Friday, 29 May 2015

ANPR Ltd lost contract with Preston Council

The following email has been forwarded to The Prankster from a concerned motorist.
Good morning Mr X,
Following on from our meeting yesterday , a decision has been taken to terminate our contract with ANPR Ltd. The Company has been served with notice in accordance with the contractual requirements and instructed not to undertake any further parking management on behalf of the Council.
Kind regards
This will not affect previous charges - The Prankster understands that ANPR Ltd have started court action in regard to some of these. However, as the charges are for trespass, it is not apparent to The Prankster why ANPR Ltd have the standing to bring the case, or why the loss to the landowner is £100.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Is it PCM-UK who 'make up stuff all the time'? Watchdog exposes the deceitful appeals practices of one parking company!

Watchdog sent secret cameras into a Parking company top expose their dodgy practices. Their staff were heard to say 'we make up stuff all the time'.

But who were the parking company? The Prankster believes it was PCM-UK for the following reasons, all found around 40 minutes into the program.

1) What is this computer screen showing? Does anyone recognise this page?

2) The red stamp reads 'IMPORTANT PARKING INFORMATION ENCLOSED'. Have you received a stamp like this, on an envelope this size, from PCM-UK?

3) The green notice board reads Chobham Manor. Do you know who enforces parking there?

4) The picture in the top right looks suspiciously like a copy of PCM-UK's signage. For reference, here is what a typical sign looks like.

5) The staff refer to the height of the signage above ground. Although other operators also use high signage, PCM-UK are characterised by their habit of placing their signs very high up. As they have very small writing it is a common complaint that they are unreadable. Note the distortion which shows up in picture of the sign above - the photo was taken from below the sign which causes this.

6) PCM-UK was featured in the Watchdog program for ticketing a motorist when they parked in the bay allocated to shop customers, even though they were a shop customer.

7) The manager talked about court cases costing between £200 and £1000. PCM-UK do occasionally go to court, filing something under 5 cases in 2014.

So was this PCM-UK or another car parking company? If you have any more information please contact The Prankster

Of the other two parking companies featured in watchdog, one was ParkingEye and the other was managing Lusty Glaze in Cornwall, so was presumably one of the Cornish companies, such as Armtrac, who are notorious for issuing charges when the ticket falls to the floor.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Thursday, 21 May 2015

ACE Security cancels baseless court claim

The Prankster had to choose between several possible titles for this blog entry, such as
  • DVLA give out data to yet another parking company not in an ATA
  • Solicitor of the Week, Thomas Browne, admits claim was without merit
  • ACE Security cancels baseless court claim
  • Beavis appeal result confirms parking charge is without merit
The case concerns a vehicle parked against the landowner's wishes nine times between 9/7/2013 and 22/2/2014. The driver, a young man, paid four charges but then did not pay the rest. They also rather foolishly pretended to be someone else and paid using a pre-signed cheque on somebody else's account. The driver at one point telephoned the parking company company which was recorded.

There is of course no doubt the driver is liable for some form of charge, and that the basis of the charge is trespass. The signage states "Failure to comply with the rules made by the landowner will mean your vehicle is trespassing and will result in the issue of a charge notice of £130"

The parking company, ACE Security Systems (also known as Pace Recovery and Storage Systems Ltd), contacted the person who the driver impersonated and started to badger them into paying the remaining five charges. This person explained they were not the driver. This was of course, patently obvious as they were a much older person and their voice did not match with the voice on the recording.

ACE Security then made one enquiry to the DVLA. The enquiry was made on 12/09/2014 for the parking event on 27/01/2014. ACE Security then started writing to the keeper to demand payment. The keeper was a woman and therefore could not have been the driver. The enquiry to the DVLA was made outside the timescales for keeper liability and so there was no keeper liability either. ACE Security therefore had no basis for contacting the keeper whatsoever, but this not stop them bulling and harassing her.

Luckily ACE Security do not belong to an ATA so there is no-one to stop them doing this, there is no independent appeals service which the motorist can appeal to and there is no control on the level of charges. The letters therefore continued.

ACE Security ask the DVLA to cough up data on the basis that the landowner has been trespassed against. Their website clearly claims they are acting as a car park management company.

The DVLA requires car park management companies to belong to an ATA. ACE Security do not, but this does not stop the DVLA from supplying keeper data anyway. When the keeper complained, the DVLA replied as follows.

