Monday, 20 July 2015

Citizens Advice shows parking companies prey on the elderly

The Prankster has known for a long time that some parking companies prey on the vulnerable members of society. A large proportion of the people asking him for help fall into that category. That has now been backed up by statistics publicised by the Citizens Advice Bureaux in Scotland.

Their figures show a significant number of 65-79 year old clients needing help compared with the overall sample base.

Companies like ParkingEye rely on bad signage and difficult terms and conditions to generate a large number of parking charges. This can be shown at hospitals - a typical hospital site can generate £1,000,000 a year for an unscrupulous operator.

The Citizens Advice document goes on to recommend that parking charges in Scotland are challenged on the basis of bad signage and excessive charges.

In England the Court of Appeal has ruled that charges can contain an element of deterrent, as long as that is not more than needed; the benchmark set is the level of similar council charges, which are known to be a deterrent. These are £25/£50 in most of the United Kingdom. In Aberdeen these are £30/£60.

Mark Lindsay QC gives a thorough analysis of parking charges, and eloquently describes the differences between English and Scottish law.

Alongt he way he debunks the claims of the IPC that their charges are valid because they are contractual, rather than breach of contract. He points out that the correct analysis is to look at the substance and the reality of the charge. Although he did not mention it, the judge in the case of CEL v McCafferty had the same opinion. He also points out that even if the charge is found to be contractual, the contract still fails consumer legislation with the unfair escalation clause.

The document is well worth a read for anyone facing parking charges in Scotland, or indeed, anyone facing the IPC fake 'contractual charge' model

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster


  1. Do you mean "Citizens Advice" and not "Consumers Association" in your blog title?