Saturday, 1 August 2015

Are the Independent Parking Company Assessors corrupt or just incompetent?

The Prankster has seen a number of bizarre decisions made by assessors from the Independent Parking Committee, and after careful analysis has come to the conclusion that the assessors are either corrupt and institutionally biased against the motorist, or simply incompetent.

Either way, The Prankster considers that the situation is untenable and the DVLA should remove ATA status from the IPC until the situation is remedied.

A perfect example is this decision reported on MSE regarding an appeal for stopping on the road at John Lennon airport.

4. The signage at the location is clear with many signs along the route. The Driver would have had to have passed numerous signs before reaching the location where they choose to stop.
The contractual offer is that driver's are not permitted to stop, but if they choose to then they agree to pay the Parking Charge.
The contract is offered in the signage, by stopping the Driver accepted those terms and the consideration is the binding promise to pay the Parking Charge.
Anybody with a smidgen of legal knowledge would know that it is contract 101 that there must be a meeting of minds before a contract can be in place. This would require both parties to know the terms and conditions of the contract. Unless this happens by a process of osmosis or mind transference, the normal way this would happen is by reading the contract.

Here is a video of a car at normal speeds approaching one of the entrances to the airport, on Hale road.

As you can see, the signage is only visible for 2 seconds, between seconds 19 and 21. There is a another sign on the left, but this is never visible to the driver. The signage is also low down and can therefore be obscured by vehicles and pedestrians (in fact the current Google StreetView illustrates this perfectly, with a group of airport workers leaving by that exit).

The font on the signage is also far too small to read, and the sign contains to many words.

There is no possibility anyone could read the contract without stopping.

(There are similar problems with the signage elsewhere. The signs at the other entrance are visible for a longer period, but this does not help because the font is too small to read until you are very close anyway).

No person possessed of normal reasoning power would conclude that a motorist could read the whole sign, understand it, and agree to a contract in the time available. This leads to the inevitable conclusion, in The Prankster's opinion, that the IPC assessors are either incompetent, or corrupt.

It is interesting that the assessor states:
The Driver would have had to have passed numerous signs before reaching the location where they choose to stop.
You can see an example of these signs at second 27 - there is one on each side of the road. As you can see, these are at 90 degrees to the road and therefore not readable by motorists. Yet the assessor rules these are important. Incompetent or corrupt?

These signs contain different wording than the main signs. How then can this be part of the same contract? Yet the assessor rules they can. Incompetent or corrupt?

In reality, it does not matter how many signs are present. The driver would have to start reading each one from scratch in order to satisfy themselves the wording was the same as the previous one. This is apparent to anyone with basic reasoning skills. Yet the assessor rules a contract can be created in these circumstances. Incompetent or corrupt?

This of course is only one of a number of similar bizarre decisions. The time has come for this farce to stop and the DVLA to shut down the IAS until the problem with their assessors is sorted out.

Prankster Note

The decision of HHJ Moloney in the appeal of Ransomes Park v Anderson is relevant here. In that case the signage was ruled to be a nonsense and unable to form a contract, as it is here. However HHJ Moloney ruled that the landowner intention was still clear, and that it was apparent that motorists should not park on yellow lines. The motorist was therefore trespassing and the tort of trespass applied.

Here, the road signs use the recognised 'No stopping' symbol, together with red lines on the side of the road. The Prankster believes that a motorist stopping on here would be a trespasser and that the landowner could sue for damages. With trespass, the actual loss is important. In Ransomes Park v Anderson the landowner suffered loss because they paid the parking operator each time they detected a trespass. HHJ Moloney made an arbitrary decision as to the amount of that loss, to save having to have another hearing, but ruled that in future cases the actual loss would have to be proven and at market rates. Subsequent investigations show market rates to be about £20 a ticket,

As the last known contract for parking enforcement at Liverpool Airport showed VCS pays the landowner £25,000 a year for the right to issue tickets, the landowner will not have suffered any loss, and in such cases they would be due a nominal £1. Moreover, this would be owed the landowner, not VCS.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster


  1. Replies
    1. Although the apostrophe in driver's also points to incompetent...unless of course this was an incorrect copy paste by the MSE poster.

  2. At best they are unashamedly biased with no semblance of impartiality.
    Scum normally floats to the top but in this case they are dredging the depths of immorality.
    When an organisation such as the BPA is abandoned by members in such numbers in favour of the IPC, you can see the intent. It provided an almost guaranteed win on appeals.

  3. My appeal for stopping is that I stopped in order to read the sign, and anyway I thought stopping and parking were two different things - in my dictionary stopping - to come to a stand, as in a course or journey; to halt; parking - to place or leave (a vehicle) in a certain place for a period of time.

    1. Let me know the IPC verdict on that one! That sounds worthy of a future blog.

    2. I know an airport or 2 where I could do this as well. All fully recorded with voice over to say what's happening.

  4. Anyone who uses the word "driver's" as the plural of driver can have zero knowledge of legalities. If those people churning out those silly "appeals decisions" are lawyers then I'll be one of the seven Supreme Court Justices who presided over Beavis. Those guys are nothing but shysters. And bad ones.

    1. I rest my case that they are baristas, and the IPC hired from the wrong job spec. Their decisions include those which show poor knowledge of parking law, little understanding of case law, poor understanding of consumer legislation, and a clear procedural bias against the motorist. No doubt they make a great cup of coffee, but barristers they ain't.