Stating they had to supply data until the judicial revue is concluded is of course is a slight fib by the DVLA. The judge's order only required them to provide data to Proserve until the judicial review is over - not to any Tom Dick and Harry who asks for it. Additionally, the ACE Security request was made on 12/9/2014. The order that Proserve had to be supplied with data was only made on 17/12/2014.

The DVLA letter therefore gives no valid explanation as to why ACE Security was given data at that particular time, and it is apparent that the DVLA will give out data to anyone who asks for it without making proper checks.

Following a large amount of other letters, ACE Security finally filed a claim against the impersonated person. The claim was for trespass.

When a claim is made for trespass only someone who has an interest in the land can make the claim*, and additionally the charge must be for actual damage caused by the trespass. If no damages have occurred, a nominal amount of £1 is usually used. A 1.5 tonne vehicle parked on tarmac designed to hold a 1.5 tonne vehicle is not likely to cause any damage. The nominal sum of £1 would therefore apply.

So what we have here is a claim made against someone the claimant should reasonably have known was neither the driver nor the keeper, for trespass when the claimant had no no apparent interest in the land, and for an amount of £975 (£195 per charge) which had no relation to any possible trespass damage caused.

Despite this Thomas Brown of Bowles Solicitors filed a claim anyway.

Later on, Thomas Browne submitted an amendment to the claim to add in the keeper. This is despite knowing that the keeper could not possibly be the driver, (because she was a woman and the driver was a man), and that keeper liability could not possibly apply because the timescales of POFA 2012 were not complied with.

At this point The Prankster was contacted for advice. The Prankster could not see any apparent cause of action against either of the defendants so suggested that they write to the solicitors suggesting they drop the claim.

The solicitors responded by making an offer to settle for £500. The Prankster advised that this was a bluff and to reject the offer. 10 days later the solicitors wrote again notifying that they were discontinuing the claim. Bizarrely they cited the ParkingEye v Beavis appeal result as the reason for discontinuing.

That paragraph is as follows:
It is an oddity of the facts that the respondent appears not to make any money out of thecontract unless drivers do overstay, so enabling Mr Hossain to argue that, so far from suffering loss by a driver overstaying, the respondent only stands to gain by that breach of contract (though of course if the appellant is right and the parking charge is unenforceable, the operator does not stand to gain anything under any circumstances). The law would allow damages for trespass against the overstayer without regard to what the operator would have done but for the trespass: see for example Swordheath Properties v Tabet [1979] 1 WLR 285. Thus, the actual effect of the trespass on the car park operator's position is not relevant in any event. However, unless the defendant's occupation has been of particular value to him, the compensation would be limited to the market value of the occupation during the period of trespass. That would provide no disincentive against overstaying.
Of course, this is tried and tested trespass law. The Beavis case shed no special light on this and any person competent in the legal aspects of trespass should have known this. In the Prankster's opinion, the claim had no basis. It was filed against the wrong defendant, by the wrong claimant and for an amount not justified by any existing case law.

Now that ACE Securities legal representatives have admitted they have no basis for claiming their charge in this case, The Prankster can see no basis for them charging this amount in any other case. This means that any further application to the DVLA should be refused because there is no reasonable cause. This should only be changed once ACE Security have confirmed that their charge levels have been adjusted to the actual loss to the landowner.

The Prankster suggests that any person receiving a charge from ACE Security complains to the DVLA if the keeper data is released, and also appeals to ACE Security with a copy of the letter from their legal representatives which confirms their charge is not allowable.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

*this is an oversimplification

ANPR Ltd get keeper details using Credit Services Association backdoor

It seems there is not longer a need for parking companies to spend large amounts of money joining either the British Parking Association (BPA) or the Independent Parking Committee (IPC)


Parking companies can use the Credit Services Association as a convenient back door into the DVLA database, which means they are not troubled by bothersome requirements to provide an independent appeals service, keep their fees at a set level, or abide by a code of practice.

This thread on MSE confirms that an FoI to Preston Council came back with the response:

Further to your earlier email correspondence with my colleague Ms. Parmenter, I can advise you that ANPR Ltd have supplied a copy of their membership of The Credit Services association which is an ATA registered with DVLA.
ANPR Ltd joined the CSA on 1 April 2015, which co-incidentally was the date they left the BPA. It appears this was the 'contingency plan' hinted at on their news page.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

ParkingEye case stayed until Supreme Court hearing developments are known

The Prankster has been informed of the following case which has been stayed following the Beavis appeal result.

