Private firms' parking fines "unenforceable" says campaigner
LGV drivers and operators should ignore parking fines issued by private companies, a parking ticket campaigner has claimed.
Barrie Segal, who set up and runs the AppealNow website, said fines issued to LGV drivers for breaching parking restrictions on private land, such as motorway service areas (MSAs), were "unenforceable".
Segal said he has had "quite a few" enquiries from LGV drivers about fines issued at MSAs. His advice to them is: "They can either ignore it or say ‘this is not an appeal, these are the facts’ and make them an offer for the amount of the loss."
Such an offer would normally reflect the amount of time that a driver overstayed the stipulated parking limit, he added. For example, if a charge for parking is £10, but a driver received a £90 fine for exceeding the permitted allowed time, an offer of £10 would reflect the loss.
Last month, new regulations came into force outlawing cowboy clampers in England and Wales. Under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, the clamping and towing of vehicles has been banned on all private land unless a bylaw allowing it in specific circumstances has been made. It has been predicted that many firms will now rely on issuing tickets instead.
However, a private company wishing to collect a parking fine would have to start a civil action against the individual, as there is no basis in criminal law for them to do so. The cost of a civil action is prohibitive relative to the typical parking ticket, which forms the basis for Segal's assertion that such fines are unenforceable.
Consensus amongst the legal profession on this point is lacking though, and a number of law firms contacted by CM declined to comment on the legality of Segal's advised course of action.