Author Topic: Cambridge North NCP Car Park - 3x PCN served at the same time.  (Read 326 times)

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H C Andersen

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Re: Cambridge North NCP Car Park - 3x PCN served at the same time.
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2024, 10:50:04 am »
The reminders refer to Parking charge, hence why the driver who regularly visits should post photos. IMO, any claim that the land is subject to Railway Bylaws should be bolstered by THEIR signs, not hearsay from third parties.

I'm not saying it is or it is not. The OP can get evidence, so what's stopping them?

And the OP has no grounds to complain to NCP based upon their assumption that the PCNs weren't sent. Frankly, this flies in the face of what are regular occurrences here: mail does go missing and the OP has NO basis at present for thinking otherwise. For all they or we know, any complaint should go to the Royal Mail.

So OP, the straight bat approach is:
Submit a SAR to the data protection officer of NCP. Absolutely standard stuff which is not based in parking regs but is a general data protection provision.
https://www.ncp.co.uk/help-centre/website-terms-and-conditions/data-protection-policy/

Don't complain or moan, IMO it's a waste of energy. Simply ask.

And what's your exposure while this parallel strand of action is being followed? None IMO. But why not just do the simple and straightforward thing of writing to NCP (whether email or whatever), say you've just received their reminders, tell them you had no prior notice of these matters and therefore you have a made a Subject Access Request to their DPO and will write again when this information is received.


b789

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Re: Cambridge North NCP Car Park - 3x PCN served at the same time.
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2024, 12:59:17 pm »
The point of complaining, rather than appealing to NCP is rule 23.8 in the current BPA CoP where is states that:

Quote
You must have a process for considering appeals received outside of the normal 28-day period allowed for lodging an appeal where the appellant provides evidence of exceptional circumstances for the appeal not being lodged within the normal timeframes – where the addressee only discovers and can show that a parking charge notice has been issued in their name after the 28-day period the period must restart and any enforcement, excluding court action, must be paused.

You cannot complain to the BPA until a complaint to the operator has been concluded. It is almost impossible for a keeper to show that a PCN has been issued after the 28 day period if they never received it in the first place. The normal response from operators is to tell the keeper to "prove it". As that is not possible and a response of "show evidence you sent it" cannot be proved (unless they have a certificate of posting) then once the complaint is rejected, the keeper can then initiate a complaint to the BPA and request that they instruct their member to re-issue the PCN and start the clock again.

I find it incredulous that no less than three NtKs were never received. One maybe. Three? On the balance of probabilities, they were never sent. The fact that all three reminders were sent on the same day suggests that they discovered their "mistake" and took action to send the reminders without admitting their "error", possibly also content that their victim will just pay the full charge as the bribe discount period had expired.

CurtLemmington

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Re: Cambridge North NCP Car Park - 3x PCN served at the same time.
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2024, 06:00:18 pm »
Again - thank you for your comments.

I agree in that I don't think they ever sent initial NtKs. I will take photographs of the signage on Monday and post on here.

It seems I need to get the ball rolling in tandem (once we understand whether the land is relevant land or not?);

1. SAR for the original NtKs to NCP

2. Appeal the charges on the basis of what @b789 has suggested;

I appeal as keeper.  I am under no obligation to identify the driver and I decline to do so as there is no legal presumption that the keeper of a vehicle was its driver (as opposed, for example, to being a passenger) on any particular occasion, you are unable to pursue me as the driver.

As your allegation of a breach of terms occurred on land subject to statutory control by bylaws, it is not relevant land for the purposes of the Schedule 4 to the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (PoFA) and therefore there can be no keeper liability.


Should I also mention in this Appeal that no original NTKs were sent? and that all three final reminders were issued on the same day? I feel this should be mentioned as this would then perhaps re-set the clock?
« Last Edit: February 24, 2024, 06:06:57 pm by CurtLemmington »

DWMB2

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Re: Cambridge North NCP Car Park - 3x PCN served at the same time.
« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2024, 06:15:29 pm »
Quote
Should I also mention in this Appeal that no original NTKs were sent?
Quote
Whilst I note the chances of 3 notices going missing seeming somewhat slim, I'd still be reluctant to accuse them of not sending the notices without much evidence of the same (beyond the fact you didn't receive them).

Given you've already missed their arbitrary appeal deadline, is there perhaps value in waiting until hearing back from your SAR before sending any challenge?

CurtLemmington

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Re: Cambridge North NCP Car Park - 3x PCN served at the same time.
« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2024, 07:08:25 am »
Yes that is a good point. I just don't want anything to escalate further whilst I send and wait for the SAR? The letters state I have until the 29th Feb to pay the charge otherwise my details will be passed to their Debt Collection Agent to which I may incur further fees.

Or will sending the SAR likely reset the whole process?

H C Andersen

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Re: Cambridge North NCP Car Park - 3x PCN served at the same time.
« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2024, 08:45:07 am »
OP, the letters are extra-procedural and have NO effect, so pl don't concern yourself.

