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Government to clamp down on rogue car parks

Motorists could get a 10-minute grace period after their tickets expire as part of the Government’s clampdown on rogue private car parks.

Local Government Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick has announced that the British Standards Institution will develop a new Code of Practice for the private parking industry, bringing greater regulation and making it easier for drivers to challenge unfair parking tickets.

Intended to support local high streets, the move could see a 10-minute grace period –  introduced for all council car parks in England in 2015 but currently voluntary for private parking firms – rolled out to all private car parks in England, Scotland and Wales.

Extra measures to crackdown on intimidating and aggressive debt collection practices by private parking companies will also be considered as part of the Code, which will also introduce a new independent appeals service, giving drivers greater support to challenge unjustified parking tickets.

Unlike existing voluntary codes set by industry, the new Code will be mandatory and provide a single set of rules to follow. Rogue firms which break the Code will be barred from requesting Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) data, making them unable to pursue motorists for their charges.

Robert Jenrick said: “For too long rogue parking firms have operated in an unregulated industry, handing out unjust fines, putting drivers through baffling appeals processes and issuing tickets to motorists who were only seconds late back to their cars.

“That’s why we’ve appointed the British Standards Institution to work with consumer groups and industry to write the first ever compulsory Code of Practice for private parking firms.

“The new Code will restore common sense to the way parking fines are handed out, encourage people back onto our high streets and crack down on dodgy operators who use aggressive tactics to harass drivers.”

The British Standards Institution will write the Code in consultation with consumer and industry groups, followed by a full public consultation.

Written by Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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