A SAVVY blogger is helping motorists put the brakes on a car parking firm accused of unfairly penalising drivers.
Going by the name of the Parking Prankster, the revved-up rebel is taking on Parking Eye, a company which manages the Fistral beach and Watergate Bay beach car parks in Newquay.
He claims parking charges dished out by the firm have no basis in law as it is not made clear that drivers are entering into a contract when they stay at the pay and display car parks.
"Many people are fooled into thinking these charges are legitimate, like council parking charges," he said.
"In fact the law is clear that if you fail to pay then you can only be charged an amount which puts the car park owner back in the position they were in before. A profit cannot be made, so charges of £100 or more are outrageous."
Despite having no formal legal training, the Parking Prankster has successfully helped bring victory to a number of road users across the country who have taken Parking Eye to court.
In some of the cases the judges ruled that charges were invalid as signage at the car parks was inadequate.
The company was also told that without a relevant contract it could not issue parking charges on private property it did not own.
"There have been many, many complaints about Fistral Beach. Its signage is not compliant and creates entrapment zones, especially for holidaymakers using the car park coming to view the surf in the evening," said the Parking Prankster.
"It is a huge revenue earner for the car park company, and yet they do nothing to improve the signage to prevent problems.
"By helping to get refunds for this car park I hope to encourage the landowner to improve signage and to set the charges to a reasonable level," he added.
Newquay Town Council said it received up to 20 complaints a week about the company during the summer.
Town Clerk Andy Curtis said: "We get a hell of a lot of complaints about them."
A spokesperson for Parking Eye said the company was unable to investigate unspecific claims.
"Parking Eye is fully compliant with British Parking Association requirements, and there are 24 large, straightforward signs in the Fistral beach car park spelling out the charges," she said.
The Parking Prankster has written a guide to fighting Parking Eye in court, which is Amazon's best-selling publication in the administrative law category for Kindle.
To find out more about the free help on offer, visit: http://parking-prankster.blogspot.co.uk/