Essex

Barry Beavis parking charges challenge dismissed

Barry Beavis outside the court of appeal Image copyright PA
Image caption Barry Beavis challenged the legality of parking charges at the Court of Appeal in London

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

Barry Beavis, 48, was sent a charge letter for £85 by car park operator ParkingEye after he overstayed a two-hour limit in Chelmsford in April 2013.

ParkingEye argued such charges were "a commercially-justified deterrent".

The Court of Appeal has dismissed the case though Mr Beavis, of Chelmsford, can refer it to the Supreme Court.

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

'Absolutely furious'

After the judgement, Mr Beavis, who is considering taking his case to the Supreme Court - the highest court in the land - said: "I am absolutely furious that they have not upheld the law as it stands but have created new law."

ParkingEye argued the charges were justified to discourage people from over-staying at a site close to the railway station and law courts.

After Mr Beavis first refused to pay the £85 he received a court summons and was told the charge had increased to £150.

He challenged this last May at Cambridge County Court, where a judge ruled the £85 charge was lawful and did not breach the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations.

His challenge at the Court of Appeal was against the county court verdict.

Prof Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said it was "deeply frustrating" the case has gone against Mr Beavis.

The British Parking Association welcomed the court's judgement saying it "provided clarity on the use of contract law for parking on private land".

"Whilst the judgment does not appear to mention an upper limit, we would not expect our members to increase their charges as a result of this decision.

"The judgment at least confirms that their current charging is lawful and reasonable.

"Remember only a small minority of motorists fall foul of such conditions. Everyone can avoid these additional charges by complying with rules."

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