Readers’ emails: ParkingEye at doctors surgery

From: Simon
Subject: ANPR in a (free) staff car park

Hi there

Great site!

I’ve been doing some reading and cant seem to find the answer to my question.

The small, private staff car park for our local doctors surgery over the road from our house has just installed ParkingEye ANPR parking.

The car park is empty over weekends and some residents usually park there with no known problems.

Obviously the introduction of ANPR will prevent this but I was wondering what exactly ParkingEye would charge you for if you parked there? It can’t be lost revenue as there are no charges applicable? So what would they be ‘invoicing’ for? And thus how contestable would it be?

Thanks in advance!

Hi Simon. ParkingEye will put up signs in the car park stating their terms and conditions for parking, and they will allege that anyone who parks is therefore signing up to them. Since ParkingEye only enforce using cameras, they typically issue tickets for:

  1. Parking without paying at the machine (where you enter a registration)
  2. Parking longer than the maximum period (e.g. up to 2 hours)
  3. Parking outside of the allowed hours

Obviously it depends on the specific signs at that car park, but I would assume in your case it will be (3) if a resident parked there at a weekend. Now, the sign will communicate a charge that is applicable for breach of the contract – e.g. £100.  The British Parking Association’s Code of Practice states that if a ticket is issued for breach of contract, then the parking company must be able to demonstrate a genuine pre-estimate of loss – i.e. how much of a loss that particular parking event  caused the landowner. Quite clearly in this case, the landowner will not make any loss if the car park is unused at weekends. Further, Parking Eye aren’t the landowner, so it would not be their loss anyway!

In answer to your question about how contestable it would be, then there’s good news and bad news. The ticket would be very much contestable. When a ParkingEye ticket is challenged at the independent appeals stage (POPLA) and genuine pre-estimate of loss is cited in the appeal, then to the authors knowledge, every appeal has been allowed.

However, that does not mean that you should park in this car park – it is private land, and the landowner has every right to decide who should and should not park there. If the signage in the car park communicates that non-staff are not allowed to park, then you should not.

1 Comment on “Readers’ emails: ParkingEye at doctors surgery

  1. Thanks very much! It helps clarify what I suspected.

    Of course, as residents we have our own parking permits for on-street parking so it’s not an issue. But we are aware that sometimes visitors to our neighbours park there. We’ve suggested to the landlord of the property that they could shut the barrier to the car park if this is an issue but they claim that’s too onerous!