This is not the usual story, please take a moment to read about what happened to a lovely lady when she was unexpectedly caught up by a private parking ticket from a notorious firm called One Parking Solution Ltd.
This is not just another story about a £100 'parking charge'; this is a lady caught in the middle of two conflicting court decisions and after winning her case in 2020, she has now been ordered to pay around £3700.
Norma cannot pay this. The court knows that. There but the for grace of God goes anyone who has had an unfair private parking ticket. What did she do wrong? Here is her story, from start to finish in the link below (any opinions are the posters' own. This is provided to show how the situation developed):
The most recent gloating posts are from an unknown (self-admitted parking firm) poster; the same person who had previously posted information from the draft appeal judgment early, before it was handed down and before Norma had even seen it. The court accepted that it wasn't shared by Norma. This was said in the costs hearing. So how did anyone get/publish that judgment early, isn't that possibly a contempt of court by the person putting it in the public domain?
Nothing happened about that. The Appeal Judge found in favour of One Parking Solution on every point, after Norma had initially won on every point after the first hearing. The first Judge was held by the second Judge to have displayed apparent bias.
Norma has been caught in the middle and her 'error' was agreeing with and relying upon the first Judgment, which she had no idea would be slapped down on all counts. What reasonable person wouldn't have felt safe to rely upon the first judgment that they had won on all issues, about a location where many Judges have found against OPS for various reasons, not least signage.
Norma is a lovely lady in her seventies and she has been given (on 14th May 2021) just 21 days to decide. Time is ticking but her options are:
(1) - pay around £3,700 now. But she can't pay that enormous sum and is not yet giving up. There is a second option, which would be:
(2) - appeal to the Court of Appeal, a risky and expensive option but she is actively exploring her options. If she has grounds to take this to the Court of Appeal she'll need to cover those almost £3,700 costs as security anyway, plus the cost of the appeal and barrister if she can't find pro-bono help and advice.
I've set the fundraiser at £4000 initially and she is doing her level best to seek an opinion as regards appeal grounds.
If anyone reading this knows of/can tweet it to a very good 'consumer rights' and/or parking/contract law minded Direct Access barrister to give an opinion on that, please contact me because some issues would benefit from an opinion.
Many of us who are supporting her can also see it is making her ill. She is extremely despondent and can hardly sleep for worry about getting a CCJ or trying an appeal but without the clout that OPS wheeled in, at huge cost.
Sledgehammer, nut? But she was ordered to pay half of their costs, plus the parking charge and 'add-ons'.
This was not a case of a rogue parker. Norma's case appeared in the Sunday Times with Shakespearean references. and involved a single, disputed £100 private parking ticket issued to her by covert camera at the notorious cash-cow roadway in Lewes known as Eastgate Wharf. The evidence before the court showed, among other things, that the entrance sign was twisted away from the road for 3 years. Multiple people were caught every week and still are.
This story will be familiar to anyone who has had an unfair parking ticket but there are in particular, many reports about OPS online, dozens of stories featuring people caught at Eastgate Wharf and other places, such as Stanmer Park at Brighton, and Peacehaven Co-op (I am told OPS have lost the contract there).
Not forgetting the way OPS are viewed by the good people of Llangrannog:
I am Lyn Reeves, a friend of Norma's.
It would be fair to observe that private parking firms' conduct in general has, from consumers' and MPs' experiences, exploded into an out-of-control scourge in recent years. Change is afoot with Government intervention pending. The new legislation will be too late to affect Norma but she is determined to continue to raise awareness about what is going on, so she is not taking this lying down.
I help people with private parking tickets and as her lay rep in 2020 I won her case at first hearing. This is what I do for no reward, so you can see who I am. Any surplus money raised not used towards the Court of Appeal (if advised to do so) or to pay this to save her peace of mind, will be used for helping people with other similar stories:
Thankyou very much.
Anyone with an unfair private parking ticket will understand, I am sure, but do be aware these circumstances are exceptional and you CAN fight private parking tickets.
- Andy Biegala
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