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Multiple PCNs

(11 Posts)
xSummer Tue 15-Oct-19 10:20:46

Over the last year or so within our work, parking has become a big issue, whereby we have had to start finding other places to park, either paying to park, or somewhere else.

Myself and a few others, have for the last 8-10 months (maybe even longer) have been parking “somewhere else”.

Up to now we have not had any issues, I mean there have been signs to advise that the site is monitored etc, (I don’t recall what it said exactly), but suddenly over 20 of us have received parking charge notices for C.U.P Enforcement, it looks like a new company has taken over this site and has started slamming people with fines.
Fines of £100 or £60 if we pay within 14 days.

Now my argument is this:
-Whilst it is not compulsory, nor is it a legal requirement to put a notice on the windscreen – surely one of these would have been enough to deter us
-A sign could have bene placed to notify that terms were changing on that site
-Better signage could have been placed on site, as swapping a white sign for another white sign, isn’t really obvious

I have had a look on the companies website and have seen that these people can set up within a matter of days, so the company responsible surely could have had some advance warning or am I being unreasonable here?

Either way, there are over 20 of us, with at least 4 fines (as they were seemingly delayed in being processed, for example, PCN’s for the 2nd & 3rd Oct, were issued on the 7th Oct and we are still awaiting others.

So we are looking at 20 people x 4 fines @£100 each = £8000.

Yes, we are going to appeal this and claim that the sanctions imposed were unfair, but what would be the best course of action here:

-Appeal prior to the case going to court
-Offer to pay one and tell them to scrap the rest
-Wait for the court summons but still fight before it gets to that stage
-Say we will go to court individually – Which will be smalls calim and no doubt they will be represented by a right of audience
-Or do a group action, as the total costs will exceed £5000 and then they will have to pay for a solicitor as well as other cost – but obviously, we would need to be a 100% sure, that we could fight this.

Has anybody had similar issues that they can advise?

prh47bridge Tue 15-Oct-19 12:56:05

You cannot choose for it to be a group action. If they take it to court they will take action against each of you individually. It will, as you say, be a small claim against each of you. They may choose to have legal representation but they cannot recover their legal costs from you. However, they can recover the court fees from you.

It is not clear that the terms have changed. It may be that the previous operator's terms allowed it to impose charges on people parking without paying, in which case the only change is that the new operator is actually enforcing the terms.

Your options (other than paying) are to ignore the charges and hope they don't take you to court or to appeal via CUP's website on the basis that the signage was inadequate. Whether or not such an appeal would succeed depends on whether or not the signage really was inadequate. If the signage was adequate but you didn't read it an appeal will fail.

xSummer Thu 17-Oct-19 16:23:16

Many thanks for your response,

So I have had another look at the signage and this is what they have:

White signs for the new agency to state that CUP are the enforcers and regulated by the BPA

Yellow signs to state that the site is managed by a trust and enforced by UK parking patrol Office Ltd regulated by the IPA.

Surely that is inadequate since it doesn't clearly state whose terms you are abiding to?

prh47bridge Thu 17-Oct-19 16:31:10

Possibly. However, if both signs give the same terms (i.e. how long you can stay, the level of charge and the level of fine for overstaying) they may be regarded as adequate.

maternity123qwe Thu 17-Oct-19 16:33:25

It’s quite easy for the debt to be passed to a debt collecting agency and then to courts for a CCJ to be issued. If there is really insufficient signage, ie there is nothing to say you will get fined or the period of time etc then fight it but if not then you’ve not really got a case

Bigregrets19 Thu 17-Oct-19 21:01:00

Similar happened to my dh at his old works.
There was a disused unit next door parked there for over a Yr.
A company went along that had just taken over , put up notices on the lampposts then ticketed all the cars straight after

Luckily someone spotted they were acting shady and filmed it. And took photos..
Nothing more came of it when the video was sent to the companys HQ

MarieG10 Fri 18-Oct-19 08:04:45

I suggest you go to the Facebook site "Private Parking Tickets - held and advice". They are brilliant and will give advice. You will need to post up the PCN but block out any identifying features and do NOT name the driver

AJPTaylor Fri 18-Oct-19 19:02:31

Well if you paid all 4 it would be 240 quid. Seems pretty reasonable for 8 months parking. If it is clearly private land of some sort and there has always been a sign of some sort sounds like you want to have your cake and eat it. If there had been a charge of a pound a day would you have paid it?

Findumdum1 Fri 18-Oct-19 19:06:52

I have had about 40 PARKING charge notices and have never paid for a single one (they were all ludicrous, eg double dip at local supermarket carpark, being on the white line, no ticket displayed when id paid with the app, being given a ticket when I had paid with the app and had the vat receipt etc etc)

Worse case scenario is they will take you to small claims court in which case judge will throw it out or reduce the amount.

prh47bridge Fri 18-Oct-19 19:50:58

Worse case scenario is they will take you to small claims court in which case judge will throw it out or reduce the amount

The law changed a few years ago and fines by private companies are enforceable. See ParkingEye Ltd v Beavis in which the Supreme Court upheld ParkingEye's £85 charge for staying more than 2 hours in a free car park. In light of that judgement it is highly unlikely the judge would throw out the case or reduce the amount unless the OP was able to convince the judge that the signage was inadequate.

Findumdum1 Sat 19-Oct-19 14:05:32

Yes, i know the law changed. Which is why they now occasionally take people to small claims court. And which is also why there are then a plethora of resources to mount a defence that points out the inadequacies of their process (failure to add the legal representative to the form being a common one), inadequacies of their signage, illegality or their use of ANPR, the possibility of double dip that they can't disprove etc. And then the outcome is that the judge throws it out or outsbthe charge back to the original invoice amount without all the disproportionate admin charges.

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