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Parking Services

Ealing Broadway station parking problems

The council’s Parking Services organisation has started enforcement by CCTV outside Ealing Broadway station. This has given rise to much negative comment in the Gazette and the Ealing Today forum.

Last week the Gazette had a page 2 headline “£80 for 3 seconds’ parking”. This week it has printed four letters on the subject and there was another article on page 7 with the heading “CCTV ‘spycam’ angers drivers” along with their tendentious GONE PARKING MAD! logo.

Meanwhile there are two separate threads of comments on the Ealing Today forum:

I wrote to the Gazette last week to remind people that it was an offence to stop in bus stop clearways, ie those bus stops with a thick yellow line next to the pavement, and to invite people to get involved with the current scrutiny panel which is looking into Parking Services but the Gazette has chosen not to print my letter. Now I fully accept that as a councillor I don’t have a God given right to get my letters published, especially if they are tedious or long-winded. I thought it might be useful to point out that stopping in a bus stop clearway is an offence, something that the Gazette’s article refused to do – I guess it undermined the line they wanted to take. I thought it might be useful to promote the Parking Services Specialist Scrutiny Panel but clearly the Gazette wants to carp and wind people up and giving people the chance to raise their concerns with the council does not fit into its agenda.

In its reporting the Gazette is being misleading. For instance, this week they say people “have been caught out stopping for a matter of seconds by the stops”. Either they have stopped on the bus stops – offence – or they have not – no offence. Although some people don’t like these cameras at least you know where you are with them. You get to see the picture. Again there is no discussion in the articles of what offences may have been committed. No advice to the public.

Here is some public service information from me as the Gazette sullenly refuses to take this role on:

The drop off situation at Ealing Broadway is a mess and your councillors are aware of it and it will be dealt with.

The access road is private property. I understand the police have asked them to keep it coned off for security reasons.

We can debate the proper place of bus and pedestrian access as against car access but the fact remains that there are a bus stop and a pedestrian crossing directly in front of the station which have been given priority. It is an offence to park on either of these. The Highway Code says:

Rule 167: You MUST NOT park on a crossing or in the area covered by the zig-zag lines.
Rule 215: You MUST NOT stop or park on a Bus Stop Clearway within its hours of operation.

There are yellow lines opposite the station which you can use for dropping off. Picking up and dropping off is fine on yellow lines EVEN WHEN LOADING RESTRICTIONS APPLY.

The Highway Code is online here.

The council is aware that there are questions about Parking Services and as a result the Parking Services Specialist Scrutiny Panel has been set up to look at some of these. I am chairing it so I am learning a lot about parking right now.

There will be four meetings on:

  • Tuesday 11th September 2007
  • Thursday 15th November 2007
  • Thursday 10th January 2008
  • Wednesday 5th March 2008

All meetings are open to the public and will be held at 7pm at the Town Hall. Please note we will not be looking at the specifics of individual cases.

For more information follow this link.

75 replies on “Ealing Broadway station parking problems”

Hi Phil,

I have a similar problem like Malcolm except the car is mine. So has anything changed recently to allow Park Direct to make money from us?

Hi Phil,

Many thanks for your advise. I will stick to my guns not to pay it.
Krishna, when you see the Ealing Times’ article – “Drivers advised not to pay parking tickets” dated 1 Fed 2008 (from google search) then you will understand why I am not paying it. Hope its help.

Do you know if Park Direct have the authority to Clamp cars when parked outside your house for non payment of the ticket?

Don’t pay these cowboys – it’s about time that Ealing Council and trading standards had a word with the train company or Glenkirrin who apparantly own the land and explain why the feel they need to employ a company using these methods.

