Author Topic: Scottish Government to clamp down on private parking firms  (Read 915 times)

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Offline Web Admin

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Scottish Government to clamp down on private parking firms
« on: 29 August, 2017, 01:18:56 PM »
Scottish Government to clamp down on private parking firms



A catalogue of complaints about a controversial car park could help shape legislation to curb rogue parking firms.

Smart Parking has been at the centre of controversy after taking over operations at the Kinnoull Street multi-storey car park, installing a high-tech ticketing process in early 2015.

Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf, has now indicated the Scottish Government is looking to bring forward new controls on the sector including proposals to create a unified code of practice and a fully independent appeals service.

Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP Murdo Fraser, who has long campaigned against Smart Parking, is also currently in the process of drafting a members bill in the Scottish Parliament, aimed at capping fines, creating an independent appeals service as well as a single code of practice, and says local experience has helped put the issue on the table.

He said: “The pressure from my own private members bill, and the experience of my constituents in Perth, has undoubtedly had a positive impact in getting the Scottish Government to act and I believe some of the proposals in my draft consultation are being explored by the Government.

“I look forward to engaging with Scottish Ministers and colleagues down south whilst using public feedback from my own bill to guide any legislation.

“Ultimately, the end goal is to create a level playing field and fairer conditions for motorists and I hope this two-pronged approach will allow this to happen.”

Meanwhile Sir Greg Knight MP is also planning on introducing a separate private members bill at Westminster, which is being backed by local MP Pete Wishart.

He said: “It is really welcome news that the Scottish Government are taking action on private parking firms. The people of Perthshire will be all too aware of the problems we have had with Smart Parking and these plans will go some way to address the issues.

“I am very pleased to hear that an independent appeals body is one of the ideas being considered. For too long now motorists have had to rely on the parking firms themselves deciding to cancel a fine or not.

“I am currently co-sponsoring a private members bill on private parking operators with Sir Greg Knight MP in the Westminster Parliament and look forward to working constructively with the Scottish Government to ensure there is some joined up thinking to our approach on tackling the many issues at play.”

Smart Parking did not respond to a request for comment.

https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/local/perth-kinross/499430/scottish-government-to-clamp-down-on-private-parking-firms/

Offline DastardlyDick

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Re: Scottish Government to clamp down on private parking firms
« Reply #1 on: 29 August, 2017, 06:15:27 PM »
If the Scottish Government does this (and it works) maybe Parliament could introduce it for the rest of the UK.

Offline The Bald Eagle

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Re: Scottish Government to clamp down on private parking firms
« Reply #2 on: 30 August, 2017, 10:32:28 AM »
A bit like this you mean?   ;)

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Crackdown on rogue parking firms who rip-off motorists


It comes as the number of motorists handed tickets of up to £100 by private parking companies has soared by almost two thirds in a year to 1.74 million

Rogue parking firms could be banned from hitting drivers with £100 penalties for the first time under new rules being drawn up by ministers.

It comes after a steep rise in the number of drivers being targeted by private firms over minor offenses.

The Department for Communities and Local Government is understood to be preparing to place new restrictions on access to a Government database of motorists' details - which lets parking firms to chase vehicle owners for fines.

It comes as the number of motorists handed tickets of up to £100 by private parking companies has soared by almost two thirds in a year to 1.74 million.

Some dishonest operators use "ghost" ticketing in which they put a ticket on a car, photograph it and then remove it. This leads to drivers "failing" to pay, allowing the company to charge a higher fine.

Under the new rules, private operators will face being subject to regulations which ban the use of such predatory tactics to trap motorists into paying fines.

They could also be forced to make appeals easier and more transparent, with a limit on the sums of money charged, according to the Times.

There is also pressure for appeals to be regulated by an independent panel, such as the traffic penalty tribunal.

Soon companies that fall foul of the rules will be prevented from accessing the DVLA database, which holds around 40 million drivers' records.

To screen out rogue firms, operators that want access to the database, which is run by the DVLA, must join one of two trade bodies capable of holding them to account over bad practice. They are the British Parking Association and the International Parking Community.

Sir Greg Knight, a Conservative MP, said: "Self-regulation hasn't worked and we need to put this on a statutory footing to stop motorists being ripped off. We need to have a fairer, more transparent and consistent enforcement system."

It is expected that the rules could be in place by October next year.

Earlier this year a family was hit with £10,000 worth of fines from a private parking firm for parking below their luxury apartment in their designated space.  Alyssha Harriot and Konrad Koscinsci have been living in the gated community for almost two years, during which time they have been billed for nearly 100 parking tickets.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08/28/crackdown-rogue-parking-firms-rip-off-motorists/?WT.mc_id=tmg_share_tw

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Offline DastardlyDick

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Re: Scottish Government to clamp down on private parking firms
« Reply #3 on: 30 August, 2017, 06:40:21 PM »
Subject to who funds/operates the appeal service, sounds good to me!

Won't be hard to make the IPCs process more "Transparent" - "opaque" is a serious understatement for that bunch of cowboys.

 


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