Barry Beavis has started a petition against disproportionate private parking tickets. Following his loss at the Supreme Court, case law has now been set that allows parking companies to issue arbitrary parking charges. Until this judgement, the amount charged had to represent a genuine pre-estimate of loss for the damages your parking had caused the legal occupier of the land – likely to be little or nothing. In this case ParkingEye demanded a charge of £85 for overstaying by 56 minutes (the delay was caused by the shop he was visiting), and this was upheld by the highest appeal court in the land, who said it was not ‘uncoscionable or extravagant’. By way of comparison, speeding outside a school would only attract a £60 fine.
The ruling re-writes hundreds of years worth of case law and legislation to stop companies penalising consumers for breach of contract. And this is not just for parking; this opens the door to banks penalising consumers for going overdrawn, hotels fining customers for late checkouts, mobile phone companies fining you for going over your data limit.
So, if you do just one thing today, please sign this Government petition to force it to be discussed in parliament.