Thursday, 22 May 2014

British Parking Association attempt to change POPLA's stance on GPEOL

The meetings of the 30th January 2014 BPA Ltd AOS Board meeting shows that the AOS board tried to persuade Nicola Mullany, Chair of the Independent Appeals Service board to look at POPLAs ruling on GPEOL (Genuine Pre-Estimate of Loss) in light of Country Court rulings.

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.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster


  1. A prime example of why self regulation very rarely works

  2. Surprise surprise.

    There is no reason for POPLA to consider making any changes in light of County Court decisions, given that they do nothing to alter the law as determined in the superior courts that it must be a GPEOL.

    Well, aside from the fact they exist purely to do the bidding of the BPA, obviously.


    Dad's Army? You bet.
    POPLA? Panel Offputting Peoples Legitmate Appeals

    It doesn't matter a damn whether the BPA changes its COP as they don't enforce it anyway and few courts will even take it into consideration as part of a defence strategy.

    Whether GPEOL is knocked out of the COP is neither here nor there as a PPC will still need to be able to prove GPEOL in court anyway. That's what UTCCR is all about.

    Blind panic is setting in. It'll be intersting to see the latest set of accounts for some of these PPC's now after a lengthy period of them struggling to get to grips with the system.

  4. The only suprise here is that we may be suprised by all this back-door dealings and underhand tactics.The PPC's are running scared by GPEOL. I've been saying for months now that we need to have a Plan B for PoPLA. If you throw enough sh*t, at some point it's going to stick and PoPLA will be strong armed into favouring PPC's for GPEOL.

    The main overall point is that the whole thing has for Months stank of being a kangaroo court of processes. The PPC's should never be funding this and whoever losses, should be made to pay a nominal charge, or it should come out of the public purse. All meetings regarding PoPLA should be open for public attendance.

  5. Not forgetting, of course, "The decisions by adjudicators must be binding on the operators."

    I imagine the opposite will be slipped in sooner or later.