hit select files, navigate to your file on your pc

hit upload files

NB:you can set where it goes in the post by hitting insert inline.

the hit reply button

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Seems to me they want a slice of what Parking Eye were getting http://www.thewestmorlandgazette.co.uk/news/10103794.Lake_District_National_Park_Authority_ditches_Parking_Eye_at_car_parks/?ref=rss I would also hazard a guess they have their knickers in a twist mentioning Magistrates when in reality it will be County Court

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Yeah, that's the same link I originally posted. The way I see it, they are using the same (numberplate recognition) system but now using a company who doesn't pursue it as aggressively.

 

The problem here though is nobody seems to know what I am dealing with for sure. Take this reply on Pepipoo:

 

I would strongly suggest you pay it - with ease or without.

 

Unlike the PPC's, this lot do have teeth and are asking you to pay under Byelaws. The last time I looked, I think the charge for not paying is up to £1000 after a visit to the Magistrates. Not one to be tackled unless you want to try your hand at Byelaws in front of a Magistrates.

 

Or you could just wait for 6 months to see if it times-out.

 

That's all very well suggesting that but so far I haven't had anything except an invoice with a £20 administration fee attached. I have accepted the parking fee but not the admin fee.

 

If it's a bye-law issue then the Magistrates Court could get involved. but the only related bye-laws I can find state that I could be liable for a fine "up to level 2" - but I can't find out what a level 2 fine is.

 

Again I stress that there are technicalities here, one is that I wasn't parked in the car park and two, I haven't received anything yet except a bill. But I need positive advice based on the facts.

 

Nobody I have asked seems to know much about this.

Edited by seylectric

I only mouth my opinion, please look elsewhere for sensible advice! :)

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It is a parking charge and not a penalty charge so should this be in the private land parking forum? They can probably enforce the £6 part, but unlikely the £20 admin fee.

 

That's what we are trying to establish.

I only mouth my opinion, please look elsewhere for sensible advice! :)

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Good point.

 

For the record I am willing to pay the parking fee but not the admin fee.

 

The problem with that is to pay online, parkwithease use Paypal and I can't pay the £6.55, it is asking for the full amount. If anybody knows what parkwithease's Paypal email address is so I can pay manually it would be helpful.

I only mouth my opinion, please look elsewhere for sensible advice! :)

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Update:

 

Looks as if they have shot themselves in the foot. This from a Freedom of information request made by another 'victim':

 

The LDNPA enforces its parking charges through its Byelaws on car parks it manages directly.

 

We are currently looking at whether we should enforce Park with Ease through our Byelaw or in the way that Parking Eye and others do. Although the point of Park With Ease is to make the payment of parking charges easier and the admin charge if a user forgets to pay is £20 so hopefully a combination of these factors will encourage compliance.

 

So according to that they are NOT enforcing Park with Ease through their byelaw unless the position has changed, but in any event the byelaw specifically states that a ticket needs to be issued - but Park with Ease's website specifically states:

 

"Do I need to display a ticket?

NO. Park with ease do not produce tickets to display.

 

So they can't enforce the byelaw because no ticket was issued!

 

Thank you and goodnight!

I only mouth my opinion, please look elsewhere for sensible advice! :)

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LAKE DISTRICT NATIONAL PARK ADMIT TO S C A M!

 

Long story short, they agreed to drop the admin fee if I paid for the parking, which to avoid any further aggravation I did do.

 

However, here's an excerpt from the reply from the "Property Solutions Team Supervisor" when I complained that the Bye-laws were not enforceable because you have to be issued with a ticket and they do not issue one.

 

I also pointed out that they are wrong to fine people £60, that if it is the subject of a bye-law then only the courts can issue a fine.

 

Here's the reply:

 

"Regarding our bye laws. We appreciate these were enacted in 1998, before the advent of ANPR systems and we are in the process of applying to have them updated.

 

Your comments regarding “fines” in this instance are correct, but we do place cases before the Magistrates court on a regular basis."

 

 

Really? So they ADMIT the bye-laws are out of date and therefore the current system they are using does not comply with them.

And they admit that they should not be "fining" people £60 but since they also admit the bye-laws are not valid why are they taking people to court?

 

Is there anything that could be done to prevent this happening to other people?

I only mouth my opinion, please look elsewhere for sensible advice! :)

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