Surely it would be easy for each parking space to have a bollard and key to enable the owner of the bay to park and also put up a notice explaining that you CAN drop off on the yellow lines OUTSIDE the station – it’s obvious that people pull in the bays to drop people off because they don’t realise this

I would imagine these scum have taken thousands and thousands of pounds of ealing residents and the council hide behind the pitiful ‘it’s private land excuse’

Phil,
We live in Essex, my son visited Ealing Broadway station in the dark on Christmas Eve to drop someone off at the station. He pulled into what appears (from Park Direct’s own photographs) to be a marked parking bay. The car remained running, the passenger got out and my son drove away after about 10 seconds. Now on 17th March (3 months after the alleged ‘offence’! my son receives a demand for £150 for ‘illegal stopping or waiting’!!!!!
It cannot be right for a company to behave like this, these people are clearly scamming the public, how can the local Council still be taking no action when concerns have been being raised for years? If the Train Company aren’t helping the Council should play hard ball with them. It would also be nice to know if Park Direct comply with all relevant health and safety laws, wear appropriate marked insignia, pay VAT, National Insurance etc etc.

I’ve just been done for parking very briefly on Christmas Eve at 5pm to drop off my girlfriend.

Based on this page I don’t intend to pay the charge.

Is there any time limit on how long after the ‘contravention’ they are allowed to issue the ‘ticket’. If they did take me to court, how could they claim that £150 is a reasonable sum for the parking.

It seems a bit like the bank charges when they charged for unauthorised overdrafts in that the charge is totally disproportionate to the costs incurred by them. Also how can they claim that I have entered a contract if I haven’t even read their sign.

Furthermore… how can handheld cameras possibly be enforceable?!

Has anyone here not paid and had any follow up from them?

I was there on Sunday around 4:00 pm in front of Ealing Broadway tube station. I pulled over to one of the bays in front of the station for 10 second – two cars were parked there already. I soon as I saw the yellow sign I reverse back to get out of the parking. I did see a girl in jeans and white top taking photo of my car. I went around and parked my car in a meter and came to the station and saw the small white notice against each bay!!! It is warring!! I know I will get a ticket from them, I need advice in what to do. Many thanks.

I have also just received a Parking charge notcie from Park direct ordering me to pay a fine! Its strange because the alleged offence took place on the 21/12/08……Its now nearly April 2009!!!
The picture shows me pulling my car into one of those bays to drop somebody off, but its not until you drive in to the space, you see the sign! and then its to late! How are you supposed to know that you cannot park there until you’re in the space? I only pulled in there so I would not block anybody else coming through!
I’m not paying it! What can we do about this? I’m sick and tired of these companies making peoples lives more stressful and poor!!
Any more ideas and thoughts? Maybe we should follow them around with a camera all day and take pictures of them? And I wonder where they park THERE cars?? Maybe I will set up my own dodgy company and clamp them whilst they are taking pictures of me! As you can tell, I’m slightly angry…..ruined my weekend…..grrrhh…. But I’m still not paying it.

Hi all,

Parking at Ealing Broadway station is a NO GO!!!!! Ever since I received TWO fines in the post last year, I have been chasing explanations as to how and why it happened/happens.

The two fines I received were for waiting in a parking bay (engine on, never leaving the car) to pick someone up and then the very next day, dropping that same person off! I couldn’t believe it and was obviously mightily annoyed (like the rest of you!). Since this time, the issue has been on Watchdog on the BBC and they have changed the wording of the signs, basically so as they can nab anyone who even pulls in to a parking space.

Park Direct issue the fines through the use of parking inspectors, who use a hand-held camera to take a photo of the car/number plate. As previous posts have mentioned, the inspectors give you no warning and in fact as soon as you begin to pull in to a parking bay they are taking a photo. That’s what being paid commission does for you. There is a female inspector who is seemingly at EB station 24/7. What a life she must have.

Anyway, I’m going to take this matter up with First Great Western and if that doesn’t work then I’ll take it into my own hands. In fact I did that the other day, whilst waiting for my wife at EB station. I stood right behind every car that pulled in to the parking spaces, blocking the number plate and then told the driver that they needed to move asap, otherwise they would be fined. I found it quite amusing and gratifying, seeing the inspector (yes the same female one as usual) looked perplexed and angry that she couldn’t earn her ££ commission.

And finally, as the last post states, DON’T PAY YOUR FINES, as Park Direct have no rights BY LAW to issue such fines!

I believe that my bike was towed from Ealing Broadway using deception – After reading your articles I understand now that they can clamp you on arrival but I am not from the area and the signs are CLEARLY not CLEARLY VISIBLE.

