A Talk by Martin Cutts, Research Director of Plain Language Commission
After getting a £100 ticket from a private parking company, Martin Cutts won a court case in 2011 because the judge found the car-park’s signs unclear. He appeared in a BBC1 Watchdog programme (click here for youtube link), which focused on the case, and he has recently addressed a conference attended by leading British Parking Association officials.
Martin notes that this year the private-parking industry will charge two million motorists up to £150 a time for supposed contraventions of car-park rules, eventually pursuing them for around £160 million in total. About 65% of ticketed motorists pay these non-statutory ‘fines’ without question, persuaded, he will argue, by a combination of unclear and misleading signs, complicity by government agencies, and bombastic legal letters. The other 35% resist, but only a handful of cases go to court.