Author Topic: BPA Ltd changes to its Code of Practice - implemented 6 January 2020  (Read 159 times)

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Offline The Bald Eagle

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AOS CODE CHANGES – EFFECTIVE 6 JANUARY 2020

New Clauses

Soft Ticketing

9.6 The process known as ‘soft ticketing’ is expressly forbidden.  To confirm, ‘soft ticketing’ occurs where operators place a ‘notice’ on a vehicle which asks the motorist to check online or by telephone to see if their vehicle has committed a parking contravention.  The implementation of such a scheme will be viewed as a serious and potentially sanctionable breach of the Code.

Motorist Correspondence

9.7 At a time when the private parking sector is under intense scrutiny from Government, it is imperative that correspondence from MPs (and similar VIPs) is dealt with promptly with definitive and comprehensive responses given. When such correspondence is received, we expect you to acknowledge the communication within 10 days and respond within 28 days.  If the complaint will take longer than 28 days to resolve, we expect you to update the MP of this. Failure to achieve these deadlines may be considered a Sanctionable Breach of the Code.

Clause 20.4a A notice sent by post is to be presumed, unless the contrary is proved, to have been delivered and so “given” on the second working day after the day on which it is posted; and for this purpose “working day” means any day other than a Saturday, Sunday or a public holiday.

AOS Census

Clause 8.4 Given the increasing prominence of our Association and the introduction of the Private Parking (Code of Practice) Act, it’s essential that we have robust evidence to inform our associated communications and lobbying activities. In particular, the appropriate use of aggregated membership data can support strong messages on why effective parking management is essential and challenge misinformed messages from others. It has been decided to introduce an AOS operator census programme via a confidential third party who will help us to collate and consolidate data on a half yearly basis.  Operators will be liable for submission of all required data to the programme and any non-submittals will be considered as a breach of the Code and may result in Sanction Points being issued.

Keying Errors

17.1 Technology is being used more and more by parking providers as an aid to car park management. Irrespective of whether a parking facility is off-street or on-street, the increased use of technology will often require a motorist to correctly enter their vehicle  registration at a pay and display machine, parking kiosk or at a validation terminal inside the location in instances where parking is offered at a reduced rate or free of charge.

17.2 There is also an increase in the use of mobile phone apps to pay for parking. Just as in the case of fixed or stationary parking payment terminals, mobile phone parking apps also require a motorist to correctly enter their car registration number.

17.3 No one wants to receive a parking charge for making a mistake when entering their vehicle registration number into a Pay and Display machine or parking validation terminal, when they have paid for the parking event. Motorists, car park operators, service providers and equipment manufacturers all have a responsibility in ensuring that obvious and inadvertent errors do not lead to unjustified charges.

17.4 The Code recognises that keying errors can be grouped into 2 main areas;

A) Minor Keying Errors
Examples of a minor keying error could include:

0 instead of o.
I instead of L.
1 instead of I
Up to one letter wrong, removed, or swapped
Up to one number wrong, removed, or swapped
Numbers and/or letters in the wrong order (but where the correct registration is still recognisable)
These are minor errors where up to one character has been entered incorrectly, or where the registration has been entered in the wrong order. If a typing error such as this leads to a PCN being issued and the motorist appeals, the PCN must be cancelled at the first stage of appeal.

B) Major Keying Errors
Examples of a major keying error could include:

Motorist entered their spouse’s car registration
Motorist entered something completely unrelated to their registration
Motorist made multiple keying errors (beyond one character being entered incorrectly)
Motorist has only entered a small part of their VRM, for example the first three digits
In these instances we would expect that such errors are dealt with appropriately at the first appeal stage, especially if it can be proven that the motorist has paid for the parking event or that the motorist attempted to enter their VRM or were a legitimate user of the car park (eg a hospital patient or a patron of a restaurant).

It is appreciated that in issuing a PCN in these instances, the operator will have incurred charges including but not limited to the DVLA fee and other processing costs therefore we believe that it is reasonable to seek to recover some of these costs by making a modest charge to the motorist of no more than £20 for a 14-day period from when the keying error was identified before reverting to the charge amount at the point of appeal.

Self-Ticketing

15.2 Self Ticketing can be defined as any PCN issued or information gathered that results in a PCN being issued by a party who is not directly employed by the parking operator – for example a representative of the landowner.’

15.2a You are responsible for making sure the customer keeps to the Code. You must provide your customer with an up-to-date copy of the Code and get their signed confirmation that they have read the Code and agree to keep to it.

