Trust of private parking enforcers at rock bottom

Trust of private parking enforcers at rock bottom
The private parking sector should be more rigorously overseen by the Government, an RAC-backed poll of UK drivers reveals.

Largely ‘self-policed’ by certified members, the current set-up is viewed by the majority of motorists as a cash cow which needs heavier regulation.

The RAC supports the call made by respondents to its RAC Opinion Panel survey and believes the Government must do more to ensure a level playing field.

Spokesman Simon Williams said: “There cannot be many other sectors that are trusted so little, yet are so unaccountable.”

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Of the 2,194 drivers questioned, a telling 73% believe the sector needs to transfer to government control, rather than remain in the hands of trade association members and even non-accredited individuals.

Almost two-thirds of respondents (62%) agree with the belief that private parking enforcers are only interested in making money.

Enforcement tactics are too heavy-handed for 45% of those asked, with 28% claiming there is no justification for the way operators enforce their rules.

When asked if they think private parking sector conduct is reasonable, and its charges fair, just 4% agreed.

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The Department for Communities and Local Government is yet to publish findings into a discussion paper launched back in March 2015 examining unfair parking practices.

Almost all motorists would like to see the introduction of a cap on penalty charges (91%), guidelines for penalty charges (88%) and an end to aggressive enforcement (90%).

RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: “The overwhelming consensus from motorists is that they have little or no faith in private parking operators and therefore believe that further government regulation is needed to protect motorists from questionable practices. Insisting every private parking operator is a member of an accredited trade association would be a good start.

“The Government’s response to the discussion paper in 2015 is long overdue, and we would hope to see at least some minimum standards applied to the sector, even for those that are signed up to an accredited trade association.

“Due to the strength of feeling from motorists on this issue the RAC is now calling on the Government to intervene with some concrete proposals that improve motorists’ experiences of the private parking sector.”

Copyright Press Association 2017. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.