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Author Topic: Maidenhead station - car parking issues - ongoing discussion  (Read 49623 times)
johoare
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« on: January 07, 2011, 09:23:15 pm »

Not quite train travel but sort of related..

I got a penalty ticket today for parking at Maidenhead station (where I park most days).. I just wondered if anyone else who paid by Ring-Go got a ticket too or was I just the lucky one??

I did just call the Ring-go payment number and was asked (by the automated person) if I'd like to extend my parking which means I definitely paid this morning.. Grin

Stupid system.. Angry  Roll Eyes
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bignosemac
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« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2011, 09:34:26 pm »

Although I'm no lawyer, I'm fairly sure these tickets are nothing more than an invoice, covered only by the laws of contract and/or tort, not criminal law. So my first bit of advice is don't pay up. Far easier to argue your case now, rather than try and get your money back later.

You may find this interesting:

http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=46975

« Last Edit: January 07, 2011, 10:26:53 pm by bignosemac » Logged

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johoare
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« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2011, 09:47:33 pm »

Thanks bignosemac..

I have just been into the RingGo website and there was an option to enter details for having received a parking ticket even though payment was made.. So I did just that..

As a result they e-mailed me a letter template to send off to Apcoa about this mistake and (more importantly) the VAT receipt for my parking today...

I wonder how it all happened though.. It's the first time it's happened to me...New parking attendant maybe? access to RingGos list broken? (although I assume the car park guy has a phone number to ring in such circumstances)..

I think I might walk in future..
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bignosemac
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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2011, 10:14:38 pm »

Too many PPCs appear to issue these invoices (they are not charges, penalties or fines) for the most petty of reasons. No doubt many are issued in error also.

Jo, was your invoice issued for having no valid ticket or some other alleged contravention of the car park's rules? Makes no real difference, the advice is the same: don't pay. Just curious.....
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johoare
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« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2011, 10:39:38 pm »

It was issued for the following infringement (their words not mine):

01.. (I turn over the ticket to find out that that is...)  No valid payment/payment not correctly displayed..

So.. Since I paid (and now have proof) via Ring Go.. That is obviously a mistake on their part..

But still. It shouldn't happen..

Apparently if I don't pay they'll go to the DVLA to get my address to help them collect their debt.. Hhmm they could just follow me home any evening from the car park  Roll Eyes Grin
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bignosemac
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« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2011, 11:21:03 pm »

I'd say let them go to DVLA. They have to pay for each query. Even then all that gives them is details of the registered keeper, which may not necessarily be the person who contravened the rules, or who they, in your case, mistakenly believe has done so.

In your case, it's an error on their part because of a system failure. But it's still wrong IMO to use these invoices (often made to look like Penalty Charge Notices issued by Councils or the Police - which are backed up by criminal law) in an attempt to extort a large sum from the unwary.

Even if you hadn't paid the required fee to park, or overstayed, or contravened some other notified rule, my advice would be the same; don't pay the the invoice stuck to your windscreen. The only real loss to the parking company is the fee relevant to the amount of time you were parked there. So if you ever get a similar 'ticket' in a free car park (say at a shopping centre) then that loss would be.... err.... ^0.00.
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2011, 08:39:55 am »

So.. Since I paid (and now have proof) via Ring Go.. That is obviously a mistake on their part..
But still. It shouldn't happen..
I'd say let them go to DVLA. They have to pay for each query.

So there was a glitch in the system, which is being rectified admittedly with a little bit of annoyance but  with some phone calls, postage etc its resolved.  To take it to the extent of letting the parking company make the inquiry at the DVLA starts a whole chain of events of letters, county court, even as far as bailiffs.  Yes it is a civil offense but these car parking companies see non payment in the same light as shoplifting and will pursue it to the end.

If this keeps happening then it would be time to send a letter to the car parking company CEO asking for reimbursement of personal costs
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johoare
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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2011, 10:17:38 am »

Yeah I half was considering to ask them to re-imburse the price of the stamp to see if they actually will  Grin
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Brucey
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« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2011, 11:16:53 am »

Did APCOA issue the "ticket" under the Railway Byelaws or was it simply an "invoice" for infringement of their made-up rules?  I'm quite interested in knowing as this would have occurred on railway property.
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johoare
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« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2011, 11:34:05 am »

It's a "Civil parking notice" for non payment of car park charges.. even tho i did..No railway bylaws mentioned as far as I can see
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adc82140
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« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2011, 11:55:47 am »

Don't pay it. Don't make any contact with RingGo or APCOA, don't respond to any letters from "Roxburghe Debt Collectors" or "Graham White Solicitors". This is a known scam.