15.4 Self-ticketers must be registered with the BPA before they are able to issue a Parking Charge or their operator can request keeper data relating to a parking incident.

15.5 All operators offering self-ticketing will be required to register the organisations that they look after with the BPA and supply photographs of the locations that they manage, showing the signage in place within their registration documentation.

15.6 All self-ticketing sites should be visited by the operator prior to any enforcement action being taken, unless there is an exemption by the ATA.

15.7 Operators will be required to self-report any, and every, breach of the Code by self-ticketers to the BPA Compliance Team who in turn will investigate and may take necessary disciplinary action. Failure to do this may be seen as a sanctionable breach of the Code.

15.8 The practice of offering financial incentives relating to the quantity of parking charge notices directly to the person who issues a parking charge notice or gathers evidence for one, in a self ticketing or similar arrangement is prohibited.

15.9 Operators are required to ensure that the self-ticketing organisations that they have responsibility for, undertake appropriate training.

Amended Clauses

Consideration and Grace Periods

13.1 The driver must have the chance to consider the Terms and Conditions before entering into the ‘parking contract’ with you. If, having had that opportunity, the driver decides not to park but chooses to leave the car park, you must provide them with a reasonable consideration period to leave, before the driver can be bound by your parking contract. The amount of time in these instances will vary dependant on site size and type but it must be a minimum of 5 minutes.

13.2 The reference to a consideration period in 13.1 shall not apply where a parking event takes place.

13.3 Where a parking location is one where a limited period of parking is permitted, or where drivers contract to park for a defined period and pay for that service in advance (Pay & Display), this would be considered as a parking event and a Grace Period of at least 10 minutes must be added to the end of a parking event before you issue a PCN.

13.4 Unauthorised motorists will not be entitled to the minimum time period of 5 minutes for a consideration period in spaces designated for specific users e.g Blue Badge holders, pick up/drop off or where parking is prohibited such as hatched areas in front of emergency exits, or on entry and exit ramps etc.

13.5 You must tell us the specific consideration/grace period at a site if our compliance team or our agents ask what it is.

13.6 Neither a consideration period or a grace period are periods of free parking and there is no requirement for you to offer an additional allowance on top of a consideration or grace period.

Misrepresentation of authority

14.2 You must not use terms which imply that parking is being managed, controlled and enforced under statutory authority. This includes using terms such as ‘fine’, ‘penalty’, ‘penalty charge notice’ or ‘excess charge notice’.

Hire Vehicles

Clause 22.11 A parking charge may be appealed by a vehicle keeper on the grounds that the vehicle was stolen or on hire or lease at the time the unauthorised parking took place. If the rental or lease customer’s details have been provided to you by the hire or lease company, along with the documents required under paragraph 13(2) of Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act (2012), you should pursue your claim instead with their customer.

Recovering unpaid parking charges

Clause 23.1c Before serving a Letter Before Claim and prior to the issue of proceedings, Operators must, if no responses have been received to the NTD/NTK/reminder letters, take reasonable endeavours to ensure that the contact details for the person you are writing to are correct.

Section C Operational Requirements in Scotland and Northern Ireland – this section has been completely updated to match the England and Wales section.

Appendix A – we have added ‘and where lawful authority applies’ to the heading of this Appendix.

New clause at A1.1 of Appendix A. - There are other instances where there is lawful authority for immobilisation or relocation for example Railway Byelaws

New Appendix G Railway Byelaws Section

General Conditions
1.1 The ‘General Conditions’ from the BPA Code of Practice apply, and Members will be audited against these.

1.2 The only exception to this is Clause 14 of the ‘General Conditions’. Operators are required to reference the Statutory Authority that they are managing the land under.

1.3 The specific Byelaws of the Railway Byelaws that apply to parking are;

Traffic signs, causing obstructions and parking
(1) No person in charge of any motor vehicle, bicycle or other conveyance shall use it on any part of the railway in contravention of any traffic sign.

(2) No person in charge of any motor vehicle, bicycle or other conveyance shall leave or place it on any part of the railway:

(i) in any manner or place where it may cause an obstruction or hindrance to an Operator or any person using the railway; or

(ii) otherwise than in accordance with any instructions issued by or on behalf of an Operator or an authorised person.

(3) No person in charge of any motor vehicle, bicycle or other conveyance shall park it on any part of the railway where charges are made for parking by an Operator or an authorised person without paying the appropriate charge at the appropriate time in accordance with instructions given by an Operator or an authorised person at that place.

 (4) In England and Wales

(i) The owner of any motor vehicle, bicycle or other conveyance used, left or placed in breach of Byelaw 14(1) to 14(3) may be liable to pay a penalty as displayed in that area.

