University Hospital of Wales staff forced to pay £26,000 in legal fees over parking tickets

It is with some regret that we found ourselves reading this newspaper report this morning. The Cardiff Indigo case has been well-reported as a significant loss for the staff of UHW, and it is both a massive loss and a travesty of justice.

During the hearing of this case, as reported by the Parking Prankster at the time, the witnesses for the claimant lied, obfuscated, and deliberately sought to mislead the court. Witnesses were produced who do not exist, and ultimately, the Judge found for the Claimant on all points – which is unsurprising since Elizabeth Coates used to be Senior Counsel for the NHS in Wales, a point that should have been sufficient to recuse her from her role as the District Judge hearing the case.

Much has been made, on MSE, Pepipoo and elsewhere, of the costs order that was allegedly made against John Wilkie, our Company Secretary. And we would now like to take the opportunity to put the record straight.

  1. As soon as it was made clear that Indigo would be seeking a costs order from John Wilkie, he recognised that this meant there was now a conflict of interest between himself and his client, and retired from the case.
  2. As a matter of courtesy, Mr Wilkie provided Indigo’s counsel and solicitor with his address for service, and confirmed that he would not evade any orders simply due to being based in Scotland.
  3. As a matter of law, Mr Wilkie was not present as a party at any further hearings.
  4. Neither the Court, nor the Claimant has in any way sought to contact Mr Wilkie or serve any document on him about this matter since Friday 14 July 2017.
  5. Likewise, none of the 79 staff members affected by this costs order have contacted Mr Wilkie.

It is a basic tenet of law that a party is give the opportunity to defend itself or respond to any allegations against it. Mr Wilkie has never received notification that he was a party to these proceedings, and has never been pursued by the Claimant other than in their initial threat to do so before the court on 13 and 14 July 2017.

It is regrettable that not every court case can be won, and it is also regrettable that companies like Indigo, ZZPS and their ilk will lie and cheat to wring every penny out of the motorist, regardless of the damage this might do.

Private Parking Appeals remains committed to assisting our customers in fighting these unfair tickets, and supports the BPA position on the Parking (Code of Practice) Bill which would prevent unscrupulous companies like this from continuing their barely legal pursuit of these spurious charges.

Private Parking Appeals welcomes the comments of Indigo Park Services Ltd, ZZPS Ltd and the Defendants in this case, and will happily grant a right to reply for this post, however, as a company we stand by our comments, all of which are provably true and in the public interest.

Calls to Private Parking Appeals

Here at Private Parking Appeals, our staff work hard to appeal your private parking ticket, whether this is at a first appeal, at POPLA, at court or by other means. As a result, we are always very busy, and our case handlers are not able to answer calls.

We have previously had complaints about our telephone number always falling to voicemail, when people would rather speak to a real person. And since December 2015, we have had staff directly associated with the business, answering calls. As of 2 April 2018, we have now increased this team threefold to deal with the increase of calls we are receiving.

Needless to say that even with this increase, some calls are not able to be picked up, and will be going to our answerphone. Currently a little over 1/3 of our calls cannot be connected to an operator in time, and we are taking further steps to reduce this, with interviews for new staff this week. Our lines are open from 9am to 9pm every single day of the year, so please consider calling outside traditonal “Business Hours” or at the weekend, to ensure you get connected.

However, we’d like to remind customers that the staff on the telephone cannot do any of the following over the phone:

  1. Take details of your case, or assess your appeal chances
  2. Provide you with the details of your appeal, or respond to letters you have received
  3. Take or make payment for an appeal or refund
  4. Deal with a court claim, or give you legal advice on how to proceed
  5. Put your call through to your appeal-handler

 

We always respond to emails, and your appeal handler is always the best person to advise and assist you. And if we need to contact you urgently, we will always ask you for a contact number, and call you directly.

Please note that all calls made to, from or by Private Parking Appeals are recorded for training and legal purposes.