Monday, 24 July 2017

Parking Awareness Services to pay £400 for DPA breach against motorist. DVLA confirm data cannot be passed to MIL Collections

Mr S v PAS. D2QZ229J. Barnsley. 24/07/2017


On 26th August Mr S had to attend court in Barnsley to defend against a claim from MIL collections.

MIL had claimed to have purchased an unpaid parking charge from Parking Awareness Services, issued for not parking fully within a marked bay.

Mr Alan Davis's witness statement was deemed inadmissible by the judge for non attendance, and the claim was dismissed.

Following the hearing, it emerged that PAS had no right to sell any parking charges to MIL Collections, because this was against the terms of their KADOE contract with the DVLA. The DVLA confirmed this in a letter to Mr S.

Dear Mr S.
I am writing in regards to your letter regarding PAS and MIL Collections .
i apologise for the delay in responding but DVLA have been considering the matter and the relevant course of action to take.
 Firstly, I can confirm that PAS did receive the keeper's details from DVLA and did not seek permission to provide this to a third party who were not acting as a sub contractor.
Having investigated the matter, DVLA has concluded that vehicle keeper data HAS been transferred to a third party that DOES NOT CONFORM to DVLA'S interpretation of a sub contractor as referred to in the KADOE contract. It has been identified that the company concerned has not breached this intentionally but instead believed their processes were in  compliance with the KADOE contract. As such , DVLA will not be taking any formal action at this time.
 DVLA has made the company aware of this issue and requested that they notify MIL Collections not to continue to process any information obtained from DVLA. MIL Collections have also been made aware of this.
I should mention that DVLA has no control over any data shared that has not been obtained from the Agency i.e if the motorist has provided their own details/driver details. .
I hope this explains the Agency's position. 
Yours Sincerely,
David Dunford.
Data compliance manager.

Mr S. therefore wrote a letter before claim to PAS, explaining they had breached the Data Protections Act (DPA). When they did not respond, he issued a claim for £250.

PAS engaged JMW solicitors, who are the British Parking Association recommended solicitors, to help defend the claim.

Preliminary hearing

A preliminary hearing was held on 1 June. Mr Wild of PAS represented the company. Mr S represented himself.  When he was shown the letter from the DVLA investigation clearly stating the data breach, the Judge stated "this is a very relevant piece of evidence ".

The hearing 

Mr S turned up at court but Mr Wild from PAS did not. At 2.30 pm prompt he went in the court where the judge explained he was willing to be persuaded by PAS that they hadn't breached if they could show two separate systems for data processing.

As they didn't turn up it was reasonable to assume they did not have these two systems and in all probability had breached the DPA and so the judge upheld the claim awarding £250 plus costs of £50 for court and filing fees and £100 in other costs.

The judge also pointed out that he could have claimed interest on the damages but as this was not claimed it could not be awarded.

Prankster Notes

It is not clear why PAS needed 'two separate systems' for data processing, as the claim was that PAS broke the DPA by passing keeper data to MIL Collections.

It may be that this issue would have been explored more fully has PAS turned up. However, as Mr S was awarded the claim, there was no need for him to press the matter.

There have now been three cases on record where motorists have won DPA hearings against parking companies for various reasons. In none of the cases has the parking company as yet turned up to defend themselves. There have been a number of other cases which have been settled out of court.

A large number of parking companies have sold data to MIL Collections, and they therefore could be open to similar data protections claims.

The DVLA are data controllers. It is not know what steps the DVLA have take now or in the past to prevent personal data being misused in this manner.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Judge fed up with Gladstones behaviour

PPM v Keeper. C7GF75EN. Wakefield. 20/07/2017

The claim was for 2 PCNs at Travelodge, Hounslow.

The hearing (keeper report)

The judge dismissed the claim. She said that she was sick of telling Gladstones the same things.

Their witness statement was not good enough.
The proof of signage was no good.
They they had not made it clear whether it was the driver or the keeper they were claiming from.
They had no right to claim for additional monies other than the £100 per ticket that they had originally specified.

She insinuated that their business model seemed to to scare people into paying up before the case went to court and claiming additional money that they knew they would not have any right to in a court.

My witness statement was never even mentioned and I never had to open my mouth in court other than to say "Thank you ma'am".

Prankster Note

This judge seems to have hit the nail on the head.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

John Wilkie smeared during costs hearing in Indigo case

The Indigo matters continue - Who is Kristina Kealy, allegedly the General Manager of ZZPS

One of the witnesses produced, almost magically, at the UHW Cardiff case last week was a Kristina Kealy, apparently of ZZPS and working at may Court Links Business Centre, Old Woking road, Woking, Surrey, GU22 8BF.

On both the Claimant's and the Defendants' schedule, Ms (Oops, I should say Mrs) Kealy was listed as being called on Thursday, and as a result, at the start of the proceedings on Wednesday she wasn't present.

The defendants only found out that Kristina Kealy was a witness on 13 June 2017, and immediately scurried away to check her, and the other five witnesses Bona Fides. After all, readers of this blog will be fully aware of "Matt Murdoch/k" the blind superhero lawyer apparently working for MIL
Collections. However, as always, investigations were started on that basis that the witness is being honest.

What was discovered throws up more questions than answers. There are :-

* No publicly available Electoral Roll records for Mrs Kealy within 200 miles of Woking, or indeed within the United Kingdom.

* No publicly available Birth certificate for a person named Kristina Kealy within the last 65 years

* No publicly available Marriage Certificate in the UK between a Mr and Mrs Kealy, with the Bride's name being Kristina.

* No Linked-In information about Mrs Kealy at ZZPS, or indeed at any company in the UK

* No Facebook account in the name of Kristina Kealy in the UK

* No Credit Records for a Kristina Kealy in the UK

And for the record, both the spelling Kealy and Kealey were checked. The nearest Kristina Kealy found was a teacher in Kew York City.

Having got to the stage of ascertaining that, on the balance of probabilities, Mrs Kealy did not exist, work continued to investigate the company for whom she claims to work. Again, this investigation started on the basis that ZZPS Ltd are who they say they are, and background checks on the company were undertaken.

On 11 July, John Wilkie called ZZPS’s published phone number, and asked to speak to Kristina Kealy. He identified himself, and was told that there is no one working for ZZPS named Kealy. He asked as well, where at May Court he should deliver a legal document, such that it would be
served. He was told that he cannot serve a document at May Court and would have to deliver it to ZZPS’s registered office. This is in direct contradiction to a letter sent by ZZPS to Private Parking Appeals earlier this year, where they stated that correspondence needs to be sent to
their address in May Court.

However, prior to this call a visit had been paid to May Court. ZZPS is not listed as being based there; May Court apparently has two suites, and two businesses, Frobisher Capital and i-Corporate Risk Consultants. ZZPS is not located there, and indeed, with 16 staff as claimed by Mrs Kealy
in her cross-examination, there would not be enough space for the three companies in the two suites available at that site.

Contact was made with both Frobisher and I-Corporate. Neither firm has any association with ZZPS – no shared directors, they don’t handle mail. ZZPS appears, on the balance of probabilities, not to be based at May Court.

