The Prankster and Henry Michael Greenslade, the Lead Adjudicator for POPLA, have not always seen eye to eye in the past and no doubt will also agree to disagree on issues in the future.
The Prankster possibly also causes more work for Mr Geenslade than any other motorist, mainly because The Prankster wishes to drive up standards in the parking industry and refuses to accept second best. The Prankster accepts he can possibly be trying at times. However, that does not stop The Prankster admiring the stance Mr Greenslade has taken with regard to the application of the law regarding charge levels, respecting him for his integrity and resolute steadfastness, and giving credit where credit is due.
POPLA adjudicate cases on the basis of law (and very, very, very rarely, mitigating circumstances). Mr Greenslade is a barrister of many years experience, and leads, trains and advises a team of law graduates.
The parking operators expected POPLA to nod through their parking charges and were no doubt furious that this has not happened. The various British Parking Association meeting minutes are clear that the parking companies are incandescent with rage that POPLA are upholding large numbers of appeals.
The reason is simple. Whenever a motorist challenges the amount of a parking charge issued as a breach of contract, that amount must be a true pre-estimate of loss. Typically, this will be at most a few pounds, and not the £85- £100 most companies charge. The parking companies have tried many different explanations of how their charge is a pre-estimate of loss but none of them have cut the mustard with Mr Greenslade and his team. Indeed, their explanations change so often it's almost as if they don't really know what a pre-estimate of loss is and are trying out various excuses to see if one sneaks through. In the past ParkingEye have said this was the money lost by shopkeepers as a result of parking spaces not being available; then they tried saying it was for the running costs of their business; now they are saying it is not a pre-estimate of loss at all but a commercial charge.
Behind the scenes, the pressure by the motoring companies for Mr Greenslade to change his stance must be enormous. Many parking companies have contacts in high places, and there are ways and means of putting pressure on people that are not always apparent, and will never be public knowledge.
Perhaps the great untold story of POPLA will be how Mr Greenslade has remained consistent and unchanging, no matter what unknown pressures have been put on him to change his viewpoint.
For this reason (and no other is needed) The Prankster tips his hat to Mr Greenslade and thanks him on behalf of the motoring public for all the appeals upheld on the basis of pre-estimate of loss.
The Parking Prankster
PS. The Prankster still thinks this should appear on the POPLA web site as a reason to appeal ;-)