The British Parking Association (BPA) is aware that motorists are concerned at the level of charge made by operators when drivers overstay or park without paying. We are pleased that every one of our AOS members charges no more than £100 with many in fact charging substantially less, having adopted better working practices resulting in lower costs and charges.

Regrettably, in 2012 Scotland opted out of the provisions set out in Protection of Freedoms Act and as a consequence, the BPA was unable to offer its independent appeals service (POPLA) to Scottish motorists.  POPLA is free to motorists and binding on the operator.

However, the BPA continues to work with the Scottish Government and Citizens Advice Scotland for POPLA adoption across the whole of 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 offered or available.

Kelvin Reynolds, Director of Public Affairs & Policy explained: "If an independent appeals service had been available in Scotland it is more than likely that cases where the sum has reached as much as £24,500 could have been avoided.

"There is a lot of misinformation on the internet about the enforcement of private PCNs and with different laws in Scotland and England this adds to the confusion.  Regardless of whether motorists park in private car parks, council car parks or on-street, motorists should always park properly and always check any signage displayed to make sure they know and understand the rules that apply."

 This is especially true if they are visiting for the first time so as to acquaint themselves with the prevailing Terms & Conditions for parking. They should also always ensure that anything that needs to be displayed, such as a voucher or a permit, is properly displayed and visible from outside the vehicle.

 The BPA is lobbying governments to introduce a single standard setting body (SSB) to regulate private parking.  In Scotland, the SSB would be accountable to Scottish Government, fully funded by the private parking sector with the purpose of enhancing standards through an enforceable code of practice. The BPA believes the code should be established following consultation with consumers, motorists, operators and landowners.

Operator Schemes, such as the Approved Operator Scheme, would be required by the SSB to audit and enforce the code across their operator members. Such processes are already well-established, for instance Schemes must expel operators where there are persistent breaches of the code.