Chief Executive Andrew Pester appeared on BBC One's Watchdog consumer programme on Wednesday 18th April and we issued the following statement following their feature on the use of ANPR by private parking operators:

Responsible parking management is essential for a better parking experience                           

Every day, millions of us go about our daily lives because parking is managed fairly and responsibly to make sure we can all access the shops, leisure facilities, hospitals and supermarkets that might otherwise become congested. We understand that no-one likes getting a parking ticket and we always advise motorists who believe they have received one in error to contact the operator who issued it in the first instance.

All of our members managing parking on private land subscribe to POPLA, a fully independent appeals service, which is free for motorists and the decision is binding on the operator. POPLA was launched in 2012 and over 200,000 appeals have been submitted with 50% of those having been won by the motorist.

We are not party to the adjudication process which must remain independent, but we do recognise that errors can occur and they can be upsetting for the motorist.  Parking operators cannot always know all of the circumstances, and in many cases, parking tickets are cancelled by the operator when they are given additional information.

Those managing car parks should make the experience as simple as possible, making clear the terms and conditions for parking. Operators must perform the necessary checks and balances to ensure that errors such as these are spotted.  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.

Our Association remains committed to raising standards in the management of parking on private land, and our Code of Practice is continuously developed through consultation with all key stakeholders including consumer groups and government to ensure we set high standards for our members, but of course, it could be better.

Ideally, we’d like there to be a mandatory single Code of Practice and an independent appeals service. That’s why we welcome Sir Greg’s Knight MP’s Private Members Bill and are working with Government and key stakeholders to push for a positive outcome for all.

You can read more about ANPR here