Aberystwyth Court, case no 3JD08308  ParkingEye v Davies 

The case is stayed initially until 31 July 2015 and is then to be reviewed by the Court in light of any developments.

The Prankster understands that Mr Beavis will file his appeal shortly, and so the situation should be clearer by 31 July.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Co-op confirm they have not cut a deal with DEAL

The Prankster contacted the Co-op to check if the reason they issued the recent 'authority to issue charges' letter was that they had made a deal so that CEL would drop all cases against Co-op employees. The Co-op have written back to confirm that this is not the case, that cases against Co-op employees are still active, and that the two test cases in Bristol are still going ahead.

The Prankster is happy to set the record straight but is still no wiser as to why the letter was issued, or why the Co-op would wish to throw its genuine customers to the wolves. Although Mr ones states the reason for parking contraol is to prevent people from parking there all day, practically all CEL victims who have contacted The Prankster were genuine customers who overstayed by a small amount and none were from people who had parked there all day.

CEL are using the letter to try and pressure motorists whose cases have already been struck out. This thread on MoneySavingExpert detail the case of a motorist whose case was struck out on April 1st.

Recently the motorist received a letter from CEL containing the co-op letter and stating that they must pay £250 or face costs of £530

Drafting of claim/witness statement £70
General file attendance £45
Hearing Fee £25
Preparation for hearing £65
Claimant attending court/travel £125
Total £330
To this total they have added the fees of £200 of their previous attempt at court which was struck out
Notwithstanding the fact that it is extremely unlikely that a judge would allow the case to be re-instated since CEL have no good reason why they did not pay the £25 hearing fee, the fees listed are also totally inappropriate.

Of these fees, only the hearing fee is a genuine cost which would be allowed in court if they won their case. The previous court fees are entirely their own fault for not paying the fee. Drafting of claim/witness statement, general file attendance and preparation for hearing are not fees which are allowed.  The claimant is not allowed fees for attending court because that is part of their job. They are allowed travel fees, but only fees which are actually incurred. if they send a solicitor on their behalf, travel would not usually be appropriate as a solicitor local to the court should be used. As they put exactly the same amount on each letter (£125) this has no basis in fact. In the rare events that CEL do send a representative it is usually Ashley Cohen. Ashley Cohen lives in Hendon, London, so would be able to claim reasonable travel expenses from there.

The letter is therefore a bullying bluff, and The Prankster questions whether CEL have even asked for the case to be re-instated, since this will cost them £155 in court fees.

In addition, The Prankster has received a number of witness statements signed by Ashley Cohen which are for all intents and purposes exactly the same. To claim £70 for drafting a witness statement may therefore be fraudulent on the part of Mr Cohen as the cost has not actually been incurred.

Civil Enforcement Limited are currently the subject of criminal proceedings in Aberdeen and The Prankster has been made aware that there is interest in these witness statements. If you have received a witness statement signed by Ashley Cohen, together with a letter claiming it cost £70 (or anything) to draft, and are willing for this to be used as evidence in any criminal case against CEL/DEAL, please forward copies of letter and statement to The Prankster together with a statement that these can be passed on along with your email address.

Ashley Cohen has a long history of having problems with witness statements, having signed them without apparent authority on behalf of many companies such as the Co-op, Scottish Widows, Fosters and may others.

The link between CEL and DEAL has also now been further confirmed and as well as Ashley Cohen's confession to the Solicitors Regulatory Authority there is also this thread on LegalBeagles. In one case where DEAL was asked to pay the motorist the cheque was actually signed by CEL.

Gary Wayne, Ashley Cohen and Simon Abraham are apparently the main business partners and controlling minds in Creative Parking Solutions, Creative Parking, StarPark, Civil Enforcement and DEAL. They use straw men as the directors filed with Companies House. According to one source they use different companies so that bad publicity does not overlap. Bemrose Mobile is another associated company.

The Prankster has been informed that Gary Wayne, Ashley Cohen and Simon Abraham are all multi-millionaires but has not been able to confirm this. Apparently this contrasts with most people based at their headquarters who are on minimum wage. They do however hold extravagant Christmas parties and it was very popular to bring potential clients to private members clubs.