(ii) Without prejudice to Byelaw 14(4)(i), any motor vehicle, bicycle or other conveyance used, left or placed in breach of Byelaw 14(1) to 14(3) may be clamped, removed, and stored, by or under the direction of an Operator or authorised person.

The owner of the motor vehicle, bicycle or other conveyance shall be liable to an Operator or an authorised person for the costs incurred in clamping, removing and storing it provided that there is in that area a notice advising that any vehicle parked contrary to these Byelaws may be clamped, removed and stored by an Operator or an authorised person and that the costs incurred by an Operator or an authorised person for this may be recovered from the vehicle’s owner.

(iv) The power of clamping and removal provided in Byelaw

14(4)(ii) above shall not be exercisable in any area where passenger parking is permitted unless there is on display in that area a notice advising that any vehicle parked contrary to these Byelaws may be clamped and/or removed by an Operator or an authorised person.

(5) In Scotland

Any motor vehicle, bicycle or other conveyance used, left or placed in breach of this Byelaw in Scotland may be removed by or under the direction of a constable.

2 Signage

2.1 Requirements for signage on Railway Land are specifically referenced in Byelaws 14 (1), 14 (2) (ii) and 14 (4) (iii)

2.2 Parking operators are required to follow the principles outlined in Section 18 of the Operational Requirements in England & Wales.

3 Who can the Operator pursue?

3.1 The Byelaws 14 (4) are specific that the owner of a vehicle “may be liable for a penalty as displayed in that area”. Therefore, if pursuing for breach of Byelaws, the parking operator can only pursue the owner of the vehicle.

3.2 The owner may or may not be the person who was driving at the time. Another person driving the vehicle does not affect the owner’s liability for a penalty.

3.3 The “owner”, in relation to a vehicle, means the person by whom the vehicle is kept, which in the case of a vehicle registered under the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 (c. 22) is presumed (unless the contrary is proved) to be the person in whose name the vehicle is registered.

3.4 Parking operators can pursue the owner of a vehicle for breach of Byelaws by affixing a penalty to the windscreen of a vehicle for the attention of the vehicle owner. They may also seek keeper information from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) in order to send a notice to owner through the post. If the DVLA determines that the parking operator has reasonable cause to seek the information, they may provide it to the parking operator.

4 Timescales for the Issue of Notices

4.1 The Railway Byelaws set out no timescales for the issue of a penalty for breach of Byelaws. However, the parking operator is timed out of prosecuting the motorist through the Magistrates Court for breach of Byelaws after six months pursuant to section 127(1) of the Magistrates Court Act 1980.

4.2 The Code considers a lack of timescales unreasonable to motorists. If a driver or an owner did not receive notification of a parking charge or penalty until several months after an incident of alleged improper parking, they may have little or no memory of the event and their ability to appeal will be hampered.

4.3 POFA 2012 sets out timescales for the issuing of parking charge notices. While POFA 2012 does not apply on Railway Land, the standards have been put in place for situations similar to those in question. As those standards are used across the industry, and both parking operators and motorists are familiar with the standards, it is reasonable that these standards are utilised as a guide when considering appeals against penalties issued on Railway Land.

4.3.1 Affixed to vehicle: this should be given by affixing it to the vehicle at the time the alleged breach of Byelaws is identified.

4.3.2 Issued via post following a penalty notice affixed to vehicle: this should be given in the period of 28 days following the period of 28 days beginning with the day after that on which the initial penalty notice was affixed to the vehicle.

4.3.3 Issued via post without a penalty notice having previously being affixed to vehicle: this should be issued in the period of 14 days beginning with the day after that on which the specified period of parking ended.

4.4 It is presumed that a penalty notice sent by post, unless the contrary is proved, to have been delivered on the second working day after the day on which it is posted; and for this purpose “working day” means any day other than a Saturday, Sunday or a public holiday in England and Wales.

4.4.1  Under the Interpretation Act 1978 Section 7 - References to service by post. Where an Act authorises or requires any document to be served by post (whether the expression “serve” or the expression “give” or “send” or any other expression is used) then, unless the contrary intention appears, the service is deemed to be effected by properly addressing, pre-paying and posting a letter containing the document and, unless the contrary is proved, to have been effected at the time at which the letter would be delivered in the ordinary course of post.

5 Content of a Penalty Notice

5.1 POFA 2012 provides specific instructions on the information that should be contained within a parking charge notice. This information allows drivers and keepers to understand the allegation against them, the situation in which they find themselves, and their options. There are no such requirements for penalties for breach of Byelaws or parking charges where the parking operator is not seeking to pursue the keeper using the provisions within POFA 2012.

