The British Parking association code of practice requires a minimum 10 minute grace period for leaving a car park, and an unspecified grace period on arrival to park, find the signage and read it. The Prankster considers that a 5 minute grace period to do this is not unreasonable, especially considering the motorist was in his 70s. ParkingEye will therefore have been in breach of the code of practice for issuing this charge.
The couple panicked and paid at the reduced rate of £50 because the letter arrived only a few days before the discount expired and the full amount became payable.
ParkingEye's signage and cameras are currently installed illegally at the park, and they were ordered to apply for planning permission on 26 January 2016.
The park has been blighted by ParkingEye for a long time. In 2012, Councillors passed the following resolution.
1. This Council condemns the practices of Parking Eye Ltd at St Peter’s Retail Park particularly in their use of CCTV number plate recognition as they discriminate against disable users of the retail park, impose extortionate charges upon shoppers using the park and have failed, through inadequate signage, to properly advise users of the retail park as to the terms and conditions of parking.
2. This Council through its Managing Director shall write to Parking Eye Ltd requiring that:
Parking Eye Ltd abandons the number plate recognition system being used to monitor times when shoppers enter and leave the car park and revert to a pay and display ticketing system or adopt a pay on exit scheme
Parking Eye Ltd grants an amnesty to all those who have been sent penalty charge notices demanding the payment of unlawful and unjustified fines since taking over the management of the car park
Parking Eye Ltd refunds the fines they have collected to date since taking over the management of the car park
That the company sets up an appeals system run by a third party so that appeals against future alleged breaches of the parking regulations are dealt with fairly.
3. That the Managing Director shall write to the owners and managing agents of the retail park informing them that they expect Parking Eye Ltd to meet the Council’s requirements as set out above to make the car park user friendly to encourage, not discourage people to visit the retail park.
Proposed by :- Councillor M Lee
Seconded by:- Councillor J Bosnjak
Supported by:- Councillor S Ward
Sadly this does not seem to have been followed through.
The Prankster has not asked Lord Neuberger to comment, but if did, he would probably have said all the couple needed was a watch. And a bulldozer.
ParkingEye recommended to the Supreme Court that people who do not like being charged by them avoid their car parks. The Prankster thinks this is sound advice, but sadly for Mr and Mrs Burditt this will have come too late.
If you think that pensioners should not be treated in this way for matters outside their control, and that £85 is far too high a charge compared to the standard pension, then consider signing Barry Beavis's petition, asking the government to regulate private parking.
The Parking Prankster