I share your concern about this issue as I know that unfair parking charges can be a cause of real frustration and a significant cost for many people. Data from the Citizens Advice Bureau has shown that 10,000 people sought advice about a private parking ticket last year and I agree it is time to bring forward justice for motorists.
I know that parking charge notices issued by private companies are often designed to look like penalty charge notices – which are issued by local authorities – in an attempt to blur the rules between public and private car parks. I also understand that many people feel intimidated into paying unfair charges and I believe the indiscriminate and excessive enforcement used by some private parking companies is a real problem.
As you may be aware, a Private Member’s Bill has been introduced on this issue. It sets out plans to create a higher standard for parking across the sector by creating a single code of practice for parking operators. The code is expected to include obligations for private carpark operators to have clear signage and accessible displays of terms and conditions. The Bill also states that parking operators that fail to comply with the code of conduct will be blocked from accessing driver data and issuing fines, effectively forcing them out of the industry.
The Bill passed its third reading in the House of Commons on the 23 November 2018, I was there and proud to support it, had its second reading in the House of Lords on the 18 January 2019 and is at Committee Stage. The Bill has already received support from the Government, the Opposition, the RAC and the British Parking Association.
It is vital that this code of practice outlaws dodgy practices in the industry and I can assure you I will continue to support this Bill.