New appeal service for private car parks

Car clamp
9 Aug, 2012 6:23pm Jon Morgan

Scheme will offer similar arbitration service to council-run car parks

Motorists slapped with fines while parked in private car parks will soon be able to appeal to an independent tribunal.

The Parking on Private Land Appeals scheme, launched by the British Parking Association (BPA), will become active on 1 October 2012, and will provide an appeals service similar to the one received by motorists who are given fines by local councils. It will coincide with the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 that will ban clamping and the removal of vehicles parked on private land.

Currently, those given tickets while parked on private car parks – e.g. at airports, train stations, shopping centres, hospitals or multi-storey car parks – are only able to appeal to the enforcement firm. If that fails, they are forced to either pay the fine or pursue the company through the courts.

The new scheme will allow them to present their case to an independent adjudicator, whose decision will be legally binding on the enforcement firm.

Only firms that are members of the BPA’s Approved Operator Scheme will be subject to the new tribunal service, but the AA is cautiously optimistic about the scheme.

AA head of public affairs Paul Watters said: "This is something we’ve been calling for for years. And it is certainly something that motorists need, but we need it to be done right.

"We’re seeing around two million tickets from private parking firms a year – and motorists often feel they’re being scammed. We need an independent appeals service that is fair and transparent and that can take action against the operators that take liberties with motorists.

"We just need to make sure its remit is broad enough that it actually has teeth."

According to Watters, the most common cause of complaints with private parking fines is over inadequate signage. Unlike council car parks, there are no regulations governing how much and how clear signage in private car parks needs to be.

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I thought tickets and fines from private car parks are unenforceable. Certainly that is often the advice given - just ignore them.

you're correct enfant - ignore them is the best advice. they cant pursue. i've tried this and it actually works. You'll be amazed how lazy these ppl. After writing twice they usually just give up.

These are not FINES, they are invoices

This article is a shambolic 'guess' at how the system works and what might happen - and guess what - he's guessed wrong - shockingly bad journalism

A shocking re-hash of a BPA press release. Firstly the constant use of the word "fines" - only the police and councils can issue fines. The phrase should be "unenforceable invoices". Secondly if the "appeal" fails the choices are not to pay or take the company to court. The choices are to pay or ignore them. Only a fool would pay. Strange, I thought the press in this country were meant to be independent not assisting the BPA and PPCs from ripping people off.

~A shocking re-hash of a BPA press release. Firstly the constant use of
the word "fines" - only the police and councils can issue fines. The
phrase should be "unenforceable invoices". Secondly if the "appeal"
fails the choices are not to pay or take the company to court. The
choices are to pay or ignore them. Only a fool would pay. Strange, I
thought the press in this country were meant to be independent not
assisting the BPA and PPCs from ripping people off.~ WELL SAID

These companies are nothing more than scammers. I regularly ignore their fake 'tickets' and the follow up letters that are full of illegal rubbish.

After a few failed attempts to scam money from me they soon realize that I know their 'fines' are not legal and so they move onto their next victim.

I've taken the advice given in the forum area of the MoneySavingExpert web site and have beaten these bullies every time.

What a shame this article seems to have been written with no more research that reading a press release from the BPA (British Parking Association) which, despite its name, is nothing more than a club for these scammers to try and give impression of being a legit business.

AEX 1,339
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