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Smart Parking - Greenwich shopping park, Charlton - Overstaying or Not!?

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Hi All,

 

 

Hope you can help with the parking charge notice that I received this morning.

 

According to the PCN letter, on the 29th October I stayed in the car park for 2 hours, 34 minutes and 31 seconds before leaving.

 

Smart Parking operates a ANPR camera system with static notice boards (non electronic) dotted around this car park.

 

I can't see on the letter what the time limit was for this day which I feel should be stated so I actually drove to the car park to read the signs - my assumption being that I had 3 hours like most of the car parks in that area.

 

The main sign entering the park actually has TWO time limits displayed (I've attached a photo)

 

"Maximum stay on match days 90 MINUTES" - "Maximum stay at all other times 3 HOURS"

Please see signs for details

 

I’ve looked around the car park and can’t see any other information about how/when the times are changed. Should I challenge this as it must have been a “match day” on that day although it isn’t clear what that means?

 

 

Many thanks

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please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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Match days? what is the legal definition of a match day that can be offered as a contractual term. Home matches at Charlton is the supposition and that was a home match day so the assumption is that is why.

 

However, the main sign also says see other signs for details so that doesnt form a contrcat but is an invitation to treat. now, I cannot see anywhere on the signage that does forma contract where the match days are stipulated so how are people supposed to know? Was there an attendace book or the like you were asked to sign?

 

In short the main sign isnt a contract and the contract offered by the small signs is confusing at best and you are not obliged to accept it anyway as it is not part of the invite to park.

 

Another problem for Smart is that their NTK is not POFA compliant by a long stretch, although the letter is difficult to read I can find quite a lot wrong with it in that department.

 

So, what to do- you can ignore them or appeal the charge. If you appeal do not tell them who was driving at the time but use something like " the keeper states that no liability on their part has been created under the POFA 2012 and that in any case the signage has not formed a contractual obligation. Please cancel this claim. "

 

They arent going to so when they respond you can appeal to POPLA and use other points in addition to these. You may also have grounds to complain to the BPA about Smart failing to adhere to the terms of their membership of the ATA but that is for the future

Edited by honeybee13
Paras.

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Hi ericsbrother,

 

I've just uploaded a better copy of the letter. Is it POFA compliant??

 

Your reasoning is exactly what I was thinking, what exactly is defined as a "match day" and how would I know!

 

The signage around the area doesn't have a calendar showing (at least on my visit to the car park today) what these days are and there wasn't any special sign displayed on the day of the contravention that I can remember telling me "match day" only 90 minutes. Surely there should also have been an operative of Smart Parking there to inform people but I guess that costs money.

 

I'm a bit annoyed to be honest as this is very sharp practice so I will challenge them.

 

I think I will just say the following to see how they'll play it. I note your point of not mention who was driving - I can't even remember if it was me or my wife driving.

 

Dear Sir/Madam,

 

My wife and I did indeed visit the Greenwich shopping park on the 29th October and can confirm your observation that we stayed within car park for 2 hours 34 minutes and 31 seconds. You allege that we contravened the "Over Free Time" stay but do not state what this limit is within your letter.

 

Please could you reply with this information including any supporting evidence that would have been advertised at the Greenwich shopping park?

 

Regards,

 

Annoyed shoppers

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Hi,

Thought I would add my 2p

 

In the past three years, (not so) Smart Parking have taken people to court to the massive amount of ZERO! Not saying there won't be a first time but why go against the grain. They must get enough income from the poor mugs who think the tickets have some validity.

 

Having checked them out on Companies House, it seems they have made a loss this year of around £1m ...Shucks


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Everything I say is opinion only. If you are unsure on any comment made, you should see a qualified solicitor

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you might find things easier to upload things in PDF format so we can zoom it fevr


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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no do not send that letter of appeal.

NEVER EVER say who was driving or even in the vehicle.

 

 

Use the wording recommended, such as "the driver of the vehicle parked" do not mention anyone by name, title description whatsoever.

 

 

I put this in my earlet posting for a reason and you have clearly not understood its significance.

 

THEY HAVE NO CONTRACT WITH THE KEEPER and so rely on the POFA to create a liablity if they dont know who thew driver is.

 

 

As their NTK fails to adhere to the protocols of the POFA they can only pursue the driver, who is currently unknown to them and you should give no clue as to who it may be

 

Send a letter saying simply

"the letter you sent on the XXth of Nov 2016 ref:xxxyyy is not compliant with the POFA so no keeper liability has been created.

Do not contact me again or a complaint of harassment as both a criminal act and a civil tort will be made"

 

Do not add anything to this short letter.

 

 

They will most likely still write but they will be wasting their time and money doing so.

Do not forget, these people are greedy and stupid but the greed overrides any other consideration they have

so dont enter into any further correspondence with them unless they are stupid enough to issue a court claim

 

 

if that happens come back to us

but whatever you do read about private parking law and how these companies behave before you say anything else that is different to the above.

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If you want to know why their NTK isnt compliant then read paras 5 and 9 of the POFA and then look at the first line of their letter again.

 

 

Do the same for the next paragraph and you will find other problems.

Likewise for the 3rd.

The last paragraph is just pitiable under the circumstances.

 

 

Then dissect the meaning of the first 2 lines and you will see that there isnt a contract to break and they admit this SMART?

anything but.

 

 

That is why you should respond with the correct terminology and keep it to the absolute minimum.

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Many thanks for all the Advice guys.

 

Ericsbrother, I haven't sent anything back to Smartparking yet as I wanted to make sure I got as much info from you guys before sending any reply. The important thing for me is not to incriminate myself or my wife so your point is well understood.

