Appealing against private parking fines will be easier

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The Parking (Code of Practice) Bill has been amended in order to make it easier for motorists to appeal against unjust or unfair tickets and fines from rogue private parking firms.

The idea of a “one-stop shop” appeals service was introduced as an amendment to the Bill following complaints from drivers about inconsistent practices, substandard signage, confusing appeal processes and intimidating payment letters.

The Bill has now passed through the House of Commons and has moved to the House of Lords.

Intended to meet a Conservative manifesto commitment about tackling rogue parking operators, the Private Members Bill was introduced by Sir Greg Knight MP and will cover England, Wales and Scotland. Once it becomes a law, a new Code of Practice will be drafted with stakeholders which should provide a single set of rules for private parking.

The Bill has also been amended to give the Secretary of State not only the power to raise a levy on the sector to fund the production, publishing and enforcement of the code but in addition to cover the costs of appointing and maintaining a single appeals service.

The single Code of Practice is intended to replace the separate codes currently run by the British Parking Association (BPA) and the International Parking Community (IPC). It will set higher standards for practices across the sector, especially in the area of appeals against parking tickets.

Referring to the amendments, Local Government Minister, Rishi Sunak MP, said:

“Millions of drivers use private car parks every day, and far too many of them are receiving unjust fines at the hands of rogue firms.

“We need a fairer, clearer and more consistent system that puts the brake on the unfair practices being experienced by too many drivers.

“I am delighted that MPs have unanimously backed these changes and that the Government is on track to create a better system for our nation’s motorists.”

Motorists groups and industry bodies such as the RAC and the BPA welcomed the amendment and will be involved in drafting the new code.

Last reviewed 6 December 2018

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