Driffield NewsEast Yorkshire News

New rules to protect motorists from ‘cowboy’ parking firms

Driffield’s MP says motorists are set to benefit from a major crackdown on rogue parking firms which will see fines slashed and a clearer and fairer appeals system created.

A new package of measures just announced will protect drivers from unfair and extortionate charges, with a new code of practice to ensure cowboy private parking firms operate reasonably.

The government’s new Parking Code of Practice, introduced under the provisions of Sir Greg Knight’s Parking (Code of Practice) Act, will see parking fines cut by up to 50 per cent in the majority of cases, saving motorists millions of pounds each year.

Many dodgy operators are still engaging in unacceptable practices whilst using a threatening and intimidating process to fleece motorists.

Sir greg knight mp

The proposals include a maximum cap for parking fines, a 10-minute grace period before a late fine can be issued, and a requirement for parking firms to clearly display pricing and terms and conditions.

In England outside of London and in Wales, charges will be reduced from £100 to £70 or £50, depending on the seriousness of the breach.

Sir Greg said that currently, private parking firms are able to hide behind ‘non-specific, pseudo-legal and aggressive language’ when pursuing motorists.

Rogue firms which break these rules could be barred from requesting Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) data, making them unable to pursue motorists for their charges.

A new, simpler appeals process is also being created, to make it easier for disputed fines to be cancelled.
The new rules are authorized to be brought in under Private Members Bill legislation successfully taken through Parliament by Sir Greg.

He said “Some car park providers are honest and fair but many unscrupulous rogues have undermined the sector with bad practice. I warmly welcome the government’s action in implementing a crackdown authorised by my Act of Parliament, which will prevent motorists being unjustly treated in future and will make parking a vehicle a fairer experience for all.”

“This action is needed because many dodgy operators are still engaging in unacceptable practices whilst using a threatening and intimidating process to fleece motorists.”

Minister for Levelling Up, Neil O‘Brien MP said: “Private firms issue roughly 22,000 parking tickets every day, often adopting a system of misleading and confusing signage, aggressive debt collection and unreasonable fees designed to extort money from motorists.

“The new Code Of Practice will set out a clear vision with the interests of safe motorists at its heart, while cracking down on the worst offenders who put other people in danger and hinder our emergency services from carrying out their duties.”

Under the changes, motorists could be able to appeal their fine and see it cancelled entirely if they have a mitigating reason for overstaying, such as their vehicle breaking down, if they have made a genuine innocent error, like keying in a digit in their number plate incorrectly, or if they have a valid ticket, permit or Blue Badge but failed to display it correctly.

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