Monday, 14 July 2014

UKCPS claim dismissed. Judge rules signage too wordy

A3QZ1305 UKCPS v Ms X (02/07/2014 Sheffield) Centertainment car park, Sheffield. Judge Birkby ruled there was no contract as the signage was deficient.

This case was also reported on moneysavingexpert.

Being well prepared can be the difference between winning and losing a court claim. In this case the parking company scored a classic own goal by quoting from an inappropriate case. Before going to court Ms X read several books on Contracts so she could clearly state what a contract was and how she could not have made one.

During the hearing Stephen Hall from UKCPS quoted Vine v London Borough of Waltham Forest [2000] EWCA Civ 106, suggesting that not reading a sign will not stop a contract from occurring. In reality, the court of appeal judgement found exactly the opposite and that a contract may not be formed if for instance the signage was not sufficiently prominent as to be visible from the parking spot, or there was a reason that the driver could not read the signage, such as being ill. The defendant therefore pointed out the referred to case was actually won by the motorist.

Judge Birkby, on hearing this, decided to read the judgment and sent both parties out for half an hour.

On returning, he dismissed the claim, deeming that no contract had occurred because the signs had too many words on them to make them easy to read. He ordered UKCPS to put up signs which made it clear that although it was a free car park, penalties could apply.

Although Mr Hall informed the judge the signs have already been changed, the defendant subsequently visited the site and found them still lacking in clarity.

Typical UKCPS sign (not from site in question)

Stephen Hall asked for a gagging condition on paying the defendant's expenses, but Judge Birkby informed him the case was in the public domain.

Since the case is free to be reported on, no doubt it will soon be featured on their web site as threatened by their letters before claim:

Despite being billed as 'recent', the current list of cases is sadly mostly well out of date, with 3 cases from 2010, 2 from 2011, 3 from 2012, 9 from 2013 and only 4 from 2014 (the latest being February), one of which was a case where the defendant did not appear in court. 3 cases failed to download and so could not even be read.

The rest of their website is equally misleading. Although they claim a high success rate at POPLA, in reality they won 28% in 2013 and 44% in 2014.

Do not accidentally visit That is the UK Coloured Pencil Society.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster


  1. Coloured Pencils may be a bit too sharp for them, they may be better with Crayons.

  2. He ordered UKCPS to put up signs which made it clear that although it was a free car park, PENALTIES WOULD APPLY?.

    Penalty? Methinks the learned judge meant a contractual charge did he not?

  3. Another thought and something even more important than the Vine case is that you can't make a contract when it offers no consideration for payment.

  4. A gagging order for paying the defendants costs..? Although they have lost their case they have the audacity to ask the court to not put the judgement on record..?