I was asked to give someone some keys outside Ealing Broadway Train Station – I had the keys on an elastic band around my wrist ready to give to the person – as it was a 1 way system I saw a turning where Ealing train station was and turned off. As there were double yellow lines right outside the station and cars behind me waiting to drive past, I reversed parked into the car park area opposite. I could not see the person I had to give the keys to outside the station, although I followed the bus to Ealing Broadway and knew that it had reached there as I went into the one-way system, so I walked towards the bus stop thinking I sould see the person [with 2 children] and give them the key I did not see her and walked back, then I saw them back at the station. the whole process was about 3 minutes. I Gave the key then turned around and noticed there was a man taking a step back from my bike and the back wheel was clamped. I was where the pavement was opposite my bike with the person and 2 children. I explained that I just gave someone a key and was going now, and he said I should have told him earlier, and he would have told me to park on the yellow lines. I said that I didn’t even know he was there to clear it with him that I was just giving someone a key because other train stations don’t do that and he said it was a private parking company. He then told me that HE WOULD REMOVE THE CLAMP BUT HE HAD JUST CALLED IT IN AND IT WAS LOGGED WITH THE OFFICE, and that I had to pay £150 in half an hour to remove it or it would go up to £389 and get towed. I asked him many times if he could not see this was just a genuine misunderstanding as I couldn’t ride through people on the pavement to give someone a key, but he said again he had already radioed it in, and that he saw me walking towards the bus stop so he clamped me. His car was 3 parking spaces from mines and I said to him it was his job to inform me as he sits in the car park [It was obvious he watched and waited instead]. I SAID I HAD NO MONEY AND WAS UNEMPLOYED BUT HE SAID “DON’T SAY THAT BECAUSE IF I TELL THEM THAT OVER THE RADIO THEY WILL TOW YOUR BIKE AND PUT THE PRICE UP TO £389”. I SAID AGAIN I ACTUALLY WAS UNEMPLOYED AND HAD NO MONEY AT ALL SO WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO SAY, AND HE GAVE ME £4 TOWARDS GETTING HOME THEN TOLD ME TO TRY AND PHONE SOMEONE LOCAL FOR HELP. I SAID I WAS NOT FROM THE AREA AND DON’T KNOW ANYONE LOCAL. I SAID I DIDN’T KNOW ANYONE LOCAL AND HE SAID THAT AS I WAS NOT WORKING HE WOULD TRY AND SPEAK TO THEM TO HOLD THE PRICE AT £389 UNTIL I CAN COLLECT IT – DECEPTION: Whilst I was trying to figure out what I was going to do about the clamp with my friend [believing he had radioed it in] – I BELIEVE THAT AT THAT POINT HE CALLED IT IN – I SAW HIM ON THE RADIO LOOKING AT THE SAME PIECE OF PAPER WHICH HE THEN GAVE ME AS A RECEIPT OF CLAMPING.

For an enforcement company there was no reference or time and date of when my vehicle was taken, or name of the person taking my vehicle, JUST A PIECE OF PAPER WITH MY REG AS REFERENCE AND WRITING SIMILAR TO A PARKING TICKET – NO TIME AND DATE. I felt like it was being stolen by some con company. He pointed to a row of signs behind me that I did not see as I was looking for the person at the train station the whole time I arrived, plus I reverse parked. IF YOU ARE NOT PARKING TO STAY THEN YOU HAVE NO REASON TO READ PARKING SIGNS AND ENTER INTO ANY PARKING ARRANGEMENTS/AGREEMENTS. IF I WAS PARKING I WOULD HAVE LOOKED FOR A MOTORCYCLE PARK.

I noticed that although there were MANY signs – they were all in the same inconspicuous place where it is hard to see – other than this area there were NO OTHER SIGNS ANYWHERE to ensure that motorists and VISITORS can see the sign[S] CLEARLY. THIS IS NOT WHAT YOU CALL CLEAR ENFORCEMENT – THEY SHOULD ONLY HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE STRICTLY IF THE SIGNS ARE AS CLEAR AS DAYLIGHT/THE LAW.