The law in these matters is simple:
1. The land is relevant land and compliant NTKs were issued:
Once the contractual period for payment(shown on the signs at the site) and the arbitrary period for making 'appeals' have passed then if they wish to pursue the keeper for alleged debts arising under drivers'* breaches of contract then they must engage with the procedures which apply to the Administration of Justice i.e. issue a letter of claim and then sue you (or the drivers, if known) in court.

There is a legal principle called mitigating one's losses which applies here. It means that they CANNOT inflate their claim by indulging in sending extra-procedural letters or engaging so-called debt collectors at YOUR expense. If they want to do this, it's at THEIR expense.

This has NOTHING to do with parking law, procedures or whatever, these are general principles which apply to civil claims.

2. It's not relevant land. In which case their claims can only be pursued under the bylaws, and again they may not inflate the penalties which apply. 

In short, submit the SAR. You should play a straight bat which IMO means disregarding what is alleged in the 'reminders' because they are NOT NTKs. They may or may not state what's in the NTKs, but this is guesswork. They have NO part to play procedurally and so you NEED the originals before you engage with them regarding the charges. 

As written before, a SAR is not a 'parking' process, it's data protection.

*- they don't know how many drivers are involved.

**- the Railway Bylaws  https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5a79c14b40f0b66d161ade8c/railway-byelaws.pdf

Note that these were not made by the railway operator, they were made by the Strategic Railway Authority and ratified by the Dept. for Tpt, nowt to do specifically with any particular operator.

b789

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Re: Cambridge North NCP Car Park - 3x PCN served at the same time.
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2024, 10:12:22 am »
Respectfully, whilst @H C Andersen is a trained lawyer and can apply his expert legal knowledge, in laymen's terms, you have been issued three "Parking" Charge Notices.

How do we know this? Because it says so on the reminders and from research on the InterWeb, it is known that Cambridge North car park is owned by the train operating company (TOC) Greater Anglia (GA). The land where the car park is located is a railway asset and covered by railway bylaws. NCP is contracted by GA to operate and manage the car park. NCP has stated, on record elsewhere, that they enforce the terms and conditions at the car park under contract law, not railway bylaw and they do not and cannot rely on PoFA.

Based on the above, NCP issue "Parking" Charge Notices not "Penalty" Charge Notices. NCP do not and cannot rely on PoFA to hold the keeper liable. The only way the keeper can be liable is if the keeper admits to also being the driver. There is no obligation in civil law for the keeper to identify the driver and no inference can be made.

NCP do not know the identity of the driver unless they have been told who it was by the keeper. If the keeper refuses the "invitation" to name the driver, NCP have nowhere else to turn.

Where this could become interesting, is if NCP insist on pursuing the keeper after their refusal of the invitation to identify the driver. In a simple, initial appeal as the keeper, refusing their invitation to identify the driver, NCP "should" throw in the towel. However, they don't tend to do so and hope that the keeper is low hanging fruit on the gullible tree and will eventually capitulate and pay up when things escalate.

This is when your initial appeal is rejected and you receive a POPLA code (which NCP pay £30+ for) and you appeal to POPLA, a supposedly "independent" appeal service, where an assessor will review your appeal. The assessors are not lawyers but do have some legal training. To what standard, we don't know. They will only assess whether the points you raise are enough to invalidate the issue of the PCN on the basis of compliance with the BPA CoP and legalities such as compliance with PoFA. Unfortunately, there have been quite a few instances where the assessor has misunderstood how to apply PoFA and retraining has been necessary.

In theory, with the extra training provided to the assessors in understanding PoFA, they now (mostly) know that a NtK issued for parking on land covered by bylaws, the PPC cannot hold the keeper liable for the charge. Only the driver can be liable and if the keeper has declined the invitation to identify the driver, the assessor will find in favour of the appellant and that is then the end of the matter.

In the now, somewhat rare instance, where an assessor gets it wrong regarding PoFA and denies the appeal, it does not really matter. You can complain to POPLA and they can fully agree that their assessor got it wrong but they cannot reverse a the decision. Not to worry... a POPLA decision is not binding on the appellant and would have no bearing on any future court claim should the PPC be reckless enough to pursue it that far.

In this instance, the victim would have to weather some months of useless debt collector letters. These debt collectors work on a no-win no-fee basis and have no power to do anything, no matter how scary they make their correspondence sound. As already mentioned, they are looking for the low hanging fruit on the gullible tree who will now become scared at the added £60-£70 to the original £100 charge and all the mention of "CCJs" and "bailiffs" and capitulate.

IF the PPC are really intellectually malnourished, they may engage (or do it themselves) a firm of roboclaim solicitors who will send the victim a Letter of Claim (LoC) giving the potential defendant 30 days to pay or face the possibility of a claim without further notice. If things ever got this far (and they do with a few seriously intellectually malnourished PPCs and their roboclaim solicitors) you DO want them to issue a claim. A robustly defended claim highlighting the problem with the defendant not being liable as the keeper, will be an important fact that a district judge must take into consideration.

