Car Parks To Play Fair?

Tue 19th Apr 2022

New legislation on private car parking firms is expected to fall in favour of British motorists, but not everyone is happy with the changes.

The code of conduct has been agreed by the country’s biggest two parking operators, the British Parking Association (BPA) and the International Parking Community, who between them represent more than 200 parking firms. The aim is to clear up the laws on how car park operators work and make the appeals process more transparent. The code will also introduce lower fines, agreed grace periods, and a more streamlined appeals process.

The code was introduced in February of this year, and all operators will have to adhere to it by the end of next year.

The new rules have been a long time coming according to motoring organisation the RAC, who say: “Since clamping was banned on private land, there has been a shift to ticketing instead, with the number of parking charge notices being issued rising year on year at alarming levels.

“While some of these are justified, others are not, and sadly in many cases drivers simply pay up in fear of the consequences, particularly given that follow-up letters can use threatening and intimidating language.”

New rules for everyone, but even though the BPA and the IPC have agreed to the changes, there is still some gripes, with Steve Clark from the BPA arguing that consumers may lose out, particularly if debt collectors are no longer involved.

“We want to avoid the type of chaos seen at many seaside towns and beauty spots when lockdown eased last summer,” Clark said. “Already eight million motorists are breaking the rules, which are for everyone’s benefit. Our research shows that reducing the deterrent level could see as many as 13 million parking charges issued as more people take the risk of ignoring them.

“Recovery firms are licensed credit brokers that can help people pay their fine in instalments. Now motorists will simply get a letter telling them they must appear in court in five weeks’ time.”