Forbidding Signs: UKPC v Masterson (B6QZ4H3R)

This case concerned a visitor to the Swan Housing complex at Colchester University Hospital NHS Trust. Like the Peenith case it concerned multiple tickets (2 claimed for but there were more than 2 issued) and UKPC hiding their contract until the last moment.

Contractual chain

UKPC produced what they alleged to be authority from Swan Housing for them to enforce car parking arrangements on site. However Mr M had done his homework (via the Freedom of Information Act) and found no evidence that the control of parking had been passed onto Swan, so the issue was "neutral". 

Forbidding signs

The issue then turned to what was being offered. At 6, the judge concluded that this was an open offer to park (which Beavis had in the ParkingEye v Beavis case). There were distinct restrictions implied by the signs which hinted at trespass and not contract. If it were trespass, then only the landowner (the NHS Trust) could take action and not UKPC.

Tips

1. Issuing claims with limited information or no information is a common trick by parking companies as it puts a defendant to a significant disadvantage. So you have to find a way round it by chasing the parking company or whoever hired them

2. Signs are always open to interpretation so it is best to get your own copies as soon after as possible. Another trick that is played, is that different signs from the ones that were at site are produced with the parking company claiming an "error" or "rogue operatives". This latter excuse was used when UKPC "rogue operatives" - a lot of them - were found to be changing the timestamps on photographic evidence.

 

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