Radcliffe tram station parking fines 'are unlawful', campaigners say

Empty spaces in the lower deck of Radcliffe's newly-expanded Metrolink park and ride facility

Empty spaces in the lower deck of Radcliffe's newly-expanded Metrolink park and ride facility

First published in News
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The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A NATIONAL motoring campaign group has slammed the £100 fines given to Radcliffe Metrolink park and ride users as “unlawful”.

The British Motorist Protection Association (BMPA) claims money is being wrongly demanded from people who left their cars overnight in the facility in Spring Lane.

It says Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) is acting unlawfully by allowing private contractor Care Parking to issue invoices to people leaving their cars at the tram while trams are not running.

The association says this because all Metrolink parking is governed by byelaws under Point 14 of the Greater Manchester Light Rapid Transit System Act 1988.

Therefore, Metrolink should issue statutory parking fees using the byelaws, and not claim through the civil law by Care Parking’s fines.

Angus Gill, head of communications at the BMPA, said the £100 invoices drivers are receiving are also invalid due to the car park’s lack of signage meaning contracts with drivers were not formed.

He said: “Radcliffe Metrolink is a perfect example of poor practices being used in the UK parking industry by private companies.

“The lack of signs means it is unlikely any contract was formed so the ‘fines’ are complete invalid.

“This area is covered by Metrolink byelaws and so is not an appropriate area for this type of operation – a second major poor practice.

“One in every two tickets is cancelled at appeal for being without merit, so you can see how wide this abuse of the driver is.”

If drivers do not pay a civil fine invoice, firms are able to escalate the fine and pursue the registered keeper in order to make more money.

Campaigners from the BMPA are challenging the industry’s legal basis of these fines at the Court of Appeal.

Mr Gill added: “Statutory claims are superior to civil claims and should be applied for first — Metrolink is using the wrong law and is misusing it for financial gain.

“The issue where private parking companies “forget”

certain areas are governed by byelaws also applies to certain airports, railway stations and ports.”

The BMPA hopes to improve standards in the parking industry, pressing for fair and lawful means of redress should authorities and companies fail to abide by lawful process.

A spokesperson for TfGM said: “The arrangements with Care Parking, who are a British Parking Association approved contractor, are in line with industry practice and subject to the parking on private land appeals procedure.

“TfGM is satisfied there is nothing in the Metrolink byelaws which precludes us from utilising the services of companies such as Care Parking to enforce parking restrictions at our Metrolink car parks.”

■ For more information on the BMPA: go to bmpa.eu

Comments (7)

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12:21pm Mon 25 Aug 14

JJKBolton says...

TFGM is getting too big for its boots and needs bringing down a peg or two.

By the way when is construction of Boltons new interchange going to start and will Stagecoach First Bus and Ariva be forced to use it as we the taxpayers are being forced to pay for its construction ??? The excitement from the operators thus far is deafening.
TFGM is getting too big for its boots and needs bringing down a peg or two. By the way when is construction of Boltons new interchange going to start and will Stagecoach First Bus and Ariva be forced to use it as we the taxpayers are being forced to pay for its construction ??? The excitement from the operators thus far is deafening. JJKBolton
  • Score: 3

5:35pm Mon 25 Aug 14

nigella farrage says...

The various bus companies are not forced to use the new bus station - in fact each bus company is actually charged to use the TfGM bus station!

As it is the new bus station, by my reckoning is about 30% smaller and yet it is meant to carry 20% more traffic - now my maths are good but someone is fooling someone else with these figures, but they don't fool me. It seems the bus companies are already complying with TfGM's request as the number of buses an hour, in Bolton, have already been reduced by 10 an hour - how more bus routes/frequencies have to be reduced to make sure the bus station can fulfil it duties?

By the way the cost for the bus station is now costing the people of Greater Manchester (as it is TfGM who are building it) a staggering £53million whilst the new Blackburn bus station is only costing £5million!!!!!

In other TfGM news - they are buying an additional 16 trams - but they can only be used on the trams tracks which do NOT touch Bolton. That money could have been spent on supporting/bettering bus services in the borough and other non-tram boroughs of Greater Manchester or even purchasing new trains to help relieve overcrowding on the Greater Manchester train network!!!!

TfGM are only bothered about Trams and Manchester - after looking at Blackburn with Darwen transport policies website, Lancashire County Councils transport website and even Merseytravel website - Bolton is losing out thanks to TfGMs policy of looking after Manchester, the boroughs in South Manchester and the tram network!
The various bus companies are not forced to use the new bus station - in fact each bus company is actually charged to use the TfGM bus station! As it is the new bus station, by my reckoning is about 30% smaller and yet it is meant to carry 20% more traffic - now my maths are good but someone is fooling someone else with these figures, but they don't fool me. It seems the bus companies are already complying with TfGM's request as the number of buses an hour, in Bolton, have already been reduced by 10 an hour - how more bus routes/frequencies have to be reduced to make sure the bus station can fulfil it duties? By the way the cost for the bus station is now costing the people of Greater Manchester (as it is TfGM who are building it) a staggering £53million whilst the new Blackburn bus station is only costing £5million!!!!! In other TfGM news - they are buying an additional 16 trams - but they can only be used on the trams tracks which do NOT touch Bolton. That money could have been spent on supporting/bettering bus services in the borough and other non-tram boroughs of Greater Manchester or even purchasing new trains to help relieve overcrowding on the Greater Manchester train network!!!! TfGM are only bothered about Trams and Manchester - after looking at Blackburn with Darwen transport policies website, Lancashire County Councils transport website and even Merseytravel website - Bolton is losing out thanks to TfGMs policy of looking after Manchester, the boroughs in South Manchester and the tram network! nigella farrage
  • Score: 0

6:25pm Mon 25 Aug 14

dominoman says...

