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Train Station Penalty Charge Advice
Hard_Done_By
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 08:42
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Hi all,

Looking for some expert advice here.

I purchased a ticket online (monthly) for a South Eastern station car park through Park Indigo. Just as I had done every month for a long time.
A few days after I started using this particular one, I got a penalty charge on the window for not displaying the ticket.
I appealed through their webside

Then I got another one the next day

As it transpires, their system retains details when you book, for some peculiar reason, this particular month, it automatically defaulted to a vehicle registration number of a car I hadn't owned for 4 months. I had bought tickets in the interim, with the 2 correct plates with no issue. I'm genuinely not sure why it defaulted to the old one.

The simple fact of the matter though, was that I purchased a monthly ticket, at a cost of over £100 and displayed it. It can only be in one car at a time so the registration number is totally irrelevant.

I appealed both (and a third!) and notified them of the problem. They sent me 2 emails with the correct 2 number plates on, although at this point - NOTHING needed to be displayed.

I then was advised they were upholding the charge on 2 of the 3 penalty charges.
I sent a strong but not rude email to Park Indigo outlining my reasons for not paying the charge, advised them that I would not be paying the charge and requested they contact me to confirm the matter is settled.
This was in May

Yesterday I received a letter from " Parking Penalty Notice - Recovery Prosecution Service"
There is no contact details, email address, phone number or even a website on the letter. Just a PO Box in Portsmouth (I'm from nowhere near there)

They state I have to pay £100 within 14 days or it rises to £165
There is no further detail - IE, what if I don't pay £165 - no threat of bailiffs, court action, additional fines etc.

They quote Rail byelaw 14(4) which I've looked into and, having a little experience with contract wording, is pretty vague.


What are my options here?
I'd be happy in court telling them why the charge is unjust and unreasonable. But my wife is worried, especially as we're moving. She's concerned this may count against us come mortgage time.

I feel irritated beyond belief that I may have to pay this to save the mortgage application as there is no way it's justified. I pay a lot of money to park there and have done nothing wrong.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 08:42
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Jlc
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 09:05
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How long ago were these tickets? (EDIT: Just spotted it was May)

If they are looking to pursue these as 'penalties' under Railway Byelaws then they have 6 months to prosecute. That prosecution is at criminal (Magistrates) not civil court.

This post has been edited by Jlc: Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 09:07


--------------------
RK=Registered Keeper, OP=Original Poster (You!), CoFP=Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty, NtK=Notice to Keeper, NtD=Notice to Driver
PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act, SAC=Safety Awareness Course, NIP=Notice of Intended Prosecution, ADR=Alternative Dispute Resolution
PPC=Private Parking Company, LBCCC=Letter Before County Court Claim, PII=Personally Identifiable Information

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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Hard_Done_By
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 09:09
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QUOTE (Jlc @ Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 09:05) *
How long ago were these tickets? (EDIT: Just spotted it was May)

If they are looking to pursue these as 'penalties' under Railway Byelaws then they have 6 months to prosecute. That prosecution is at criminal (Magistrates) not civil court.



The tickets were issued in early April. The last correspondence I had with Park Indigo was May.
When does the 6 month period start and how on earth is this a criminal matter?
I paid for a parking ticket and parked in a designated parking space?

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Redivi
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 09:16
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Tell the Prosecution Service that the notices were issued because Indigo's system incorrectly allocated the monthly permit to an old vehicle
Indigo has admitted and corrected the error

It is unreasonable to continue to demand payment when you are not at fault in any way

You therefore require the Prosecution Service to state exactly what the driver did that was in breach of a Byelaw and point you to the paragraph because the allegation "Failure to display" is not listed as an offence
You also want them to confirm the full and exact name of the parking company that TOC has authorised to operate the car park

The tactic with Indigo penalty tickets is to spin them out until the six months has passed and prosecution under the Byelaws is impossible

Check the Indigo website and the original ticket
It's very likely that Indigo Park Solutions doesn't have the contract
It is more likely to be Indigo Park Services Ltd

The Penalty Notice usually has a Company Number for Indigo Park Services and a VAT number for Govia

This post has been edited by Redivi: Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 09:17
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Jlc
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 09:18
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Byelaws aren't a contract, if pursued they are act Magistrates' court.

I don't believe this TOC do actually prosecute, but others do. The problem with a prosecution is that the proceeds go to the Treasury and not them... (Which is why they prefer the 'bribe' not to prosecute to be paid)

It is an administrative issue - you've clearly paid the parking charge as per 14(3).

