Neil Herron, Metric Martyr campaigner, took on the parking enforcers for me
Sunday Telegraph 1st May 2011
A veteran campaigner, Neil Herron of Metric Martyrs fame has turned his attention to parking law, writes Christopher Booker.
Neil Herron, a veteran of the Metric Martyrs
campaign, is also tackling parking law
Photo: JULIAN SIMMONDS
Last January I became embroiled in a little problem that I suspect others have shared. Unavoidably delayed overnight in London, I returned to my car parked at Bath station to find a penalty notice for £80, because I had overrun my allotted parking time. I explained to the parking company, Apcoa, why this had happened, and enclosed a cheque to cover the additional time. I also asked why there were seemingly no arrangements to allow drivers unavoidably caught like this to extend their parking time. Apcoa dismissively returned my cheque, insisting that I still owed them £80.
I then consulted my doughty friend Neil Herron, hero of the Metric Martyrs campaign, who has also in recent years become a scourge of the parking industry, by uncovering all the ways in which enforcement so often goes beyond the law. He said that his Parking Appeals Ltd would be delighted to fight my cause, because he had long been waiting for a test case like this.
Parking on private land is subject to contract law. Since I had immediately sought to remedy Apcoa’s loss by reimbursing them the money they were owed, I had honoured our contract – as he looked forward to explaining in court. Apcoa’s response was to send in debt collectors to demand their £80.
Neil’ s reply was, in effect, “See you in court” – knowing this was a case they would not wish to see put to legal test. The debt collectors now reply that Apcoa has decided to drop the matter – just as Neil predicted. He only regrets being deprived of that test case he has long been hoping for.
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