The government is clamping down on private parking firms with a new code of practice designed to protect drivers and prevent malpractice…
A Clampdown On Parking Firms
The government is introducing a new code of conduct for private parking firms. It’s designed to protect motorists from unscrupulous companies and unfair treatment. In effect, it’ll force firms to…
1) Issue tiered fines, capped between £40 and £80 depending on the seriousness of the offence. Originally, the maximum was £100.
2) A 10-minute grace period will make it illegal to issue tickets immediately after a parking session has ended.
3) Parking companies will need to clearly display their terms and conditions, without resorting to “pseudo-legal language”.
4) Firms will be able to offer £120 fines to non-Blue Badge holders who park in disabled bays.
In addition to these measures, a new appeals system is being introduced. It’ll allow drivers to reduce their fines to £20 (or eliminate them altogether) if a number plate was entered incorrectly, their car broke down or if a ticket or badge hadn’t been displayed correctly. Finally, drivers will be given a 5-minute ‘cooling off’ period if they enter a car park and change their mind. The new code of practice is mandatory for all private parking firms. Companies in breach of it would be banned from requesting motorists’ details from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)
A ‘Victory For Motorists’
Robert Jenrick, Communities Secretary, was jubilant about the new code of practice. He said it represented “a victory for the millions of motorists” that will “put a stop once and for all to rogue parking firms using aggressive tactics and handing out unfair parking tickets with no right to appeal, while also boosting our high streets by making it easier for people to park near their local shops without being unfairly fined”. He added, “our proposals will restore common sense to the way parking fines are issued, while cracking down on the worst offenders who put other people in danger and hinder our emergency services from carrying out their duties”.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, also welcomed the changes. He called it “a major milestone”, explaining “it is clearly important that we get the code of practice, and the framework within which it will sit, right, so I would encourage everyone with an interest to respond with their views”.
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