Friday, 29 November 2013

ParkingEye try to pull out of POPLA. POPLA appeal points

ParkingEye are now trying a new trick during the POPLA process - sending letters offering to cancel the charge if the motorist pays the £27 POPLA fee.

Of course, as ParkingEye lose all properly crafted POPLA appeals the motorist should reject this offer and wait for the POPLA verdict. If the motorist has not got the killer POPLA appeal points, they can email them in to, putting their POPLA code in the email header.

The two main points to include are included here for ease of reference

I wish to appeal on the following grounds
1) The parking charge is not a genuine pre-estimate of loss and ParkingEye have not provided a breakdown of costs.
2) ParkingEye are not the landowner and have provided no evidence that they have the right to issue parking charges and pursue charges to court in their own name

1) The parking charge is not a genuine pre-estimate of loss
ParkingEye's charge is for breach of contract, and the British Parking Association stipulates that in such circumstances the charge must be a genuine pre-estimate of loss. No other reasons, such as commercial justification , are allowed. This is clearly laid down in the BPA code of conduct. ParkingEye claim that the entire cost of running their business works out at £53 per ticket issued. However, my ticket is for £100. This clearly leaves almost 50% profit and their charge cannot therefore be a pre-estimate of loss. Moreover, the £53 contains many elements which are not directly related to my charge and therefore not a true pre-estimate of loss. Moreover, ParkingEye' costs contain elements which are not related to enforcement. Their cameras, are used to provide data to their customers on car park usage, such as average time per stay. This is marketing data and therefore not related to enforcement. Thus elements such as cameras, data links, computers, databases, programming staff, building costs, etc are not solely involved with enforcement. ParkingEye also supply and maintain pay and display machines. This is also clearly revenue generating for the customer and not directly related to enforcement.

2) ParkingEye are not the landowner
ParkingEye are known to operate without correctly dated contracts and with contracts where clause 22 states they cannot act as an agent of the landowner. This has been found out through several court cases. They have attempted to disguise these deficiencies through the use of witness statements.

ParkingEye’s use of witness statements has now been widely discredited and I wish to robustly challenge the use of any such statement without the actual documentary evidence such as the full unredacted contract, together with the schedule and the ‘User Manual’. The user manual includes amongst other information, reasons why the landowner will cancel charges, and I therefore believe this is an integral part of the contract information.

In POPLA case 1771073004 the motorist submitted a witness statement which was rejected by the assessor, proving that witness statements are not automatically accepted by POPLA. The motorist challenged this decision, and the POPLA lead adjudicator replied:

“In this appeal, both parties produced evidence. The role of any tribunal of fact is to weigh often conflicting evidence. The Operator produced evidence to show that the vehicle was at a particular location. The Appellant produced a witness statement to show that it was not. The Operator produced images of the vehicle. The Appellant’s witness refers to having seen photographs of his vehicle in a location other than the site in question and but failed to produce the photographs or state where the vehicle was.”

Having provided sufficient evidence that ParkingEye’s witness statements are discredited by the courts, that their practices and procedures are not robust, I respectfully submit that I have produced enough evidence to show that ParkingEye’s witness statements cannot be relied on to be true.

List of evidence regarding dubious witness statements

The following court cases illustrate irregularities in ParkingEye’s evidence regarding their authority to charge money for parking and to pursue charges to court. They have happened recently and so no transcripts are available. However, as ParkingEye were present they will be able to confirm they are correct

1. 3QT52338 ParkingEye v Walkden 29/10/2013 Barrow in Furness. The hearing was originally held on 16/07/2013. ParkingEye produced a witness statement. District Judge Dodd found the witness statement extremely unsatisfactory, ordered the case to be adjourned at ParkingEye’s expense, and to reconvene at a later date. ParkingEye were ordered to produce a redacted contract from the landowner to the defendant, and a full unredacted copy to the Judge. The case reconvened on 29/10/2013. The contract sent to the defendant was dated Feb 2013 whilst the parking event was October 2012. The witness statement from Paul Shrewbrook of the Range and the attached letter of authority was not dated. The judge ruled that ParkingEye did not have authority to manage the car park because they contravened section 7.1 of the BPA code of practice which clearly states that the parking company must have written authority before any management of a car park can commence.

2. 3QT61897 ParkingEye v Barrett. 16/10/2013, Cardiff. The contract was dated 7/11/2012, which was after the Parking event on 24/10/2012. The contract was in a different name (Peachkey) to the landowner name (McDonalds Bridgend) given on the witness statement, although both contract and witness statement were signed by the same person. ParkingEye stated that the witness statement from McDonalds referred to a different document, which they did not have in court. The witness statement also stated that the parking charge was valid. However, McDonalds had not been informed the defendant had broken down and were therefore not informed of the full facts by ParkingEye. District Judge C W Dawson adjourned the case and ordered ParkingEye to bring the originals of all documents next time. McDonalds, when informed of the irregularities, ordered ParkingEye to drop the parking charge and the case.

3. 3QT29139 ParkingEye v Shelley. 23/07/2013 The contact produced in court was signed in February 2013. However, the parking event was around October 2012. Once again the witness was Paul Shrewbrook of the Range.

4. In 3QT62646 ParkingEye v Sharma 23/10/2013 Brentford County Court, District Judge Jenkins explained he was throwing the claim out because it was brought in the name of ParkingEye and not the landowner. He said the landowner could bring the case in their own name or jointly with ParkingEye if they wished. The witness statement therefore contained incorrect information. It was not apparent from the witness statement that the witness had the required expertise to interpret the contract correctly.

5. In 3QT60598 ParkingEye v Gardam, 14/11/2013 High Wycombe County Court. District Judge Jones found the judgement by District Judge Jenkins persuasive and ruled that the claimant did not have the right to bring the case in their own name. The witness statement therefore contained incorrect information. It was not apparent from the witness statement that the witness had the required expertise to interpret the contract correctly.

