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Loading/unloading or not?

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Question for you all...


I parked a hire car overnight in Slough outside a travel lodge. Parking was single yellow with restricted hours 8am-6pm. I had breakfast and checked out the hotel at 7:55am. went to the room, collected my bags and went to load them into the car. The lift was broken so had to walk up and down.


I go to the car at about 8:15am put in two laptop bags and go to get my case, I arrive at the vehicle at about 8:25am and there was a ticket on it and the parking attendant was taking a picture of the car.


I have sent a letter to central parking systems saying the ticket is invalid due to Date of issue and time first seen, but they have rejected even though the ticket is unclear... you can't read the times on the printout and it only says date of notice.


After some research. I was thinking about sending another letter stating the vehicle was being loaded/unloaded and was not parked, but I'm unsure what the law allows.


All thoughts would be great.. thanks.

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Update for those interested...


Technically the vehicle was being loaded/unloaded. However, you have a 5 minute window to be seen loading the vehicle otherwise a ticket will be issued.


There is no limit to how long the vehicle can be loaded for, but you must be seen to be loading the vehicle.


If this happens to you and you see the cash machine, I mean warden, ask them to note you are loading in their book.

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If this happens to you and you see the cash machine, I mean warden, ask them to note you are loading in their book.


Depending where you are, that may not make a difference.


Yes, you have 5 minute time frame for loading, and if observed 5 minutes later to be loading, he may walk away...but the point here is, that if one warden marks you down as loading at 11:12a and sees you walk into the building with bags, and he walks off to return at 11:16a to observe for the final minute, nothing stops another warden from turning up at 11:14a and walking off after logging you for 5 minutes.

You return at 11:16a and the warden walks off, you now thing you have another 5 minutes, but in reality, if your not at your vehicle at 11:19a warden #2 can issue.


It may seem stupid, but i think the reason for this is so you don't tie up a SYL all day. Genuinly 5 minutes is ample for loading/unloading no?

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Depending where you are, that may not make a difference.


Yes, you have 5 minute time frame for loading,


There is no set time allowed for loading/collection of goods or vice versa.


These two High Court rulings make that patently clear


In this Scottish case a woman left a van parked in a restricted street in Edinburgh while collecting goods for

delivery . The van was left parked for 15 - 20 minutes, the woman was inside the premises for 12 - 15 minutes

and the van was left unvisited for about 12 minutes. The delay was caused by her having to wait while a parcel

was made up for despatch. The exemption covered waiting “for so long as may be necessary to enable goods

to be loaded on to or unloaded from the vehicle...”. The Lord Justice Clerk said

“ The proviso in regard to waiting for the purpose of loading or unloading is one which, in my opinion,

should be interpreted in a reasonable way. Indeed I did not understand the Crown to contend otherwise

and the advocate-depute conceded that it covers more than merely taking goods out of a motor car and

putting them on the pavement and taking them from the pavement and putting them into the car .

Accordingly the proviso covers not merely the acts of loading and unloading in the narrow literal sense

but also the taking of the goods into those premises and putting them in some part of those premises;

vice versa it covers the taking of goods from some part of the premises , carrying them to the car and

putting them on to it. The matter is one of degree and there may be borderline cases where it is difficult

to tell whether the actings of the driver are or are not such as to enable him to pray in aid the provision

in question. In the present case the appellant founded strongly on the fact that, for a period of not less

than twelve minutes the driver was continuously in the firm’s premises without visiting the van. That

makes this an extremely borderline case but, looking at the whole processes which were carried out by

the driver......I am satisfied that during the period in question the process of loading and unloading was

in fact being carried out.”



A van driver left his van with the engine running in a restricted street for 15 minutes whilst unloading frozen fish

into a freezer. The relevant exemption permitted a vehicle to wait “ for so long as may be necessary to enable

goods to be unloaded from the vehicle”. The High Court held that it was quite unable to say that the Justices

finding of fact that the vehicle was waiting only for so long as was necessary to complete unloading was wrong,

bearing in mind the load was frozen fish which could not be dumped on the pavement.

These two cases clearly show that in the context of an exemption for loading/unloading taking the goods into/out

of the premises is covered and in some circumstances the putting away of the goods may also be covered. It

seems to me that a fortiori this would apply even more in the case of a delivery/collection exemption


It also seems to me that delivery should extend to the completion of paperwork which is reasonably required.

To permit the commercial delivery of goods but not to permit the completion of the delivery note or the

obtaining of a signature for the goods or whatever it may be, undermines the point of having the exemption for all

practical purposes. It is unrealistic to expect deliveries to be made without some form of paperwork and I have

no difficulty in regarding this as part of the “delivery process” referred to in Macleod v Wojkowska. Checking

the goods is specifically covered by the definition paragraph in the Orders.

Difficulties commonly arise where there are delays in this process: The supervisor cannot be found or is

engaged; there is some defect in the paperwork requiring correction; the goods have to be located or further

enquiries need to be made. At some point there will be a fine line to be drawn between what is acceptable and

what is not. It seems to me that the driver should normally be covered during unexpected delays ( as the driver

waiting for the parcel was in Macleod v Wojkowska)





It must be stressed that the lack of any delivery /unloading activity at the vehicle does NOT automatically mean

that delivery/unloading is not taking place - see above. Nor is it correct to follow a policy that “it was not seen

therefore it could not have happened”. Local Authorities often state that “loading or unloading must be

continuous” implying that there must be an uninterrupted movement of the goods to or from the vehicle for the

exemption to apply. I can find no authority in these terms for this proposition - indeed in Macleod v

Wojkowska it was put forward in argument by the Crown and rejected by the decision of the court. It is ,of

course correct to say that the exemption only applies whilst the unloading/delivery is taking place but as I have

set out above these words cover rather more than simply moving the goods.


Furthermore, the exemption applies to all vehicles (from the same ruling)


“It means a loading or unloading for some commercial purpose, and I think there is a reason why it is

not limited to goods vehicles. I can understand a private motor-car coming along with a load of things

inside it; it might be a piece or two of furniture, it might be half a dozen pictures to be reframed or

cleaned, I would not even exclude a heavy laundry basket. There may be many cases in which the

motor-car would be used for something which it would not be reasonable for anybody to carry in his

hand; and therefore it might be said persons putting such things into or out of the car were loading or

unloading within the terms of this order.”

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