93% of drivers back bill to regulate private parking

93% of drivers back bill to regulate private parking
An overwhelming majority of drivers are behind a new code of practice bill that will see private parking firms face more stringent regulations.

An RAC survey found 93% of motorists back the parking bill which is set to be heard for the second time in the House of Commons this Friday, after being proposed by Tory former minister, Sir Greg Knight, in July last year.

The RAC is also backing the bill, after repeatedly calling for stricter measures for the largely unregulated private parking sector.

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RAC roads policy spokesman Nicholas Lyes said: “The motorists we questioned expressed very strong views about the practices of private parking companies, presumably based on numerous unfortunate experiences, so it is excellent news that the Government will support Sir Greg Knight’s bill into law.

“The RAC has long campaigned for such a code to be introduced so we are hopeful this will lead to a better experience for everyone who uses car parks run by private parking companies.”

The survey also found that 81% of drivers feel that private parking companies have a bad reputation, with 84% of drivers citing steep fines or parking charge notices being disproportionate to the offence as the main reason for this.

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Two-thirds agree that parking firms can be too aggressive in their debt collection.

A further 72% said that terms and conditions notices in car parks were often hard to read or hidden, with 69% of those surveyed saying the charges for parking are too high.

The RAC believes a number of areas must be addressed within the bill in order for it to have a positive impact on consumer confidence.

At the very least a national set of guidelines should include:

  • a set of enforcement standards – including conduct standards for companies when recouping penalty charges
  • a fair and effective national appeals’ process
  • improved conditions for access to the DVLA database
  • a ban on so-called ghost ticketing and incentivising ticketing
  • Guidance on the size of penalties with a focus on ensuring they are proportionate to time overstayed and under a cap

Mr Lyes added: “Importantly, this bill will facilitate a set of national guidelines which we hope will make the appeals’ process simpler, tighten access to the DVLA database and bring higher standards to a sector which clearly has a poor reputation among motorists.”

Copyright Press Association 2018. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.