Tuesday, 19 November 2013

An open letter to Simon Renshaw Smith of VCS parking regarding Liverpool John Lennon Airport


Dear Mr Renshaw Smith,

I wish to draw your attention to the procedural impropriety in your operational activities on the approach roads within Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

You are actively operating under contract to issue civil penalty tickets (PCN’s) for traffic offences on the roads such as stopping at the roadside, whether for seconds, minutes or even longer, or for parking on the roadside verges.

You are doing so based on an allegation of contractual agreement for a breach of parking conditions and are actively sending out a notice to keeper in each case where you ask for the name and address of the driver. You are doing this under the provisions of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.

As you are no doubt aware, due to your many years of experience in emptying people’s wallets, where land is governed by byelaws the remedy for any breach of conditions of those byelaws is through the criminal courts, such as a magistrates.

Not only that, since the byelaws set an amount of penalty for failure to comply with them; a further amount based on your own assessment is unlawful at best and perhaps even fraudulent.

A set of the byelaws for the Liverpool Airport have now been obtained from a reliable source, Liverpool City Council,  which sets out the airport’s stance on roadway use, or misuse. It also lays down a penalty upon summary conviction for a breach of the byelaws of £5 for the 1st offence and a further amount of 40 shillings for a continued daily breach.

I put it to you that these byelaws govern the airport’s penalty regime for the alleged contraventions you are enforcing. In fact there is no penalty for stopping at the roadside. There is no offence committed so there can be no penalty unless it can be proven in a magistrate’s court that this action amounted to a failure under para 14: “Driving or placing a vehicle carelessly or dangerously or without due consideration for persons using the airport”

Para 18 gives notice that a “failure by the driver of a vehicle to comply with any direction for the regulation of traffic given by a constable or any person acting on behalf of the council or a traffic sign” will be subject to the penalty regime of the aforementioned £5 plus 40 shillings per day afterwards.

The mention of the traffic signs and the council's part in the overall monitoring means that the signs must be compliant to the TSRGD which are those shown for the public highways; not the ones arbitrarily stuck at the roadside by yourself which are meaningless in the context of the legal status of the byelaws.

Furthermore, POFA 2012 3(1)(c) states that Schedule 4 only applies on land on which the parking of a vehicle is not subject to a statutory control. It further states (3)For the purposes of sub-paragraph (1)(c) the parking of a vehicle on land is “subject to statutory control” if any statutory provision imposes a liability (whether criminal or civil, and whether in the form of a fee or charge or a penalty of any kind) in respect of the parking on that land of vehicles generally or of vehicles of a description that includes the vehicle in question.

The byelaws state at para 2.19 that the following act is prohibited.
"parking a vehicle elsewhere than in a place provided for that purpose."
The penalty for this is a fine not exceeding five pounds.

POFA 2012 therefore does not apply, and you may therefore only pursue the driver and not the registered keeper. Moreover, you may only pursue them for the sum of five pounds.

Knowingly pursuing the registered keeper when POFA 2012 is an offence which the DVLA take extremely seriously and may ban you from access. The BPA wrote to you in their electronic newsletter this month reiterating this.

I put it to you, Mr Renshaw Smith, that your company is operating unlawfully at the Liverpool Airport site and ask what you intend to do since this has now been brought to your notice.

May I remind you that since this is an unlawful operation, you may well be required at some later time to recompense the amounts of the PCN’s already paid by drivers, and perhaps face tough questions in a court of law, not just a civil court.

Happy Stopping Briefly At the Roadside

The Parking Prankster

The Prankster would like to thank his source for the above


  1. One little niggle, are we sure that these bylaws are still relevant and weren't revoked when the council sold the airport?

    1. If they were, I'm sure the airport will be able to come up with the new byelaws, rather than let VCS lose every POPLA appeal and court case.

  2. So please clarify for me and anyone who finds this page.
    There are now double red lines which means a clearway; no stopping, parking or (un)loading.
    In my case the loading was caught at the give way of the roundabout, causing no issues with any traffic and recorded for about a dozen seconds.

    The PFA has in its rules state a reasonable grace period must be allowed. The Double red lines cross the give-way lines which make a mockery of the road being a "clearway". I will need to find someone who knows about this. It might be a transgression on highway markings so no contract is enforceable.

    If the road markings transgress road guidelines then surely anyone being "caught" cannot be upheld in court for stopping at a give way?

    The use of ANPR on an access way I would of assumed be outside the remit for a private business.

    Can the fact this business made a million net profits in the first year alone, (Liverpool Echo) hide this fact against 2012 section four about recuperating costs?

    Then the small matter of the ANPR van climbing up the kerb and parking on the footway.
    Its common knowledge if the police pull up somebody but that somebody notices the police car (i.e.) has a bald tyre then the police will not prosecute in case it goes to court and the defendant brings it up. Forgot what it was called or about but is seen in a very poor light.

    Would love an update to my thoughts, if possible.
    Sorry for the bad grammar.

  3. gatwick meet and greet is a secure and reliable source to get your car parked proper for the whole time when you are away..... All you have to do is make online booking in advance...


    1962 byelaws were revoked.

  5. All it needs is a 'friendly' local Speke bobby to issue a driver on the approach road with a fixed penalty charge, then the driver not accept the charge and elect a trial by the magistrates court. To set a precedent is what is needed.

  6. I stopped in a gateway as I thought I had taken a wrong turning so was just about to turn around, then my passenger said sod it I'll just walk from here, I was stopped for 20 seconds

  7. This is not likely to be enforceable. If you appeal, do not state the driver name, only refer to "the driver"