 

I could indeed do what Silverfox1961 has said and just ignore this letter, I've done this in the past so know these PPC go away in time. However, in this case I feel that they need to be challenged and to explain where it is indicated (on the signs in the car park) about "match days" whatever this means!

 

I guess what I'm trying to do is send a letter that isn't too legally worded so they think I'll be an easy target. Give them "enough rope to hang themselves" when they try to explain how I should know about "match days" - is there a way to write a letter like this??

 

 

*I went to the car park yesterday and could see no further signs about "match days"and when they occur, I asked in a shop that we'd been in on the 29th but they didn't know. Someone told me there was a security office at the bottom of the car park above the shop so I asked the guy who came out and he said there were no other signs but that I would somehow be able to know that a local football team plays nearby. I explained this was really satisfactory that I should just "know"this stuff and conceded?!!

 

Ultimately I want this lot closed down and have already contacted the landowner (not in until Monday) and then my local MP. I will point out that we spent over a 100 pounds in 5 shops and that we assumed were had 3 hours. I can also give them an example of a system that doesn't try to catch shopper out with ambiguity as the next retail park next door has an electronic display system that shows your number plate and the time you need to exit by - I wish I had parked next door on the 29th!!!

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The driver went to the car park yesterday and could see no further signs about "match days"and when they occur, The driver asked in a shop that we'd been in on the 29th but they didn't know. Someone told The driver there was a security office at the bottom of the car park above the shop so The driver asked the guy who came out and he said there were no other signs but that The driver would somehow be able to know that a local football team plays nearby. The driver explained this was really unsatisfactory that The driver should just "know"this stuff and conceded?!!

 

Ultimately I want this lot closed down and have already contacted the landowner (not in until Monday) and then my local MP. I will point out that we spent over a 100 pounds in 5 shops and that we assumed were had 3 hours. I can also give them an example of a system that doesn't try to catch shopper out with ambiguity as the next retail park next door has an electronic display system that shows your number plate and the time you need to exit by - I wish I had parked next door on the 29th!!!

 

See my bits in red. You don't want to self incriminate.

 

Contacting the landowner is by far the better idea and you can complain to the stores you shopped at as well stating that due to this ticket, the driver nor the family will ever use them again as they are party to this charge. They may then complain to the landowner on your behalf making it a bit easier to get the ticket cancelled.

 

Did you ever find out if here was actually a match on that day? (Not so) Smart Parking must think that everyone in the area is a football fan so should know when a match is on. The site in question should have signs on site which show one time on non match days which flip over to show a different time during match days. this would stop any confusion. Many local authorities do this around match days to control the parking on match days.

 

I would also contact the local council regarding planning permission. Some sites state in there planning permission requests that they will allow 3 hours parking but then change the rules of parking without further planning permission. It would also help if you could find if there is any planning applications for the new signage on site.


If you are asked to deal with any matter via private message, PLEASE report it.

Everything I say is opinion only. If you are unsure on any comment made, you should see a qualified solicitor

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I would keep it very short

- the point I made about no keeper liability covers everything they need to know.

They cannot legally go any further so will have to stick to threatening letter from then on.

 

The 2 line letter I suggested is enough.

They are not going to explain themselves,

they are going to tell you that the moon is made of cheese and you still owe the money.

 

 

Add anything else to your letter and you are inviting them to continue their harassment or change their story, either directly on in later statements and that may tempt them to think that they have a chance of collecting something from you

 

Telling them they are wrong and nothing else at all will leave them open to complaints about their behaviour to their trade body, the landlord and the DVLA should they then continue.

 

 

The last thing they want is for everyone to know they are not entitled to a penny because they are incompetent as that may well lose them the contract, they will be happier letting you off "as a gesture of goodwill" rather than explain anything, the next mug will pay them.

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Hi Ericsbrother,

 

Many thanks again,

I realise I'm inviting harassment from them but my motive is to get them to give more detail

- hopefully you will approve of the draft I would post to them by recorded post?

 

I want to then cause at much trouble as I can with the landowner, shops we visited and our local MP so they lose their contract with the shopping park.

 

 

The "next mug" could be someone like my elderly father who nearly gave in with a similar situation.

 

 

He only held firm with a lot of convincing from my Brother and I.

 

Dear Sir/Madam,

 

RE: ref4xxyyy dated 8th November 2016 - but only received 11th November 2016.

 

"the letter refxxyyy you sent is not compliant with the POFA so no keeper liability has been created.

 

Example: You allege that there was a contravention of "Over Free Time" stay but do not state what this limit is within your letter.

If you wish, reply with this information including any supporting evidence that would have been advertised at the Greenwich shopping park?

 

J xxxxxxxx (registered keeper)

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you will get nowhere, they arent going to admit they have no right to claim and you will make it easier for them to do so. Thye may not even accept that this is an appeal as it isnt appealing anything but use it as "proof" that you accept they ahve a right to claim.

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This exact same thing happened to me, but now I've told them who the driver was and they rejected my appeal! Is it too late? Would Popla uphold the complaint? Surely Match Day with no explanation is not legal?

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This exact same thing happened to me, but now I've told them who the driver was and they rejected my appeal! Is it too late? Would Popla uphold the complaint? Surely Match Day with no explanation is not legal?

 

 

need to start your own thread

 

 

please


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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the only difference is the parking co know they are barking up the right tree.

 

 

You can still appeal to POPLA and make sure that you include photos of the signage and make the point that it is no breach of contract as the signage at the entrance doesnt mantion any limits of parking for you to consider and the smaller signs are too vague to be construed as offer and consideration.

 

 

This exact same thing happened to me, but now I've told them who the driver was and they rejected my appeal! Is it too late? Would Popla uphold the complaint? Surely Match Day with no explanation is not legal?

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