Why parking companies may have to pay back millions

Motorists could due for payments ofTens of millions of poundsfor unfair parking fines of more than £100 a time, according to the RAC Foundation.

John de Waal QC, a barrister, has prepared a report for the motoring organisation arguing that private parking companies are levying huge charges on drivers out of all proportion to the losses suffered by the landowners.

Barry Beavis was sent a charge letter from Parking Eye after he overstayed two-hour limit at Riverside Retail Park car park in Chelmsford in April 2013.  He contested the initial £85 charge and will appeal the charge next week.

There is no definitive figure regarding how many private car parks there are in England and Wales, as not all are operated by the trade associations, but it is thought the number is in the region of 20,000.

There are also no comprehensive turnover figures for the private parking sector but the RAC suggests it is in excess of the £1.43bn a year.

Jo Abbott of the RAC Foundation and co-author of the report said They have ignored the impact on motorists who have received demands for large amounts in extra parking charges from operators,”.

She added: “Somewhere along the line they failed to foresee the danger of business models arising within the parking industry that might use payments from those who contravene their regulations to do more than merely compensate them for the cost of the transgression.”

via The Guardian

Posted in News

Lincs driver racks up 14k in tickets

A driver from Lincolnshire has amassed an astonishing £14000 worth of private parking fines.

He has already been served with four county court judgements totalling more than £3,000 by Leeds-based firm UK Car Park Services.

His vehicle, a Ford Mondeo, was often ticketed for being parked across disabled bays.

Steve Hall, UKCPS legal manager, said:”This is one of the highest parking charge debts to be served on a single motorist in the UK for parking on private land.

Four of the undefended county court judgements amount to £3,265, with an additional £10,000 still to be issued. The vehicle was often parked across more than one bay. On many occasions, the charges were for parking out of marked bays and without authority.”

The vehicle dashboard was clearly visible for all passing people to see,scattered with unpaid parking tickets.”

Staff have reconstructed the relevant section of the pages to discover the parking charge numbers referred back to the vehicle.”

Despite many motorists believing that UKCPS has no powers to enforce the charges, once their contractual warning signs are up and an agreement signed with the landowner or their agent, parking charge notices can be issued.

via Lincolnshire Echo

Posted in News

Over 4 million PCNs issued in London last year

Local Authorities in London have been accused of ripping off motorists , which comes off the back of recent news about the Government wanting greater leniency to be shown.

The UK’s richest parking authority, Westminster, issued 449,139 tickets,compared to 456,000 last year.

High Streets minister Penny Mordaunt said:”These new figures show how drivers across London are being routinely ripped off, and parking charges and fines have become a cash machine for councils, particularly due to the industrial use of CCTV spy cars.

Such unfair practices are harming local shops and have just driven people to shop on the internet or in out-of-town shopping centres. This is why the Government is taking action to clamp down on these parking stealth taxes,and is standing up for local shoppers and high streets.”

There were 3,087,186 tickets for high-level offences such as parking on double yellow lines, stopping at a bus stop or pedestrian crossings or double parking.

Lesser offences such as overstaying time on a parking meter or not parking within markings of a bay fell to 992,516 tickets.

Paul Pearson, of penaltychargenotice.co.uk, said: “The Government has put lot of pressure on councils to act reasonably over the last year with some ministers saying that councils are abusing their powers. The Mary Portas report highlighted how parking enforcement and charges harm high streets.”

A spokesman for London councils said: “London’s councils are acting reasonably in enforcing the law. Effective parking and traffic enforcement is essential in protecting the safety of pedestrians and other road users, as wellas reducing congestion and pollution.”

via Evening Standard

Posted in News

Lincs parking generates over £1 million in a year

Drivers who flouted on-street parking restrictions paid over £1million in the last year to Lincolnshire County Council.

The figures were from on-street parking restrictions in Lincolnshire from April 1 last year to March 31.

Lincolnshire County Council adopted civil parking enforcement from Lincolnshire Police in December 2012.

After costs including £544,000 to APCOA Ltd £156,000 surplus was generated to Lincolnshire County Council from the money raised from parking charge notices.

The £156,000 generated is funding changes to parking restrictions, such as in Westgate and the Marketplace in Grantham as well as ensuring other schemes throughout the county are correctly lined and signed.

The figures also show of the 33,258 parking charge notices issued there were 6,533 challenges of which 1,950 were reviewedOf these 237 were down to the parking charge notice not being issued, and 183 were because they were unenforceable.

District councils and the City of Lincoln Council enforce their own off-street parking areas.

via Lincolnshire Echo

Posted in News, Updates

Hospitals will give “two fingers” to new parking rules

Ministers have warned that hospitals will stickTwo fingers upat the new rules which try to stop excessiveTax on the sickparking charges.

Relatives of gravely ill patients, patients with disabilities, those with frequent appointments and staff working shifts must be given free or cheap parking under new Department of Health guidelines issued to English hospitals.

Birkenhead MP Frank Field said “I very much hope that when the Minister replies he will say what plan B is for those hospitals that continue to charge excessively those who need to continue to visit their relatives in hospital.”

Some ministers went even further and called for abolition of hospital parking charges in England and branded them aTax on NHS treatment“.

