I let a passenger out at an airport zebra crossing and received a penalty - should I ignore it?

In October 2017 I took a business visitor to Birmingham airport to catch a flight to Sweden. As I made my way around the perimeter road I had to stop at a pedestrian crossing to allow people to cross the road. At this point my visitor decided to get out of the car and walk with the other pedestrians to the terminal. I subsequently received a demand from the company that runs the airport parking demanding £100 for dropping off in an undesignated area with the accompanying photos that clearly show my car stopped to allow the pedestrians to use the crossing. I have steadfastly ignored the demands which were then passed on to a collection agency who upped the "fine" to £160 with ever more menacing demands and threats to go to court. I have ignored all of these also as I believe the demand to be unfair, unreasonable and disproportionate in law as I have clearly not caused a problem. Interestingly the latest demand is now for just £70 - is this a sign that they realise they do not have a case? My instinct is to stand my ground and to continue to ignore all of these demands - is this the correct tactic or should I now respond in writing?

Asked on 16 August 2018 by mharbon

Answered by Honest John
They are basing this on the Supreme Court ruling in Beavis v Parking Eye November 2015 that basically gave private parking operators the right to impose "reasonable" conditions and "reasonable" penalties for breaching them. That is the law. And you did stop to let someone out on the approach to a zebra crossing that is an offence on a public road. So I don't think you have a case. A Private Member's Bill to impose greater controls over the private parking operators had its second reading in February and gained widespread cross party support but has yet to become an Act.
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