“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything”

The BPA’s Monday Musing this week revealed a rather embarrassing Kinsley Gaffe. In their Victory? What victory? piece, the BPA try to justify the enormous private parking ‘management’ industry, citing poor parking by (what they freely admit is) a small minority of motorists. As we noted previously, they fail to address the genuine issues raised by the Mail (and others), and instead try to justify their existence.

Our friends over at NoToMob spotted a rather unfortunate gaffe by the author, who was clearly forgetting to tow the party line. The original piece contained the following:

All the adjudication services (TPT, PATAS, POPLA) follow the law. It may not be a criminal offence, but they recognise that an infringement of the rules has occurred and therefore, it is punishable.

Now, as we all know by now, under civil law, a private entity cannot punish another private entity; only the authorities have that ability. Instead, the private parking industry has to pretend a parking charge is in fact damages for the loss caused by the motorist’s parking.

To any reasonable person it is obvious that a 10 minute overstay or parking over a line in a parking space cannot cause £100 of loss to the land-owner, nor each breach all cause the same amount of loss. If it really was loss, then how can the BPA’s Code of Practice state the maximum amount of loss at £100? If it is loss, then why would the Chief Executive say the charges are set at levels similar to Penalty Charge Notices as issued by councils?

Quite clearly it is a penalty dressed up as damages. Even in the Beavis & Wardley judgement that the parking companies parade as commercial justification for issuing £100 charges, HHJ Maloney found the parking charges to be penalties and not loss.

Even the BPA’s very own appeals organisation, POPLA, agrees that the charges are not a genuine pre-estimate of loss; they routinely uphold appeals on this point irrespective of whether the motorist was in the right or wrong. However, the private parking industry in its current form would not survive if it really was based on recovering loss – simply you cannot make a profit. And so, the lie must continue.

So one can only imagine the panic in Haywards Heath when they realised that the author of their blog had had a bit of a brain fart, admitting that they are in the business of penalising the public. The blog entry was quickly edited to change “is punishable” to the rather more sinister sounding “has consequences”.

All the adjudication services (TPT, PATAS, POPLA) follow the law. It may not be a criminal offence, but they recognise that an infringement of the rules has occurred and therefore, it has consequences.

And so the lie of loss continues for the time being, and the BPA will need to be more careful in future posts to make sure they don’t inadvertently give the game away.

As Mark Twain said:

If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything

Credit to NoToMob for highlighting.

Posted in blog, Parking companies

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