In all known cases to November 2013 involving ParkingEye when the landowner agent is Colliers International the signature is identical on every document and therefore appears to be photocopied. The date is added at a later time, and several different handwriting examples have been identified. Cases have been found from late 2012 to 1-10-2013, indicating this practice has been continuing for almost a year. In at least one case the witness statement has the same date as the parking event, creating the reasonable suspicion this was backdated – a witness statement is not produced for each of the 200,000 parking charges issued.

In several cases involving ParkingEye when the landowner is Aldi, the document is signed by somebody who is not the witness.

In several cases involving Paul Shrewbrook of the Range as the witness, the date has been added in multiple different handwritings, leading to the reasonable suspicion it was added after the event.

In cases involving Jon Briant as the witness, he sometimes asserts that Fistral beach is owned by Fistral Beach Ltd and at other times that it is owned by Britanic Industries.

ParkingEye have only recently started taking motorists to court in numbers, and these examples therefore represent a sizable fraction of the cases that have made it to a hearing. Moreover, the fact that irregularities in other cases are not documented does not mean they did not occur; it just means that the defence did not pick up on them. There is therefore reasonable certainty that large scale irregularities are taking place within ParkingEye, that their procedures around landowner witness statements are not robust and that they do not have authorization in place in a large percentage of cases.


  1. I would argue that none of the costs of providing cameras, signs, staff etc could be counted as a "loss" caused by a parking breach. Even if no one broke PE's rules then those costs would still be there. This was highlighted in a recent POPLA ruling:-

    "The Operator has stated that the costs include the maintenance of the site signage, monitoring and maintenance of the ANPR systems, employment of office-based administrative staff and membership fees. In this case, the justification appears to be on the basis of general operating costs rather than addressing the loss actually caused as a result of not displaying a valid badge."


    "Although the Operator has stated that the charge is commercially justified, the charge can not be a deterrent and the amount sought for the breach of the terms and conditions cannot be the entire source of their income and must be loss based rather than based on profit in order to amount to a genuine pre-estimate of loss. I do not accept the Operator’s submission that the inclusion of costs which in reality amount to the general business costs incurred for the provision of their car park management services is commercially justified. The whole business model of an Operator in respect of
    a particular car park operation cannot of itself amount to commercial justification."

    "Accordingly, I must allow the appeal.
    Izla Rhawi
    Assessor "

    1. I would agree totally, as does POPLA. The BPA and the DVLA apparently disagree though. However, faced with this new evidence I'm sure they will change their mind.

  2. The OFT's comments ( are always worth bearing in mind too...

    The OFT’s view was that what can be charged to the consumer for
    trespass/breach of contract will depend on the circumstances and with
    whom the consumer contracts. A parking management company will
    need to have the proper legal authorisation to contract with the consumer
    on the landowner’s behalf and enforce for breach of contract. What and
    whose costs apply stem from this. To claim direct losses for trespass or
    breach of contract, the company or landowner must prove what the
    actual losses that were caused by that individual’s breach were.
    However, if the claim is for liquidated damages, the OFT’s view is that
    the liquidated damages that can be recovered are a genuine pre estimate
    of loss. This is not the same as having to prove, in every case, the actual
    loss caused by the actual breach.

    • The OFT expressed the view to the BPA that when claiming liquidated
    damages, they must meet the requirement of being a genuine pre
    estimate of loss. If back office functions are claimed, these must be
    directly caused by the breaches of contract. The OFT’s view was that if
    you have an office anyway and have to pay rent, rates, insurance, etc.,
    this cannot be attributed to the breach and claimed as costs, as these are
    the costs of running a parking management company. To be recoverable,
    all costs, whether in contract or tort, must be caused by the breach

  3. It's not their car park
    They are not the principle
    They are not the creditor

    Therefore any alleged loss cannot be theirs, it can only be the principle's loss that is claimed, where is their list of the loss ? And in Aldi in Mold this has happened as reported on their Facebook page, and on the mse Aldi thread

    Dear Aldi

    I'm delighted to see that, at my suggestion, in respect of concerns for signage and provisions for customer-parking at your Mold store, you have now:-

    1. Duplicated the signage text in the local vernacular, (Welsh)

    2. Removed inaccurate reference to the car park being for the exclusive use of Aldi shoppers

    3. Enlarged the typeface & changed the entrance signage from a visually confusing yellow/blue colour scheme to simple black on white

    4. Revised the no-fee "concession" duration from 90mins to 2hrs

    5. Confirmed to my local planning officers that the Aldi area manager is now empowered to review customer complaints about store parking and that you are proposing to retrospectively apply for use of ANPR systems in your car-park.

    I must say Aldi, this is steady and welcome progress. Hardly an end-of-the journey -but a step in the right direction. It might bring much needed comfort & timely cheer to the poor blighters who, after shopping at your store over past months have subsequently quaked & trembled & stumped up needlessly in the face of relentless arrogance & menacing county court threats.

    Could you now publish full details here as to how you propose to roll-out these revisions around the UK -and how disgruntled, past "over-stayers" might seek recompense for any fees/costs which they have incurred to date?

    p.s. This week I bought 6 bottles of your Toro-Loco red shiraz. Its lovely -and, like the cheery chappies who run your Mold store, good to see you CAN get things right when you really try...

  4. Hi Craig. Further to the above comments, I can confirm that Flintshire County Council are currently in receipt of a retrospective application for planning for the several signs and pole-mounted entrance surveillance cctv system which have been working away for many months at the site of Aldi Stores, Mold, North Wales. I understand the application is receiving considerable opposition... here's the details

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