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Thread: Legal definition of a ‘private car park'

  1. #1
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    Default Legal definition of a ‘private car park'

    Could anyone tell me what the legal definition of a ‘private car park’ is? Reason being, I visited a friend at a housing association complex & was approached by staff & asked not to park in the car park as it was for residents only.
    While I understand this, I do have a disabled parking badge & was using my wheelchair at the time.
    I’d like to know where I stand legally?

    Many thanks,

    Andy

  2. #2
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    Where the scheme does not apply

    The scheme does not apply to off-street car parks, private roads and at most airports. However, parking spaces may be offered to badge holders, but do not assume you can park for free.

    The scheme does not fully apply in four central London boroughs, who offer their own parking concessions:

  3. #3
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    The booklet that comes with the Blue Badge explains everything like that in it.

    I think their main concern with you parking there, was that they never had insurance cover for non residents, in case of accident or injury?

  4. #4
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    When I was working, my job involved calling at any type of premises. Our legal department told us it was OK to park in private car parks unless there were clear no parking signs. At the type of premises you describe, there is usually a designated visitor’s car park, with resident’s car parking closer to the actual entrance/s. Thus reducing vehicle movements and noise close to the premises.

  5. #5
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    My theory was a car park must have a means to restrict access i.e barrier in order to be 'private'?

  6. #6
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    Legally speaking any piece of land that is not owned by a council and/or has no statutory instrument (in English, piece of legislation) conferring special powers on it (e.g. to give fines, like councils can but private car park owners CANNOT, or like a hospital where only emergency vehicles can park), is private, so yes the owner has the right to ask you to leave, but if you refuse they have no more power to do anything else than you or I have. E.g. any fine/ticket they give you would be meaningless and you can ignore it. Watch out for clamping though (though that will soon be illegal in England & Wales too, but not yet).

    If it is a simple sign saying "residents only" with no other footer (e.g. "by order of X council"), then it might be bad form to park there if you're not a resident, but the owner has no power to do anything about it apart from report it to the police.

    You or I could stick a sign like that on your driveway, but if someone decided to park there there's little you can do, and you certainly can't fine them, and you can't clamp them either unless you have warning signs and valid clamping certification.

    If the residents' association falls under the umbrella of a council then the signs probably are enforceable, but if they are a private body then they definitely are not. On an aside, if it is just on a completely normal public street then any sign like that would mean absolutely nothing whatsoever except yellow lines and official signs saying "resident permit holders only" etc.

  7. #7
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    my theory is that it's a private car park unless its been run/adopted by the council, all other parking is private, unless you have to pay to park or need a permit

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    Something I've noticed about council owned car parks is, that even though we have to pay to park there, they have a sign up saying that they "can not be held responsible for any damage done your vehicle"

    I think that's a cop out really, as they make you Pay to park there

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by smudger View Post
    Something I've noticed about council owned car parks is, that even though we have to pay to park there, they have a sign up saying that they "can not be held responsible for any damage done your vehicle"

    I think that's a cop out really, as they make you Pay to park there
    That's true Smudger, but even with car parks that say they have 24-hour security (like the ones at airports), even they say they're not liabile for any damage or theft!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 98selitb View Post
    You or I could stick a sign like that on your driveway, but if someone decided to park there there's little you can do, and you certainly can't fine them, and you can't clamp them either unless you have warning signs and valid clamping certification.
    It is illegal to park across a dropped kerb and prevent a vehicle owner from exiting his driveway; and a FPN can be issued by the police.

    regarding parking ON the driveway (if that is what you mean), then you can make the driver remove the vehicle. If it necessitated calling the police, then they would uphold the property owner. Even if a specific motoring law could not be applied, the police could get round that by 'action likely to cause a breach of the peace'.

    Taking it to its ultimate; imagine a single-width, two-car driveway. Wife has car in garage, and it is blocked by someone parking in front of the garage door and refusing to move it. Then along comes husband in his car, and parks behind the offending vehicle; saying he will keep that vehicle held there as long as he feels like it.
    Now who is in the right, and who is in the wrong?
    Any police involvement, in my opinion, would result in the situation being resolved by a 'breach of peace' threat to all concerned.

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