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Horizon Parking PCNs on Rental Car - Gallagher Retail Park, Bradford Thornbury - Suggestions?


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Hello all, 

 

First off, I just want to say thank you - this site and posters have been incredibly helpful and reassuring thus far. 

As I'm new to all of this, I am hoping for some reassurance that we are handling these fleecers correctly. To date, we have completely ignored the (currently 5) parking charge notices from Horizon Parking Ltd. 

My partner hired a rental car and drove it to Bradford for a week-long trip in late July. He has a very intense job and so I've taken up the fight against the **** that runs this scam parking operation. 

I have to assume that the rental car agency provided my partner's information to Horizon Parking Ltd. as it is his information on the PCN.

I have already read the previous threads from Bradfordlad and Dormiens to try to get my head around this situation and to make sure we are proceeding intelligently here.  

I've also uploaded PDFs of all of the notices we have received to this point (with name and address redacted) and answered the parking ticket questionnaire (at bottom). 

As per the notices, we are getting close to the appeal and payment deadlines (2nd and 8th October). The notices have arrived sporadically: to date, 4 have been initial notices and 1 has been a reminder to pay notice. 

 

The details:

  • My partner parked in the lot for 1-2 hours over 4 days to go to the Puregym there (the lot also serves an ODEON). 
  • The Puregym website states that this branch offers free parking with no further explanation. 
  • Upon receiving these notices, it became clear that this was not the case. 
  • In Bradfordlad's thread, we saw that the Puregym apparently has an iPad where its users can sign in for free parking - but this was not communicated or obvious to my partner during his use of the gym
  • Additionally, one poster on Tripadvisor, said they were fined simply for picking up their daughter from the cinema. 
  • The PCNs do not mention the parking time limit for the lot or where the lot is even located and as Bradfordlad stated, they incorrectly name the lot as "Gallagher Retail Park" instead of "Gallagher Leisure Park" and do not mention a town name, county name, or postcode anywhere.   
  • It was only my partner's memory that allowed us to locate the lot in question and then only by using Google Street View were we able to make out the signs which state the 45-minute parking limit. 
  • As this parking lot services both a gym and cinema, I would argue this short time limit is borderline entrapment - but I am no expert. 
  • We live in London and therefore going back to the lot or the gym to procure further evidence or to talk to the gym staff (this branch can be contacted by email only) would be an annoyance we would rather avoid. 

 

Do we continue to ignore these PCNs or do we need to take action? Is there anything else we should do (e.g. contact Puregym or the car rental agency) for more information/evidence?

Thank you in advance for any help/suggestions/recommendations!

We greatly appreciate it!

PS - I am very happy to provide more information regarding this ridiculousness if needed. 

 

 

 

PARKING TICKET QUESTIONNAIRE:

 

1 Date of the infringement  23rd July 2023  /  24th July 2023  /  25th July 2023  /  26th July 2023

 

2 Date on the NTK [this must have been received within 14 days from the 'offence' date]  11th August (1) / 4th September (3)
 

3 Date received  Unsure - my partner opened the first one and mentioned it to me, but neither of us can remember the exact date we got it in the post, nor can we remember the subsequent dates that the other notices arrived. Their envelopes don't have any indicators on them. We believe it was at least 2 weeks after the notice issue dates but can't be certain or prove it. 
 

4 Does the NTK mention schedule 4 of The Protections of Freedoms Act 2012? [Y/N?]  No
 

5 Is there any photographic evidence of the event?  Yes
 

6 Have you appealed? [Y/N?] post up your appeal]  No
 

Have you had a response? [Y/N?] post it up  N/A
 

7 Who is the parking company?  Horizon Parking Ltd

 

8. Where exactly [carpark name and town]  "Gallagher Retail Park - ANPR - TOMC" but actual location (as it's not clear/incorrectly stated on the notice) is: Gallagher Leisure Park, Thornbury, Bradford
 

For either option, does it say which appeals body they operate under.  It mentions POPLA for appeals and BPA's logo is stamped at the bottom though not actually referred to in the notice's writing.