I also told him that I reverse parked and that there were NO OTHER SIGNS, BUT HE STILL SAID i HAD KNOWINGLY ENTERED AN AGREEMENT FROM I PULLED UP. My and a few other people mum later offered to pay the £150 but I could not get the £150 because they had clamped my wheel and they would not accept card payment unless the person was there in person but I could not get the card due to the clamp – so mum asked for HEAD OFFICES NUMBER. THE MAN THEN KEPT ASKING ME IF I DIDN’T KNOW ANYONE LOCAL WHO COULD GET THERE IN HALF AN HOUR WITH £150.

MY MUM LATER CALLED ME AND TOLD ME THAT SHE TRIED TO PAY £150 AT THE HEAD OFFICE BUT THEY REFUSED TO ACCEPT IT AS THEY HAD ALREADY CALLED THE TOW TRUCK, AND WOULDN’T CANCEL IT [EVEN THOUGH IT HADN’T REACHED ME YET] AND ACCEPT THE PAYMENT. THEY HAD TOLD HER TO PAY £393 THEN THEY WOULD CANCEL THE TOW TRUCK AND UNCLAMP MY BIKE [BEFORE THE TOW TRUCK GOT THERE] AND ACCEPT THE £393 PAYMENT – SO SHE HAD REFUSED AND HUNG UP.

I later asked the clamper to radio his manager so that I could talk to him myself and explain that this was a misunderstanding and he radioed him. I SPOKE TO THE MANAGER OF THE FIRM WHO WAS RUDE TO ME, AND DID STRESS THAT HE WAS THE MOST SENIOR IN THE ORGANISATION BUT DID NOT GIVE ME A NAME. I EXPLAINED THAT I WAS NOT WORKING AND COULD NOT PAY THAT AMOUNT OF MONEY – ALSO THAT I JUST GAVE SOMEONE A KEY AND THAT I DID NOT GO SHOPPING OR ANYTHING, OR INTEND TO PARK AS I HAD A MOTORCYCLE, YET HE TOLD ME I HAD KNOWINGLY ENTERED INTO A CONTRACT – WHICH I DID NOT KNOWINGLY DO THAT. I SAID THAT I DID NOT LIVE IN THAT AREA, AND THAT MY MUM WAS WILLING TO PAY THE £150 BUT THEY WOULD NOT ACCEPT A CARD PAYMENT UNLESS IT WAS IN PERSON – AND THAT I COULD NOT GET THE CARD BECAUSE THEY HAD CLAMPED MY BIKE. HE THEN SAID HOW HE HAD SPOKEN TO MY MOTHER IN A SLIGHTY MENACING TONE OF VOICE AS IF SOME KIND OF ARGUMENT HAD ENSUED BETWEEN HIM AND MY MUM THAT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH ME – YET DID.

THE TOW TRUCK ARRIVED AS I WAS SPEAKING TO THE MANAGER AND HE MENTIONED THAT IT HAD ARRIVED WHICH ALSO MEANT THAT HE HAD LIVE ACCESS TO THE CCTV CAMERAS, AND TOLD ME TO PAY NOW OR MY VEHICLE WAS GOING TO BE TAKEN FROM ME. AND THAT £35 WOULD BE ADDED EVERY DAY UNTIL I COLLECT IT – AND THAT I WOULD EVENTUALLY GO TO COURT IF I DIDN’T. I WAS ALSO TOLD THAT MY BIKE WAS BEING TAKEN FROM EALING TO UXBRIGE FOR COLLECTION. IT WAS LIKE BEING THREATENED IN A MOVIE BECAUSE THE PERSON WAS CLEARLY WATCHING ME ON A CAMERA WHILE TALKING IN THE MOST AWKWARD MANNER.

My bike has now been towed. I DID NOT GET ANY OTHER PAPER ONCE IT WAS TOWED WITH A FINAL FIGURE ON IT. THE PAPER I HAD SAID THE FINE WAS £150 + £150+vat ONCE TOWED. THE MAN ON THE PHONE SAID £393 – WHICH I BELIEVE MAY ALSO INCLUDE THE £4 THE CLAMPER GAVE ME TO GET HOME. and I must pay £393 to get it back [+35 every day] – I need to see if the CLAMPER radioed in before I returned to him before I take legal Action about this incident – I don’t think he did and I think the company was working together to ensure I received the full fine, which is inhumane especially in this recession period. A clamping company is acting illegal if they are lying to people for FINANCIAL PROFIT, and taking peoples vehicles through deceipt. Also I need to seek help regarding this as I am unemployed and may never see my vehicle again, so I may also need seek legal assistance. This has to be against Human Rights.