Thankfully, only a few intellectually malnourished roboclaim firms press on this far and even then, they tend to discontinue before it ever gets in front of a judge.

CurtLemmington

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Re: Cambridge North NCP Car Park - 3x PCN served at the same time.
« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2024, 06:07:53 pm »
Thank you both for your detailed responses which is putting me a bit at ease! Very kind.

I will take photos of the signage tomorrow and post on here. I would be very grateful to agree the strategy and wording along with the SAR.


CurtLemmington

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Re: Cambridge North NCP Car Park - 3x PCN served at the same time.
« Reply #23 on: February 26, 2024, 11:05:10 am »
I now attach photos of the signage. There was quite a lot of signage albeit mostly repetition!

I can only upload four photos at a time so think I have captured them all but can send over zoomed in ones if needed.

H C Andersen

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Re: Cambridge North NCP Car Park - 3x PCN served at the same time.
« Reply #24 on: February 26, 2024, 01:15:41 pm »

Nothing on these signs suggests that the site is subject to Railway Bylaws.

The nearest is Item 8 on the Terms and Conditions of Parking, which is clearly a general notice used by NCP to cover sites operated under contract, traffic orders and bylaws, which states that if sites are operated under traffic orders or bylaws then 'notices [to this effect] will be displayed in the car park'.

As far as we know, there aren't such notices.

The evidence that the site is subject to contract terms seems overwhelming.

b789

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Re: Cambridge North NCP Car Park - 3x PCN served at the same time.
« Reply #25 on: February 26, 2024, 01:54:03 pm »
Quote
The nearest is Item 8 on the Terms and Conditions of Parking, which is clearly a general notice used by NCP to cover sites operated under contract, traffic orders and bylaws, which states that if sites are operated under traffic orders or bylaws then 'notices [to this effect] will be displayed in the car park'.

That has never stopped NCP from operating under a commercial agreement with the TOC. If you really need definitive proof, you can always pay a few £ to the Land Registry. A search for "Cambridge North" comes up with the station itself and 3 other "land at Cambridge North Station". The post code is CB4 0AE

https://search-property-information.service.gov.uk/search/map-search/find-by-address

I'd still wager that the land is railway asset leased to Greater Anglia and as such, covered by bylaws. Also, as already mentioned, NCP have previously stated in an appeal at this location, Cambridge North Station Car Park, that they do not rely on PoFA. This is what NCP stated:

Quote
On Railway Land managed by NCP, we currently enforce under contract law. We are not allowed to use the provisions of The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (POFA) & Keeper Liability as Railway Land is exempt from this. Therefore timescales defined in POFA are not required to be met but there is an expectation that if an operator does not make use of Keeper Liability provisions, they are expected to adhere to the DVLA’s guidelines and contractual requirements to issue the Parking Charge Notice (PCN) no later than 7 months after the parking event.

andy_foster

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Re: Cambridge North NCP Car Park - 3x PCN served at the same time.
« Reply #26 on: February 26, 2024, 02:01:33 pm »
Nothing on these signs suggests that the site is subject to Railway Bylaws.

Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
I am responsible for the accuracy of the information I post, not your ability to comprehend it.
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CurtLemmington

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Re: Cambridge North NCP Car Park - 3x PCN served at the same time.
« Reply #27 on: February 26, 2024, 07:33:25 pm »
I have downloaded the Title Register for the land.

The Freeholder of the Land is Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd which I believe Network Rail Ltd is the Ultimate Parent Company.

Abellio East Anglia Limited are the leaseholders having taken a circa 94 year lease on the land
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H C Andersen

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Re: Cambridge North NCP Car Park - 3x PCN served at the same time.
« Reply #28 on: February 26, 2024, 08:29:40 pm »

Absence of proof is not proof of absence.

Which isn't the issue. Prima facie the Ts and Cs and the PCN refer to contract terms and terminology. It's open to the OP to assert the opposite but without any evidence it wouldn't carry weight or the day IMO.

I suggest the OP submits a FoI request to the Dept. for Tpt and asks.

CurtLemmington

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Re: Cambridge North NCP Car Park - 3x PCN served at the same time.
« Reply #29 on: February 27, 2024, 08:48:36 am »
Many thanks all for your continued support in this.

I have now submitted an SAR (just requesting they send all correspondence they have on me as registered keeper and of the car) and feel it is best to submit my appeal today / tomorrow for the Parking Charge Notices along the lines of:

"I, as registered keeper of XX, did not receive any initial letters before the Final Reminder letters were received on 22nd February 2024. I have therefore submitted a Subject Access Request to receive a copy of the original Notice to Keeper letters. I will be able to write again once these are received and reviewed."

My understanding therefore is they are likely to then 'reset the clock' on these parking charge notices? Please do say if this is a bad idea!

Then in the background I can continue the investigation around the ownership of the land albeit I feel it is Railway land as per the land reg but my knowledge doesn't then extend to an understanding around relevant vs non-relevant land other than what has kindly been posted on this thread. There appears to still be slight disagreements on the best approach so hopefully the above appeal will give more time?

Many thanks