We can now see that ParkingEye's strategy was to instigate a large number of court cases to be used as loss leaders. By paying for trained advocates to fight unrepresented motorists they could engineer a disproportionate amount of court wins. These could then be used to try and force a change at POPLA and the BPA. It remains to be seen whether this strategy has worked, especially in the light that all of their previous court results regarding GPEOL are suspect.
ParkingEye provided false information to the courts, claiming that the cost per ticket issued was £53 (or sometimes £55) whereas their accounts and DVLA records show it to be a maximum of around £17.
In recent cases, after pressure from The Prankster, Bargepole and others, ParkingEye have finally stopped making this false claim.
The IAS, in light of the January meeting, sent a proposal to the AOS Board that they seek the opinion of a retired High Court judge.
POPLA themselves sent an alternate proposal that operators could ignore POPLA decisions and take motorists to court if they wanted.
Other options suggested by operators were that POPLA could set a reduced charge.
Steve Clarke of the BPA Ltd summarised this in a report for the April AOS board meeting.
The AOS rejected all these proposals, as can be seen from the April minutes.
As can be seen, they rejected all proposals at the current time, preferring not to shell out £10k to a judge who might not have agreed with them, and decided to wait for the Trading Standards Institute report instead.
The barrister helping Trading Standards with their report is Jonathan Kirk, QC. Given that he also represents and advises parking companies, The Prankster questions whether there is a conflict of interests here, and that in order to avoid any hint of impropriety perhaps a different QC, or a panel of QCs, should be involved instead.
In the meantime it looks like the BPA have decided to change their code of practice instead, and rewrite clause 19.5 which requires any charge to be a genuine pre-estimate of loss.
The Parking Prankster