Car parking crackdown: New changes ‘put a stop’ to unfair private parking fines

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Car parking services will need to offer a maximum cap for parking fines and a 10 minute grace period before fines can be issued. New proposals also include a requirement for firms to clearly display prices and terms and conditions before tickets are purchased.

The government hopes the new plans will be a major boost to motorists and encourage people back to their high streets.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said the new proposal would “put a stop once and for all to rogue parking firms”.

He added that the changes would “restore common sense” while ensuring councils were able to crack down on the worst offenders across the region.

He said: “These new measures are a victory for the millions of motorists across the country.

“They will put a stop once and for all to rogue parking firms using aggressive tactics and handing out unfair parking tickets with no right to appeal.

“While also boosting our high streets by making it easier for people to park near their local shops without being unfairly fined.

“Our proposals will restore common sense to the way parking fines are issued, while cracking down on the worst offenders who put other people in danger and hinder our emergency services from carrying out their duties.”

The new tiered approach would see a cap of between £40 and £80 for less serious offences and a higher £120 fine for serious cases.

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This can include drivers who wrongly park in disabled bays or shockingly block ambulance parking zones.

A crackdown will also be issued to ensure parking firms are not using tough language to intimate motorists into paying fines straight away.

Car parking services are also required to clearly display contact details and information on how to appeal an unfair charge.

Fresh measures also include a new single Appeals Service and Appeals Charter for motorists to use if they are unfairly fined.

The service will allow motorists to appeal a charge and see costs reduced or cancelled under some circumstances.

These include motorists who have a legitimate reason for overstaying their parking ticket such as their vehicle breaking down.

There will also be some allowance for those who make a genuine error such as keying in a number plate incorrectly.

The government warns that the new Code and Enforcement Framework set out by the consultation will be mandatory for firms to follow.

Any parking services which break the rules could be barred from using DVLA data which would make them unable to pursue motorists for the charges.

The consultation on the new framework will run until 12 October with any changes to legislation set to be made after this date.

High Streets Minister Simon Clarke said: “We want to get people back onto the high street to shop local and support small businesses, and these proposals mean motorists will be able to do so without having to worry about being landed with an unjust ticket and no way to appeal.

“These measures will drive up standards in the parking industry by clamping down on rogue operators and offering a safety net so that responsible motorists who make an innocent mistake are not penalised unfairly for doing so.”

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