Another point as well – May Court is in Woking, which has an 01483 dialling area. Yet ZZPS has an 01932 telephone number – that’s for Weybridge, some 8 miles away. Long lines are not impossible, but have not been sold by BT since February 2008. With ZZPS only being formed in 2011
as Gary Osner’s Parachute for Roxburghe, and only starting trading in 2015, it is not feasible that this is what has occurred here.

Roxburghe, of course, was closed down when it lost its FCA consumer Credit Licence – one has to ask why ZZPS only pursues unregulated consumer debt, on the very edge of legality, though that is a question for another day and another place.

So, it appears that both Kristina Kealy and ZZPS have lied to the court about some material particulars  - the identity of a witness goes to their basic credibility.

There is worse. It has been widely reported that counsel in the hearing stated, and here I will quote Barry Beavis that "on the lunch break on day one JW and ZZPS witness, Kristina Kealy, were alone in the court room. JW is alleged to have said something about driving to their offices and
slashing all their tyres."

Now this is an interesting allegation. Its interesting for several reasons, the first being that John Wilkie is a well known and almost universally respected advocate. His company, Private Parking Appeals, is itself a BPA member, and Mr Wilkie also has good relationships with people like Mark Anfield and David Greenbank of Parking Eye, Mike Perkins of Combined Parking Solutions, James De Savery of Napier Parking, Derek Millard-Smith of JMW Solicitors, Paul Bohill of DCBL and of course Steve Clark and Andrew Pester of the BPA itself.

Additionally Mr Wilkie has now done a few parking cases - over 36 in total, and no-one has ever suggested that his conduct has been anything other than exemplary, indeed he has been allowed leave on more than one occasion to represent at appeal level and is regularly complimented about
the standard of his submissions and behaviour as a lay person. One District Judge remarked that he conducted himself “no less than I would have expected from Senior counsel”. Additionally, Counsel for Indigo made no objection to John Wilkie continuing to represent after judgment, nor, at the appeal did he object to Mr Wilkie making submissions; he indicated that even if the matter went to multi-track, he would not object to the Defendants being assisted by Mr Wilkie.

Now we come to the most interesting part of this reported allegation. The court heard from its first witness, John Hawkey of Indigo, up to about 12:20 on the Wednesday, and he was the only witness present. The next witness, Christopher Singleton, also of Indigo, was expected at around
1pm, but was not available to call at that stage. The District Judge asked the Claimant to see if any other witnesses could be made available after lunch. Kristina Kealy, at this point, was not present. The judge then adjourned for lunch, and asked the parties to return for 1:30.

When the court resumed at 1:30, Christopher Singleton had arrived and Peter Cockburn from the Hospital has also been produced. However, surprisingly, Kristina Kealy had arrived as well.,+Links+Business+Centre,+Old

Woking is 2 hours 30 minutes by car from Cardiff. It’s over 3 hours by train. Even a Private Flight from the nearest airport to Cardiff would take longer than an hour, when you take into account leaving for Chobham or Farnborough Airport, the flight itself, and arriving at Cardiff
Airport, yet Kealy was here, fresh, composed, unstressed…

So one has to ask two questions - if she had come from Woking, as claimed, how had she managed to travel "faster than a speeding bullet" and make the 136 mile journey in less than 60 minutes. That's an average speed of double the motorway speed limit. And yes, it is known that she drove, as
she told Sue Prior of the TEPAG group that she managed to get a bus lane ticket (karma is a bitch).

And, if she was apparently verbally assaulted by John Wilkie at that point, as claimed, why was Mr Wilkie not removed from the proceedings there and then, why was he allowed to cross examine this apparently by now scared and vulnerable witness?

The answer, of course is simple. Kristina Kealy was never threatened by John Wilkie as claimed, and did not come from Woking, but was produced conveniently in Cardiff.  Indeed, David Jones of United Wales Media was also unable to contact Mrs Kealy via ZZPS either - how curious.

Indigo were betting the far on this claim, and it was worth their while to risk producing a witness who they know is untraceable, as the Defendants had no way of contesting this. When they tried the Judge shut them down, and then a scurrilous and entirely false allegation was made as a personal attack against John Wilkie.

Who behaved unreasonably here, I wonder?

Prankster Note

The attempted smearing of John Wilkie appears to be a calculated and premeditated attempt to 'justify' the Wright Hassall legal fees of around £50k. Wright Hassall started the maneuvering by trying to move the claim from the small claims court, where there are no legal fees, to the multi-track, where there are. This appears to be the next strategy  -attacking the lay representative of the defence to attempt to get fees granted under 27.14(2)g 'unreasonableness' rule.

The Prankster does not have a transcript of the judgment so does not know how much of the costs awarded are due to the alleged behaviour of John Wilkie, and how much are due to other matters.

So far no independent evidence has emerged to support the claims of this apparent non-person, who does not appear to work at the contact address given on her witness statement.

It is interesting that while counsel for Indigo was allowed to introduce unsubstantiated allegations against Mr Wilkie, Mr Wilkie himself was allowed no right of reply, and was given the choice of either shutting up, or leaving the courtroom. Mr Wilkie chose to leave.

This is not the only controversial event in a large parking case. Who can forget the hearing of ParkingEye v Beavis, when their counsel was not available. A mysterious hoax phone call caused the first hearing to be cancelled, and in the next hearing their counsel was free to attend.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Fighting fund set up for UHW staff in parking dispute

A fighting fund has been set up to raise money to appeal the lead case verdict for the University Hospital of Wales parking dispute.

I am Sue Prior - i am Taff Ely Parking Action group assistant - we help people with unfair private parking charges.
We need to investigate the plausibility of an appeal against Judgement made on the 14th July 2017
Judgement means that £12.8m (as stated by Wright Hassall instructing solicitor) can and will be enforced.

The full transcript of the 3 day trial is required - approx £3k
We then need to get legal assistance to assess the information and see if there are grounds for appeal
Cardiff and Vale UHB's "Values into Action’ is about translating our values into the tangible behaviours we want to see from each other, and to inspire us to keep improving our patient and staff experience.

And yet, as I sit here, pondering over the last 15 months, I find myself questioning how to make sense of the UHB's behaviour and their implicit message to staff over that time. One thing is certain, as healthcare professionals we will not be translating this hypocrisy and turning our back on our patients. But sadly the likelihood is, that as time goes on and the Parking Company vultures circle over their next victims, individuals beaten down and betrayed by their employer will leave their jobs at UHW. Unsuspecting individuals who are tempted into posts in the UHW won't be advised on the nightmare that is parking at UHW nor that a permit does not guarantee a parking space.
You see this isn't about all staff not paying for a parking ticket, it is about being unable to park. Following a long and very stressful 9 months, colleagues at UHW, Cardiff, find themselves at the receiving end of an aggressive battle where private parking company Indigo Park and their solicitors, engineered substantial and costly penalties to staff whose only crime was to park at their place of work. Some colleagues already financially over stretched as a consequence of years of forced austerity are now having to contemplate debt management programmes, 

Judge finds for parking company on all 7 points at University Hospital of Wales. £28,000 costs awarded

The University Hospital of Wales has around 1,000 parking spaces for staff. In order to park there, staff must enter a contract with the hospital. They apply and if succesfull are given a permit to park. Around 10,000 permits are in current force.

