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To think that landowners should be penalised when parking companies that they have a contact with break the law

(11 Posts)
ReallyTired Thu 30-Oct-14 10:36:51

I recently wrote a POPLA appeal when my husband was unfair fined for parking at Sportspace Sports centre hemel hempstead. They allow 3 hours of parking if you are using the sports centre and you have to put your car registration into a machine. DH made a mistake putting his registration into the machine. Our appeal to the parking company was refused so we went to the independent appeals proceedure POPLA and our appeal was upheld.

Our appeal was upheld on the grounds that the notice said that the "penalty was to deter abuse" and we had clear evidence that dh was a sportspace user on that day. In the appeal I said that that the charge was not genuine pre estimate of loss as neither sportspace nor civil parking solutions had incurred a financial loss through dh putting the car registration in incorrectly. A company can only claim compenstation for financial loss and not issue punishments for honest mistakes.

We have friends who have made a similar mistake and civil enforcement are turning down their intial appeal and forcing them to go to POPLA. The civil enforcement appeals process is meaningless as they seem to reject every appeal automatically with the hope that appealent won't challenge them. I know people who have paid the £60 rather than risk going to POPLA and paying £100.

I would like the landowner to be fined in the event of a sucessful POPLA appeal. It would make civil enforcement think twice about turning down an inital appeal that is fair as they would not want to annoy their customer Sportspace.

Fairenuff Thu 30-Oct-14 10:40:56

I think as it was your dh's mistake, your lawsuit will be unsuccessful anyway. They have a system which, if used correctly, works. They are not at fault and you would be hard pushed to prove they were. It would also cost a lot more in solicitors fees, etc.

LaurieFairyCake Thu 30-Oct-14 10:48:08

You are quite right Really. Your DH was cleared and people are too worried about losing perfectly sensible cases by 'risking' going for a Popla verdict which follows the law rather than a pretend civil enforcement thingy.

LaurieFairyCake Thu 30-Oct-14 10:52:39

People just don't realise that the civil enforcement thingy is skewed in favour of the parking company - people assume their independant

I'd bet more people win by going for a Popla tribunal

I'm not sure you read the Post Fairenuff - Reallys DH has already won, she's now saying that when people win over these dodgy parking companies the people that hired them (councils/shops/gyms etc) should also lose something so that they don't hire these skirting the law highwaymen.

I'd complain to the council Really (Dacorum) and contact your local councillor - under a freedom of information request Id find out how many 'fail' at civil enforcement tribunal and then get upheld at Popla

Fairenuff Thu 30-Oct-14 11:25:04

Yes, I meant that she wouldn't have a case against the shop as they didn't do anything wrong.

ReallyTired Thu 30-Oct-14 12:34:22

We WON the POPLA appeal Fairenuff

Civil Enforcement had not followed the law correctly and they are continuing to the break the law. A private body can not issue punisments. All they can do is claim reasonable expenses. For example if you parked in the sports centre car park and went shopping then sportspace could argue that you prevented a legimate customer from parking and sportspace lost money. Since DH was customer sportspace lost no money. It is irrelevent that he made an honest mistake with the machine as sportspace have no power to issue punishments for breaking arbitary rules.

Companies like Civil Enforcement or Parking Eye regularly break the law and take a chance that the driver might go to POPLA because a fair few people just pay up. It would be really interesting to know how many drivers ever win at the Civil Enforcement's "appeal". 55% of POPLA appeals win which shows that parking companies routinely break the law. If civil enforcement did their job correctly then very few people would win at POPLA appeals.

I feel that fining the landowner is the only way to reign in these cowboy parking companies.

Fairenuff Thu 30-Oct-14 12:35:56

Yes, I understand you won the appeal but I don't think you would win a lawsuit against the sportspace because they did nothing wrong.

WooWooOwl Thu 30-Oct-14 12:39:10

Parking companies have a lot to answer for, and they should be better regulated because the way many of them run is just awful.

But I don't agree with fining the landowner.

That would be like fining me because British gas put my new boiler in wrong.

It's the laws surrounding this that need to change.

ReallyTired Thu 30-Oct-14 13:57:27

"Parking companies have a lot to answer for, and they should be better regulated because the way many of them run is just awful."

The existing laws are fine, the problem is that they are not enforced. I feel that the parking company should have an appeals proceedure that is not a rubber stamp saying no. My husband's case should never have reached the stage of needing to go to the independent appeals proceedure POPLA. In affect POPLA is the only appeals proceedure.

"But I don't agree with fining the landowner. "

Why? Sportspace have the legal right to over turn any "parking ticket". They refuse to enter into any discussion and just refer customers to Civil Enforcement. I feel that fining them would stop them from washing their hands of the problem.

At the moment there is no incentive for a landowner/ car parking company to go to POPLA. There is no incentive for land owners/ car parking companies not to try their luck with appealent going to POPLA.

I am in favour of landowners having some control over who parks on their land. However there needs to be an appeals proceedure that is within the law. If a landowner employs a cowboy company to manage their parking then they should suffer some consequence.

VodkaJelly Thu 30-Oct-14 14:14:29

If the fines were not so outrageoulsy out of proportion say £20 most people would pay up. But when charged £60 for putting in a wrong reg, or staying 5 minutes over, its no wonder people appeal. It is stupid, pay 60p to park and any offence costs £60.

It is the cost of the fines that need to be looked at.

yes, i know they are meant to be a deterrent but really, £60 for denying the council 60p?

ReallyTired Thu 30-Oct-14 14:26:52

Sports centre users are allowed 3 hours of free parking. They are expected to enter their car registration once they are inside the building to prove that they are using the sports centre and entitled to the free parking. My husband is a gym member and is convinced he did not make a mistake. We think there may have been an IT failure.

Since dh was able to prove that both him and ds were in the gym POPLA and not abusing the parking POPLA allowed our appeal as the notice in the car said that the "penalty was to deter abuse" and the the charge was not genuine pre estimate of loss.

I think with the the cost of fines you need to include the costs of enforcement. Hence the £60 for not paying 60p.

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