 

If you have received any other correspondence, please mention it here

4 PCNs have arrived as well as 1 "Notice to Keeper Reminder Notice" (excellent grammar there...)

Notice Issue Date: 10th September 2023

Date of Breach: 24th July 2023

It refers to the PCN issued on 11th August 2023 and states that as no payment has been received, additional charges will be incurred if no payment is received within 28 days.  If no payment is received, they may pass it to a Debt Recovery Agent which may escalate to court proceedings... (blah blah blah)

It mentions POPLA for appeals and BPA's logo is stamped at the bottom though not actually referred to in the notice's writing. 

 

 

5xHorizon PCNs.pdf

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Well done on all the work you've put in already.

Horizon are not a particularly litigious company, but there are four tickets here so it's highly likely they will take you to court as they will be mesmerised by the thought of £££££.

To establish keeper tliability the fleecers have to get their invoices to you within 14 days, and three of them do not respect these times.  However, there is the problem of the hire car.  Was the car hired in both your names or just your husband's?  And are the invoices you've uploaded the versions with the hire company's name on or with your husband's name on?  

I vaguely remember the two threads you mentioned.  I'll have a read of them now.

 

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Sorry, I wrote the above post knackered just after knocking off work, and see now you've already answered my questions.  Your husband hired the car.  His details are on the PCNs.  Which explains the time difference between the "offences" and him receiving their bilge, as it would have been sent to the hire company first.  So the 14-day thing is irrelevant.

However, there is something about them needing to send a Notice to Hirer ... others more knowledgeable than me will be on soon.

I've just looked at our Horizon threads.  There are 43 threads apart from yours.  Horizon have only done court once, and that was when the person had moved and didn't reply to a Letter of Claim so Horizon knew they would get a backdoor CCJ.

So generally they don't do court.  We suggest to send a snotty letter at Letter of Claim stage so they know the Cagger would fight and be bad news for them in court.  Generally they crawl back under their stone at this point and don't have the gonads to do court.  However, four tickets, £££££, their greed, there is a good chance they might go for court in your case.

So you can pay 4 x £60 and the matter will go away.

Or you can fight the parasites.  With our help.  We hope you'd go for the fighting!  But be aware of what you'd be letting yourselves in for.

I've found an e-mail address for the gym  [email protected]  The problem is that the leisure park, not the gym, will have called in the bloodsuckers.  However, your husband could e-mail the gym, attach proof of payment, ask if they can help, and if not if they can send an e-mail address for the leisure park.

If if if if if they do do court, points on your side are the pathetically insufficient signage, and that a 45-minute limit is an unfair term under consumer law for a site with restaurant, a gym, and a cinema!!!

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We could do with some help from you.

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10/10 to @UKRoamer

what a pleasure it is to get a new user that has bothered to read around and gathered all the info we need in their very 1st post....:cheer2::cheer2:

wish all users would take the time to do this and not need nursemaiding....

pers as @FTMDave eludes too, give the gym some grief but sit on your hand regarding Horizon until/unless you ever get a letter of claim for any of the PCN's.

 

thank you again...what a breathe of fresh air.

 

dx

 

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

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Thank you both dx and FTMDave for such quick replies!

I have forwarded this post to my partner to see what he thinks and for him to contact the gym (thank you for finding that email address for us!) - we'll see if the gym is willing and able to help out and if not if they have a contact for the leisure park.

It's a relief to learn that of 43 other threads on this site, Horizon has only followed through taking one case to court. I'd be willing to play those odds but I'll wait to see what my other half thinks. 

I'll be sure to keep this thread updated with any developments and to check for any additional advice anyone may have.

Happy to hear I didn't fall on my face with my first post! Always nice to be able to provide some fresh air 😅

-UKRoamer

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This is how hirers should be dealt with by the rogues when they discover that their prey is in a rental car.

1] they write back to the rental company asking for the name and address of the hirer: the agreement with the hirer and and the signature of the hirer's statement of liability.

2] once they receive all that the rogues then send you a new PCN called a Notice to Hirer, along with a copy of the original PCN plus copies of your agreement with the hire company plus the statement of liability.

If all they sent you was a that piece of tat  they call a Notice to hirer  then you can relax as there is no way that they could ever win in Court.

You have to wonder at the mental ability of these companies. The protection of Freedoms Act 2012 is quite clear on dealing with hirers and Horizon have had 11 years practicing to get it right. And they have failed by a country mile.

