There is a long standing rule of law that the courts will not enforce unconscionable charges but when will that rule be applied? That is the principal interest in this case. The Court of Appeal considered that whether a charge is justifiable is not simply a matter of
what can be justified commercially but whether the charge is justified by a combination of factors including social factors. In this instance, the charge was upheld. The court said (para 30) - 'There are obvious benefits to both consumers and retail businesses in having free or cheap car parking available close to the shops for limited periods. That can be achieved only if there is some mechanism for ensuring that in most cases those who make use of the facilities do not abuse them by overstaying. That would not be achieved by a scale of charges graduated by reference to the length of the overstay unless they were sufficient to act as a deterrent. Moreover, the amount of the charge, however, calculated, would have to be large enough to justify collection.'
Please read Graham Green's article in Law Society Gazette 8th June 2015.
Update: - the case will be heard by the Supreme Court of the UK on 21st July. I am grateful to BMPA EU for this information.
@ObiterJ Permission granted. Funds raised. QC appointed and date now set for 21st July. Joined with UKSC 2013/0280 - Cavendish v Makdessi— BMPA Association (@BMPA_EU) June 10, 2015
See also UK Supreme Court - Parking Penalty Charge Appeal