Mumsnet has not checked the knowledge, experience or professional qualifications of anyone posting on Mumsnet Talk and cannot be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you have any serious legal concerns, we would suggest you consult a lawyer.

Parking Enforcement Notice received for stopping for 10 seconds at Luton Airport

(42 Posts)
coconut49 Wed 26-Sep-12 17:35:33

I have searched for parking fine posts and I understand that if you receive a parking fine from a private company (in this case APCOA at Luton Airport) it is not enforceable. I just want to check though!!
My DH had to pick up my DB from Luton airport. He paid a pound to wait in the 15 min waiting area but as DB had still not arrived after 13 mins he exited the drop off/pick up area and was going to drive around and enter again for another 15 minutes (cheaper to pay £2 than go to short term car park). Anyway as he drove out, my DB appeared (jumped out in front of DH's car to stop him!) and DB threw his luggage in the boot and hopped in. DH stopped for about 10 seconds. Apparently you are not allowed to stop on the roads and there are notices but you can't read all the details if you are not allowed to stop !
DH has received a parking enforcement notice, which he ignored as we had read the advice, and then a debt collectors letter saying he owes £131 now, which for stopping for a few seconds seems a trifle excessive! The debt collectors now keep phoning daily but DH is never in as he is at work (and they don't have his mobile no). As I take the calls, they just say it is a personal call and ask me to leave a message for DH to call them, which he hasn't so far.
Do you think he should give them a ring? What should he say?
Or should he write to them?
Any help is much appreciated. I know the advice is to ignore all the letters but I am worried that DH will be the one they decide to take to court.

coconut49 Wed 26-Sep-12 22:14:06

Anyone?

prh47bridge Thu 27-Sep-12 00:18:36

This "notice" is an invoice, not a fine. You should ignore it. To take action against your DH they would have to prove that he was driving the car. In the unlikely event that they did sue and even more unlikely event that they won, they would only be awarded damages for any loss they suffered as a result of your DH's actions, which would be much less than the £131 they are claiming.

If they keep phoning daily tell them you will report them to the police for harrassment unless the calls cease.

Collaborate Thu 27-Sep-12 09:06:24

Just check in the notice of "fine" whether they refer to any bye-laws. I assume not, in which case (as in all such cases) ignore them as prh says.

Ponders Thu 27-Sep-12 09:10:36

moneysavingexpert on APCOA at Luton

you can safely ignore smile

don't speak to them on the phone - when you know it's them just mute your phone & wait until they go away. after a while the number of calls dwindles & eventually they give up (my DD had a couple of parking "fines" which were handled by Graham White/Roxburghe. Bastards)

Ponders Thu 27-Sep-12 09:15:05

I had a day off work last week and got a call at home from Messer’s G White re an alleged unpaid penalty notice. I ask the chap to hold the line for a moment, gently tapped the handset against the phone so it made a clicking noise at his end, and then said “please be aware I am now recording this conversation”. Guess what…. he hung up without saying another word! It just goes to prove they tread a fine line between debt collection and extortion (allegedly!!!).

from MSE again.

you could try that, coconut grin

coconut49 Thu 27-Sep-12 09:47:58

Thanks everyone - that is reassuring.. The debt collectors said "we are fully aware of anecdotal information being presented via the Internet and on various websites and you may well feel this guidance is worth following. We strongly urge you to seek independent legal advice rather than to rely on these opinions, and we would respectfully suggest that you refer to the Civil Procedures Rules part 31 and more specifically parts 31.16 and 31.17"
I looked at these rules but have no idea what they are about - too much legal jargon for me to understand!
Does anyone know what they refer to??
Thanks again

That is a great idea ponders! Maye even genuinely record the calls too using a mobile next to the phone?

Collaborate Thu 27-Sep-12 10:06:05

OP - Google is a great resource for stuff like that.

Ponders Thu 27-Sep-12 10:15:28

a different thread from MSE

'Seems like Roxburghe have changed their "letter". Check the last paragraph "We are fully aware of anecdotal information being presented via the internet and on various websites and you may well feel this guidance is worth following. We strongly urge you to seek independent legal advice rather than rely on these opinions, and would respectively suggest that you refer to the Civil Procedure Rules part 31 and more specifically parts 31.16 and 31.17"
So, looks like we are being advised to check the internet for advice?'

'Except they forget to add that "Civil Procedure Rules part 31* *and more specifically parts 31.16 and 31.17" does not apply to the Small-Claims track. How very remiss of them!'

'There's absolutely no way they "forgot" , they are 100% deliberately misleading people in the hope of conning them into providing information that they are not obliged to'

Honestly, coconut, if you google Luton Airport APCOA there are pages of links

also google Graham White & Roxburghe

they do not go to court - even with parking tickets, apparently, the most they would get even if they did bother would be the amount of the original "fine", not any of their "costs", so they don't.