Although issuing 10,000 permits for 1,000 spaces seems on the face of it a perfectly reasonable strategy, in practice it has not worked well. For some reason far more staff attempt to park than there are spaces for, leading to chaos and a bumper payday for parking contractor Indigo. Offsite parking can be up to a 45 minute walk away.

Tickets start at £20 and are then increased to £120 by artificially bumping them between debt collectors ZZPS and Wright Hassall.

There are currently 100,000 unpaid tickets from hospital staff worth £12,000,000 and a hearing to consider these was held on 12/13/14 July.

There were 7 points of defence.

(i) The validity and enforceability of Notice to Driver (NtD)
(ii) The validity and enforceability of Notice to Keeper (NtK)
(iii) The enforceability of the right to recover parking charges under an agreement between Cardiff and Vale Local University Health Board and Indigo Park Services UK Ltd
(iv) Signage
(v) The source and Provenance of Parking Permits
(vi) Whether a contractual offer was made
(vii) Applicability of, and compliance with, the code of practice

The judgment

DJ Coates controversially found for the claimant on all 7 points. The Prankster was not in court and so is relying on others for an accurate report of her judgment. Full analysis is therefore reserved for the time when the transcript is available.

(i) The validity and enforceability of Notice to Driver (NtD)

Apparently no actual NtDs for the 3 defendants were submitted as evidence; only a pro-forma template circa 2017. Nevertheless, Judge Coates found this complied with POFA.

The Prankster therefore considers this controversial because
a) This NTD was not in force at the time of many of the parking events
b) POFA requires that the NtD contains specific information relating to the actual event. As only a template was provided there is no proof the actual NtDs continued this information and were compliant
c) It is up to the claimant to prove their case, which they clearly have not done

(ii) The validity and enforceability of Notice to Keeper (NtK)

Judge Coates ruled that the NtK could contain a charge different from that on the signage and the notice to driver. She ruled that because David Metcalf of the BPA had held out the NtDs issued by ZZPS to be a 'best practice' example, then they must be correct and she did not need to consider the matter further. She further ruled that in any case a keeper could be held to have agreed to a parking contract without visiting the site, if their partner had visited the site many times and could reasonably have expected to inform them of the contract in casual conversation.

The Prankster therefore considers this controversial because
a) POFA 2012 rules that the parking charge must be the on the signage [2, 3(b)(i)]
b) POFA 2012 rules that the parking charge on the NtD must be on the signage [7(2)(c). 2, 3(b)(i)]
c) POFA 2012 rules that the charge on the NTK must be the same as that on the NTD [8(2)(c), (2)(c). 2, 3(b)(i)]
d) POFA rules that the keeper is only liable for the charges set out on the signage and NtD [4(5), 8(2)c,2)(c). 2, 3(b)(i)]
e) POFA requires that the NtK contains specific information relating to the actual event and repeated from the NtD. As only a template NtD was provided there is no proof the actual NtDs continued this information and were compliant
f) It is up to the claimant to prove their case, which they clearly have not done
g) The Prankster has heard of accepting a contract by performance. he has never heard of accepting a contract by means of casual conversation
h) The BPA is not a competent body to authorise NtKs. It is a members club for the parking industry. Additionally, no evidence as to David Metcalf's competence in this matter was served, and he was not billed as an expert witness. It was therefore not appropriate to take his unsubstantiated report as proof the NtK template was valid

(iii) The enforceability of the right to recover parking charges under an agreement between Cardiff and Vale Local University Health Board and Indigo Park Services UK Ltd

No actual copies of any letter of authority were supplied for the time of all parking events. The Health Board state they destroy the previous letter of authority each year when sending out a new one.

The Prankster therefore considers this controversial because
a) It is a BPA requirement that written authority is kept
b) In ParkingEye v Beavis it was stated that parking companies need to obey the BPA code of practice
c) POPLA regularly uphold appeals if the operator does not produce written authority
d) It is not believable that the board destroys old letters of authority, as they need to keep these in case of legal challenges

(iv) Signage

Judge Coates ruled that it was sufficient that there were numerous signs. It did not matter that the actual costs were hidden in the small print and not detailed.

The Prankster therefore considers this controversial because:
a) ParkingEye v Beavis sets out clear guidelines for signage. In that case, the parking charge was clearly displayed in the largest font. There were no unspecific charges added later
b) ParkingEye v Somerfield Stores clearly sets out that unspecified debt collection charges above the parking charge are not likely to be enforceable

(v) The source and Provenance of Parking Permits

Judge Coates ruled the parking contract was made at the time of parking, and not when the permits was issued.

The Prankster therefore considers this controversial because:
a) This is directly analogous to residential parking. Primacy of contract therefore applies and a third party cannot unilaterally change the terms of the contract
b) As the staff pay the health board for permits and they are issued by the health board, this contract should be the one in force

(vi) Whether a contractual offer was made
Judge Coates ruled the signage did make a contractual offer.

Rather like the 'hawkeye' system, The Prankster considers this 'umpire's call'. In The Prankster's opinion the signage is confusing, and makes no contractual offer, and therefore is either void for uncertainty or creates a trespass, not a contractual breach. However, The Prankster accepts some judges will call it one way, and other judges another.
was not

(vii) Applicability of, and compliance with, the code of practice
Judge Coates ruled that compliance did not matter

The Prankster therefore considers this controversial because
a) In ParkingEye v Beavis it was stated that parking companies need to obey the BPA code of practice


Wright Hassall asked for £47k in costs. The judge ruled that it was unreasonable for the defence to bring up 2 of the points (Authority (iii) and Permits (v)) as she considered these as unwinnable. She therefore awarded 2/7th of £47k under the unreasonableness rule (27.14(2)g, or nominally £28,000.

She ruled that it be split between the 3 defendants. She further ruled it be split between the 90+ other cases waiting on the result of this won, as they had benefitted from not having to go to a hearing.

The actual cost will be determined in a costs hearing on 1st September.

The Future

This now leaves some hospital staff facing life-changing amounts of money for those on hospital pay. Not just the 3 in the hearing, but many of the outstanding 100,000 tickets.

For the reasons above The Prankster considers the judgment to be incorrect.

But what does he know?

The Prankster therefore calls on the legal brains of Wales to offer themselves pro-bono or at an affordable rate to help with an appeal and resolve the plight of these unfortunate hospital staff.

Please get in touch with The Prankster at if you are willing to help. The Prankster will then out you in touch with the people co-ordinating any appeal.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Friday, 14 July 2017

Judgment on £12 million of outstanding parking charges expected today

[The Prankster previously blogged that tickets were issued from April 2017. This is incorrect, and the actual date was April 2016. The Prankster apologises and the article has now been adjusted]

Judgment on Indigo's claim for parking against doctors and nurses at the University Hospital of Wales is expected today at Cardiff at 11:00.

The hearing is for 3 lead cases, with another 90-odd claims depending on the result. In the 3 day hearing, Indigo stated there were another 100,000 tickets riding on this result, with a value of £12 million.

All tickets were issued since April 2016, which means that Indigo are looking to make around £750,000 million a month from charges in the hospital car park. Most of these charges are against hospital staff.

Indigo initially issue the tickets at £20, and then bump them around debt collectors to artificially raise them to £120.