Bolton has a main line train connection to Manchester, why would Metrolink run a tram line as well?

Anyway who wants to go to Bolton. from what I read on the Bolton News site everyone's complaining about it being a ghost town with a few crappy cheapo shops.
Bolton has a main line train connection to Manchester, why would Metrolink run a tram line as well? Anyway who wants to go to Bolton. from what I read on the Bolton News site everyone's complaining about it being a ghost town with a few crappy cheapo shops. dominoman
  • Score: 5

8:09pm Mon 25 Aug 14

nigella farrage says...

Rochdale has a mainline station , so does Altrincham and Eccles and the airport (which Metrolink is extending to)
Rochdale has a mainline station , so does Altrincham and Eccles and the airport (which Metrolink is extending to) nigella farrage
  • Score: 1

5:22pm Tue 26 Aug 14

JJKBolton says...

This is an open letter and question to TfGM and requires an answer FROM TfGM in these columns to justify ---- WHY are taxpayers being forced to pay for a construction project which is supposed to benefit the travelling public, but in all likely-hood the bus operators will refuse to use.

As far as I can see, this is just an exercise in stripping money from taxpayers pockets and putting it directly into the pocket of a building contractor in exchange for a building they know will not be fully used for the benefit of the travelling public and to knowingly do that is nothing short of cri---- .
This is an open letter and question to TfGM and requires an answer FROM TfGM in these columns to justify ---- WHY are taxpayers being forced to pay for a construction project which is supposed to benefit the travelling public, but in all likely-hood the bus operators will refuse to use. As far as I can see, this is just an exercise in stripping money from taxpayers pockets and putting it directly into the pocket of a building contractor in exchange for a building they know will not be fully used for the benefit of the travelling public and to knowingly do that is nothing short of cri---- . JJKBolton
  • Score: 1

12:49pm Thu 28 Aug 14

buckfeed17 says...

Please stop using the word "FINE" grrrrrr. Rant over
Please stop using the word "FINE" grrrrrr. Rant over buckfeed17
  • Score: 1

12:51pm Thu 28 Aug 14

Buryboy1986 says...

nigella farrage wrote:
The various bus companies are not forced to use the new bus station - in fact each bus company is actually charged to use the TfGM bus station!

As it is the new bus station, by my reckoning is about 30% smaller and yet it is meant to carry 20% more traffic - now my maths are good but someone is fooling someone else with these figures, but they don't fool me. It seems the bus companies are already complying with TfGM's request as the number of buses an hour, in Bolton, have already been reduced by 10 an hour - how more bus routes/frequencies have to be reduced to make sure the bus station can fulfil it duties?

By the way the cost for the bus station is now costing the people of Greater Manchester (as it is TfGM who are building it) a staggering £53million whilst the new Blackburn bus station is only costing £5million!!!!!

In other TfGM news - they are buying an additional 16 trams - but they can only be used on the trams tracks which do NOT touch Bolton. That money could have been spent on supporting/bettering bus services in the borough and other non-tram boroughs of Greater Manchester or even purchasing new trains to help relieve overcrowding on the Greater Manchester train network!!!!

TfGM are only bothered about Trams and Manchester - after looking at Blackburn with Darwen transport policies website, Lancashire County Councils transport website and even Merseytravel website - Bolton is losing out thanks to TfGMs policy of looking after Manchester, the boroughs in South Manchester and the tram network!
That's because Bolton is full of inbreds. We don't want them infecting the rest of the Borough.
[quote][p][bold]nigella farrage[/bold] wrote: The various bus companies are not forced to use the new bus station - in fact each bus company is actually charged to use the TfGM bus station! As it is the new bus station, by my reckoning is about 30% smaller and yet it is meant to carry 20% more traffic - now my maths are good but someone is fooling someone else with these figures, but they don't fool me. It seems the bus companies are already complying with TfGM's request as the number of buses an hour, in Bolton, have already been reduced by 10 an hour - how more bus routes/frequencies have to be reduced to make sure the bus station can fulfil it duties? By the way the cost for the bus station is now costing the people of Greater Manchester (as it is TfGM who are building it) a staggering £53million whilst the new Blackburn bus station is only costing £5million!!!!! In other TfGM news - they are buying an additional 16 trams - but they can only be used on the trams tracks which do NOT touch Bolton. That money could have been spent on supporting/bettering bus services in the borough and other non-tram boroughs of Greater Manchester or even purchasing new trains to help relieve overcrowding on the Greater Manchester train network!!!! TfGM are only bothered about Trams and Manchester - after looking at Blackburn with Darwen transport policies website, Lancashire County Councils transport website and even Merseytravel website - Bolton is losing out thanks to TfGMs policy of looking after Manchester, the boroughs in South Manchester and the tram network![/p][/quote]That's because Bolton is full of inbreds. We don't want them infecting the rest of the Borough. Buryboy1986
  • Score: 3

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