Thursday, 11 September 2014

Picture of the week - Abersoch Beach Car Park

The Parking Prankster has been sent these pictures of signage at Abersoch Golf Club

As you can, or perhaps cannot, see, the signage blends nicely in with the foliage and is well camouflaged.

Here is another sign.

Although the pole with the ANPR camera stands out, the sign is not easily seen.

Perhaps the reason is the choice of colours - white on green, rather than ParkingEye's usual black on yellow.

The clue to this strange collection of stealth signage is probably in the planning application, available here.

The reference numbers are C13/0186/39/LL and C13/0187/39/HY.

The car park has 161 spaces and the initial plan was for 14 signs with a white background. The car park is in an area of outstanding natural beauty, and a vast number of objections were received. As a result the planning permission was changed to 7 signs on a green background. This is obviously against the BPA code of practice which requires signage to be ample and visible. This new design meets neither of those requirements and is not fit for purpose - ParkingEye should therefore have walked away.

As the site is used by large number of holidaymakers The Prankster predicts this will be a profitable trap for ParkingEye, generating large numbers of tickets from new visitors who do not spot the signs. One visitor reported to The Prankster that he visited twice and walked up and down the car park 8 times before he realised it was an ANPR car park.

Ironically for a bloodsucking operation, the planning application was filed by Christopher Lee on behalf of ParkingEye.

The Prankster recommends that any holidaymaker who did not notice the signs appeals on the grounds that the signage has deliberately been designed to be invisible, and uses the planning documents from the council to prove this. The above photographs can also be used to prove the point. A complaint should also be filed with the BPA that the signage does not meet the standards required. The address to use is

The landowner is Abersoch Golf Club. To complain to them, their contact details are
Clwb Golff Abersoch Golf Club, Golf Road, Abersoch, Pwllheli, LL53 7EY
Telephone: 01758 712622

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster


  1. I emailed the manager of the Golf Club this morning and the response is as follows;

    The signs have been configured according to the regulations as agreed by Parking Eye and then modified following the requirements of the planning requirements from the County Council. As far as wears concerned the signs confirm to all the required guidelines.

  2. The key point is "modified following planning requirements".
    Every ticket will be incorrectly issued and the DVLA should be warned as such.
    Any PE request for this location should be rejected.

  3. 18 month old planning permission does not equal compliance with current BPA regulations.

    They may also have issues with the entrance signage.

    There's a white background sign on entrance, which I can't find referenced in the planning application. It's one of these: (actually double the size of that because it's duplicated in Welsh).

    Relevant planning document is "Reduction_in_No_of_signs_plans_-_16-04-13.pdf" which leads to 43074-267899.pdf. It's the top left blue circle.

    There's a green sign in that location (back to back with the white one), that's visible as you leave. But no mention of the white one (that you're supposed to see on entrance).

    Does anybody know when Parking Eye started adding signs like that to their sites? When the regulations were changed to require it?

    Is this something that's been added without planning permission (within the last 18 months?) in order to attempt to comply with BPA regulations?

    1. This type of entrance site has been required on all new sites since before 1 Oct 2012. ParkingEye will therefore have been well aware of the requirement at the time of the planning decision in 2013

    2. That would mean a sign necessary confirm to BPA guidelines was omitted from the the Planning Application.

      So currently:
      1) There are six signs that have planning permission, which contravene BPA guidance.
      2) There's one sign in keeping with BPA guidance but that doesn't have planning permission.

      Equating to a grand total of zero signs that both have planning permission and comply with BPA guidance.

      To comply with the planning permission (they're so fond of quoting) they'd need to remove the sign, making their contravention of BPA guidelines even more salient. Bit of a conundrum ...

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  5. Hi, I received a parking fine after pulling into the car park with my boat as the barrier on the slip road down to the beach was down and i was blocking the road. Apparently I was there 20 mins waiting for the barrier to go up and hence got a ticket. I thought there was 20 mins free anyway as they run our local hospital car park and that has 20 mins free waiting time.
    Unfortunately I was off to the continent 2 days later so didn't get any of the tickets until after the appeal time. I've appealed partially based on the fact that I didn't see the signage and assumed that I had 20 mins free parking anyway.
    Can anyone tell me if these signs are still the same or if any new ones have appeared as I live over 4 hours away and it would cost me as much in fuel to go check as it would to pay the fine.

  6. Hi

    I took the photos. I was there in August this year too and they were the same then.

    Hope the appeal works.

    I think they take the signs down in the off season. This is a tourist trap after all.

    Maybe try giving the golf club a ring or emailing. I think the secretary there can waive the tickets. No idea if it will work but as you were doing what you did to enable access to the golf club maybe he'll take your side.

    Let us know how it goes.

  7. Well I went to court today and the judge basically said that they sympathized with me it shouldn't have gone past the appeal process but now that it has gone to court they will have to rule in accordance with the the supreme high courts rulings which mean that "entry in to the car park, for what ever reason, is deemed as entering into the contract for parking" therefore as I stayed in the carpark for 20 minutes without a valid ticket I was in breach of the terms and conditions, in regards to the signage the requirement is for contrasting colours between the lettering on the sign and the background of the sign so if you got out and read the sign there would be no difficulty.
    The one thing I did get out of this was the advise to appeal repeatedly before it comes to court, ignore the 'you only have 28 days to appeal' appeal through every avenue as once it goes to court everything is black and white either you did it or you didn't no mitigating circumstances.
    Next time, I think i'll stay parked across the entrance.

    1. The judge is so wrong about all these thing, but sadly it doesn't help you. Your best revenge will be to avoid all shops who use ParkingEye.

    2. Well the sailing club will be parking in the town centres car park this year so that's at least £500 not going into Parking Eyes pockets.