Prankster Note

Any car park which is issuing £750,000 million worth of charges a month is by definition badly managed and not fit for purpose. The Prankster believes the hospital management should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves for letting this situation get to the current stage.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

DfT block byelaw at John Lennon Airport to make it an offence for keeper not to name driver

Peel Holdings have for many years been trying to get new byelaws passed at John Lennon Airport.

The Department of Transport have been blocking the changes. It seems that one of the sticking points is the desire of Peel Holdings to make it an offence for the keeper not to name the driver of a vehicle (byelaw 8.5).

It is worth noting that parliament itself considered this option when enacting the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, schedule 4. They refused it.

Here is the relevant extract from the Impact Assessment document

The full correspondence between the DfT and Peel Holdings is available in this pepipoo thread, post #200.

Here are some more wise words from the DfT:

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Excel finally admit ticket was "issued in error" at Peel Centre

The Peel Centre, Stockport is the worst run car park in the whole country. It is managed by Excel Parking Services who are owned and run by Simon Renshaw-Smith. S R-S sits on the board of the International Parking Community, where he helps set policy.

The Prankster previously reported a mysterious error at The Peel Centre around the 13/14 May where charges were issued to motorists who purchased tickets.

Although early reports were that Excel was not cancelling these charges it appears they have had a change of mind. This post on MSE tells all:

 My daughter appealed the ticket, and quoted the number of people on here and other forums who had been issued a ticket when using the same machine on similar dates.
The appeal has been upheld with the company withdrawing the claim as the ticket was "issued in error"

Prankster Note

Excel have not provided any information on what the error was, how they intend to fix it in future, or whether they will be refunding motorists who have paid in error.

The Prankster considers this is not acceptable.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

UKPC lose residential case. Tenant can derogate parking rights to visitors.

C8HW2E9Q – UKPC v Miss C, Reading 12/07/2017 before District Judge Harrison

Claimant represented by Andrew Gibbs-Ripley, solicitor instructed by LPC Law
Defendant represented by Bargepole.

Guest report from Bargepole

This was a residential parking case in which the Defendant had parked as a visitor in the space allocated to the tenant of the property, Miss B. UKPC had previously issued a claim against Miss B, reported a month ago:

The Judge at that hearing had ruled that Miss B had an unfettered right to park, and that trumped anything on UKPC’s signage. So the key decision that DJ Harrison had to make, was whether that principle could be extended to visitors.

Mr G-R argued that a visitor was not a party to the contract between landlord and tenant and thus could not rely upon it, whereas I argued that the tenant had inherent rights in the contract, which could be derogated to visitors.

The DJ preferred the Defence submissions, so case dismissed. Costs of £96 awarded.

Prankster Note

Parking companies continue to take landowners and their guests to court for parking in their own spaces. This is a complete abuse. Parking companies are brought in to protect the rights of landowners, not attempt to fleece them.

The Prankster suggests that any parking company who does not explicitly state in their contract that they will cancel all tickets accidentally issued to residents and their guests should be booted of site and a proper parking management company brought in instead.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

New Generation Parking management fail to turn up to court

New Generation Parking Management v O'Sullivan. D3GF273X. 12/07/2017. Caernarfon.

The case was listed for and called at 10am. Neither party was in attendance or represented so the case was struck out by DDJ PJ Anderson.

NGPM, you've been Gladstoned

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster.

Government VERIFY service hits teething troubles with DVLA checks

The Prankster had occasion to try out the new(ish) VERIFY service from the Government, which proves you are probably who you say you are.

Unfortunately, whenever he tried to register with the various services (such as Barclays and Royal Mail) they told him he didn't exist. This was very frustrating, as The Prankster both pinched himself and felt it, and also passed the "I think therefore I am" test.

After some investigation, it turned out the problem was with the DVLA driver licence check. Whenever The Prankster tried to pass this, he failed. This was also frustrating, because The Prankster had his driving licence in front of him, so was certain he was entering the details correctly.

The Prankster called the DVLA driving licence department. He spoke with a friendly lady who confirmed he was entering his details correctly, but was sadly otherwise unable to help as she was unaware that the new VERIFY service existed or how the identity services mapped into the DVLA to check data. She was able to provide a code to allow other people to check the Prankster's licence, but this was not useful.

The Prankster next tried the identity services helplines and this proved more fruitful. Another friendly lady informed him that there was a teething problem with the new service.

Early on the Prankster was required to confirm his address with the identity service, which he did by providing his postcode and then selecting his address from a dropdown list, which was;
Prankster Mansions, The Street, Prankstertown, WE3 3RH
Unfortunately the DVLA had the Pranksters address on record as.
Prankster Mansions, The Street, WE3 3RH
The VERIFY computers were unable to match these two addresses up, and therefore the computer said no.

The helpful lady told The Prankster they were working on a solution, and so The Prankster hopes very much that he will once again exist in the near future.

Happy Existing

The Parking Prankster

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Excel lose in court. Wrong registration at Peel Centre.

Excel v Burgess. Stockport. C3DP33CZ. 03/07/2017

This Manchester Evening News story tells the full tale.

Blessed Burgess parked with her family at the Peel Centre, Stockport (an Excel-run car park) and her husband accidentally entered her registration incorrectly. Excel tried to charge her £100, which she objected to. On finding the number plate was entered incorrectly, they reduced the charge to £10, which she still objected to.

Excel therefore filed a claim.

The judge disagreed with Excel and the claim was dismissed for unknown reasons.

Prankster Note

Parking companies have the technology to refuse to accept incorrect number plates. Their ANPR systems know which plates are in the car park at any time. Charging people for entering the wrong number is therefore purely a money-making exercise and has nothing to do with car park management.

Excel are still deciding whether to appeal this claim; they have 21 days from the hearing date to decide. They will already have spent around £200, and the estimate is they will need to treble this to continue fighting.

Excel have a history of disagreeing with judges at Stockport. Simon Renshaw Smith does not like losing. In the Excel v Cutts case where the judge ruled the signage at the Peel Centre was deficient, he described the court ruling as " embarrassment to the judicial system" and he made some pretty rude remarks about the judge DDJ Lateef, describing her as "not fit to serve the civil court."

The Peel Centre is the worst run car park in the UK, with more complaints to The Prankster than any other car park. Complaints regularly include poor signage and charges being issued even though tickets were purchased.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Monday, 10 July 2017

Excel lose in Court. Witness irrelevant; no authority to act on site; no keeper liability

Excel v Mr W. C7DP8T7D Stockport 10/07/2017. DJ Lettall

The defendant's vehicle was parked in the Square at Chorley cum hardy, but he was not the driver. As Excel did not at the time use the keeper liability provisions of POFA, he therefore considered he was not liable.

The Hearing - defendant report

I had my day in court today with Excel Parking.

The initial case was scheduled for 15th May at Stockport County Court,  but was adjourned at lunch time on that day due to other cases having overrun,  The follow up was this morning, again at Stockport.

The judge was DJ Lettall and a Ms Devance represented BW Legal.  I think she is an independent and not employed by BW, and was very pleasant on our first meeting and also today.

DJ Lettall was very friendly and first dealt with the fact that my witness statement wasn't signed on the MCOL form.  Ms Devance agreed that it was appropriate to let me sign it there and then rather than dismiss the case.

