Let’s set the record straight with some facts about private parking 


This is Money is campaigning for a change in the private parking sector.

And so are we! That’s why we have long called for a single Code of Practice, a single independent appeals service and standards-setting body, and for all those issuing tickets on private land to be members of an Accredited Trade Association, for many years.

They want the independent appeal process to be made fairer.

That’s why we established POPLA in agreement with the UK government. POPLA didn’t exist before 2012 but since its launch 1000s of motorists have used POPLA to seek independent redress for unfair parking tickets. Appealing to POPLA is free and the appeal can be made online.

We continue to lobby for POPLA’s adoption in Scotland and Northern Ireland as well as throughout the UK to make it available to all motorists, including those who park at railway stations, airports and other places where POPLA may not currently be available.

They call private parking operators sharks.

BPA Approved Operators follow a strict Code of Practice covering all aspects of managing a car park including signage, tickets, communications and access to the appeals service and since 2007, we have expelled 7 members from membership for failing to meet its standards. So we’re the ones with teeth!

What’s really important is the contractual relationship between the landowner and the parking operator. We always encourage landowners to consider the desired outcome they wish to achieve through parking management on their land. Parking operators can then manage the land according to landowner requirements.

They say it is a problem that motorists may have to pay a higher charge if their appeal is rejected and this may deter many from going down this route.

When a Parking Charge Notice is issued it is done on the assumption that a contravention has taken place. The appeals process exists so that motorists can provide their side of the story, giving information which may not have been apparent at the time the ticket was issued. This process works the same as in the public sector.

They reference a Freedom of Information request but inaccurately report on the MHCLG’s response.

Government’s response refers to an Advisory Group convened by the Minister which BPA are members of. We are actively working with the Minister and his department to support Sir Greg Knight MP’s Parking (Code of Practice) Bill, which will make parking fairer for both consumers and operators. We are delighted that MPs from across the House have shown their support for the creation of consistent standards across the sector together with a truly independent appeal process.

They say that an Advisory Code of Practice has been developed but it’s not working.

That’s incorrect. Sir Greg’s Bill enables a single, mandatory Code of Practice to be developed and we are working with the UK government to deliver this and ensure that the Code of Practice as envisaged in this Bill delivers a positive outcome, for everyone; parking operators and motorists.

We launched the first Code of Practice for private land operators in 2006 which is continuously developed through consultation with stakeholders, including consumer groups and government, to ensure we set high standards for our members.

This is Money did not approach the BPA for comment; if it had we would have been happy to provide the facts, rather than a string of inaccuracies.

It’s important to note that the majority of motorists never receive a parking ticket. The growth of car ownership is placing additional demands on parking, much of which occurs on private land due to the expansion of parking at retail and leisure parks and supermarkets. With 39 million cars on our roads and millions more journeys every day, it is essential that parking is provided, well managed and that it works. Without effective parking management there would be chaos and confusion. Access to places and people would be significantly harder.

Motorists have a responsibility to ensure they comply with parking terms and conditions; where they have clearly abused the system, enforcement is a necessary part of the process for managing the parking facility.

As a not for profit Association we remain committed to raising standards in the management of parking on private land. We are always happy to investigate any complaints we receive. Information about appealing parking tickets can be found on our public advice website www.knowyourparkingrights.org