On the right track: changes to managing parking on railway land welcomed

We have campaigned at length for absolute clarity on the Clauses in Railway Byelaws where they relate to parking controls. Government officials had previously committed to providing clarification but until then, the BPA made the decision to temporarily remove the requirement for its members who manage parking at railway locations under Byelaws to offer an independent appeal via POPLA.

Motorists who breach the advertised Terms & Conditions and receive a Penalty Notice and believe it has been unfairly issued are still able to appeal to the operator. When an operator follows up any unpaid penalty notices, motorists will also have an opportunity to put their case again at the Magistrates Court.

We are pleased to report that government has asked the BPA for its views on a range of proposals which would bring railway car parks under the provisions of the Protection of Freedoms Act (POFA). Broadly, we agree with their proposals but have made it clear that a practical implementation schedule is agreed to allow time for operators to make any signage changes and minimise the financial investment required by them to achieve this.

As a result of previous Government guidance, changes to signage were already required and signs are also likely to need to be updated again as a result of new regulations informed by The Parking (Code of Practice) Act 2019.

The BPA’s other points in response to the proposals include:

  • Revoke the parking-related railway Byelaws
  • Remove the ability to clamp and/or remove in areas designated for parking; Train Operating Companies (TOC), however, will retain powers to clamp and/or remove vehicles where the security of access to track and other safety-relevant assets on railway land is compromised.
  • Bring railway car parks under the provisions of POFA, meaning railway land becomes ‘relevant land’. This will enable members to hold vehicle keepers liable for parking contraventions as if they were the driver. Additionally, motorists who receive a Parking Charge Notice (PCN) in a railway car park will be able to have their appeal heard by the proposed single independent appeals service for parking on private land, delivering consistency and fairness for motorists.

Steve Clark, Head of Business Operations said: “We are pleased that government has recognised the need to progress this important issue that will provide clarity, consistency and fairness for landowners, operators and motorists alike and we look forward to a positive outcome for all”.