Do a search on the Moneysavingexpert or Pepipoo websites.

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Did APCOA issue the "ticket" under the Railway Byelaws

They can't. It's illegal to do so, and they know it. The only people who can issue byelaw tickets are the police, and payment has to be made through a magistrates court, not a private company.



BTW Stafferton Way Multi-Storey in Maidenhead (council run) is cheaper!! ^4.10 a day, only a 3 minute walk from the station.

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bignosemac
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« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2011, 12:39:56 pm »

So there was a glitch in the system, which is being rectified admittedly with a little bit of annoyance but  with some phone calls, postage etc its resolved.  To take it to the extent of letting the parking company make the inquiry at the DVLA starts a whole chain of events of letters, county court, even as far as bailiffs.  Yes it is a civil offense but these car parking companies see non payment in the same light as shoplifting and will pursue it to the end.

I wouldn't call it a civil offence. The word 'offence' implies some from of criminality. It is far from similar to shoplifting. Breaking rules in a car-park (excluding council run ones) is at worst a breach of contract. For which the onus is on the party at loss to prove their case. First off, they have to prove you were the driver. If you were the driver then ask them for proof, don't volunteer the information yourself. No need to incriminate yourself!

Damages for breach of contract should reflect the actual loss, so an arbitrary penalty of say ^50, which often rises exponentially with each subsequent demand for payment, for what is actually a minimal loss is unfair. This is covered by the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999:

Quote
Schedule 2 Indicative and Non-Exhaustive List of Terms which may be Regarded as Unfair

<snip>
(e) (a term) requiring any consumer who fails to fulfil his obligation to pay a dis-proportionately high sum in compensation.

There is plenty of case-law out there where private parking companies have attempted to sue for breach of contract for amounts grossly in excess of the actual loss, but I've yet to see a single case where they have been successful.

If you've broken a rule in a private car park, then pay a sum relevant to the actual loss suffered by the parking company/landowner. Overstayed by an hour? Pay one hours parking fee. Occupied two bays? Pay twice the fee for your stay. Even then, only pay up if the parking company can prove their loss. DO NOT pay the extortionate amounts on the invoice stuck on your window, or demanded in subsequent letters.

Remember though, IANAL  Wink


EDIT: Legal proceedings CAN be initiated under Railway Byelaw 14 by an agent acting on behalf of a Railway Operator, but the car parking companies at railway stations rarely go down this route, because the fines issued by a magistrates court do not go to them. They prefer the invoice approach coupled with threats of county court action, because,  if you are mug enough to pay up, they get money.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2011, 01:34:45 pm by bignosemac » Logged

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adc82140
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« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2011, 01:08:10 pm »

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Yes it is a civil offense but these car parking companies see non payment in the same light as shoplifting and will pursue it to the end.

No it isn't. It's a contractual dispute. They will not persue it to the end, as APCOA don't "do" court. They do not want their practices to be investigated in the process.

If you receive a letter alleging that you were the driver, ignore it. If you DO want to write back to them, PM me- I've got some good solicitor written templates.

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Apparently if I don't pay they'll go to the DVLA to get my address to help them collect their debt

It would be very clever if the DVLA had records of who was driving any vehicle at any time!!! APCOA tried to tell me that I was under obligation to inform them who was driving. I advised the person on the other end of the phone that only the police could do that, and that it was a criminal offence to impersonate a police officer  Grin  Grin
« Last Edit: January 08, 2011, 01:14:20 pm by adc82140 » Logged
devon_metro
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« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2011, 01:31:54 pm »

So in theory I could go and park at my local APCOA station, not bother buying a ticket at all and then I have absolutely no onligation to pay when they demand relevant fees?
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adc82140
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« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2011, 05:48:52 pm »

As the law currently stands, then yes. That's why many private parking companies have resorted to using wheel clampers.

I don't condone such action as not paying- It's FGW's right to charge for parking, and our right to park elsewhere if we think it's too expensive. What I object to is the action of the private parking companies making extortionate "penalties" for minor infractions like parking with one wheel over the line, and then using intimidation techniques to try and bully you in to paying.

I think if anyone tried it every day, it may get noticed- I'm no legal expert but I guess FGW as landowner could have an injunction served against anyone doing this or have them prosecuted for trespass?
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