Readers’ emails: PCM UK beaten in court

I parked in a residential bay in a private carpark run by PCM uk. 

I displayed a disabled badge as my father was in the car with me. When I returned I had received a yellow sticker that looked very much like an actual PCN. I challenged it as the signage, in my opinion, suggested I could park there with a blue badge. A PDF of the signage is attached.

The challenge was not upheld and the response was as follows:

This site is private land and is managed and operated by Parking Control Management. The Parking Charge Notice (PCN) has been issued in accordance with this parking management scheme. The signage in the area is clear and informs motorists of the contractual obligations agreed to by parking in this area. By parking in this manner, the driver agrees to pay the charge stated. Parking is permitted for vehicles displaying a valid permit and parked within the confines of a marked bay. Parking is extremely limited on site and as such one is required to display a permit in all bays, as outlined by the signage. A blue badge alone is not accepted. The iconography is intended for guidance only and by no means do they form the basis of the contract agreed to by parking. 

A lot of back and forth followed. A debt collection company got involved. Court action was threatened. All the time, the charge was increasing with added costs and daily interest charge. 

I was adamant I was in the right and that the signs were misleading at best  and entrapment at worst, if a fee was to be paid. I was willing to go to court to explain this. I submitted my case on paper and then had to go to court.

When I went to court Gladstone Brookes solicitors didn’t bother turning up after submitting their case on paper also. The judge ruled in my favour as he felt that the signage allowed for disabled badges to be able to park where I did. He awarded my my loss of earnings for that day.

Whilst I dug my feet in as was prepared to go to court, I feel that with the increasing threatening letters and the possibility of a CCG against them, a lot of people would have paid the fine.

I hope by submitting this case to you, people understand that PCM and Gladstone Brookes are in the wrong and they should not pay the fine if they park in similar circumstances.