Saturday, 3 December 2016

Railway Byelaw fiasco warming up

Graeme Paton, writing in The Times has highlighted the current fiasco regarding parking in situations where railways byelaws are applicable. Some parking companies, instead of using the byelaws to enforce parking conditions have used contract law instead. The situation is further complicated by POPLA deciding it cannot rule on byelaw cases until it gets clarification.

The Times article states
The appeals service set up to oversee private parking companies fears that it has no authority to adjudicate on cases involving breaches of bylaws and has ordered operators not to pursue payment while the dispute is resolved. The Department for Communities and Local Government has been asked to clarify the law.
Lawyers believe that the stand-off may call into the question the legal basis for issuing the tickets in the first place, potentially rendering them invalid.

FOIR3024 shows this problem of contract law v byelaw statute was vexing the DVLA and BPA as long ago as 2012

FOIR5531 is currently overdue as the DVLA figure out how to answer. This in turn refers to FOIR5322. The problem is the almost complete redaction of this document.

If it is found that these tickets are invalid then motorists will be able to reclaim any charges paid up to six years ago. They may have to sue the parking company to get this. Whether or not the motorist paid, they may also be able to claim up to £750 for breaches of the data protection act for unlawful use of personal data.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster


  1. From whom would you claim up to £750 for breaches of the data protection act?
    Me thinks that if it is the DeVious LA, then it is unlikely that the tickets will be found invalid.

  2. So if the TOCs are told not to prosecute while in dispute and this dispute leads to 6 months and 1 day from the time the ticket was given out, the TOC then can't prosecute?

    1. Yes. I can't see the operators being too happy with that. Someone needs to make a decision. If they can't make a decision, put someone in that job who can.

  3. Here's the case referred to in the FOI's:

    1. I did try reading it, but after 4 pages and still no illustrations, I had to give up, sorry.

    2. @Oleg - it largely boiled down to the Owner proving he wasn't the Driver, as he originally claimed. That was what the case turned on.

  4. This reply comment in The Times sums it up.
    Indigo operates several railway car parks.  They issue penalty tickets which are not based on breach of contract. These charges are "opportunities to avoid a criminal prosecution", in other words, "pay us a fine and we won't report you to the train operating company", since only the TOC can initiate a Magistrate's court action for a byelaw breach.  This approach is equivalent to solicitation of bribes, and may be illegal under the Bribery Act 2010. Only the government benefits from a Magistrate's court fine, so TOCs don't actually want the hassle. 

  5. This is of some interest to me as the event that got me all wound up about Private Parking actually took place on Lake District National Park Authority owned land.

    That is land to which by-laws could (should?) have been applied rather than their then contract with ParkingEye and their current contract for the same land with park With Ease...

    If I'd been on the ball back then about it all, I would have tried to use relevant land as an issue. As it was I used phone records to prove my overstay was made up of time trying to pay... and they sent me a departure time to my phone... which I left within a couple of minutes of!