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Supreme Court Rules £85 Parking Penalty Reasonable & Enforceable

Date Posted: 18 December 2015

We reported on the Court of appeal case of ParkingEye v Beavis in June this year in which Mr Barry Beavis challenged a £85 parking penalty, our report of this interesting case can be found at: 

Barry Beavis, unsuccessfully claimed an £85 charge for breaching a two-hour parking limit in April 2013 was "unfair and disproportionate".

The Court of Appeal ruled in favour of Parking Eye, Barry Beavis appealed and the case was referred to the Supreme Court who gave their Judgement in favour of Parking Eye ruling:

“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,”  

"But there is no reason to suppose £85 is out of all proportion to its interests.

The Supreme Court, agreed that ParkingEye charge was "fair" and "legally enforceable".

Following the decision, Mr Beavis said: "It is a very dangerous ruling. I am disappointed the Supreme Court did not stick up for the consumer.

"It has decided these charges are allowed because they are not excessive - so what is excessive?

"There is now no legal recourse to go to European Court of Justice. I think the government needs to intervene and introduce a single code of practice.”

Supreme Court president Lord Neuberger and Lord Sumption said in their ruling that ParkingEye could not charge over-stayers "whatever it liked”

This Supreme Court ruling is bound to lead to further cases brought before the Courts to determine issues surrounding what is deemed a proportionate penalty. 

The position appears to be that penalty parking charges are enforceable provided they are proportionate to the interests of the landowner. Until the Courts or Parliament deal with the issue of what is proportionate we foresee motorists being hit with ever increasing penalty demands. It will be interesting to see whether penalty payment demands proliferate to other free services.