Ms Devance then presented all of the evidence shown on the BW Legal witness statement followed by my own witness statement, the main point of my defence was regarding the fact that Excel weren’t relying on POFA and that they offered no proof of who the driver was.

The judge then asked us both for clarification on a couple of items where my evidence raised questions about the BW Legal evidence.

Firstly, Ian Callaghan the paralegal from BW Legal who had compiled the witness statement had stated, "I have conduct in this action subject to the supervision of my principal and the matters to which I refer are within my own knowledge save where expressly stated to the contrary and are true to the best of my knowledge, information and belief"

I challenged this in my defence as there is no way that a paralegal from BW had personal knowledge of the evidence put forward on Excel's behalf.  The judge agreed, asking Ms Devance was there anything in the witness statement that Ian Callaghan had indicated was not from his own knowledge.  Ms Devance said there was not.

Secondly, Excel had produced a laughable attempt at misdirecting the court using a document which they had produced themselves on their own letterhead paper.  This document was supposed to lead the court to believe that there was a contract in place affording Excel to the same rights as the landowner but with “limited exceptions”. DJ Lettall didn’t like this and commented that this was evidence of nothing. Picking up on the “limited exceptions” aspect of this document, the judge noted that this expression was far too vague to be given any merit.  Limited could be a broad range of things.

Then the judge summed up the evidence that he’d heard and dismissed the case, noting that Excel had produced no reliable evidence.  It was unacceptable that the witness statement from Ian Callaghan asserted that he had personal, direct knowledge of the signage, Notice to Keeper and follow up letters, when this clearly isn’t the case.

DJ Lettall moved on to the Excel document mentioned above noting that this was also unacceptable and nowhere near the standard required to be classed as material evidence to back up Excel’s right to bring a claim in this instance, suggesting that the actual contract might have proved useful in ascertaining a right to bring the claim.

Finally on to POFA.  The judge noted that he is unsure why Excel choose to disregard POFA when bringing these claims. There is no basis to assume that the registered keeper is the driver and Excel should not turn up to court without evidence of who was driving the vehicle unless they wanted to make life difficult for themselves.

The judge awarded £205 costs to paid within 14 days.  £95 per hearing, (the first hearing was adjourned) plus £15 for parking both days.  Ms Devance tried to challenge the costs awarded for the first hearing  as this was through no fault of Excel’s, however the judge read through his notes and decided he was well within his rights to award for both hearings.  I’d also tried to claim £38.00 for two hours of research to defend the claim but DJ Lettall wouldn’t allow this.

Prankster Note 

DJ Lettall has produced a number of consistent judgments on these points. The question is of course, why do Excel continue to bring these claims?

The answer is that this is a numbers game. Although Excel lose these claims when it gets to a hearing, many people are frightened by the thought of a court claim and are bullied into paying up. Excel also hope that the defendant may make a procedural error - some judges might treat not signing a witness statement in a different way - or that they win DJ Bingo and get a judge inexperienced in parking claims.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Millenium lose Copper Quarter residential case yet again in Swansea

Millennium Door and Security v Ms J. C4GF4V5A. Swansea. 07/07/2017. DJ Osborne.

Millennium had another full day in Swansea on Friday, with 5 hearings. The Prankster only knows the result of one, but if they all went in a similar way then Millenium will have had a bad day.

Ms J was a tenant at the Copper Quarter and had written permission from the landlord to park. The landlord had the right to park in their lease. Millennium argued that their signage overrode the lease. Ms J disagreed, arguing primacy of contract. Millennium used Gladstones to file a court claim.

The Hearing

Ms J represented herself. This was the second hearing.

Millennium dismissed Gladstones the day before and were represented by their owner David Bellis, with India Beaven tagging along as witness.

Ms J opted to cross-examine India, who apparently was less than impressive.

DJ Osborne ruled that they failed to prove their case. They demonstrated no chain of contracts from landowner to the defendant. Neither BDW nor Barratts owned the land - this was sold in 2011.

Millennium relied heavily on schedule 7 of the lease (which allows the management to introduce regulations for the benefit of tenants) and claimed this covenant is transferred with land ownership. They argued this part of that lease allowed them to bring in parking management systems without any changes to lease. They claimed BDW were acting as agents of the landowner but were unable to prove this.

There was also a lack of compliance with the IPC code of practice as they could not show written authorisation from the land owner or managing agent.

Millennium, you've been Gladstoned!

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Friday, 7 July 2017

Wright Hassall blow £7,000 of Indigo's money chasing 3 defendants for £20 parking charges

The Prankster has already reported that Indigo Park Services UK Limited are running riot at the University Hospital of Wales (UHW) in Cardiff (also known as Heath Hospital) and have issued more than 1,000 parking charges to hospital staff. 100 of these are currently in various stages in the court system.

The charges are for £20 (discounted to £10), but by bouncing through various debt collectors the charge is artificially inflated to £128. Wright Hassall then add on court fees and solicitor filing charges and file a charge on instruction of ZZPS.

Parking Charge £20
Notice to keeper fee £24
Indigo administration fee £12
ZZPS administration fee £36
Wright Hassall administration fee £36
Total  £128

Three of those cases have now reached the hearing stage. They are shortly scheduled for a 3 day hearing to fully explore the issues. Another 70 odd cases have agreed to be bound by the outcome of this test hearing.

There are another £100,000 worth of unpaid parking charges at this location waiting on the case.

Indigo recently filed a Case Management directions to move these claims from the small claims track to the multi-track. This would have serious costs implications for the three defendants. Instead of having no liability for solicitors costs the three defendants would be jointly and severally liable. This would of course be manifestly unfair.

The DJ rejected the motion and Wright Hassall appealed. The appeal was held on 06/07/2017 in Swansea in front of HHJ Vosper QC.

Due to the short notice, only one of the defendants was able to attend. He was represented by John Wilkie, with paperwork provided by Bargepole.

The claimant was represented by Ryan Hocking. Ironically, Mr Hocking previously acted for Mr Beavis in the ParkingEye v Beavis case.

HHJ Vosper's judgment was that:

1) The DJ properly considered all of the factors of the case before retaining it on the Small Claims Track.

2) Consolidation would not be an option, as, of the 78 defendants known, 72 (the TEPAG Group) would withdraw from that due to costs implications/

3) Allocation without consolidation would also not be an option, due to the unfairness of Multi-Track costs on the three defendants who expected, reasonably, the costs protection of Small Claims Track.

4) Sharing costs across the 3 defendants is not feasible - the amounts involved in seeking representation exceed the amounts of the claims.

5) The Judge did not err in either fact or law in making what, in the opinion of the HHJ was an order which offers the best to all parties.

6) If the Claimant is shown to have an error in the way it operates its business at UHW, well, it can fix that - the court need not concern itself with the business consequences of its judgments.

No orders as to costs.

Prankster Notes

Indigo filed a schedule of costs for the appeal hearing totalling over £7,000. At this rate they will be running up something like £28,000 after the 3 days hearing.

They will need to issue another 1,400 £20 charges to recoup this amount.

So to summarise in laymans terms, Wright Hassall have blown £7,000 of Indigo's money for no effect.

So the trial goes ahead as planned in Cardiff  on the small claims track.

