Private Land Enforcement
Private land enforcement (Including parking charge notices, clamping and towing away)
This section deals with the issue of private parking tickets (known as parking charge notices) clamping and towing on private land including privately owned car parks.
A Testimonial recently received.
“I informed UKCPS that I would fully and confidently defend any Court action on the basis that a £100 charge was a Penalty rather than a legitimate way of compensating the land owner for lost revenue caused by our parking. Fact was parking was free! I cited previous successful Court cases listed on your site. UKCPS wrote back and informed me they were cancelling the notices.Private Parking Companies have not got a leg to stand on in these situations. Without the advice I got from your site I would have probably been conned by them into forking out £200 for 2 Parking Charge Notices which were unenforcible”.
The Protection Of Freedoms bill came into effect on the 1st October 2012. One of the main consequences of the bill is the banning of clamping on and towing from private land in England and Wales. (Scotland outlawed clamping years ago)! In a few situations such as at airports, ports and some railway car parks byelaws still allow clamping and towing. However, as a compromise to the private parking industry, the Bill also introduces “Keeper Liability” for private parking tickets and a new private parking appeals service for motorists.Please see our section on Parking Charge Notices accessed from the left hand menu.
The new parking appeals service is called P.O.P.L.A. (parking on private land appeals) and their website says that they are independent of all parties to appeals including the operator and the British Parking Association. We strongly disagree with this as we understand the operators pay at least £27 for each appeal to the British Parking Association who pay it over to London Councils which run P.O.P.L.A.!
We have looked at the POPLA website and think that the grounds of appeal are skewed in favour of the parking companies and that they are very misleading to motorists. Over 10 years ago we wrote to the Transport Secretary requesting that he looks into the matter urgently and he has now said that before October 2013 a new body will be set up to sit between the private parking companies and POPLA to ensure fairness and consistency
Parking Charge Notices are issued by private companies employed by land owners such as supermarkets or even residents in a block of flats to either protect their land from motorists parking on it or to enforce parking contraventions in private car parks. We agree that motorists should not obstruct private land and should abide by the terms and conditions when parking in privately owned car parks. There must also be a remedy available for private land owners to stop unauthorised parking. However, and it is a big however, we do not support enforcement when the signs are not clear and visible, we do not support enforcement when the charges are extortionate, we do not support enforcement when it is designed to trap motorists and make money, we do not support enforcement when it is for silly petty things like parking an inch outside a bay marking, we do not support companies that use threatening language in their letters and we do not support clamping and towing except in extreme circumstances.
The Governments Position
Next: Parking Charge Notices