According to the Royal Mail postcode finder, the address of their headquarters is 126 Colindale Avenue, North London. Although most of their correspondence lists their address as Manchester, this is a maildrop.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Monday, 18 May 2015


This document was recently sent out by Liverpool Airport Customer Services

The Prankster notes the document was last edited in July 2014, and so does not think too much should be read into the fact that VCS's current contract terminates in 2015. 

VCS has already had their contract renewed once.That contract, which ended in June 2013, saw VCS pay a fee of £25,000 to be allowed to issue charges for stopping on the roadway. VCS then paid up to 35% of the charge in a further concession fee.

It is not known the current level of concession fee VCS pay. Liverpool Airport have stated it is no longer £25,000, but have not said whether it has been adjusted up or down.

Although the airport denies byelaws are in place, this document on Ryan Air's web site suggests they have selective memory failure.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Preston City Council stick fingers in ears. La la la la la

It appears that Preston City Council are unwilling to accept the fact that ANPR Ltd have not been a member of an ATA since 1 April 2015, as this freedom of information request demonstrates.

It is not clear if ANPR Ltd can provide an effective service to Preston Council if they are unable to request keeper details from the DVLA - only members of an ATA can request details for car parking purposes.

Possibly Trevor Whitehouse is relying on the fact that the DVLA's security checks are about as useful as a using a colander as a bucket. For instance Ace Security Services have no difficulty in getting keeper details even though they are not in any ATA.

The other possibly is that the 'contigency plan' has been activated.

If anyone has received a Notice to Keeper from ANPR Ltd for a parking event dated after 1 April 2015, The Prankster would be very interested in receiving details.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Friday, 15 May 2015

Picture of the week - ParkingEye target abusive parking in Ambulance bay

From facebook...

Here's how it ended:
An update on the parking ticket after speaking with the facilities dept who have been extremely helpful...our ambulance wasn't the one that was suppose to get ticketed. Another ambulance blocked the blue light route and ours was ticketed by accident.

The ticket has been cancelled.
An easy mistake to make...issuing the ticket to a different vehicle.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Have Co-op cut a deal with Civil Enforcement Limited?

[Update. The Co-op have responded to this blog article here]

A number of motorists have contacted The Prankster saying that CEL have been in touch with a copy of a letter from the Co-op.

The letter is signed on behalf of Chris Jones from the Co-op and states CEL have the authority to issue parking charges.

The Prankster last met Mr Jones in Bristol, where he was present for a directions hearing.

CEL/DEAL had filed cases against 50 or more Co-op employees and two cases were selected as test cases, stayed until after ParkingEye v Beavis. The cases were Civil Enforcement Limited v Curtis A93YM708, and DEAL v Colclough A79YP365. 

The Prankster cannot therefore think of any reason Mr Jones would write such a letter...unless the Co-op have cut a deal with CEL, and have provided them with this letter in exchange for dropping all claims against Co-op employees. 

If there was another reason, then The Prankster invites the Co-op to put the record straight. Otherwise, it appears the Co-op may have thrown their customers to the wolves.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Whistl suspends service. NTKs may arrive late

The BBC reports that Mail delivery service Whistl has suspended deliveries.

Several parking companies, possibly including ParkingEye, are believed to use Whistl. This could therefore affect delivery of a large number of Notice to Keeper's, which might now fail to arrive in the correct timescale, if at all.

Motorists are therefore advised to keep the envelope their NTK was delivered in, together with a record of the day it was delivered. If they are lucky enough to catch the postman, they can also attempt to get them to witness the delivery date.

This would apply primarily to parking events from around 56 days ago up to the present date.

If day 1 is the day after the parking event, then an NTK issued via ANPR should arrive on or before day 14. An NTK issued following a windscreen tickets should arrive between days 28 and 56. Ifthey do not, keeper liability does not apply.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Monday, 11 May 2015

London Councils issue clarifying statement regarding POPLA adjourned cases

The Prankster previously blogged the POPLA Lead Adjudicator's statement regarding the Beavis case.

London Councils Press Office have requested that The Prankster issue the following clarifying press release.

A London Councils spokesperson said: “No decision is yet necessary because all cases where the issue may arise currently stand adjourned pending representations from the parties. However, if and when the case referred to is lodged at the Supreme Court, the Lead Adjudicator will consider the appropriate course.

