Tuesday, 5 May 2015

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This post on MSE reports that ParkingEye are no longer active on the Kingswood in Hull site.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


  1. The funny thing is that PE don't even operate a system to protect the car park owneres in the 1st place. Giving a 2 hour limit is perhaps one way to do it, but what point is there to that if the driver then wanders off into town before returning to drive away.
    As they have no way to prevent this the system is inherently flawed.
    Now, an account to support his. I went fishing in Durham the other day. On the way there I relised I hadn't brought my wallet so couldn't use any of the parking spaces along the road or in the council car park.

    I nearly turned round to come home but instead drove into the new Radisson hotel car park monitored by ANPR. Drove in with the number plate covered.
    OK I know it's morally wrong but this just shows how effective ANPR is in preventing car park abuse

  2. Out of interest, what "better companies" did you have in mind? Ones that operate warden patrol rather than ANPR?

  3. Companies which operate via managment fee so have no incentive to issue charges. Companies which issue warning notices for first or minor transgressions, and only target genuine abuse. Companies which set the charge to genuine cost of issuing and processing a ticket. Companies which have a patrol and so really manage the car park

    1. What I meant to say was, do you know of any such companies?

  4. ANPR can never work in giving disabled drivers or passengers access to their rights to longer shopping time, as it simply takes pictures of the numberplate. Wonder if HHJ Moloney took that into consideration or the appeal judges.

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