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Doctor's Surgery Car Park Fine
xOsnailx
post Tue, 3 Jan 2017 - 15:54
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Hi,

I'm hoping for some advice please?

I recently had to visit my surgery to see my GP, which unfortunately is a very common activity due to me having Thyroid Cancer, a Tracheostomy, Hypocalcaemia, Hypoparathyroidism and Chronic Pain in both legs. I have a Blue Badge due to my limited mobility. So I attend the surgery on a regular occasion.

I received a letter through the post from a Private Parking Company which informed me that I had parked illegally within a Private Car Park (even though it's signed as the 'Surgery Car Park' and as such had to pay £100 (reduced to £60 if paid within 14 days).
I called my surgery to query, but was told that as I didn’t register my car’s details I had to pay, I tried to state a defence but got interrupted with ‘Sorry, Good Bye’ and hung up on.

I struggle talking on the phone and have had a couple of problems with people unable to hear me or being rude about the quality of my voice. On this occasion I had a Throat Infection and severe anaemia. I wasn’t thinking straight and was feeling very unwell, and due to the frequency of how many times I attend, I was unable to confirm I logged my car’s details or not.

Am I able to appeal this??

Thanks in advance.

-Os
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post Tue, 3 Jan 2017 - 15:54
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cabbyman
post Tue, 3 Jan 2017 - 16:00
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This is appalling and precisely why these parasites should be put out of business!!!

Yes, you can appeal and you will get help here.

Which parking company?

What was the date of the 'incident?' What date did you receive the letter from them?


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Cabbyman 10 PPCs 0
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freddy1
post Tue, 3 Jan 2017 - 16:30
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stern email to the practice manager , not the silly receptionist

date ticket issued
ticket number
advise that you were not informed of terminal
after paying "fine" you no longer be able to run car and will need home visits
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xOsnailx
post Tue, 3 Jan 2017 - 16:45
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Thanks both.. I'm going to email the complaints manager at my surgery as the receptionist wasn't helpful at all and very unfriendly.. Apparently the 'Fines' are nothing to do with them as it's a Private company.

It's a company called - Civil Enforcement Ltd - Which the letter doesn't make very clear. Incident - 14/12/16 & PCN issue date - 23/12/16.

There are photo's of my car driving in and out (I think?! They are small pics!) but you can see the Blue Badge on my dashboard if that helps?

So far I've only spoken to my surgery not CE Ltd..
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ostell
post Tue, 3 Jan 2017 - 16:53
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So somebody must have a contract with CEL to allow them to rampage through the car park. Ask the practise who that is.

Next time you are there can you take photos of the signs, or tell us what they say.

As there was a disabled badge on display which could be seen by CEL (if they had looked) then they have a duty under the Equalities Act to make allowances for you.

As pointed out above a very strong letter to the practise manager pointing out that you have Blue Badge and allowances should have been made and demand that CEL are required to cancel.

This post has been edited by ostell: Tue, 3 Jan 2017 - 16:54
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cabbyman
post Tue, 3 Jan 2017 - 16:54
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Ah, that helps!

Here's my start to finish pasting of CEL at POPLA. Much of it will apply to you:

http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showto...aded&start=

DO NOT contact CEL by phone. Only in writing and then only after first posting a draft here for comment. You won't have to pay this if you follow the recommended steps.


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freddy1
post Tue, 3 Jan 2017 - 17:04
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please get a photo of the signage outside , specificity the bit on the sign that states that users of the surgery have to enter their VRN into a keypad , and the keypad location please?
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The Slithy Tove
post Tue, 3 Jan 2017 - 18:37
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QUOTE (xOsnailx @ Tue, 3 Jan 2017 - 16:45) *
Thanks both.. I'm going to email the complaints manager at my surgery as the receptionist wasn't helpful at all and very unfriendly.. Apparently the 'Fines' are nothing to do with them as it's a Private company.

It's a company called - Civil Enforcement Ltd - Which the letter doesn't make very clear. Incident - 14/12/16 & PCN issue date - 23/12/16.