I realise now that they clamp your vehicle immediately to STOP you leaving the area – I was in Ealing Broadway for almost 2 HOURS trying to do everything to get my bike bike from minutes after getting off it. If they don’t want people to park in the space so that private parkers can park there then WHY WAS THE CAR PARK EMPTY – WHY WERE THE CONES ON THE YELLOW LINES INSTEAD WHERE THEY SAY PEOPLE CAN PARK – WHY DO THEY CLAMP THE VEHICLES THEREE SO THAT WHOMEVER SHOULD PARK THERE LEGALLY CANNOT PARK BECAUSE CARS ARE CLAMPED THERE? – WHY OUT OF ALL THE TRAIN STATIONS IN LONDON DOES EALING NOT HAVE SOME KIND OF MEANS FOR PEOPLE BEING PICKED UP AND DROPPED OF OR MEETING SOMEONE TO COLLECT SOMETHING AND SAY A QUICK HI AND BYE? – WHY WAS SOMEONE ALLOWED TO BUY THE CAR PARK AND USE IT TO CON BOTH COMMUTERS AND MOTORISTS ALIKE. – BOTH MY FRIEND AND HER CHILDREN THINK IT WAS THEIR FAULT THAT I NOW HAVE LOST MY BIKE WITH A HEFTY FINE – AND IF YOU SAW THE CHILD’S FACE YOU WOULD HAVE KNOWN IT WAS WRONG FOR THE WORLD [OR EALING TRAIN STATION] TO BE LIKE THIS. SOMETHING REALLY IS NOT RIGHT A LOCAL MP NEEDS TO DO SOMETHING IMMEDIATELY – NOT ABOUT MY PERSONAL CASE – PARK DIRECT WEBSITE SAYS IT HAS DOUBLE THE LEGAL REQUIREMENT OF SIGNS – BUT THEY ARE ALL IN A ROW IN THE SAME INCONSPICUOUS PLACE – I WOULD HAVE CRASHED INTO THE WALL TRYING TO READ THOSE SIGNS. – THEY SHOULD AT LEAST MAKE THEM PAY BACK EVERY UNFAIR CLAMPIN FINE AND PUT THE SIGNS CLEARLY IF THEY REALLY DON’T WANT PEOPLE TO PARK THERE. AND BY LAW MAKE THE PERSON THAT SITS THERE APPROACH THE DRIVERS – THAT IS CALLED ENFORCEMENT – IF THE DRIVER DOES NOT LISTEN THEY WILL HAVE CLEAR CCTV EVIDENCE THAT THE DRIVER IS AN OFFENDER. THEY SHOULD USE THEE CCTV TO PROVE WHETHER A PERSON READ THE SIGNS AND ENTERED THE CONTRACT BY READING IT….

I used to live as a student nearby Ealing broadway Station .And I can’t believe that in LONDON the most important city in the world there is no elevator or ramps for deficient people from the street to the most stations trains or underground plataforms!!!!
How to get the plataforms trains to Heatrow Express with BAGS!!!?????ONLY STEPS NO RAMPS!!!

I have just received the usual photos of my car at Ealing Broadway where my wife dropped our son off, taking literally seconds, back in December 09. It has taken them 3 months to contact me and they are asking for £150 reduced to £75 if I pay within 14 days (and it was sent 7 days ago). I have checked with Great Western and they tell me Park Direct are the bone fide operators there. I am not happy.

Re: Parking at Ealing Broadway Station
I have received a Parking Charge Notice served on 15/11/2010 for an alleged contravention on 28/08/10 – £150 reduced to £75 if paid in 14 days. I did stop in the bay but remained in the vehicle. My aged relative was travelling by train and my sister carried her suitcase across the road and into the station entrance.
I have read the forums but they are for 2007 – 2009 and may not still be relevant.
Is the advice still to ignore and not pay the charge?
Are Park Direct the official appointed agents for Network Rail (the owners?)
Where can one stop to safely drop off passengers travelling from/to Ealing Broadway?