The Prankster hopes this makes everything clear.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Saturday, 9 May 2015

ParkingEye small claim stayed until Beavis Supreme Court appeal

Another claim has been stayed until the ParkingEye v Beavis Supreme Court appeal.

Judge Jack stayed case A9FC264P on 30th April 2015 at Stafford. The Prankster suggests that all defendants file this as part of their defence and also ask for a stay.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Friday, 8 May 2015

Barry Beavis chooses John de Waal QC. POPLA position on the appeal to the Supreme Court

Barry Beavis has chosen John deWaal QC to represent him in the Supreme Court.

Mr de Waal previously wrote an insightful analysis of the case.

POPLA stayed cases while the Court of Appeal result was awaited. Their current position is that they will not stay cases again until the appeal to the Supreme Court is filed, and they will then reconsider their position. The Lead Adjudicator issued this statement.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Proserve Judicial Review

On Wednesday 6th May the judicial review between Proserve and the DVLA occured. Proserve want to obtain keeper data without belonging to an Approved Trade Association (ATA). This report was received from bargepole, who went along to observe proceedings.

The hearing started prompt at 10:30, Mr Justice Edis in the chair (before he became a judge, he was the prosecutor in the Chris Huhne case).

Counsel for Proserve went in to bat first, and submitted the following points:

·         ATAs are relevant to parking, but not to trespass. There should be a separate ATA for landowners and their agents.
·         The decision to suspend data access by DVA is therefore irrational.
·         Proserve clients include Port of Felixstowe – vital in public interest that roadways are kept clear
·         (Interrupted by Judge – surely most HGVs have the name and phone number written on them? And what about foreign vehicles?)
·         Proserve has made approx. 1800 data requests since 2012, using V888/2 manual form
·         Lessons learnt from Ransomes v Anderson appeal – new signs do not mention contract, and letters now say ‘Trespass Notice’
·         Amounts charged are now VAT inclusive, no attempt to charge VAT on top.
·         Regulation 27 says ‘may’ release data, but other text in that passage suggests they are obliged to
·         (Interrupted by Judge – surely the ‘may’ wording means it is at the discretion of the Secretary of State for Transport, via their agency, the DVLA?)
·         DVLA admit Proserve’s business model is ‘unique’ but still want them to join an ATA
·         DVLA have misinterpreted Data Protection Act in reaching their decision
·         The BPA and IPC Codes of Practice are inappropriate for a company such as Proserve
·         The CoPs are designed to deal with permissive parking. Proserve don’t ‘do’ parking, they do trespass.
·         Damages for trespass should not be subject to early payment discount.
·         Liability can always be decided by civil court, so no independent appeals process necessary
·         (Judge: yes but when the DVLA decision was made, the signs did say contract or trespass)

The above went on until 12:15, and then it was the turn of the DVLA barrister.

·         The key issue – whether Proserve must be an ATA member to get data – is subject to the test of Wednesbury unreasonableness.
·         Would any reasonable public body, acting reasonably, have reached the same decision? Answer – Yes.
·         It is agreed that the Proserve business model is unique, but not to the extent they say it is.
·         They have some sites where a £10 charge is made for overnight HGV parking, and others where parking permits are issued. So they do ‘do parking’.
·         (Lunch Break)
·         They do not have to rely on Sch. 4 of POFA to get data, they can pursue under the ‘old’ or ‘new’ rules.
·         They offer no Independent appeal service whatsoever
·         The requirement to join an ATA is to ensure fairness to the motorist
·         It’s perfectly possible for Proserve to apply for membership of the BPA or the IPC
·         (Interrupted by Judge: If they were restricted to £100 maximum, might that bankrupt them? Counsel: That figure is negotiable)
·         The fact that Mr Duff has a bailiff certificate renewed every 2 years is irrelevant
·         The COP of both BPA and IPC specifically mention trespass
·         The DVLA is a data controller, but the DPA did not form any part of its decision to suspend – Section 35 of DPA does not apply

He sat down at 2:30, then Proserve’s counsel had some rebuttals, revolving around the fact that if Proserve couldn’t get data, the landowners would have to apply instead, but the DVLA has already said they would have to join an ATA on the same basis. The Judge said that landowners who have the odd abandoned car might not need to be in an ATA, but it was probably right that those doing requests on a large scale might need to be.

So all finished by 2:55, Judge said he would reserve Judgment and hand it down later. It may not take as long as the Beavis case did, firstly there’s only one Judge, and secondly, there aren’t any complex legal arguments.