No, the "Fines" are EVERYTHING to do with the surgery. They might think they are outsourcing their responsibilities, but they cannot. The surgery (persumably) contracted CEL. Therefore the surgery MUST take action and cancel this. When you put in your complaint to the practice manager, mention also that they are playing fast and loose with patient confidentiality. If, for example, you had been using someone else's car, and you didn't want that someone to know that you had been visiting the doctor, CEL would be telling them just that when they send the someone their nice little parking charge. Big "no no".
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mickR
post Tue, 3 Jan 2017 - 19:50
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School run mum is hot on disability equality stuff.
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SchoolRunMum
post Tue, 3 Jan 2017 - 23:56
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I think the OP should bung in an 'appeal' from the registered keeper, without saying who was driving, just because these are so winnable at POPLA if you don't say who was driving and don't talk about the story of what happened. But I would mention discrimination to try to force cancellation.

So the OP could email CEL and say this to get it cancelled (probably) after which he/she can escalate the complaints and also contact this journalist if he/she wishes:

Jim.Norton@dailymail.co.uk

Tel: 07920 254036



So this appeal goes to CEL:





PCN NUMBER - XXXXXXXX - APPEAL AND FORMAL COMPLAINT REGARDING DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION

As the registered keeper of the vehicle in question, I have received your parking invoice which I decline your invitation to pay.

I wish to invoke your appeals process, since all liability to your company is denied on the basis of the following:

- It is clear that Civil Enforcement (you) choose not to use the wording set out in Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, so you cannot hold a keeper liable.

- It is clear that Civil Enforcement pay no regard whatsoever to the Government Policy on NHS car parking:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/...king-principles

- It is clear that Civil Enforcement pay no regard whatsoever to the Equality Act 2010 because ANPR systems take no account of personal circumstances - i.e. that there was a Blue Badge holder in the car with very limited mobility, thyroid Cancer, a tracheostomy, hypocalcaemia, hypoparathyroidism and chronic pain.

- What was not clear at all, was your signage because the driver was not made aware of any requirement to 'register' the VRN with the surgery. If this was a new requirement then it breaches the BPA Code of Practice in terms of you not positioning extra signs to alert patients to a new system.

A complaint has been lodged with the Practice Manager and they remain liable for the unlawful actions of their agent (you). Whilst a requirement to 'register a VRN' might be workable for able-bodied patients of the surgery, in cases where the terms and clear and the surgery staff take responsibility for collecting the details, such a requirement discriminates against disabled patients who cannot read terms on high signs and would be very likely to have difficulties reaching and using a keypad, even if it was brought to their attention (which it was not).

I also intend to proceed with a complaint to the DCLG and my MP because this treatment of disabled patients is discriminatory and frankly, appalling.

I require confirmation that this charge has been cancelled, or a POPLA code where I will continue to appeal as registered keeper and when I prevail I will continue with complaints to the various parties mentioned above and have also obtained the email address of a journalist currently publishing in a national newspaper, the worst examples of poor practice by parking firms in NHS car parks. Civil Enforcement has no place at this location and no justification for your conduct.

yours faithfully,
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mickR
post Wed, 4 Jan 2017 - 00:15
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SRM i took it from the OP that as they visitthe surgery regularly they already know and use the VRN log in system but didnt know if they didonthis occasionor not.
Does the above need amending on that basis?

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SchoolRunMum
post Wed, 4 Jan 2017 - 00:47
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Yes it will need amending if they knew about the system but just this time, missed registering the car.

Why on earth should they have to exempt their car EVERY time they visit the surgery? Surely a reasonable adjustment is a white list for disabled patients. End of.

Aggressive companies like this are the lowest of the low.
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Richy_m_99
post Wed, 4 Jan 2017 - 06:35
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Would this by any chance be a surgery in Poole, Dorset?
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xOsnailx
post Wed, 4 Jan 2017 - 14:55
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Hi, Thank you so much Schoolrunmum! I've put the complaint in to the surgery and will have this letter on stand by for my appeal!