Three day hearing

The Prankster does not know the defence points advanced for the hearing. However, he points out that the signage clearly fails the tests laid out by the supreme court in the case of ParkingEye v Beavis. The charge of £20 is hidden in the small print, as compared to the signage in the Beavis case where the £85 charge was clearly visible. Here are the signs for comparison.

It is obvious to everyone that ParkingEye's parking charge is £85. The Prankster defys anyone to work out the Indigo parking charge without a magnifying glass.

As this fails the Beavis test, this means in turn that the charge is an unfair consumer charge and fails the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

Additionally, the charges lumped on top of the £20 charge were not endorsed by the Supreme Court - they only allowed the initial parking charge.

In the case of ParkingEye v Somerfield stores, HHJ Hegarty QC found the initial parking charge of £75 valid, but the debt collection extras of £60 were not.

It seems to me that, in the present case, it would be difficult for ParkingEye to justify, as against any motorist, a claim for payment of the enhanced sum of £135 if the motorist took the point that the additional £60 over and above the original figure of £75 constituted a penalty. It might be possible for ParkingEye to show that the additional administrative costs involved were substantial, though I very much doubt whether they would be able to justify this very large increase on that basis. On the face of it, it seems to me that the predominant contractual function of this additional payment must have been to deter the motorist from breaking his contractual obligation to pay the basic charge of £75 within the time specified, rather than to compensate ParkingEye for late payment.

Applying the formula adopted by Colman J. in the Lordsvale case, therefore, the additional £60 would appear to be penal in nature; and it is well established that, in those circumstances, it cannot be recovered, though the other party would have at least a theoretical right to damages for breach of the primary obligation.

On the face of it it would therefore appeal that the correct application of the current case law would mean that the parking charges are not valid. To fix this, Indigo would need to alter the signage so that it is fair to the consumer, and the parking charges are shown in a large font.

They would also need to stop artificially inflating the charges by adding on bogus amounts.

Fundamental Problem

However, fixing the signs will not fix the fundamental problem that the car park does not appear to be working. If Indigo are issuing so many charges, this is a clear sign that the car park is not being managed properly. The health authority need to provide a solution to their staff which allows them to get to work without running the risk of huge portions of their wages being deducted for parking charges.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

New transcript - keeper not liable if POFA not complied with and no evidence as to driver

[Updated on 13/03/2017 at Ms Hughes request to confirm she in a qualified barrister]

VCS v Quayle C1DP0H0J. Liverpool, 04/05/2017. DDJ Gourley

The Prankster is grateful for the transcript of this case which is available here. Hopefully this can be used by many motorists in similar situations.

The case concerns a parking ticket issued when the Protection of Freedoms Act did not apply. The keeper was not the driver, and provided a number of pieces of evidence to confirm this. The claimant produced not evidence whatsoever as to the identity of the driver, relying on Elliott v Loake (which found that the owner of the car was the driver due to forensic evidence) and CPS v AJH Films. The keeper was not the owner of the car. The owner was also not the driver.

First hearing

The story starts on pepipoo with the baffling decision of DDJ Travers to refuse to allow the defendant to use a lay representative on the grounds they were the vehicle owner and therefore involved with the case. This is not a decision which seems to be supported by the Lay Representative (Rights of Audience) Order 1999, where the only restriction in a small claims first hearing is that the defendant is present. The judge also ruled that the representative could not act as a McKenzie friend and ordered him to the back of the courtroom. The defendant was also told they may be in contempt of court for advising in advance that they were considered disabled.The judge considered this to be 'mischievous'

The judge then apparently proceeded to advise the claimant's representative on how to win the claim before adjourning the claim for a future 3 hour hearing.

Second hearing

The defendant was therefore extremely worried about any second hearing, and was unwilling to represent themselves. Ian Lamoureux stepped up to the plate and assisted in the second hearing, reported on MSE.

The claimant was represented by Jocelyn Hughes who is a registered barrister. and therefore has rights of audience.

[Prankster Note. Originally Bargepole wondered if Ms Hughes was a non-practising solicitor, by checking this site.

It is clear Bargepole's research was inadequate. As Uncle Bulgaria commented on the day of posting, Bargepole searched the wrong register as Ms Hughes cross-qualified. Ms Hughes has also contacted the Prankster to confirm she is a barrister, called to the bar in 2015. Her current web site can be found here.]

After some preliminary matters the claimant confirmed they were not compliant with POFA, and therefore keeper liability did not apply. They offered no evidence as to who the driver was, so the claim was dismissed.

This is not a case that proceeds under the Protection of Freedoms Act where there is the ability for a parking company to pursue the registered keeper for the parking charges. The claimant says it does not seek to rely on the Protection of Freedoms Act and in fact it would appear that it does not seek to rely on the Act as it has failed to comply with the requirements set out within schedule 4 of that Act, that schedule being the necessary steps and conditions that have to be met before the registered keeper can have the liability for the breach of contract to be transferred to them from the driver.

Therefore it strikes me that there is a simple question that the court has to ask itself. Is there evidence produced by the claimant to show that Miss Quayle, and I will call her Miss Quayle for the remainder of the judgment, is there evidence to show from the claimant that Miss Quayle was on a balance of probabilities the driver on 28th December 2014 when the car was parked in the Princes Dock area? The claimant has produced absolutely no evidence that the defendant was the driver and simply says that they are entitled to presume that the defendant was the driver because effectively she was the registered keeper at the time.

I disagree. I disagree particularly in light of the evidence that has been produced by Miss Quayle showing that there are two other people who are on the contract of insurance for this car. She is not the owner of the car albeit she is the registered keeper. The owner of the car is her partner, Mr Green, who also appears on the contract of insurance as one of the named drivers. She says in her witness statement that she was not the driver, but even if I ignore everything that Miss Quayle has produced and look solely at the evidence that is produced by the claimant, the claimant comes nowhere close to satisfying me on a balance of probabilities that the defendant was the driver at the time. They may have had a claim had they complied with the requirements of the Protection of Freedoms Act, but they have not and they cannot pursue Miss Quayle on
the basis of a breach of contract in the absence of any evidence at all that she was actually the driver at the time of the incurrence of the parking charge notice.

As a result of that ruling it seems to me that everything else falls away because the whole claim is based on the breach of contract. So I do not need to deal with any of the other issues that have been raised by the defence. So the judgment will simply be claim

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Link Parking lose Lakeshore residential case at XBristolX Bath

Link Parking lose at Bristol Bath

Bristol court is currently flooded which means cases are currently in chaos, paperwork unavailable and hearings moved.

One hearing was moved to Bath and heard on 4/7/2017.

This was a residential case involving a motorist parked in their own space at Lakeshore, Bristol.

The lease gives residents the unfettered right to park, so The Prankster wonders why Link Parking think they have the right to unilaterally override the lease and impose their own conditions.

Apparently The Judge agreed with The Prankster and was very harsh on Link Parking for bringing the claim.

Link Parking, you've been Gladstoned.

Gladstones parking department is staffed by the incompetent pair of Jamie Ashford and Helen Cook. If either of these two had done their job properly and undertaken the proper due diligence, The Prankster believes that the claim would never have been filed and valuable court time would not have been taken up.