In order to be able to lawfully demand money from you all they have to do is abide by the Law. Under PoFA they have to get the wording right to be able to pursue the hirer. So what does Horizon do? They are told by the hire company that the car is on hire to you and giving them your details. Horizon then send out a Notice to Hirer [so they know the car was hired} yet they  still ask if you were the hire company and if so send details of the hirer to them!

The PCN is not compliant also because they have given you 28 days to pay the charge rather than the 21 days which is the time required by PoFA.

Those details on their own mean that the hirer is not liable to pay them a penny.

On top of that if they have also failed to send you a copy of the original PCN , a copy of the hire agreement and your consent to be liable for debts arising during your hiring, then once again you are not required to pay them.

Here is the relevant legislation Schedule 4 Section 14 [1]

14(1)If—

(a)the creditor is by virtue of paragraph 13(2) unable to exercise the right to recover from the keeper any unpaid parking charges mentioned in the notice to keeper, and

(b)the conditions mentioned in sub-paragraph (2) below are met,

the creditor may recover those charges (so far as they remain unpaid) from the hirer.

So the keeper has complied with 14.1 so is no longer liable as the charge has been transferred to the hirer. However

14.2 states  "

(2)The conditions are that—

(a)the creditor has within the relevant period given the hirer a notice in accordance with sub-paragraph (5) (a “notice to hirer”), together with a copy of the documents mentioned in paragraph 13(2) and the notice to keeper;

(b)a period of 21 days beginning with the day on which the notice to hirer was given has elapsed; 

You are not liable for any of those PCNs so do not pay. In light of the number of tickets you have accumulated they will keep on harassing you to pay and they probably would go to court. I would be inclined to write to Horizon advising them that their PCNs are not compliant with PoFA and you are not liable for the charges.

Point out that as they now know the situation any further claims from them or there lowlife debt collectors and quasi solicitors would definitely be a breach of your GDPR .

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PS...

aw...you didnt get everything right...

for some unknown reason you left your reg number on all the pix and their ref & PCN number on every sheet in your PDF in many places.

you also need to pay attention to characters in the margins. the vertical text on each sheet had the PCN too.

now sorted thanks to @lookinforinfo

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

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Thank you again all for your helpful input!

I believe we have opted to continue ignoring these vultures without paying. 

We have not yet received any additional notices, but we will keep this thread updated should that change. 

The input from @lookinforinfo is excellent - thank you! We will definitely return to it should this proceed to court. However, we do not have any plans to respond to their pitiful correspondence at this time. Though, should they continue to harass us, we may change our minds.  You are certainly correct - it is absurd that even after 11 years of operating they cannot be bothered to operate within the very clear and simple guidelines, but all the better for us I suppose! 

@dx100uk and @lookinforinfo, thank you for catching the additional info that needed to be redacted from the PDF. I did not think the rest mattered as it was a rental car, but as I said, I'm new to this - so thank you for catching it and fixing the oversight! 

Fingers crossed that Horizon get bored and give up soon, but as I said, if they don't, I will be sure to update the thread!

Best, 

-UKRoamer

 

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  • 5 weeks later...

UPDATE:

After returning from a trip to the States for a friend's wedding, we came home to 4 new letters. Pictures of all with redacted info have been posted. 

Three letters were "Notice to Keeper Reminder Notice(s)" - exactly like the one we received dated the 10th of September 2023. These newest "Notice to Keeper Reminder Notice(s)" were dated the 4th of October, 2023 and refer to the other three parking violations. 

 

The fourth letter we received was not from Horizon Parking but from a debt recovery agency named "Debt Recovery Plus."

This letter states that we may not have responded to the previous letters as an oversight, but that our failure to respond to this letter would be "making an active choice." It states that their client (Horizon Parking) reserves the right to take this as evidence of our intent not to pay. It then lists three options:

  1. Pay £150 in full to close the case and avoid legal action and protect our credit score,
  2. Enter a payment plan of £37.50 per month over 4 months (interest free - kind of them 🙄) again to close the case, avoid legal action, and to protect our credit score, or
  3. Do nothing which states that our financial loss will increase significantly if the case goes to court and we are unsuccessful - they go on to state that making this choice will result in them informing their legal team, sharing contact evidence, and advising legal action starts, with "intent not to pay" being added to the case. 

The date on this Debt Recovery Notice was the 17th of October and they instructed that we pay by the 31st of October. 