Ponders Thu 27-Sep-12 10:20:56

a post from Aug 2011 on the thread I just linked to:

'I drove my husband's car to Luton Airport a month ago to drop my brother off. I stopped at a red traffic light on roundabout and my bro decided to jump out as he was in a hurry to check in. I then drove on. I received a penalty notice accusing me of dropping off in an unauthorised area and had the usual pay £40 now or £80 in a few weeks or we'll use a debt collection agency to recover monies. I wrote to them saying that I had no control over my passenger's action and that I had not stopped to drop him off. I stopped at a red light as I was obliged to do. Should I ignore this? My husband is nervous as it is his car reg they have. His instinct is to pay it and forget it. I don't want to pay them. It's a rip off. Should I write to them and tell them I have no intention of paying or should I just let it lie? '

'Simply ignore their silly letters. They have not got a hope in hell of ever enforcing such a stupid contravention.
They are simply trying to mimic official road regulations on private land! You have advised them of the circumstances, let them waste their time sending silly letters. Which will ultimately come to nought!! '

She was stopped at a red light, FFS!!! Just shows how pathetic they are, really.

Lilymaid Thu 27-Sep-12 10:22:05

CPR Rule 31 is about disclosure so they are talking about what they termed: "anecdotal information being presented via the Internet and on various websites "
Sounds as though they are trying to scare you by suggesting you will need to instruct solicitors to deal with any claim so that would cost you even more money!

Ponders Thu 27-Sep-12 10:25:51

& finally (honest!) this summary of what they're about

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

They are all just begging letters, which are basically saying:

"Hi there Mr or Mrs X, we know we have no authority to fine you, as only a court can issue fines, so we are sending you an invoice, which we really hope you will be daft enough to pay.

We'll keep sending letters for a few weeks, possibly even a few months, at our expense, probably totalling a couple of pounds. They'll even get more threatening, we'll say we are sending debt collectors round and we are going to take you to court, but that would cost us even more money than we have already lost by writing to you, so we wont.

PLEASE pay us, as if you don't, more and more people wont pay us, and then we'll be sending letters out for no reason at all and you wouldn't want us to go out of business would you?

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Because you have already engaged with them they will persist initially (this happened with my DD before I intervened) but the number of calls/letters will dwindle & they will give up eventually AS LONG AS YOU STOP ENGAGING FROM NOW ON.

Trust me wink

Ponders Thu 27-Sep-12 10:29:35

The disclosure part is just about confirming to them who was driving.

but IMO it's wrong that they have access to DVLC records in the first place, to find out where to send the initial demand, when no law has been broken angry

prh47bridge Thu 27-Sep-12 11:18:31

Part 31 is all about disclosure of documents. 31.16 and 31.17 set out the rules that apply if they ask the courts to make you disclose any documents. However, any claim by ACPOA would go through the small claims track where part 31 does not apply so it is completely irrelevant. It has no bearing at all on whether or not they can enforce their "fine". As Ponders says, this appears to be a deliberate attempt to mislead people. Even more reason not to pay.

By the way, I checked and your DH doesn't seem to have broken any of Luton Airport's bye-laws unless he was riding a horse at the time!

coconut49 Thu 27-Sep-12 12:16:05

Thanks. - I will look at the threads. Graham white solicitors letter received today threatening legal action in the county court. We will continue to ignore letters then but it is hard to ignore calls as they just leave messages for dh all the time. Should we not write back to say that dh is disputing parlaying enforcement notice and invite them to take us to court?

coconut49 Thu 27-Sep-12 12:16:56

Sorry, should read 'parking' not parlaying !

Ponders Thu 27-Sep-12 12:25:47

no, don't respond at all, not to letters or calls!!! (keep the letters though - they follow a set circular pattern, it's quite entertaining to compare them)

when they ring & ask for him

ask who's speaking
say 'just a moment'
mute the phone
go away

don't engage. they will hang up after a while grin & gradually will call less & less.

or, if you have caller display, they will probably use this number

01932 332048

so if that comes up, just don't answer.

coconut49 Thu 27-Sep-12 13:03:35

YES that's the number!!! But don't have caller display. They seem to call around the same time (about 4.45 pm) so yesterday I let the phone go to ansafone and when I did 1471, it was that number. But they didn't leave a message.
It's just a bit scary as we have never been in such a situation before!
And prh47bridge - He wasn't riding a horse so guess he is ok then!! grin

Ponders Thu 27-Sep-12 13:08:33

yes, it is scary at first - the letters are very convincing

but after a while, & especially when you realise how many other people are in the same boat, you can relax about it & laugh at ignore their efforts grin

prh47bridge Thu 27-Sep-12 13:16:36

Agree with Ponders. Don't engage with them at all. That will only encourage them. If you ignore them they will go away.

I presume the debt collector is Roxburghe. Anything you receive from Graham White of West Byfleet is likely to be from Roxburghe, not the solicitors. Graham White has just one solicitor who is now well into his 70s.

coconut49 Thu 27-Sep-12 17:29:30

Yes, the debt collector is Roxburghe And then Michael Sobells letter, solicitor (graham white - solicitors headed paper.
But I will ignore them all now and be strong - thank you!!!!!

OttillieRidiculous Thu 27-Sep-12 18:48:39

Ignore 'em and they'll get bored and go and find someone else to bully. The sad thing is most people will just pay up sad

VivaLeBeaver Thu 27-Sep-12 19:01:30

I'm currently ignoring similar letters, though wasn't at Luton airport so a different company.

They haven't rung me yet. Where do they get your number from? I'm ex directory so if they find my number I won't be happy.

Ponders Thu 27-Sep-12 20:19:48

I assume they get name & address from DVLC & then look it up in the phone book, so if you're ex-directory you may not get calls, Beaver - in fact I'd be very interested to hear about it if you do hmm

This lot aren't exclusive to Luton Airport though. What's your hassling company called?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now