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Northumberland Road Unauthorised Free Parking

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The last few weeks I've noticed 10 to 15 cars parked every day on the old Glass Technology site (next to the huge hole) on Northumberland Road (next to the University sports centre).   There is a large metal gate which appears to be left open at the entrance.  I have never parked there but understand why it is popular as parking in that area is at a premium.  I guess the car owners are not paying a fee.   What recourse do car owners have if the land owner simply turns up and locks the gate without any warning.  I guess it is a civil matter so the police wouldn't get involved?  Just curious to know the legal position.

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It would be a criminal offence under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 Section 54 to lock the gates (thus immobilising the cars) unless (a) the gates were present when the car entered, and (b) the driver gave explicit or implied consent to the gate being locked (e.g. a car park sign saying "gates will be locked after 10pm")

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3 hours ago, dave_the_m said:

It would be a criminal offence under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 Section 54 to lock the gates (thus immobilising the cars) unless (a) the gates were present when the car entered, and (b) the driver gave explicit or implied consent to the gate being locked (e.g. a car park sign saying "gates will be locked after 10pm")

Thanks for explaining that Dave.  The gate is open but could possibly be closed and padlocked without warning anybody.  As you say this would be against section 54.   If I parked my car there I would be more worried about a flash flood causing all the vehicles to slide down into the very deep hole.

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4 minutes ago, cuttsie said:

Angle grinder .

 

That would constitute criminal damage.

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2 hours ago, cuttsie said:

been there done that 

Yes.  I can remember that man in London dressed as Superman who went around cutting off clamps from cars for a small fee.   He had a thriving business until the cops felt his collar.

3 minutes ago, martin1print said:

Yes.  I can remember that man in London dressed as Superman who went around cutting off clamps from cars for a small fee.   He had a thriving business until the cops felt his collar.

The link below is about another super hero clamp removal man .....

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2194646/Is-bird-Is-plane-No-Wheel-Clamp-Man-makes-fine-real-life-superhero.html

 

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19 hours ago, dave_the_m said:

It would be a criminal offence under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 Section 54 to lock the gates (thus immobilising the cars) unless (a) the gates were present when the car entered, and (b) the driver gave explicit or implied consent to the gate being locked (e.g. a car park sign saying "gates will be locked after 10pm")

Astonishing to think the law is on the side of the person who has driven their car and parked it on some one else's private land.

 

Just to be absolutely clear, @martin1print, is there any indication (signage) that suggests the land is a car park? If not, I guess giving the car owners the benefit of the doubt it might be that they know the land owner and have an agreement. Otherwise, it's astonishing that they would simply see an accessible piece of land and assume it was a legitimate place to park, without knowing the owner. Some people are so tied to their cars that everything around them looks like a parking space.

 

 

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1 hour ago, AndrewC said:

 

Astonishing to think the law is on the side of the person who has driven their car and parked it on some one else's private land.

 

Just to be absolutely clear, @martin1print, is there any indication (signage) that suggests the land is a car park? If not, I guess giving the car owners the benefit of the doubt it might be that they know the land owner and have an agreement. Otherwise, it's astonishing that they would simply see an accessible piece of land and assume it was a legitimate place to park, without knowing the owner. Some people are so tied to their cars that everything around them looks like a parking space.

 

 

Andrew.  I think your last sentence sums it up.  Many years ago the foundations for a multi-storey car park were dug very deep without obtaining planning permission.  When the Council refused, the land owner disappeared.  The land has been in a state of dereliction ever since.  Nevertheless, the land owner can return at any time and reclaim it.  It is a huge area in a prime location so it's just a matter of time until it is claimed.  There are no signs about car parking whatsoever.  I can send you a couple of photos on Friday if you PM me your email address if interested.   I understand that University staff have to pay about £600 to £900 a year for an official parking permit so it's not surprising that some people take the gamble of parking for free on that land.

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1 hour ago, AndrewC said:

 

Astonishing to think the law is on the side of the person who has driven their car and parked it on some one else's private land.

It's still trespass, and the land owner can sue the driver for damages. It's just no longer legal to do what is effectively confiscating the vehicle - this is the same law which outlawed private clamping. But also under POFA 2012 they can pass liability for damages (or any parking charge or whatever) from the driver to the keeper as long as they do the paperwork right.

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Might be time to make an urban legend come true. 

Set up a little hut and charge £5/day. 

£75/day, tax free, 5 days a week....

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4 hours ago, Resident said:

Might be time to make an urban legend come true. 

Set up a little hut and charge £5/day. 

£75/day, tax free, 5 days a week....

A bloke did that at Bristol zoo and got away with it for 20 years .....

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/13904380/bristol-zoo-car-park-myth/

That said the link was from "The Sun" so maybe we should take it with a pinch of salt.

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