Motorists across Britain will have greater protections against bogus parking fines as new measures to clamp down on rogue private parking firms become law.
Sir Greg Knight’s Parking (Code of Practice) Bill, which has received Royal Assent today, will bring in greater regulation of the private parking industry. Drivers will be able to more easily challenge unfair parking tickets through a new independent appeals service, and all private parking operators will also have to follow a new industry backed Code of Practice.
A new single Code of Practice will ensure parking is consistent, transparent and easier to understand. If private parking firms break it then they could be barred from asking for motorists’ information from the DVLA to enforce tickets. The new independent appeals service will also give drivers greater support to challenge unjustified parking tickets.
Local Government Minister Rishi Sunak MP said, “Millions of us use private car parks every day, but for far too many drivers slapped with unjust fines this largely unregulated industry feels like the Wild West.
“Too often, I hear of awful treatment at the hands of dodgy parking firms, from problems paying for parking to intimidating demands for payment and baffling appeals processes.”
Stakeholders have welcomed the news, Steve Gooding, Director of the RAC Foundation, said, “Sir Greg is to be congratulated for his success in uniting MPs and peers alike to deliver the Parking (Code of Practice) Act the private parking industry so clearly needs.
” The Act will tackle an issue which our figures show affects millions of motorists each year. We look forward to supporting the Local Government Minister Rishi Sunak as he now moves to put in place the code of practice, appeals and scrutiny mechanisms that the Act provides.”
Andrew Pester, the British Parking Association’s Chief Executive, went on, ” We are delighted that Sir Greg Knight’s Bill has achieved Royal Assent which will deliver our call for a single standard setting body, single code of practice and a single independent appeals service. This framework will enable greater consistency and consumer confidence. As a not-for-profit association we will continue to work closely with government and others, including consumer groups, to help develop a single Code of Practice that provides a fair outcome for motorists, landowners and parking operators alike.”
Nicholas Lyes, the Head of Roads Policy at the RAC, concluded, “Motorists will warmly welcome this new Act. For too long, some unscrupulous private parking operators have made drivers’ lives a misery with some questionable practices which has sent levels of trust in the sector plummeting.
“The code will create more consistent standards across the board which should eliminate dubious practices and create a single, independent appeals process. The RAC has long called for changes to the way the private parking sector is regulated and this new code will undoubtedly make the lives of drivers easier.
“The Act builds on action the government has already taken to tackle rogue private parking firms, including banning wheel clamping and towing and stopping over-zealous parking enforcement by councils and parking wardens.”