Gladstones is owned by failed solicitor Will Hurley and his inept sidekick John Davies. John Davies is infamous for threatening to file a defamation case for publishing his mobile phone number. Notwithstanding the fact that it was himself who actually published his own number in the first place, it is difficult to see where defamation is involved. Anyone seeking his services as a barrister should be forewarned on his apparently shaky grasp of legal concepts.

Will Hurley and John Davies also own the International Parking Community. The Prankster calls on the government to remove their ATA status until they show they understand parking related law.

Data Protection

Any residents issued with tickets at Lakeshore may well have a data protection claim not only against Link, but also against the managing agents who employed them. This is because Link have no right to personal data because he motorist had every right to the quiet enjoyment of their own parking space.

The amount of claim would depend on the level of distress and harassment caused.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Gladstones discontinue Link Parking claim with signage showing Link are not a party to the claim at Tremains Road

ink Parking issued a charge to a motorist who had purchased a valid ticket in Tremains Road car park, Bridgend, but somehow the ticket was upside-down in the vehicle. The motorist appealed to Link which was dismissed. They then appealed to the "Independent" Appeals Service (IAS) and this was also dismissed.

Link then filed a court claim.

The motorist disputed the claim and fled a comprehensive defence.

After receiving the motorists witness statement, Gladstones discontinued.

Link Parking, you've been Gladstoned.

Prankster Notes

Here are the terms of parking.

Any contract to park appears to be with Simply Park.

Here is the purchased ticket.
This appears to confirm any contract to park is with Simply Park.

The Prankster is therefore unsure why Link think they are involved at all in this matter. The law is clear that debts cannot be enforced by a third party.

Valid options would be that Simply Park enforce any debt themselves; Link enforce it on behalf of Simply Park (but Simply would have to take any claim out in their own name); or Simply legally assign the debt to Link. As none of these occurred, Link are a stranger to any claim, and have no right to get involved.

This appears to reinforce The Prankster's belief that the IAS are a kangaroo court and is staffed by incompetent Baristas who are either biased or incompetent. The Prankster believes any competent legal professional would have picked up on this straight away.

The IAS is overseen by Bryn Holloway. No doubt Bryn is ashamed of how his reputation is being dragged down by the shoddy operation he presides over, and by the behaviour of his incompetent staff.

The Prankster calls on Bryn to shut up shop until he can find some assessors who actually understand parking law and can apply it correctly.

Data Protection

The Prankster considered that any motorist pursued by Link regarding this car park may have a valid data protection claim. Link clearly have no interest in any claim, so have no right to apply to the DVLA for keeper details to issue a charge in their own name. The amount claimed would depend on the distress and harassment caused by the charge.

This DPA claim would apply regardless of whether the motorist has paid, and regardless of whether Link has won any court claim.

Motorists have six years to bring any claim from the time of the last infringement.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Link Parking in parliamentary question

Link Parking featured in a Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 4th July 2017.

Here is a link to the question and answer.

Stephen Doughty Labour/Co-operative, Cardiff South and Penarth
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many cases brought by Link Parking Ltd against residents were heard in UK courts in each of the last three years.

The Ministry of Justice did not have the information to hand, so instead answered a slightly different question.

Dominic Raab The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice
The number of County Court judgments made in relation to cases brought by Link Parking Ltd against UK residents in each of the three years last is shown below:-

2014     0
2015   14
2016 113

Although the Ministry of Justice does not have this information, the British Motorists Protection Association (BMPA) does. According to their figures the number of court hearings were as follow

2015 41
2016 191
2017 142 (so far)

Link Parking keep their own figures. According to their website, they have won a total of 549 judgments as of 6/7/2017.

This seems a far cry from the MoJ total of CCJs, which is 127 up to the end of 2016.

According to a different page on their website, they have only won 124 cases.

The Prankster does not know which of the two figures, if any, is correct.

According to the BMPA, the county court which heard the most Link Parking hearings in 2016 was Cardiff, with 94 Link Parking cases. This is actually by far the biggest total of any court in the country for one Parking company. The next highest total is for Manchester,which has joint second place; it has heard 49 cases from Excel Parking and 49 cases from ParkingEye. Link Parking is essentially a one man band run by Martin Gardner, and is a minnow in comparison to Excel and ParkingEye.

Link Parking were the second worst parking company in January 2017, totalling 8% of complaints to the Prankster. Simon Renshaw-Smith's companies Excel and VCS were top, accounting for 41% of all complaints.

The Prankster has assisted with a number of Link Parking cases, and in his opinion they have little merit. Martin Gardner appears to specialise in bringing bogus claims which have little chance of success against an informed defence. He brings claims against residents who have the unfettered right to park given by their lease or tenancy and against motorists in sites where the signage is poor so no contract can be entered into by performance.

The Prankster therefore considers that Martin Gardner's trade association, the IPC, should step in and educate him on parking related law, and should consider removing his right to DVLA details until he shows this understanding. it is not right that a parking company should bring bogus no-hoper claims against motorists in the hope they will either be bullied into paying, or will make some procedural error and lose.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

VCS lose in court. Keeper not liable. Elliott v Loake not relevant

Vehicle Control Services v "MadHatter"  04/07/2017

The full story is on MSE.

In 2014 a person parked apparently outside bay markings at a train station.

The keeper did not consider they were liable, so ignore letters from VCS and Debt Recovery Plus. BW Legal then got involved. MadHatter denied she was liable. BW Legal issued a claim.

The Hearing

MadHatter argued that keeper liability did not apply because bylaws were in play and that the notice to keeper was not compliant.

The judge ruled this was private land and so bylaws were irrelevant, but agreed the notice to keeper was not compliant. As there was no evidence who the driver was, the claim was dismissed. BW Legal tried to argue Elliott v Loake meant the keeper was liable, but the judge was not interested.

MadHatter was awarded £21 in costs.

Prankster Note

BW Legal know full well that they had little hope of winning. However they were willing to play judge bingo in the hope of finding a judge not well-versed in parking law or the many decisions of their colleagues. These must now surely be few and far between.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Bunfight at the Royal Courts of Justice

It appears two parking companies have some disagreement or other, which will be heard tomorrow.

5/7/2017 ROOM E116
At half past 10
Parking Control Management (Central Services Limited) -v- Parking Control Management (Uk) Ltd

The Prankster has little idea what these two similarly named companies are disagreeing about.

However, the first named company went into voluntary liquidation and never filed any accounts. it may be that The Liquidator is chasing a £200,000 inter company transfer.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Monday, 3 July 2017

Millennium Door And Security Group lose claim over 4 residential tickets

Millennium Door and Security v Mr T. Swansea 03/07/2017. D7GF651J. DJ Batcup

Mr T represented himself. David Bellis and an assistant represented the claimant.

There were 4 tickets involved, all for a residential site where Mr T's leasehold gave him the right to park.

DJ Batcup agreed, and dismissed the claim because the leasehold took precedence over Millenniums contract.

In the run up to the hearing, Gladstones requested a copy of the lease, which was provided to them. Despite this, they decided to continue with the claim. The lease did allow the management company to introduce regulations in various circumstances. However, the parking contract was not found to be such a regulation.

Prankster Notes

It is quite obvious and there is plenty of case law that an existing contract takes precedence, and cannot be unilaterally altered.

