In a major shake up of the private parking industry, the British Parking Association (BPA) has appointed London Councils to deliver a new, Independent Appeals Service (IAS) for motorists parking on private land.
The agreement, which has been reached following years of campaigning by the parking industry and months of planning, will provide an appeals service similar to that which is currently available to motorists who receive parking tickets on public land. Currently, if a motorist wants to challenge a parking charge received on private land, they must appeal to the parking company directly and if they still feel that the decision is unfair, they must challenge the charge in court.
From October 1st 2012, car parking operators who are members of the BPA’s Approved Operator Scheme, will be bound by the decision of an independent adjudicator who will review evidence submitted by both the motorist and the operator and determine whether the charge should stand or not.
Car parks managed by operators who are not members of an Accredited Trade Association will not be covered by the IAS.
The parking industry has agreed to meet the cost of the service so that it is completely free to the motorist. However, if the appeal adjudicator finds in favour of the parking operator, no early payment discounts will apply.
Patrick Troy, Chief Executive of the British Parking Association commented, "We have been campaigning for a service such as this for many years and are delighted to finally announce that the IAS will be effective from the 1st October. The service represents a step-change in our drive to raise standards in our profession. Our members have long felt that such a service can only enhance the reputation of the sector and truly place the customer at the heart of our thinking."
Local Transport Minister Norman Baker said: "I welcome confirmation that the Independent Appeals Service will be in place at the same time as the Government’s ban on wheel-clamping and vehicle towing comes into force. These new arrangements for parking deliver a fairer legal framework for motorists and landowners and get rid of the scourge of indiscriminate clamping and towing by private companies for good."
Plans for exactly how the appeals process will work are still being finalised by London Councils, who will be delivering the service and once it is finalised, any tickets issued by members of the Approved Operator Scheme will clearly explain the motorist’s right to appeal, and how the process will work.