5.2 However, we consider it important that any Penalty Notices issued clearly communicate the circumstances to owners and drivers so they know their options and can make an informed decision on what to do next.

5.3 A Penalty Notice must:

Say it is a Penalty Notice (this can be abbreviated to PN providing the phrase Penalty Notice is used first)
Be dated
Specify the alleged contravention including the time and date, site, and period of parking
Confirm how the Byelaws were brought to the motorist’s attention
Confirm the law under which it has been issued
Be issued to the vehicle owner (Registered Keeper assumed to owner unless proved otherwise)
Confirm potential consequences of non-payment, including prosecution
Confirm the amount of the penalty – which should be the same as the penalty shown in the car park
Inform the owner of any discount offered
Explain how to pay and who to pay
Confirm the appeal procedure
5.4 A penalty notice must not:

Mention POFA 2012 (as this is not relevant and will confuse the owner about the situation in which they find themselves)
Mention ParkingEye Vs Beavis (as this is not relevant and will confuse the owner about the situation in which they find themselves)
Use the words “parking charge”, “parking charge notice”, ‘’Penalty Charge Notice’’ or “PCN” (as this is not relevant and will confuse the owner about the situation in which they find themselves)
Refer to keeper or driver liability (as this is not relevant and will confuse the owner about the situation in which they find themselves)
Say anything untrue or misleading
6 Appeals

6.1 When handling appeals parking operators are required to follow the principles outlined in Section 22 of the Operational Requirements in England & Wales.

6.2 Operators can make alternative arrangements to POPLA for the independent assessment appeals but these will require approval by the BPA before implementation.

7 Recovering Unpaid Charges

7.1 When seeking to recover unpaid charges, parking operators are required to follow the principles outlined in Section 23 of the Operational Requirements in England & Wales.

7.2 The parking operator is timed out of prosecuting the motorist for breach of Byelaws via a Magistrates Court after six months.

8 Clamping and Removal

8.1 Clause 14 (3) of the Railway Byelaws permit Clamping and Removal.

8.2 If an operator plans to enforce in this way they are required to follow the principles outlined in Appendix A – Vehicle Immobilisation and Removal in Northern Ireland.

https://www.britishparking.co.uk/AOS-Code-Changes-2018
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Offline Web Admin

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Re: BPA Ltd changes to its Code of Practice - implemented 6 January 2020
« Reply #1 on: 11 February, 2020, 06:57:29 AM »
...we believe that it is reasonable to seek to recover some of these costs by making a modest charge to the motorist of no more than £20...

The firm acknowledged the fact that she purchased a ticket, and wiped £20 from the [£60] fine – but demanded that she pay the rest.

Amendments implemented 6th January 2020. Amendments ignored 20th January 2020.

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Nurse's anger at £60 parking fine for making tiny mistake after gruelling night shift

Hull Royal Infirmary nurse Karen Stockdale was hit with the fine after parking outside a train station after a night shift. Parking firm Smart Parking have refused to cancel the whole fine.


Karen was hit with the barmy fine in January

A nurse has hit out at a private parking firm which slapped her with a £60 fine even though she paid for a ticket.

Karen Stockdale, 58, was charged after entering her registration details incorrectly following a gruelling night shift at Hull Royal Infirmary.

She was fined after parking at Paragon Station before a trip to see her brother in Norwich.

Karen claims she can prove she paid for the ticket, and says the car left within the allotted time.

But weeks later, she received a letter demanding she pay a £60 parking charge after she failed to enter her details correctly.



She told HullLive: “I’m fuming. I was getting a train and I’d just come from a night shift at the hospital.

“I put money in and thought I’d put the digits in and the ticket came out. I got the ticket and put it in the car and thought nothing of it.

“And then a few weeks later, I got the letter saying I was charged £60.


Karen kept the ticket as proof

"They know my car and they know my ticket belonged to it. Why allocate the ticket if I’ve not entered the registration?

“I’d normally just pay it but I’m that p****d off about it. I put the time in and they have footage of the car but it’s just because I didn’t put three digits in the machine.”

After receiving the charge Mrs Stockdale wrote back to Smart Parking to appeal the fine.

The firm acknowledged the fact that she purchased a ticket, and wiped £20 from the fine – but demanded that she pay the rest.

She added: “It was an honest mistake. It’s ridiculous."

https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/nurses-anger-60-parking-fine-21448639

 


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