Prankster Comments

If Proserve are arguing they do not have to be in an ATA, why are they arguing there should be a new class of ATA?

Proserve admit they were in the wrong for 1,800 data requests, but that lessons have now been learned. If they were a member of an ATA, these lessons would have been learned a long time ago.

The Prankster agrees the current codes of practice of the BPA or IPC would benefit from modifying to accomodate the Proserve model. However, there is nothing to stop this happening

Hiding behind the corner and putting a ticket on a vehicle when the driver is not looking does nothing to keep the port of Felixstowes roads clear. Instead, actually talking to the driver while he is still in the vehicle and asking him to move on would be the correct solution.

it is inappropriate to ask the courts to decide on 1,800 cases of liability. This is unfair to motorists who would be at a serious disadvantage facing Proserve's barristers in the small claims court, and it would also cost them money which they could not recover when they won. In addition, Proserve cases have been characteristed by legal problems and by providing false and misleading information in court. There is nothing to suggest they would play by the rules in future. The proper way would be for an independent appeals body to be available free of charge to motorists.

The Prankster laughs at the suggestion that a £100 maximum charge would bankrupt Proserve. As disclosed in the Ransome Park v Anderson case, Proserve are paid a management fee to patrol the area. When they discover a trespass, they charge the landowner to photograph the vehicle and stick at ticket on, then apply to the DVLA for details and write begging letters. 

As disclosed in large numbers of POPLA cases, this can all be done for around £10. In ParkingEye v Beavis, it was disclosed the average costs per ticket were £18, but this also includes an appeals service, POPLA, and the general running costs of the whole company, including any hefty director wages and bonuses. Companies such as Ranger Services will outsource this for you; the Prankster believes the cost is around £20. Debt Recovery Plus will also do this for you. They add £20 to the Notice to Keeper for this service. Proserve's charge of £250 is therefore ludicrously out of kilter. Additionally, as there is no extra work involved, there is no justification for charging more for commercial vehicles than for cars.

HHJ Moloney, in his judgment in the Ransome park v Anderson case, reminded everyone that in a trespass case the amount awarded is actual damages. He also made it clear that Proserve could not charge an arbitrary amount, but that the landowner must do due diligence and find the true market price. The Prankster maintains that as Ranger Services or Debt Recovery Plus will carry out essentially the level of service for £20, then this is the amount that can be charged for trespass.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Prankster update

Facebook have asked that The Prankster page be a community page rather than a 'real person' page. The new facebook page is now live and available here:

The Prankster guide to defending a ParkingEye claim is being updated following the Beavis result and changes to consumer legislation, and so is temporarily not available.

The Prankster guide to the court process is slightly out of date, but still available. The pre-action conduct guidelines changed in April 2015.

The Prankster website is out of date following the Beavis result and will be updated soon.

The Prankster has recently been the subject of slanderous attacks on social media by various cowards and bullies so may have to remove posting privileges or specific posts from time to time. The police have been notified. Any contact which is slanderous, inflammatory or harrassing, whether about The Prankster or any other person, will be logged and kept as evidence.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

ParkingEye kicked out of Whitlingham Country Park

According to the Norwich Advertiser, ParkingEye's contract at Whitlingham Country Park has been terminated two years early.

The aggressive ticketing practices drove off many customers of the park, who said they would not return after being hit with £100 parking charges.

John Fuller, council leader, has previously described the park as a great resource, but said Parking Eye’s enforcement had discouraged users.
According to an analysis of the Park's accounts, parking charges were £4,436 before ParkingEye took over management in 2011, and had risen to £118,269 in 2013.

Thus, ParkingEye were raking in huge annual amounts for the outlay of a few cameras. These will all have been from genuine park visitors, many of whom would not return.

The Prankster hopes the park will adopt a new solution which does not rely on the generation of punative charges to fund management.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

ParkingEye kicked out of Two Saints, Ormskirk?

According to this post on MSE, ParkingEye have been kicked out of Two Saints, Ormskirk.

This previous blog by The Prankster gives an insight into why ParkingEye might be losing contracts.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

ParkingEye kicked out of Kingswood on Hull? Beavis verdict based on wrong assumptions

This post on MSE reports that ParkingEye are no longer active on the Kingswood in Hull site. The Prankster can only speculate the reasons why, but the most likely reason is their agressive ticketing practices, which drive away customers and cause the retailers to lose business.

