Creative Car Park – The path to fairer car parking practices in the UK: New parking act is now law
Last year we wrote about a Private Members’ Bill put forward by Sir Greg Knight that proposed a single code of conduct for parking management firms in the UK. The bill was working its way through Parliament, and we reiterated our support for it.
We’re extremely pleased to say that bill received Royal Assent on the 15thMarch, and has now become law as the Parking (Code of Practice) Act 2019.
What does the Parking (Code of Practice) Act 2019 entail?
The new law promises to deliver a single, UK wide regulation of the parking management industry, something that we have been eager to see for several years now.
This increased regulation will help stamp out any rogue car park operators, offer greater protection for car park users, and ensure that car park management is safe, fair and efficient – to the benefit of everyone.
It builds on legal framework already implemented that bans wheel clamping & towing and stops unnecessary parking enforcement by councils and parking wardens.
The new act:
- Puts an end to unfair parking fines for car park users
- Requires all parking operators to follow a code of conduct
- Sets up a new independent appeals service
- Supports those using car parks, whilst protecting fair parking practices
- Is aimed primarily at rogue parking operators who bring the industry into disrepute
- Will see poor parking management firms banned from accessing Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA) records, and so end their ability to operate.
In short, the new Parking (Code of Practice) Act paves the way for increased, effective regulation of the parking industry, to ensure it’s fair for all. It will lead to a single, independent appeals service, a single code of practice for every operator and a single, unified high standard of operations.
What does it mean for businesses with private car parks?
If you already use a reputable car park management firm like Creative Car Park, then you won’t see any changes in the way your car parks are managed.
As a long-standing member of the British Parking Association, we already comply with their code of practice which is regularly updated. We’ve welcomed the new law – along with the BPA – because it ensures a code of practice like the one we follow is legally enforceable.
The way we operate will not change, as we already maintain the highest standards.
But if you employ a parking management company who doesn’t follow a code of practice and operates on a rogue basis, you may soon be in a position where you need to find a new parking management firm.
Any questionable practices you have in place to “catch out” users of your car parks will soon be stamped out.
How will the new Parking Act affect car park management companies?
As we said, for those companies who already follow one of the two parking code of practices in the UK, there won’t be a great deal that needs to be done.
They will simply adapt their current practices to ensure they align with the new single code of practice.
We don’t expect any of our operations will change. We already follow the strictest code of conduct. Our customers will continue to experience the same high levels of service, and their car park users will continue to see a fair enforcement of parking regulations.
For those car park management companies who don’t follow a code or operate immorally, they will need to implement drastic changes or face the prospect of going out of business. If they do not deliver a fair service to car park users, they will no longer be able to access the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA) records needed to issue parking charge notices.
What’s next in the crack down on rogue, illegal parking enforcement firms?
The new law only paves the way for a single code of conduct and appeals service. This code will be drafted later in the year with the help of parking trade associations like the BPA, of which we are a member.
These single set of rules will then take effect, overseen by a body that will publish and enforce the contents of the code. They will create and manage a single appeals service too.
This will see any cowboy parking firms quickly identified and prevented from operating – or force them to change their ways.
We expect that high standards will soon be achieved across the entire industry – something we’re very pleased about.