Author Topic: Private car park firms try to block bid to slash maximum fines from £100 to £50  (Read 208 times)

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Offline The Bald Eagle

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I suppose this was inevitable.  <bashy2> :bashy:


Private car park firms are branded 'bullies' for trying to block bid to slash maximum fines [sic] from £100 to £50

Independent parking companies have begun legal action to block the fine cut
Plans to stop debt collectors hounding motorists could also be blocked
The AA president has branded private parking in the UK as the 'wild west'

PUBLISHED: 22:40, 3 June 2022 | UPDATED: 22:40, 3 June 2022

Private parking firms were branded 'bullies' last night after starting legal action against ministers over their plans to slash maximum fines from £100 to £50.

Several parking giants have launched judicial review cases against a new code of practice aimed at better protecting drivers from 'cowboy' operators, the Daily Mail can reveal.

It means the proposal to slash the cap on fines by half may now be thwarted. Plans to ban debt collectors from hounding motorists who do not pay within a time limit may also not go ahead after the government backed down following the legal challenges.

But other measures, such as a compulsory ten-minute grace period before firms can issue a fine to drivers whose tickets have expired, will go ahead.

UK motorists have been waiting years for reforms to car parking enforcement rules which were finally announced in February - but the latest legal action could see them substantially watered down

Parkingeye and Euro Car Parks are two of the UK's largest private car parking companies but the exact firms protesting the government's plans are unknown

So too will plans to create a simpler and fairer independent appeals process to give more drivers the benefit of the doubt in cases involving honest mistakes, such as keying in the wrong vehicle number plate at a ticket machine.

But the prospect of 'Wild West' parking firms continuing to issue fines of up to £100 is a big blow for motorists amid the cost of living crisis.

The changes are also bad news for the thousands who refuse to pay fines after protesting that they were treated unfairly, only to find themselves hounded by debt collectors.

Motorists have been waiting years for the reforms, which were announced in February.

Parkingeye, Britain's biggest parking firm, and Euro Car Parks are thought to be among the companies seeking judicial reviews. Both were contacted for comment.

Whitehall sources confirmed that officials have 'conceded' to parking firms' arguments on capping fines and banning debt collectors.

The planned reforms include measures such as defences for motorists who accidentally enter the wrong number plate number and 10-minute grace periods after a parking time limit expires

The firms said the legal case for the measures was not strong enough.

The Government will now consult more widely on the measures in the hope that the legal case can be strengthened and they can go ahead.

Parking firms have also argued that the current cap should be increased to £120. They claim reducing it to £50 would lead to more drivers flouting parking rules because a ticket, if paid at a discounted rate within 14 days, would be cheaper than paying for parking.

AA president Edmund King said: 'For too long, private parking enforcement has been allowed to degenerate into a Wild West where cowboy operators have been able to ride into a town and set their own rules and punishments.

'The judicial reviews are a setback but the Government must hold firm and restore order among those who like to bully motorists.'

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: 'If the private parking industry had been as willing to progress these important reforms as it is to issue tickets we'd probably have the new system up and running by now.'

A Government spokesman said last night that the new code would still deliver for motorists even if the fines cap and debt collector ban were not introduced.

'We will continue to work with industry and consumer groups to introduce the code as quickly as possible,' he said.



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