Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government
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Boost for drivers as government backs single appeals service

The government backs a ‘one-stop shop’ for motorists to appeal private parking fines.

  • Parking Bill now heads to the House of Lords
  • The Bill now includes amendment to create ‘one-stop shop’ for motorists to appeal private parking fines
  • New code of practice will also be developed to tackle rogue private parking firms

Thousands of drivers are set to benefit after the government backed a ‘one-stop shop’ for appeals for private parking fines recently (23 November 2018).

The Parking (Code of Practice) Bill, which will deliver on a manifesto commitment to tackle rogue parking operators, received backing of the House of Commons. It will make it easier for drivers to challenge unfair tickets from rogue private parking firms.

Drivers are increasingly complaining of inconsistent practices, substandard signage, confusing appeal processes and intimidating payment letters.

A new single, independent appeals service will mean drivers handed unfair tickets from private parking operators will have the clarity and confidence in knowing where to turn to appeal. These changes will tackle bad practice, bringing consistency and fairness for drivers and the industry.

Local Government Minister, Rishi Sunak MP, recently 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.

Industry bodies also gave support for the amendment to create a single appeals service.

Steve Gooding, Director of the RAC Foundation, recently said:

We particularly welcome the proposal for a single, independent appeals service, which, together with a single, clear code of practice should establish a better, clearer framework and a level playing field that is fairer for all.

Andrew Pester, the British Parking Association’s Chief Executive, recently said:

We welcome Sir Greg Knight’s amendments which chime with our call for a single standard body, single code of practice and a single independent appeals service.

This framework provides a unique opportunity to deliver greater consistency and consumer confidence – and as a not-for-profit association we are focused on working closely with government and others, including consumer groups, to push for a positive outcome for all.

A stringent new Code of Practice will also be developed by the Secretary of State Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP in conjunction with motorists’ groups and other experts.

These measures build on action the government has already taken to tackle rogue private parking operators, including banning wheel clamping and towing, and over-zealous parking enforcement by councils and parking wardens.

Further information

The Parking (Code of Practice) Bill 2017-19 was passed by MPs at its Third Reading in the House of Commons and will now enter the House of Lords.

The Parking Bill will cover England, Wales, and Scotland – creating consistency for motorists anywhere in Britain.

The Parking (Code of Practice) Bill is a Private Members Bill introduced by Sir Greg Knight MP.

The new Code of Practice will be drafted up with stakeholders, and would provide the clarity of a single set of rules for private parking, with clearer processes for appeals.

The Secretary of State would also have the power to raise a levy on the sector to fund the production, publishing and enforcement of the code.

An amendment expanded the existing levy under the Bill described above to cover the costs of appointing and maintaining a single appeals service.

At present, there are 2 parking trade associations, the British Parking Association (BPA) and the International Parking Community (IPC). Each has a Code of Practice that their members are required to abide by. A single code is intended to set a higher standard for practices across the sector, especially in the area of appeals against parking tickets.

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