BREAKING – A chip shop owner Barry Beavis, charged £85 for exceeding a two-hour parking limit on a private car park, has lost his Supreme Court battle over the parking charges.
Mr Beavis of Chelmsford, Essex, had claimed that an £85 charge for breaching a two-hour limit was “unfair and disproportionate”.
The Court of Appeal had dismissed Mr Beavis’s claim against management company ParkingEye, but he appealed to the Supreme Court where Wednesday the senior judges rejected the case.
The parking company had claimed that its charges were “fair” and “legally enforceable” and it seems the Supreme Court has upheld this claim.
The result is a victory for private parking companies, land owners and landlords who want to charge for parking or want to impose penalties for illegal parking on private land.
Mr Beavis expressed is concerns as the court had decided “these charges are allowed because they are not excessive”, but what is excessive he wondered?
Steve Gooding, of the RAC Foundation, told the BBC the ruling “opens the door” for parking firms to hike up charges.
The Supreme Court president Lord Neuberger and Lord Sumption, in a joint written ruling indicated that ParkingEye (and presumably that includes other parking companies and landowners) could not charge over-stayers “whatever it liked”.
“It could not charge a sum which would be out of all proportion to its interest or that of the landowner for whom it is providing the service,” they wrote. But there is no reason to suppose £85 is out of all proportion to its interests.”
Supporting Mr Beavis’ claims Steve Gooding, director of motoring charity RAC Foundation, said that Parliament should now tackle parking charges in the same way it dealt with clamping in 2012 and that in this case the judges had not given any clear direction on what figure would be excessive.
Steve Gooding thought that it “opens the door for parking companies to increase their penalty demands” and it would leave the only option for motorists to fight sky-high charges on a case-by-case basis.
He also expressed concerns about how data release by the DVLA on vehicle records to private parking companies and how it is being used.
A spokeswoman for ParkingEye told the BBC, the ruling “provides much needed clarity to motorists and the parking industry as a whole and confirms our parking charges, which are approved by the British Parking Association, are fair and legally enforceable.”
Consumer and driving law specialist Derek Millard-Smith, of JMW Solicitors representing ParkingEye, called the Supreme Court decision “entirely sensible”. Otherwise they said, “Land owners providing spaces would have felt compelled to charge for parking from the minute cars arrive, to prevent abuse.”
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Private Parking Firms win Supreme Court Battle – https://t.co/kka5P0obRH
— LandlordZONE (@LandlordZONE) November 5, 2015