Crackdown on rogue car parking firms signalled by Government
A crackdown on rogue private car parking firms is being outlined by the Government.
The move is aimed at tackling “aggressive tactics” used by some operators.
The initiative, which is being put out for public consultation, includes a new appeals charter aimed at eliminating fines for motorists who make genuine errors or have mitigating circumstances.
Other measures would see the introduction of a maximum cap for parking fines, a 10-minute grace period before a late levy can be issued and a requirement for parking firms to clearly display pricing and terms and conditions.
A tiered system would also be brought in to differentiate between major and minor offences, and maximum fines for serious offences would be increased.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said new rules for private car parks would eliminate unfair tariffs, and be a boost to motorists across England, Scotland and Wales.
“These new measures are a victory for the millions of motorists across the country,” he said.
“They 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.
“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.”
The moves would form part of a new parking code of practice and framework.
Among the proposals would be the creation of a single appeals service and appeals charter for motorists to use if they feel they have been unfairly fined.
Under options set out in the charter, motorists could be able to appeal against their fine and see it reduced to a maximum of £20, or cancelled entirely if they have a mitigating reason for overstaying their parking ticket, such as their vehicle breaking down; they have made a genuine innocent error, like keying in a digit in their number plate incorrectly; or have a valid ticket, permit or blue badge but failed to display it correctly.
The initiative also proposes a new, tiered approach to parking fines with a cap for less serious offences of between £40 and £80, depending on the parking charge system chosen – but both lower than the current £100 cap.
Drivers who wrongly park in disabled or ambulance bays would face an increased levy of £120.
The new system would be mandatory, unlike existing voluntary ones currently set by the industry.
The consultation process will run until mid-October, the Communities Department said.