Mr O’Dell,

I think if you read some of the answers from me on this thread it will be pretty clear what you can and can’t do.

You can ignore letters from Park Direct. It really is a paper tiger. I have never heard of anyone being proceeded against by Park Direct, because they would lose. You will get some debt collection letters but they are nonsense.

You can pick up and drop off on single and double yellow lines even where there are loading restictions.

You can’t pick up and drop off on bus stops, zig-zags or laoding bays unless you want to get a PCN (which you should not ignore).

Park Direct are allowed to do what they do by the small businesses that own the parking places.

Phil, refering to the link you gave just a couple of posts above this one: That article is long out of date, and even when it was in date it was out of date a month later.
That article is from 1 feb 2008 yet just one month later there was anothe article in the same newspaper where Ealing Council Commended Park Direct:
http://www.ealingtimes.co.uk/news/localnews/2100067.Clamping_down_on_clampers/
The signs at Ealing broadway are totally in your face, each parking bay has at least 2 signs, there’s a yellow sign at the entrance and two large yellow signs clearly stating No parking, stopping, waiting, dropping off etc.
No one can use the excuse that they did not see the signs, because there are so many of them and they are there to be seen.

Hi, my father who is 83 has received a similar PCN yesterday (15/11/11) as he is the registered keeper of the vehicle in the claimed offence dtd 3rd September 2011. He was not the driver at the time and I had actually borrowed his car that afternoon and stopped outside EB station for a few minutes to say hi to some friends that were passing through Ealing. I stayed next to the car for a few minutes and did not look for any signs displayed as I was leaving in a few minutes from arriving and actually thought since I was not on the double yellow lines outside the station then I have no problem. Although the sign is visible in the PCN pictures received I simply did not look as \i did not think I was doing anything wrong !! I do not even own a car in the UK, I only work in London and live in France since about 10 years and I commute almost weekly over to the UK. Parking Direct took two pictures (a) appears to be whilst I was shutting the driver’s door & bit later (b) whislt I was standing behind the car chatting to my friends. I parked in the empty bay amongst many that were empty that late Saturday afternoon as seen in the pictures taken, to avoid parking on the double yellow lines by the pavement and to avoid blocking the road outside the station. I never saw any attendent either, they must have taken the pictures within seconds of me arriving and they must have seen me leave a few minutes later. I find it very frustrating that they can just do what they are doing, I always try not to block roads or park badly an I stick to the rules as far as I am concerned. I have read many of the above and other messages and it seems that Parking Direct Ltd is indeed running a big scam here. What should I be doing here please ? I am tempted to fight it as I think it is a gross injustice but I do not want to be drawn into a long battle with these people !!! It is very unfair what they do to everyone, they must be raking it in !!! sincerely Farid.

This evening my girlfriend got clamped and had to pay £125 release fee. The same tactics of threatening a tow truck were used when she protested as she got out of her car for 45 secs. When I arrived at the station I took pics of the ‘parking enforcement vehicle’ including the TAX DISC WHICH WAS OUT OF DATE. I subsequently reported this to the DVLA and hope they get their comeuppance. Any advice from anyone on this thread would be really appreciated as to what I can do if anything to get a refund from these rogue traders, unlikely I know. The irony is painful that these idiots can go around clamping cars and extorting money from people when they don’t even have road tax.

Hi fellow park direct sufferers… I was mug parked up for 60secs pick up friend not knowing i was being photographed … Right question is “shall i pay or not ” off course i dont want to
Pay but whAt are the consequences of not paying will they pursue a case where i didnt break law of country through courts ??? Help please has anyone not paid whT happened thereafter .. Thats what i want know

Hi all, I experienced a similar situation where I dropped someone off at eb station for a few seconds back in 2012 and again within two months and received both fines together over 3 months later.

(Obviously, if id received it first time round id never had done it again!). Anyway I followed the advice I found on the forum and ignored the letters as it is not an official pcn. This was back in oct and dec 2012. I didn’t hear anything for months and then just the other day have received a debt collection notice from zenith offering a reduced settlement fee before avoiding necessity of going to court!

Has anyone else had ongoing letters or come this far? I plan to stick to my guns unless aanyone advises me against doing so.

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