We may wish to write to them (to waste some time) and ask them to clarify exactly how the byelaws have been breached as you paid. Unfortunately, you seem to have admitted being the driver at the time.


--------------------
RK=Registered Keeper, OP=Original Poster (You!), CoFP=Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty, NtK=Notice to Keeper, NtD=Notice to Driver
PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act, SAC=Safety Awareness Course, NIP=Notice of Intended Prosecution, ADR=Alternative Dispute Resolution
PPC=Private Parking Company, LBCCC=Letter Before County Court Claim, PII=Personally Identifiable Information

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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Hard_Done_By
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 11:29
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So if I were to take a copy of the original ticket I purchased showing the dates it covered me for (1 month period) and that the ticket was issued within that period, I can argue I have complied with byelaw 14 and that Indigo are being unreasonable?

Do I post this to this recovery outfit and are they likely to respond? Is it all postal only as it seems a bit archaic?
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Redivi
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 11:40
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I personally wouldn't send Recovery a copy of the permit or argue that you've complied

Put the burden on Recovery to tell you why you haven't complied when Indigo's allegation isn't a byelaw offence

You can send a copy of the permit later when you have their response

Snail Mail is good because it introduces an extra three or four days of delay for every round of correspondence

It also makes life more difficult for whoever deals with the case or can't simply read a tracked email

It all helps toward the timeout
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kommando
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 11:44
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All snail mail by first class with proof of delivery from Post Office counter. No need for tracking or recorded.
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Hard_Done_By
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 11:51
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QUOTE (kommando @ Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 11:44) *
All snail mail by first class with proof of delivery from Post Office counter. No need for tracking or recorded.



Forgive my ignorance, are you suggesting I need to go in a post office in order to post it? Not just pop it in a letter box?
Am I best responding ASAP or leaving it near to the 2 week deadline they set?

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nosferatu1001
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 11:54
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No, it wasnt a suggestion. It was an instruction.
Proof of posting is required. This is FREE. This means they are deemed to have received the letter 2 working days later

Youre trying to work towards a timeout. Youve been told this repeatedly. So, when trying to string out a process, do you respond as quickly as possibble, or as slowly?
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Hard_Done_By
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 12:37
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So my tactics then.

Reply to the letter as late as possible to the 2 week deadline, ensuring the letter is received by them on time.

Ask 1 question at a time. Not all in one go?

First thing I intend to ask for is a copy of all correspondence between this outfit and Park Indigo outlining the basis for the penalty charge.

Once they reply to that, I'm assuming they won't have any idea of the basis of any appeals etc, I will detail the offence I was accused of (not displaying a valid ticket)

When they reply to that I will ask for the contractual language that states any ticket must display the vehicle registration number and where I can see this in advance of displaying a ticket.

This should buy me plenty of time right?

Can anyone advise though how this could have any black listing affect on my address?
With a pending house move I cannot risk this at all.

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nosferatu1001
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 12:43
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If you ask all in one go, how do you string out the process?

How could this have any possible effect on your creedit rating? Firstly, magistrates is the only possible venue, which has no effect on credit, and CCJs in civil court require a JUDGEMENT, youve not even had court papers! s
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Gary Bloke
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 12:45
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Personally I would just ignore all the letters unless you get a notification of court action, which is very unlikely.
You could appeal to Indigo but they will reject it. There is no longer any opportunity of a POPLA appeal for Indigo train station penalties.
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Jlc
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 12:47
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QUOTE (Gary Bloke @ Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 13:45) *
There is no longer any opportunity of a POPLA appeal for Indigo train station penalties.

Apparently POPLA is making a return on 'penalty' tickets - but doesn't help here, right now.

This post has been edited by Jlc: Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 12:47


--------------------
RK=Registered Keeper, OP=Original Poster (You!), CoFP=Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty, NtK=Notice to Keeper, NtD=Notice to Driver
PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act, SAC=Safety Awareness Course, NIP=Notice of Intended Prosecution, ADR=Alternative Dispute Resolution
PPC=Private Parking Company, LBCCC=Letter Before County Court Claim, PII=Personally Identifiable Information

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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Hard_Done_By
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 13:11
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QUOTE (nosferatu1001 @ Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 12:43) *
If you ask all in one go, how do you string out the process?

How could this have any possible effect on your creedit rating? Firstly, magistrates is the only possible venue, which has no effect on credit, and CCJs in civil court require a JUDGEMENT, youve not even had court papers! s



Easy tiger - not every one is experienced with dealing with these things, nor familiar with the ins and outs of civil/magistrate court, CCJ and credit rating.
Furthermore, I did insinuate in my initial post, my wife is the one concerned about the mortgage application. I need to make her comfortable this is the right route.
There's nothing wrong with being absolutely certain before proceeding with something.