It's a surgery in Suffolk. Attached are some pics. However since I got the 'ticket' a LOT more posters have gone up! And the post had clearly just been put in as the dirt was disturbed!

I'll try again with the pics when home. Sorry!

This post has been edited by xOsnailx: Wed, 4 Jan 2017 - 14:56
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xOsnailx
post Wed, 4 Jan 2017 - 16:45
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Attached Image

Attached Image

Attached Image

Attached Image


Hopefully these now upload?!
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ostell
post Wed, 4 Jan 2017 - 18:09
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With those signs they are forbidding. They are offering parking to Medical centre staff and permit holders only and not a contract to park. You were neither and therefore you were trespassing and so only the person who can raise a claim is the landholder.
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SchoolRunMum
post Wed, 4 Jan 2017 - 19:12
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QUOTE (xOsnailx @ Wed, 4 Jan 2017 - 15:55) *
Hi, Thank you so much Schoolrunmum! I've put the complaint in to the surgery and will have this letter on stand by for my appeal!

It's a surgery in Suffolk. Attached are some pics. However since I got the 'ticket' a LOT more posters have gone up! And the post had clearly just been put in as the dirt was disturbed!

I'll try again with the pics when home. Sorry!

So they are enforcing a regime of 'fines' before they had put up all the signs...awful.

The more we read, the worse this is - and that whole 'permit scheme' thing is unworkable when people are ill or disabled.
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mickR
post Wed, 4 Jan 2017 - 19:15
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Definitely a case for the press !!
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Lynnzer
post Wed, 4 Jan 2017 - 19:57
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QUOTE (ostell @ Wed, 4 Jan 2017 - 18:09) *
With those signs they are forbidding. They are offering parking to Medical centre staff and permit holders only and not a contract to park. You were neither and therefore you were trespassing and so only the person who can raise a claim is the landholder.

Not so. The only person who can raise a claim are both the landowner, and the OP as this is a clear breach of the DPA for accessing the DVLA for keeper details when they had no reasonable cause to.

If the OP is up for it I'll knock up a letter to send out but a court case can't just be threatened. I expect anyone using my letters to follow through with an action if they decide to use it.


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The Asda shopping trolley parking ticket enthusiast
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Churchmouse
post Thu, 5 Jan 2017 - 15:00
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QUOTE (ostell @ Wed, 4 Jan 2017 - 18:09) *
With those signs they are forbidding. They are offering parking to Medical centre staff and permit holders only and not a contract to park. You were neither and therefore you were trespassing and so only the person who can raise a claim is the landholder.

One of the signs (was it even there at the time?) explains that patients can obtain 60-minute permits from reception. The other signs contradict this, of course, so which one offered the contract the OP accepted is an interesting question.

A somewhat nuanced PPC argument might be that whilst the OP wasn't a "holder" of a permit at the time of parking, such a permit was available to patients of the surgery. Acceptance of the offered parking contract would then have to be considered to have occurred at the usual time (some point shortly after parking), but on the basis that the offeree would request the permit from reception. However, if no permit was then provided, perhaps the contract would be subject to frustration, rather than breach?

Sixty minutes also seems rather brief for a busy NHS surgery--but I'm sure CEL is happy with it!

Also, if the OP had not been a patient, then all of the signs were "forbidding", in that they did not offer parking to non-patients. The PPC could in theory defeat this argument by claiming that the OP was a patient...but could they legally know that private detail if the OP does not mention it? Also, surgery patients are often not drivers: if the driver was not the patient, no permit would have been available to the person entering into the contract with the PPC (at least according to the sign), thus the sign was forbidding. Humm.

Finally, there is no time element specified on the signage regarding when the permit must be obtained. Arguably, the OP could obtain a 60-minute permit now, for a 60-minute period of parking that had occurred in the past. A simple statement by the surgery to the effect that the OP was a patient at the surgery at such time and on such date and was permitted to park there for up to 60 minutes could suffice?

--Churchmouse
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