Watch as MP blasts 'unfair and bullying' car park tactics in TorbayKevin Foster parking debate
Torbay MP Kevin Foster today launched a broadside at the private companies running two of the bay's busiest car parks. He said the companies behind the Crossways multi-storey in Paignton and the Marina Car Park in Torquay had prompted complaints about 'unfair and bullying' tactics.
Speaking during a debate in the House of Commons, he said that in the last nine months in particular, he had been 'inundated' with complaints from drivers using the two car parks, the Crossways location run (below) by Premier Parking Solutions and the Marina by Premier Park Ltd.He had told them both beforehand that he was naming them in the House under Parliamentary Privilege.
Mr Foster used the debate to highlight the lack of regulation in the sector, which was described by another MP during the debate as a 'cowboy industry'. He also pointed to poor working practices, including repeated complaints that faulty car park machinery led to motorists who do the right thing subsequently finding themselves hit with steep fines.
The Torbay MP asked Transport Minister Andrew Jones to look at new regulations, particularly looking at the way private car park companies such as those running the two Torbay car parks are allowed to access DVLA records to obtain drivers' personal details, and in turn demand money from them.
He said: "This in turn frightens and alarms people, particularly when the Penalty Charge Notices issued by the private car parking firms are deliberately designed to closely resemble those issued by the police and local authorities."
Following Mr Foster's speech, other MPs from Somerset, Cornwall and Devon shared similar experiences, including Totnes MP Dr Sarah Wollaston.
Mr Foster went on: "Local motorists and much valued visitors to Torbay are complaining about unfair and bullying tactics in these car parks.
"Premier Parking Solutions and Premier Park have been too slow to respond, and when they have, their responses have not been adequate."
Further meetings are now planned between the Torbay MP, related trade bodies and Government departments. He said he would be seeking urgent new guidance and regulation of the private parking sector.
He added: "Nobody is arguing that motorists deliberately abusing private car parks should not face penalties, but these companies should not be allowed to profit from innocent car users' trivial and often very minor mistakes, particularly when their own equipment is so often faulty."
Both parking companies have been approached for comment.http://www.devonlive.com/mp-blasts-unfair-and-bullying-car-park-firms-in-torbay/story-30217951-detail/story.html