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30 September 2015

UKPC disciplined by BPA after photo tampering allegations

The BPA has completed its investigation into allegations of evidence tampering by employees at parking operator, UK Parking Control and the company has been disciplined in accordance with our Scheme of Sanctions.  The DVLA, which is carrying out its own audit, has been kept informed throughout the process. This follows concerns raised regarding the practice of offering financial incentives to parking attendants/wardens.

'Our investigations highlighted the need to update our Code of Practice, to make it absolutely clear that the practice of offering financial incentives to parking attendants/wardens which relate to the quantity of PCNs issued by them is wholly unacceptable. This came into effect on 1st October 2015 and should be prohibited within all new employee contracts.

Also effective from this date, is an extension to the grace period at the end of the paid for parking time or after the expiry of a free parking period, to a minimum of 10 minutes.  This brings private car parks into line with car parks run by local authorities who are required by law to observe a ten minute grace period in the same circumstances.

Patrick Troy, CEO of the BPA, said “We want to make it easier for motorists to park in whichever car park they use when they go about their daily business. By making private car parks as similar to local authority ones as possible life becomes much simpler for the motorist.”

As a result of a recommendation by ISPA, the body established to oversee the independence of POPLA, the body from which motorists can get quick, simple and free independent redress, parking operators must also give motorists 28 days to pay after POPLA makes its decision rather than 14. This also replicates practices in the local authority sector.

The BPA Code of Practice for its AOS was developed in partnership with consumer and motoring organisations and has a robust audit and scheme of sanctions to ensure its members comply. The BPA has worked diligently to raise standards, eradicate rogue operators and make parking a recognised profession and will continue to do so. We want to place the motorist at the heart of our thinking.

As promised and in agreement with Government, the BPA has transformed the management of parking on private land and delivered truly independent appeals for motorists for the third year running. As well as being judicially independent, POPLA (Parking on Private Land Appeals) for England and Wales also has an Independent Scrutiny Board guaranteeing absolute independence.

In March this year we appointed nationally accredited and acclaimed Ombudsman Services to take over and improve POPLA from 1 October 2015. POPLA is the clearest indication that we can make of our commitment to place the consumer at the heart of our thinking.

Patrick Troy added “The BPA is committed to encouraging and developing the highest standards of professional conduct and ethics within its membership. The BPA Code of Professional Conduct sets out the standards expected of those working in the profession and all BPA members commit to the code when they join the association.”

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