Interestingly, in the recent ParkingEye v Beavis case regarding Riverside Retail Park in Chelmsford, one of the reasons the judges gave for refusing the appeal was that the two hour limit was beneficial to shopkeepers.

It is also useful to the shopkeepers, in encouraging visitors, and in particular in encouraging a turnover of visitors because of the two hour limit.
It appears this reason was made up by the judges, as The Prankster can find no evidence that was filed by the claimant to support this. In fact, a recent survey of the retailers at that site showed they were fed up with ParkingEye, and that the two hour limit lost them business rather than gained business.

There are 12 retail units on site, and the survey asked two questions.
a) Have you had many customer complaints about the 2-hour parking limit
b) Does Parking Eye's enforcement of the 2 hours help or hinder your business
 The results were:
7 said they had lots of complaints, and it drove customers away
2 said it helped, because without it the car park would fill up with non-customers
2 had no manager available for comment
1 was the Nuffield Health Gym, where their customers get 4 hours if they log their registration number.
Typical complaints are that retailers could spend all day trying to get charges cancelled on behalf of customers, and that trollies have been abandoned mid-shop because of the 2 hour limit. They also noted that once customers had been hit by a ParkingEye charge they tended not to return.

The survey shows the actual situation, contrary to the judges impression, is overwhelmingly that ParkingEye is detrimental to business rather than beneficial.

Since the survey was taken, a Costa has also opened on site, which will only add to the problems.

When ParkingEye initially took over the site, the car park used to have a barrier operated system. This is of course much farier to motorists because you pay for the time you park and you know exactly where you stand. It does not generate huge parking charge profits though, so ParkingEye routinely remove barriers and replace them with ANPR.

The initial time limit on the site was 3 hours. This was reduced by ParkingEye to two hours, as allowed by their contract with the landowner. There does not appear to have been any consultation with retailers or shopper analysis, which leaves the obvious conclusion that the 3 hour limit was not generating enough overstay charges and so ParkingEye were not making enough profit on site to cover their £1,000 weekly fees to the landowner. When this type of situation occurs, ParkingEye's only apparent options are to leave the site, or to decrease parking times to generate more revenue.

No doubt this parasitic behaviour which is against the interests of landowners, retailers and motorists, will lead to more contracts being cancelled over the long term. The Prankster suggests that landowners seek out the better parking companies who actually offer a proper service, rather than go for the operators who operator the parasitic model.

The situation is quite obvious. There may be a few abusers of any given car park, but once they are driven away, the only way for the parasitic parking companies to survice is to target the retailers own customers. This can never be a winning long term strategy. The solution is for proper parking management, which will get rid of the abusers but then manage the car park properly for the genuine customers.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Overall then

Sunday, 3 May 2015

ParkingEye case stayed until Supreme Court decides on Beavis

At least one case has already been stayed until the Supreme Court has had a chance to decide on the Beavis case.

29 April 2015 Kingston upon Thames. ParkingEye v Mr B A7FC835N

Before the case, ParkingEye's representative from LPC Law asked the clerk to point out Mr B. He approached the defendant and said that ParkingEye v Beavis has gone in ParkingEye's favour. Mr B replied that he would ask for an adjournment until the Supreme Court ruling. The LPC Law representative laughed and said that was not going to happen as the court would not want to prolong the case. Mr B replied 'See you in court.'

As it happened the judge agreed with Mr B and the case is now stayed. The LPC Law representative was not pleased, but on the other hand he still trousered an estimated £200-£300 so that's not bad money for a few minutes work.

ParkingEye are known to be writing to the courts to get the stay lifted on all cases which were held over until the Beavis result. The Prankster suggests all defendants write back to the court, opposing the lifting of the stay, quoting the above case and asking for the stay to remain until the Supreme Court hearing has been held.

The Prankster does wonder at the sensibleness of ParkingEye's strategy. If they do succeed in getting the stay lifted only for it to be reapplied at a hearing, their eventual LPC Law costs for 3 hearings will be around £900. As the parking charge is a maximum of £100, they will out of pocket by £800 even if they finally win the case.

Currently the largest number of hearings a case has taken (that the Prankster is aware of) is 3, which means ParkingEye will be down by £1100 if they choose to go to a fourth hearing and win, or £1400 if it gets stayed again and goes to a fifth hearing.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster