PARKING EYE v BEAVIS : HOW CAN THE £85 PARKING CHARGE BE ANYTHING BUT MANIFESTLY UNREASONABLE !
According to the Supreme Court judges the £85 charge imposed upon poor Beavis for an overstay of his allotted 3 hours of free parking was commercially justified. It seems that scammers like Parking Eye are entitled in this corrupt world of commerce to earn a crust and make a profit. Despite the fact the overstay was measured in minutes ( not hours ) the judges took the view that £85 was not manifestly unreasonable. So I ask myself at what point does a parking charge become manifestly unreasonable.
" Manifestly " means beyond all doubt, something that can be clearly shown or easily seen.
How £85 can not be seen as unreasonable is beyond me. Any independent observer would instantly regard the sum as excessive beyond any shadow of doubt. It is all to easy to see that this ludicrously high fixed sum is completely punitive in nature, because it treats motorists who overstay by 5 minutes the same as those who overstay by 5 hours. The lack of a variable parking charge is both illogical and absurd.
Moreover, the fact remains that the total time of overstays is completely dwarfed by the total time given back by vast majority of motorists who understay. This means there is no loss of customer turnover with respect to the shops and supermarkets which the car park is aiming to serve.
So let's now get back to my claim that the £85 charge is nothing but manifestly unreasonable.
1. Council run car parks impose fines half that sum despite having far greater overheads
2. £85 is 3 times the value of my yearly road tax
3. The sum represents for a large number of people two days wages
4. It equates to 12 full days of parking in most pay-by-the-hour car parks
5. It equates to Beavis paying around £100 an hour for the extra parking time he used
6. The money Beavis was asked to pay simply provided another slap up meal for one
of company's directors at a plush 5 star restaurant
It is plain to see that his £85 not only contributed to Parking Eye's recovery of operational costs but also contributed an obscene amount of profit in their quest to get rich quick at the motorists' expense. The figure of £85 clearly had a punitive element to it which in itself made it manifestly unreasonable.
And for the company to suggest a high figure was needed as a deterrent is a joke.
Parking Eye do not want motorists to be deterred from parking at their site. They want motorists to come and transgress. They go out of their way to entrap them , often using inadequate signage and ambiguous wording. They know and rely upon motorists arriving late back to the car park , despite their best intentions not to do so. Unavoidably delays are inevitable for a variety of legitimate and innocent reasons.
Any decent company which sets out to treat motorists fairly would introduce a variable parking charge of 50p for each overstay minute , after the expiry of a 10 minute grace period. This way a motorist who overstays by 20 minutes would be obliged to pay £5 , whereas the motorist who overstays by 5 hours would be rightfully charged £145 , unless of course there was a genuine reason put forward to warrant a reduction.
It seems to me Beavis was a victim of a harsh ruling. A ruling which was manifestly unfair because it allowed the bad guys to win , subjecting tens of thousands of innocent and vulnerable motorists to unwarranted bullying, intimidation and threats .