Shopping Centre
Court of Appeal dismiss parking charge case
Published:  28 April, 2015

An Essex chip shop owner has lost his Court of Appeal challenge over what he claimed were "unfair, unlawful and disproportionate" parking charges.

Barry Beavis was fined £85 by ParkingEye for overstaying the two-hour limit at the Riverside Retail Park in Chelmsford in 2013.

ParkingEye argued the charges were "a commercially justified deterrent" for a city centre car park close to a station and a court complex where it was necessary to discourage overstayers, and a previous decision in May last year found the charge did not breach the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations.

While Beavis agreed he should have to pay a charge for overstaying in the car park, he argued that it is a long-established common law principle that companies can only demand compensation from consumers to cover genuine losses, and that higher deterrent charges are unenforceable.

The three appeal court judges unanimously dismissed his challenge, saying the amount he was charged "is not extravagant or unconscionable".

The ruling of the test case could have had a huge impact on parking enforcement on private land, had Beavis won the case, spelling an end to what he described as “unlawful and disproportionate” parking charges, and would have set a precedent that might have allowed thousands of disgruntled drivers to get refunds for parking fines.  

Beavis is considering taking his case to the Supreme Court.