Car park ticket rules

trebor79

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Not sure if this fits in this part of the forum, but hear me out.
My local station has until now had a free car park. GA have spent months and lots of money making it larger and putting a proper surface on it (previously it was roughly surfaced and still had the remains of the goods yard poking out at various places.
It's now £3 per day, which is fine. The signs advising of the fees say to "pay at the pay and display machine and display ticket". But no such machine has been installed yet.
The place is plastered with signs advertising how to pay by phone or online. I detest these "services" and never use them.

We all know that if there is no means to buy your rail ticket using cash at the station, you can board the train and buy at the earliest opportunity.

Is there a similar rule for car park ticketing? I want to pay and display, not faff around with a poorly designed website or phone system and give reams of my personal data away to "create an account".
I'm not sure if it's officially opened yet, but there are people parked there.
Given the primary method stated is to pay and display (in fact it's the only option on the standard GA sign), what happens if someone gets a parking charge and appeals saying "but there was no payment machine available"?
 
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30907

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Seems like a perfect ground to contest the penalty to me.

For comparison: some years ago, my wife parked at Blackburn, not realising that charges had been introduced, and got ticketed. We contested the ticket on the ground that there was no signage visible on entering, only "small print" notices on lampposts, and the charge was withdrawn.
 

Ianno87

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The PayByPhone App that GA now use is fine. A bit faffy to set up for the first use, but every time thereafter payment takes a few seconds, and away you go.
 

Nova1

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WMR have been rolling out ANPR to all of their car parks, where if you pay for parking you need to put your registration in, but you can pay using WMT TVMs, by phone or online.

Unrelated to the thread but they also added charges to car parks that were free before... so everyone parks on the street instead.
 

Kite159

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WMR have been rolling out ANPR to all of their car parks, where if you pay for parking you need to put your registration in, but you can pay using WMT TVMs, by phone or online.

Unrelated to the thread but they also added charges to car parks that were free before... so everyone parks on the street instead.

More anti passenger behaviour from WMR & their parking contractor with ANPR in the car parks, which only benefits the parking contractor as they no longer have to send someone round to check vehicles parked in the car park have paid.

Designed to catch out motorists who might accidentally input the wrong number plate into the TVMs or get caught out if they are picking someone up and the train gets delayed along the way.

Just means more cars parked on the side of the road leading towards the station, only coming into the car park as the train arrives. Also some passengers won't bother using the trains and instead drive to wherever they were heading (or using another station where parking is cheaper).
 

Horizon22

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WMR have been rolling out ANPR to all of their car parks, where if you pay for parking you need to put your registration in, but you can pay using WMT TVMs, by phone or online.

Unrelated to the thread but they also added charges to car parks that were free before... so everyone parks on the street instead.

Likely to lead to a cascade whereby the local council starts putting up in resident permits for nearby roads.
 

Horizon22

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For clarity, in most such cases the residents support it. Indeed I think there has to be some sort of local referendum for it, doesn't there?

Not saying they don't, generally just saying that's the way it goes and I'm in favour too as car usage should be gently penalised. Not sure about that, but its probably best practice and I imagine depends on the party / quality of your councillors.
 

jfollows

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Also you might find it useful to know that most railway car parks are on land covered by byelaws.

This means that (a) any prosecution for breaking the rules has to be done in court (because it is a criminal offence, technically), typically the Magistrates Court, and (b) that any money extracted from you from a successful prosecution goes to the Crown, not to the railway operating company.

This then means that railway companies don't want to bring prosecutions, they cost money and get nothing from the process anyway. So instead they will offer you a bribe opportunity in which you cough up money to them and they won't initiate a prosecution.

OK, all well and good, but the other important side-effect of this is that they've only got 6 months to initiate a prosecution anyway, so it's usually possible to engineer a time-out if you feel hard done by and don't want to give in to their bribe offer.

And, if it were to go to court because you refuse to play their game, there is a really good chance that the magistrates won't take kindly to an instruction to use a non-existent machine at the time.

In any case, for the prosecution to succeed, the case against you needs to be proved "beyond reasonable doubt" which is a reasonably high bar to overcome.

This is probably too much information for now, but you did ask what might happen - the key thing to remember is "byelaws" and the legal implications which follow.

It is certainly true that railway companies will initiate prosecutions under byelaws if they feel they have to, but they generally try to avoid this by allowing you to bribe them - they won't call it that, but that's what it is.

[EDIT If you park on private land, not covered by byelaws, then the land owner or its agent will seek to get money from you if it thinks you have broken its rules using contract law, through the civil courts, typically the Small Claims track. However the time limit for initiating this is 6 years which is a whole order of magnitude greater than for a byelaws prosecution for breaking the rules when parking on railway land. Also, the case against you only needs to be proved "on the balance of probabilities" which is a much lower bar than for a criminal prosecution to succeed.]
 
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trebor79

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How would one know if the car park in question is covered by byelaws or not? Would they have to be mentioned on signage?
 

jfollows

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How would one know if the car park in question is covered by byelaws or not? Would they have to be mentioned on signage?
Maybe not prominently, but probably. It's a pretty good bet for a railway car park anyway. In the bad event of "transgressing" and getting correspondence from the operating company it would need to be stated there also.
 

Watershed

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How would one know if the car park in question is covered by byelaws or not? Would they have to be mentioned on signage?
It doesn't have to be mentioned on signage - indeed, signage isn't determinative at all (although if a sign mentions the Byelaws, that clearly indicates that the car park operator considers it to fall within the Byelaws).

A car park is covered by the Byelaws if it falls within the definition of "railway":
the railway assets of, or under the management of, an operator

"Railway assets" means:
any:
  • train
  • network
  • station
  • light maintenance depot
and any associated track, buildings and equipment.
(and therefore would include a car park within the curtilage of a station)

Whilst "operator" means:
  • any person authorised to be the operator of a railway asset by virtue of him holding a licence granted in accordance with Section 8 of the Railways Act 1993 (as amended by the Transport Act 2000; as amended by the Railways Act 2005), and
  • those persons listed in schedule one but excluding those persons listed in schedule two
(Schedule One and Two aren't relevent except that London Underground and T&W Metro don't fall under these Byelaws)

The ORR publishes a list of current licences, and it's station licences you're interested in.
 

Kite159

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In general, if the signs mention "Penalty Charge Notice" than its under bylaws, if the signs only mention "Parking Charge Notice" than it will be done under the civil breach of contract rules.
 

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