Not that it would have mattered, as we have not paid them yet and do not intend to, but as we returned from our trip and opened these letters yesterday (1st of November), it seems we have very much opted for their 3rd option of 'do nothing.'

Somewhat hilariously, the debt recovery letter also refers to the Protection of Freedoms Act of 2012 on the back despite their 'client' failing at every turn to comply with the Act themselves. 

 

Now, I do not imagine that this changes anything at this time as this is not a Letter of Claim. However, I wanted to keep this thread updated with all actions taken (or not taken) and with all letters received as you are the experts and will be better able to assist us should these weasels ever decide to actually take this to court. 

At the moment our plan is to continue to sit back and do nothing - but some reassurance that this cannot affect our credit score would be greatly appreciated. 

As always, please let me know if I am mistaken in anything I have written here and thank you again for your continued assistance with this nonsense. 🙏

 

Best,

UKRoamer

 

 

PDF Pack2.pdf

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If you & I were in legal dispute, I could sue you and you could sue me.  Your best mate couldn't sue me.  My next-door neighbour couldn't sue you.  The dispute would have nothing to do with them.  And similarly Debt Recovery Plus can do absolutely nothing as it isn't their debt.

So you're right - laugh at the letters and ignore them.

Presumably DR+ will send three further letters for the other invoices.  Use them as hamster bedding, to play paper aeroplanes with, or another activity of your choice.

I see you're well aware of the importance of the Letter of Claim stage - good!

BTW, did you get any joy from the gym?

Your credit score can only be affected if they finally have the balls to get an unbiased judge to decide if the money is really owed or not, and then the judge finds against you, and next you defy the court and don't pay.  While they are just sending idiotic letters you have nothing to worry about.

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That's what I figured @FTMDave it's just always nice hearing it confirmed 😊

I informed my partner about the suggestion to contact the gym, but I do not believe he has done so.

I may bring it up to him again and see if he is more amenable to reaching out to them about this situation as the letters continue to arrive. 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Hello again,

 

Time for an update now that it's been another month of receiving more letters... my god is it getting old...

First off, to answer the previous question - my partner never ended up contacting the gym. But at this point - it's unclear whether they would be able to help us at this stage anyway.

Updates:

We've had two further escalations since my last message - both from the debt recovery agency, Debt Recovery Plus. 

All appearances seem to point to the likelihood that they are taking this to court. I've attached the letters once again with the necessary info redacted. We have yet to contact them or respond to them in any way so as far as they know the letters have not been read or received by anyone. 

The third page is probably the most important as it is the front of the latest letters received. It's "Pre-legal Action" notice states things such as legal action being imminent and they instruct us to share the letter with our solicitor.  I particularly enjoy their claims of "Does the Parking Operator comply with relevant legislation? YES" and "Some sources online incorrectly suggest private parking charges do not need to be paid. This is not the case provided that all above criteria are met for your case."

As none of the letters have "Letter of Claim" on them, I do not know how seriously to take them. 

This is the first of what I anticipate being 3 more letters as there is a total of 4 parking claims against us and these 2 letters refer to the very first parking notice we received, not to the next 3. The other letters usually arrive a few weeks after the first, so the total amount they are looking for us to pay will end up being £600.

We still have zero interest in or intentions of paying them (no longer an option now according to the recent letters) and are not against taking them to court for this nonsense - though obviously,  with busy lives, we'd be just as happy not to have to deal with the faff of all that. 

Anyway, we are always very glad to receive your continued advice and support, even if it's just more of the same "keep the course" counsel as before. We would also like to know - at what point you would suggest we hire a solicitor for this situation?

 

All the best, 

-UKRoamer

Parking Notice PDF Pack 3_Debt Recovery Pre-Legal Action.pdf

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Not letters of claim. Ignore.

However, with all those ticks, you are obviously doing something right!

Wish I got that many ticks at school...

 

Try contacting the Gym. It's still only daft letter stage at the moment, nothing to lose...

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You don't need a solicitor.

The small claims county court system is set up to encourage the non-use of solicitors.

Plus dx100uk, honeybee, brassnecked, lookinforinfo, etc., have 16 years' experience on this site (and no doubt years more experience before) dealing with 12,000 of these cases, and their advice is far better than what you would get from a solicitor.

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