Sunday, 17 April 2016

Why Landowner Witness Statements are Useless at POPLA

For several years now many parking operators have lied to POPLA to pretend their charge was a genuine pre-estimate of loss. The lie is of course laughable; parking companies make huge profits from their charges, as ParkingEye's accounts show - and of course Capita would not have purchased them for £57.5 million if this were not the case.

Ironically at first ParkingEye used to admit they made no loss from overstays. Here is an early GPEOL explanation they sent to POPLA for Rheidol Retail Park.

Later on, as this lost at POPLA, they invented the fiction that it cost then £55 per ticket issued - a fiction doubly invalid, because even if these costs were allowed they would be impossible based on their own filed accounts.

Now of course, as the Beavis case has changed the way penalties are interpreted, this fiction can be conveniently discarded.

But having been lied to consistently for over 3 years, why on earth would POPLA believe anything a parking company states?

Parking companies have been caught lying time and again regarding their contracts with operaters - not only with POPLA, but also in court. ParkingEye, for instance, redacted the contract in the ParkingEye v Beavis case to hide the fact they were apparently acting as agent of the landowner. This would of course have made the charge invalid, as the landowner instructed ParkingEye to cancel the charge, but they refused.

In this latest case, reported on pepipoo, the operator did produce a contact...which blew their case out of the water. The operator was Horizon and the landowner, Sainsbury clearly did not want over-aggressive parking enforcement, because the contract contained a clause limiting charges for overstays.

"Overstaying the parking time limit for repeat offences, from the second occurrence onwards, when parking within a time allowed restricted car park"

The charge was therefore clearly invalid, and Horizon should never have issued it. However, this begs the question; how many other charges issued over the years are actually invalid, and should not have been issued?

The clear inference is that the boiler-plate landowner witness statements have no legitimacy, and that if operators wish to prove their right to operate a copy of the landowner contract is essential proof. This can of course be redacted with regard to the actual costs, but not the relevant terms and conditions.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster


  1. disgusting and especially as CAPITA runs most of the government based offices

  2. POPLA have turned into the IPC. Many times POPLA have allowed the parking company to win just on a scrap of paper called a witness statement signed by a tea boy. POPLA don`t care if parking companies breach the BPA code of practice because the BPA are pulling their strings. the parking companies have warned the BPA. if we keep losing at POPLA we will jump ship to the IPC.