Telford MP David Wright added:”I believe that hospital parking charges should be abolished.

Some people have expressed the concern that people will overflow park in hospital parking areas.

Tickets could still be issued to ensure that parking spaces are controlled, but it could be made free. The House should push the Government and the Opposition to make a commitment to abolish parking charges at hospitals in the medium to long term.”

 

via Autoexpress

Posted in News

TfL employees rack up fines

Politics.co.uk have revealed that Transport for London splashed out hundreds of thousands of pounds on parking fines incurred by their own employees.

TfL, which is chaired by London mayor Boris Johnson, justified the figures by saying they were received by employees conducting important work.

These fines are not only a serious waste of money by TfL but they also show that too many TfL staff believe in the mantra of do as I say, not as I do when it comes to traffic enforcement,” Liberal Democrat London assembly member Caroline Pidgeon said today.

Transport for London has no hesitation in handing out penalty charge notices for people who park on red routes or who get caught in yellow boxes…

TfL is frequently accused by motorists and businesses of being too aggressive in enforcing parking restrictions.

The majority of Penalty Charge & Enforcement Notices were issued to TfL vehicles parked outside stations and in bus lanes while staff members carried out workthey said.

TfL has been working to reduce the number of parking fines received and the number has halved in recent years. However, at times it is necessary to park vehicles in restricted areas in order to carry out urgent works.”

Posted in News

Warden parks on double-yellows

 

A traffic warden was spotted recently parking on double yellow lines and blocking the pavement, while he was issuing a ticket.

Eagle-eyed Jay Fazal spotted the parking officer committing the violation in Stokes Croft in Bristol.

I asked the attendant why he was parked there and he just ignored me and carried on issuing the ticket to the poor owner of a blue Peugeot.

Mr Fazal then took a photo of the traffic warden and his illegally parked car as evidence to show the council.

Despite the poor parking job which blocked the pavement, Bristol City Council have defended the actions, saying parking attendants are able to park on double yellow lines in order to carry out their duties, and in this case the worker was issuing two different Penalty Charge Notices for parking on a dropped curb.

A council spokesperson said: ‘We encourage all of our civil enforcement officers to avoid parking on the pavement wherever possible.

via Metro

Posted in News, Pictures

Glasgow bus lane makes 800k in 2 months

Glasgow Council chiefs have raked in a staggering £800,000 in motoring fines from drivers passing through Nelson Mandela Place in Glasgow in just two months, it was revealed today.

Glasgow City Council placed a daytime ban on vehicles using the bus lane near Queen Street station in July.

The ensuing fines have earned Glasgow City Council roughly the same amount in two months as Edinburgh and Aberdeen Councils receive from all bus lane transgressions in a year.

Now council chiefs are planning to look at how to improve signage to make sure drivers are aware after admitting the number of fines was unusually high.

Last year, Edinburgh City Council received £718,000 from bus lane fines while Aberdeen City Council received £896,000.

The Glasgow Restaurant Association wants the city council to reconsider the Nelson Mandela Place restriction as it fears it is doing more harm than good.

A council spokesman said:”It’s very encouraging that the number of drivers illegally driving through the bus gate has dramatically fallen since the gate went live.

via The Scotsman

Posted in Uncategorized

BMW to integrate parking app into it’s cars

Recently re-branded as JustPark (formerly ParkatmyHouse), this parking marketplace now has 500,000 drivers who choose from over 100,000 parking spaces in the UK, and it has plans to expand abroad.

But unlike ‘jerktech’ startups such as MonkeyParking, Sweetch and ParkModo, JustPark probably won’t attract the same level of controversy, given that it allows private venue owners to sell parking, not other drivers who just exited a spot on a public road.

Robin Klein, partner at Index Ventures said, “Index aims to invest in companies that we believe have the potential to transform entire industries. Parking has suffered from a lack of innovation. We believe JustPark can change that.”

Using the JustPark app, drivers can find, book, pay for and navigate to a parking space instead of circling around. Its 100,000 parking spaces across the UK include car parks, hotels, domestic driveways and pubs.

JustPark work with owners of spaces in different ways. “Sometimes we will lease spaces up front and rent them out through our platform or we will work on more of a pay as you go basis. For instance, car parks will give us 10 spaces and ensure that there are always 10 spaces available for JustPark customers,” says Founder Anthony Eskinazi.

BMW have plans to integrate the app directly into new models.

via Techcrunch

Posted in Apps, News, Technology

Disabled parking abuse laws passed in Scotland

New laws to crack down on drivers who abuse disabled parking have been passed by the Scottish Parliament.

The legislation aims to deal with the hundreds of drivers said to be misusing blue badges, by giving councils powers to confiscate and cancel them.

The Disabled Persons’ Parking Badges Bill was brought forward by SNP MSP Dennis Robertson, who is blind. He said abuse of the system was a growing problem and had become “Unacceptable”.

There are 245,000 legitimate blue badge holders in Scotland, and Holyrood’s local government committee said misuse of the blue badge scheme was having a “Major impact” on the lives of people who rely on disabled parking spaces.

Research by agency Transport Scotland said 83% of legitimate badge holders had encountered misuse.

Misuse of a blue badge is already an offence, but enforcement powers currently lie with the police.

Posted in News

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