PARKING EYE v BEAVIS : WHAT WAS THE TRUE PURPOSE OF THE £85 PARKING CHARGE ?
Answer : Profit .......nothing but profit
What the Supreme Court judges failed to grasp was that the £85 parking charge had very little to do with any traffic space maximisation objective , or the urgent need for a deterrent to stop motorists from overstaying, it was all about making easy money.
If say Parking Eye paid the supermarket £30,000 for the right to manage the car park in which motorists were entitled to stay for up to 3 hours , one would wonder about such a business arrangement. If all motorists dutifully left within the permitted time. Parking Eye would be operating at a loss given the initial outlay plus other operational costs.
Not in a million years. This arrangement is a real money spinner.
Let's say the car park has 300 bays , which each on a busy day might see 5 different drivers over a 10 hour period. This adds up to 1500 drivers using the car park every day. So excluding Sundays the weekly total of drivers is as least 9000. In a fifty week year the initial investment for ownership rights works out at £600 a week , which requires only 7 drivers with poor time-keeping habits , forking out £85 each to allow the company to break even. Now if weekly operational costs of around £2,000 are to be taken into account , the break even point to cover the total weekly costs (£2,600 ) would be around 30 defaulting drivers. This as a % of 9000 drivers is 0.33 , just one motorist in every 300.
Therefore , if a far more realistic % applies, like 2.5% of drivers overstaying ( 1 in 40) , that adds up to 225 PCNs being issued every week , of which 195 represent generate pure profit. This figure works out to a colossal £16,575 weekly profit , when parking charges stand at £85. So when it is more likely the offer of a £50 charge for prompt payment is accepted , weekly profit is still a substantial £10,000. This generates a yearly total profit of £500,000 : more than enough to take hundreds of drivers to court . A necessary requirement if parking Eye wants to intensify the fear factor on those initially reluctant to pay.
So for the judges to think that Parking Eye's operation was focused on traffic space maximisation then how wrong could they be. For a start , the motorists who under-stayed (97.5%) ...... why they create 1000's of available spaces to accommodate additional motorists . The total time saved by the under-stayers completely dwarfs the total time stolen by the over-stayers. In my opinion there was no traffic flow problem in the first place .....and certainly not of a nature which warranted a hefty deterrent parking charge of £85. Indeed , this profit-generating lump sum fine was clearly punitive and manifestly unreasonable. Why should the few be made to subsidise the majority who park for free ? It seems all wrong.
If the supermarket wants £30,000 perhaps it should tell Parking Eye to go and stuff themselves , asking instead the 450,000 customers they get each year to pay 10p on entry.
Heavens above....... this would actually earn them £45,000.
Welcome to the theatre of the absurd.