A legal challenge to an £85 parking ticket could go to the Supreme Court in a case to test whether penalties can be enforced under common law.
Barry Beavis, a chip shop owner, challenged car park operator ParkingEye after he was given a ticket for overstaying a two-hour parking limit by almost an hour.
But in ParkingEye v Beavis this week three Court of Appeal judges ruled that the penalty imposed was neither ‘extravagant nor unconscionable’.
There were also commercial justifications for the car park to apply the charge, the judges said, as well as social factors such as the boost to the local economy from free parking, which meant deterrents were needed to ensure drivers did not overstay and take the place of others.
Responding to the ruling, Richard Lloyd, executive director at Which? which intervened in the case, said the decision could ‘water down the law’ on penalty charges. For example, the judgment could encourage mobile phone companies to apply penalty charges if contracts are cancelled early, he said.
‘Given the possible ramifications of this case for all consumers, we will be looking to intervene again in the Supreme Court hearing,’ Lloyd said.
London firm Harcus Sinclair, which acted for Beavis, applied for leave to take the case to the Supreme Court.
View the broadcast of the handing down of the appeal judgment below...