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Ticketed for parking in free car park


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Hi All,

 

Can we have some advice please!!!

We parked in a shopping car park in Wisbech Horsefair before christmas. If you park in the white bays its free parking for 2 hours. We were parked for just over an hour but on our return to our vehicle we saw that it had been ticketed.

My other half approached the ticket officer who informed him that you need to display a valid ticket for the free parking and that we did not have one so tough you got a ticket.

We genuinly did not know that we needed to display any ticket, we were parked in a correct bay. We Informed the officer that there is CCTV within the car park and also the Council CCTV of the enterence that they could check to make sure we were not lying but he was not bothered. Hence we left with the ticket.

It was not until we were leaving the car park that we saw written on a plaque at the enterence - FREE PARKING IN WHITE BAYS FOR TWO HOURS. in smaller writing underneath was written - with valid ticket.

Nowhere else was this written in the car park.

It seems that this is a great money making scheme as the ticket is for 65 pounds which will go up to 85 if not paid in 14 days.

What can we do??????

 

thanks

Peep x

Bite me and i'll bite back....

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Go back and take photos of the signs in the car park and take a look to see if there is any information telling you how you obtain a ticket. Secondly, who owns the car park, is it the local authority or is it privately operated? And did the sign make any mention of you having to pay a penalty charge if you did not comply?

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Hi Peep, I know the car park you mean. I live in Wisbech and have done for the past 21 years. For nearly all that time the horsefair car park has been free for three hours in the yellow bays and free all the time in the white bays as long as a valid ticket was displayed.The machine issuing the tickets was at the car park entrance. Much of the time it was inoperative and on those occasions people just parked anywhere free. This year it changed and suddenly the yellow bays were the long term bays and the white bays were three hours free parking.Of course, local people didn't realise and got caught with parking tickets, well why would they assume things had changed?The only notification about the changes were on the same notice board at the entrance which looked just the same as it always had so why would

anyone think to read it? They had changed the wording but it was not noticeable and they must have known that.The tickets from the three new machines also displayed the new arrangements but again, it was something that could be easily missed as,I'm sure was the intention. My husband got a ticket and paid it, but he needn't have done. I have since found out that the horsefair is privately owned and patrolled by a private enforcement company. I have also found out that penalties from these companies for breach of contact cannot be enforced under English contract law.( read the Parkforce thread).When I have got my bank charges back I am going to sue the private owners for my money back.Don't pay them , they can't enforce the penalty,

Good luck

B

BELLA 47

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Thanks Rob and Bella....

 

Bella - Thanks for taking the time to write the above. I will take a look at the link you suggest and look forward to telling the rip off merchants to take a hike. Its unbelieveable that they can get away with this and at 65 pounds a go they must make a mint.

 

thanks again.

Peep x

Bite me and i'll bite back....

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  • 4 months later...

Hi again. i've not posted for ages but have recieved a further letter from Central Ticketing and now my OH is worried that if we dont pay it we'll end up with bailiffs at the door.

 

The ticket states that it is a formal demand before court action - amount now due - £85 within 7 days!!

 

Were panicking as we cant afford for this to go wrong.

 

Please, please, please any advice would be welcomed.....

 

Peep xxx

Peep x

Bite me and i'll bite back....

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Its just bluff and bluster. If they have contacted you as the registered keeper, then you are not liable. Any alleged contract is with the driver and they have to prove who the driver was.

 

At the end of the day they will have to go to a county court to get anything out of you, and it is unlikely they will go that far as they know damn well that they won't get anywhere with it.

 

Read this thread for further reassurance:)

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/parking-traffic-wardens/65341-private-parking-companies-charges.html

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Thanks Rob,

 

I've yet to convince my OH not to pay it.

Do you think i should respond to the letter or just leave alone?

 

Peep xx

Peep x

Bite me and i'll bite back....

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What correspondance have you exchanged so far Peep? Have you written and told them that as registered keeper you are not liable?

 

As for the circumstances of your "fine", its laughable. You get free parking for up to 2 hours, but you have to get a ticket from a machine to validate it. If you don't they issue a ticket and try and claim £65. If they go to court they can only claim their actual losses, which in your case is nothing!!!:D :D

 

With regards to your OH, why does he/she want to give up £65 of your hard earned cash to a bunch of racketeers who are trying it on? Because that is all this company are, a bunch of bully boys who pick on people knowing full well that many will be intimidated by their threats. But if you stand up to them they have nothing. Stick to your guns. You know you have plenty of support here and plenty of people willing to advise you every step of the way.

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I absolutely agree with all above! I've had to convince my OH not to pay a ticket. I am confident that nothing can be proved, we have had similar letters threatening the possibilty of County Court Action, but as Rob S says, this is just trying to scare you into paying, bailiffs can't do anything without a court order.

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Hi Rob

 

My OH sent in a disput letter at the time we got the notice. Unfortunatly he has put in the letter things like, I parked,I arrived back, i spoke with etc so he has already told them that he was the driver.

 

He is just worried that not paying it will result in either a larger charge, which we can not afford or worse the Bailiff coming round.

 

Peep xx

Peep x

Bite me and i'll bite back....

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Even if he has named himself as the driver, they will have to take him to court to get any payment; and as Rob S says, they can only charge for any losses they incurred (same penalty principle as the bank charges). It's a free cark park! Losses = nothing! :) They'll be laughed out of court, or labelled vexatious.

-----

Click the scales if I've been useful! :)

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Hi Peep

 

Why don't you write to your MP to help you..and send all correspondance. There's a lot of discussions going on in Parliament at the moment to stop these parking companies abusing the system and the more the MP's know about individual cases, the more likely they'll work together in stopping this continuing. This is happening on a national scale and these companies are making a fortune out of innocent motorists who don't know their rights or understand the law. Basically if the DVLA was to be stopped from selling our information to these companies, these crooks will go out of business...so the more noise we all make the better.

 

Another idea might be to phone or write to the owner of the land and see if they can get the parking company to waive the fine for you. You never know they might be sympathetic knowing it was a genuine error on your behalf. Some parking companies allow their clients the right to cancel a parking notice..it might be a way to you putting a closure on this?

 

By the way what was the name of the Parking company?

 

Good luck aand try and hold on in there little peep -I've done so much research on these companies, that I've yet to see any of them take someone to court. As Rob correctly states they will have to explain to the judge how they calculate their charges. Same as bank charges, these penalties are unfair and excessive. I'm in the process of getting top legal advice on this and will report back when this is to hand.;)

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  • 4 years later...

I was just wondering if anyone could advise me as to how i should go about my parking ticket. I parked in a free car park that required a ticket. The machine was broken on the upper level and the other one was being fixed on the other side. i returned back to my car to find i had a parking ticket. In my anger i then emailed the private company "Britannia Parking" and contested the ticket and also made them aware the machine wasnt working. As i have contested i have then made them aware that it was me who was driving, if i ignore the ticket will i get into trouble as they can prove it was me who was driving, or does it still apply that i should ignore and noting will come of it?? HELP PLEASE!!!

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