I have just noticed something I hadn't initially.

In small print, right at the end of other small print on the bottom of the letter, it says:

London and South Eastern Railway Limited, trading as Debt Recovery and Prosecution Services Registered Office: 3rd Floor, 41-51 Grey Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6EE, Registered in England no.04860660

Am I reading it correctly then that this letter is issued by South Eastern rail?
Do I use the PO Box address for the payment - Portsmouth to send the letter, or do I use the above address used in the small print?

They clearly make it very un-obvious don't they?
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Hard_Done_By
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 13:22
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This is from Park Indigo's website describing the byelaws in place.

QUOTE
The requirements set out below relate to matters required or prohibited under byelaw 14 or are lawful instructions for use of the car park issued under that byelaw.

Railway byelaws: car park terms of use

You must purchase and (display) a valid ticket or permit and/or purchase a valid cashless parking session covering the duration of your stay.
You must park within a single authorised parking bay/ or in a marked authorised area.
You must not park in a way which causes an obstruction to any other vehicle, access or circulation area and/or which inconvenience other car park users.
You must not overstay the parking expiry time, or park in a restricted waiting area in excess of the allowed time.
You must not park in a blue badge bay without displaying a valid blue badge.
You must not transfer a ticker or permit or accept a transferred ticket or permit.
You must observe speed limited, maximum height and other signs.
You must not tow, repair, renovate or alter any vehicle.
You must not park on double yellow lines with kerb blips, yellow lines or cross-hatch area.
You must note that, in non–Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) station car parks, your ticket or permit and / or cashless parking session must be in place from the start of your stay and cannot be purchased or applied purchased retrospectively.

By using (this) car park you also agree to observe and be bound by the following terms. They are in addition to and do not affect any other legal rights or remedies that we may have against you, your vehicle and/or your use of this car park.

You are responsible for securing your vehicle
Electric Charging Point – please see Customer Services Point
Non-smoking area
Dispose of litter in the bins provided
No pets allowed
You must not damage or deface the appearance of the car park or any other vehicle in anyway.
No flammables or explosives allowed.
CCTV may be in operation by the Train Operating Company and evidence recorded may be used by us (or the Train Operating Company) in proceedings.

Any vehicle parked contrary to the instructions may be clamped, removed and/or stored by us in accordance with byelaw 14 (4)(ii). The costs incurred by us for this may be recovered from the vehicle’s owner.


Clearly nowhere does it state the ticket must display the vehicle registration number to be deemed valid.
In fact, it doesn't even give a definition of valid at all.

I can't believe this issue needs to drag on like this. Is there seriously no way I can just contact some one and get it sorted?
If Indigo have rejected the appeal, is it seriously dead now with them?
No recourse through South Eastern direct?
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Redivi
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 14:01
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To DRPS

Dear Sir

Ref *****

I have received your letter dated **** demanding £100 for an alleged breach of Byelaw 14

I am extremely puzzled by this letter as Indigo Park Solutions has confirmed that it incorrectly issued the parking permit to an old registration number on file
It promptly corrected the error and cancelled the other Penalty Notices that it had issued as a result of its mistake.

As you are aware, the permit does not bear a registration number and the driver had no means to be aware of the operator's error
I therefore fail to understand what he did wrong or what he could have done to avoid the Penalty Notice
Please therefore direct me to the exact Byelaw and paragraph that was breached as I am unable to identify the allegation "Failure to display" as an offence

Would you also please confirm the full and exact name of the company authorised to manage the car park because your letter contradicts the information on the Penalty Notice and Indigo's website ?

Thank You

Yours Faithfully


This post has been edited by Redivi: Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 14:03
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nosferatu1001
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 15:24
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There is generally no magic bullet
If you wondered about credit ratings, then just five minutes on google, or searching here, saves us the job of answering the same question for the 5th time today.
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Hard_Done_By
post Fri, 13 Jul 2018 - 11:05
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I received an email back from AOS Investigation team - BPA

They, without looking into anything, have advised they won't take any further action against Park Indigo and that I should have had a registration number on the ticket.

They clearly haven't bothered to prove that there is anything in any literature that states this is a requirement that is subject to a fine.

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The Rookie
post Fri, 13 Jul 2018 - 11:28
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QUOTE (Hard_Done_By @ Fri, 13 Jul 2018 - 12:05) *
subject to a fine.

Its not, its a penalty. they may sound similar but they are not.


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