David Bellis has legal training and so will be well aware of this. It is likely then that he is taking out these claims because he hopes that his victims will not know the legal situation, and will either be scared of court and pay up, or will mess up in the court procedures, or will file an irrelevant defence.

In the Prankster's behaviour this is morally bankrupt behaviour.

Millennium Door and Security, you've been Gladstoned!

Happy Parking 

The Parking Prankster

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Peel Cente Stockport 14-15 May 2017 glitch

A number of people have reported buying tickets at the Peel Centre Stockport on 14/15 May 2017, yet still received parking charges. Four people have complained on one MSE thread, and 3 others on other forums.

The errors appear to have occurred for tickets purchased on the machine near Costa Coffee.

This is not an isolated incident. The Peel Centre in particular and Excel in general appear to be one of the worst run car park operators in the country, if the number of complaints to The Prankster are anything to go by. The Prankster has helped a large number of motorists taken to court by Excel even though they purchased valid tickets.

The ticket machines on site are supplied by Metric Parking. These machines have a number of known flaws, any one of which could have caused this error

a. It has been identified that Metric machines have a flaw where if a motorist pays but the machine failed to issue the ticket due to a fault, or thought it had failed to issue a ticket (even if it had) the machine would not refund the amount paid and would remove the transaction from the local store. Thus, the motorist thinks they have paid, but the operator does not.

b. It has been identified that Metric machines have a flaw which occurs if there is a communication fault when the machine tries to send data back to the central office. In this case the machine sometimes overwrites all or part of the data. This means it is never sent back to the operator, who therefore record one or more motorists as not having paid.

c. In the case of Excel Parking v Hetherington-Jakeson it was identified (para 10) that Excel’s system suffers from a flaw known as ‘drop out’ which causes them to incorrectly issue charges

d. It has been identified that Metric machines will occasionally record a bogus registration, such as QQ, or even a totally blank registration, regardless of the registration actually entered

e. It had been identified that the Metric clocks are not synchronised with the ANPR system clocks. If an error occurs with the clock on the ticket machine then even if a valid ticket is purchased, because of the time mismatch the system will not recognise this.

f. It has been identified that if a previous motorist gave up while purchasing a ticket, their registration may remain in the system and corrupt any new registration entered.

g.      In addition to these known flaws with Metric Parking machines there may also be unknown flaws in Metric Parking’s machines which cause parking charges to be issued in error.

h.      In addition Excel's in-house software could have any number of software flaws which cause parking charges to be issued in error.

The Prankster suspects that the cause of the current problems is (e). The Prankster suspects that the clock in the machine by Costa Coffee went skew-whiff on 14 May so that tickets purchased from that machine registered for a different date/time. When Excel checked their ANPR data they found no tickets purchased by vehicles on 14-15 May and so issued charges. 

This previous blog shows the problem. A motorist recently purchased a ticket. The ticket was dated 1998, even though Excel only started managing the car park in 2012.

Here is another blog about a court case Excel lost when their machines printed the VRN incorrectly. The judge ruled it was Excel's responsibility to make sure their machines worked.

Any Excel employees who have more detail on fault in Excel's ticket machines are welcome to get in touch at to clarify the situation.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Gladstones discontinue Heath Parade claim...eventually

D4GF9617 – PCM (UK) Ltd v Mr K, Clerkenwell before Deputy District Judge Ostroff.

Bargepole has notched up another victory against the incompetent bunch of chancers making up Gladstones Solicitors. Gladstones are run by John Davies and Will Hurley, two legal lightweights who specialise in filing parking related claims while doing no due diligence. This means that many of their claims have no legal basis, thereby leaving their clients open to large costs.

Court report 24/05/2017

Bargepole was representing Mr K. The claimant’s advocate was Mr Shippard, a solicitor’s agent, but no challenge was made to his Right of Audience as that would have risked an adjournment, which the Defendant didn’t want. As it turned out, they got one anyway.

This case involved the notorious Heath Parade in NW9, blogged about by the Prankster on more than one occasion. The DDJ homed in on the forbidding signage argument that was held in the PCM(UK) v Bull & others case, and thought that would be the deciding factor if he decided that it was persuasive. However, although he had the transcript of the judgment before him, he did not have an image of the sign that DJ Glen had ruled upon in the Bull case.

He therefore gave Directions that the case would be adjourned to the next open date after 28 days, Defendant to file and serve an image of the signage from the Bull case, plus additional Skeleton if desired, within 7 days, and Claimant to file any further arguments in a skeleton 7 days after that. Costs were reserved.

He used to be indecisive, now he’s not so sure.

New Witness Statement

Following the filing of a further Witness Statement attaching a copy of the signage from the Bull case, showing that it is virtually identical to that at Heath Parade, Gladstones have now sent a Notice of Discontinuance.

Mr K has filed a costs schedule asking for his costs of £358.50. If Gladstones fail to pay within 14 days then he will ask for a costs hearing to decide the issues.


Signage at Chequers Avenue, ruled as not forming a contract in the case of PCM(UK) v Bull & others.

Almost identical signage at Heath Parade.

Prankster Notes

This seems like a strategic withdrawal by Gladstones. They apparently don't want a comprehensive loss at this site on record. No doubt they will shamelessly continue to file court claims regarding this site, hoping that motorists will be bullied into paying up without contesting the claim.

The Prankster considers this reprehensible behaviour and morally indefensible on the part of John Davies and Will Hurley, and their minions Jamie Ashford and Helen Cook.

The Prankster suggests that in cases with similar signage the defendant files the transcript of PCM(UK) v Bull, available at this link, and also a copy of the signage in that case.

The Prankster also notes that the IPC approve all signage used by their operators. The IPC is owned by Will Hurley and John Davies. As the signage is clearly deficient and not fit for purpose, The Prankster considers that IPC members may have a claim against Will Hurley and John Davies for costs incurred because of their poor advice.

The Prankster also wonders why the government have granted an ATA licence to the IPC when it is clearly run by two individuals with little or no knowledge of parking related law. These two individuals have lost all credibility and The Prankster suggests it is time for the government to revisit their licence to operate, based on the large number of court hearings their sister firm has lost.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Saturday, 1 July 2017

No honour amongst...operators

The Prankster notes the following text on the Parking Ticketing Ltd website

According to the IPC, Premier Parking Logistics is a trading name of Walton Wilkins, although this is not apparent from PPL's website.

As well as apparently ripping off PTL's website, Walton Wilkins seems quite happy to openly lie. He claims PPL "are one of the few companies that rigorously pursue unpaid parking charges via the courts".

This appears to be a big fat porkie pie, although he has been taken to court 3 times and ordered to pay back clamping fees.

The BMPA web site has no data on PPL court claims, suggesting that Walton's idea of "rigorously pursuing unpaid parking charges via the courts" may attribute different meaning to the words "rigorously", "pursuing" and "courts" to those most people use.

It would also be interesting if Walton would be able to name any of his "in-house legal experts" and explain what their legal qualifications are and why they are experts.

It would also be interesting to see the "small sample of cases taken to court". Althought the PTL site does list a few cases they have won, the rip-off PPL site lists none at all...which is hardly surprising.

Prankster Note

It appears PPL have recently sold off some of their back catalogue to MIL Collections, so there may well be a few court cases coming up in the next months.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster