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PCN from VCS


catmat
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My son has just come home with a PCN from VCS, left on the windscreen (my car, he borrowed it). All council parking in our city is free after 6pm. He parked from 9.00pm for about 3 hours in what he didn't realise was a private car park. it is in between two council car parks on a street lined on either side with council car parks, so a very easy mistake to make, especially on a dark winter's night. I don't know what the charge would have been, probably about £4. the charge levied is for £100 reduced to £60 if paid within 14 days. I don't mind paying the car park charge of around £4, but am not happy about paying £60 or £100 in the light of what has been written about this company on this forum in the past.

is your advice to ignore, or shall I pay what I think is fair? by the way, I have been on the VCS website and tried to enter the serial number of the PCN and no matter what format I use to enter the number, the website tells me it is not a recognised number.

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From Ericsbrother

 

this wil be a fairly easy one to defeat at POPLAlink3.gif but you have to go through a few hoops first. The notice to keeper MUST arrive between 29 and 56 days after the date of the event and that letter must contain some basic information such as the the place and time of the event, the cause of teh breach and indentify who the contractwas made with, ie the parking company and include an address for that entity, not just a PO box number or email address etc. So, sit tight and wait for theta letter, this wastes a few quid for the parking co and some of them dont even bother sending out NTK's as they assume that people will ignorelink3.gif them so no revenue stream.

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My son has just come home with a PCN from VCS, left on the windscreen (my car, he borrowed it). All council parking in our city is free after 6pm. He parked from 9.00pm for about 3 hours in what he didn't realise was a private car park. it is in between two council car parks on a street lined on either side with council car parks, so a very easy mistake to make, especially on a dark winter's night. I don't know what the charge would have been, probably about £4. the charge levied is for £100 reduced to £60 if paid within 14 days. I don't mind paying the car park charge of around £4, but am not happy about paying £60 or £100 in the light of what has been written about this company on this forum in the past.

is your advice to ignore, or shall I pay what I think is fair? by the way, I have been on the VCS website and tried to enter the serial number of the PCN and no matter what format I use to enter the number, the website tells me it is not a recognised number.

 

 

Do not contact VCS yet or even look up the charge notice number on their website.

 

 

As stated above , VCS are with the IPC so there is no independent appeals service to speak of...

 

 

What is the address of the car park please?

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks for your reply. I've now received the Notice to keeper/driver from vehicle control. The car park is in Newcastle upon Tyne just off Strawberry Place. All the other car parks in that area are council operated and all free in the evening. They are demanding £100.00 the loss to the company will have been less than £5.00.

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having google mapped the road, I cannot see which is which as far as private parking goes, the only signage visible is the council pay and display signs and there doesnt appear to be any separation of another defined plot of land.

You can appeal to VCS and say that there is no signage visible that differentiates the parking conditions from those of the council and therefore any signage must be inadequate or misleading.

Dont go into any more detail than that as they will undoubtedly disallow your appeal and you want to keep your powder dry for the future. If you live locally get down there at some point an photograph the ENTRANCE to the land and any signs there as well as the relevant signage in the car park and also the council car park signs. ItThe reason for doing this will be made claer later

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I've taken some photos of the car park at night, one of the entrance, one of the ticket machine and one of the ticket machine in the neighboring council car park. On the short stretch of road there are three car parks on one side before the pub, then more after it, and a car park opposite. The entrances to all are quite narrow, so as you drive in you can't read the signs or you would crash. There are signs around the car park, all the same as the one on the entrance. nothing big or eye catching and the ticket machine looks the same as the council ones, so nothing would alert you to go to look at the signs at night. It is commonly known that car parking is free at night in Newcastle. I'll put in an appeal to VCS and see what they say.

Many thanks

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  • 1 month later...

I heard back from VCS and they refused my appeal, saying there were lots of signs and it is the parker's responsibility to read them. The signs are certaainly not obvious at night, especially as parking is free in Newcastle in the evening, so there is no reason to read signs in car parks at night. I am just about to lodge my appeal with IAS. I am lodging the appeal as the keeper. I have photographs of the area at day and night. Is it advisable also to submit a separate statement from the driver as a first hand account or will my account be adequate?

Many thanks

Edited by catmat
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NO NO NO, dont EVER give an indication who was driving at the time. Appealing to the IAS is a worthless exercise other than to provide a paper trail that you have done the right thing should they be dumb enough to try court action afterwards.

Post the photos of the signs up here for us to look at, the chances are they are defective in some manner and although that wont mean that you win your appeal it will stop the numbnuts trying their luck with a judge.

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Thank you so much for your advice. This all happened after 21.00. I have pictures of it in the dark and in daylight. As Newcastle is well known to have free evening parking, unless something actually draws your attention to the notice or if you knew the car park was private form day time use, you wouldn't read them at all.

Sorry, how can I upload the photos?

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The signage at the meter says for terms see other signs. This then means that a contract is not formed but is merely an invitation to treat so there has been no breach of contract to attract the claim for the money for the said breach.

So, your appeal to IAS should be "there was no signage at the entrance to the land. The signage on the pay and display meter was not visible at night and in any case did not stipulate any conditions for parking so no breach of contract has occurred as it is at best merely an invitation to treat". Reference to other signs reinforces this point. Thornton v Shoe Lane Parking states that the contract is formed when money is put in machine and the driver didnt so no contract irredeemably formed.

Let them pick through the legal niceties and when you get your appeal result you can consider what they say in that light. It wont be very helpful for the parking co whatever they say

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