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Parking: Regulation

Question for Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

UIN 54015, tabled on 23 September 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps the Government is taking to (a) improve the regulation of the private parking sector and (b) protect motorists from unfair fines.

Answered on

18 October 2021

My Department is leading on the implementation of the Parking (Code of Practice) Act 2019, which includes the creation of an independent Code of Practice for private parking companies to improve standards. DLUHC is developing the Code of Practice through the British Standards Institution (BSI) in close consultation with key stakeholders, including landowners, consumer organisations, and the private parking industry, who are advising on its impact. If a parking company were to repeatedly break the new code, then their access to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) data would be blocked. This data includes information on the vehicle keeper, so a company blocked from accessing it would be unable to pursue parking charges.

In addition to the new code, DLUHC has developed the Parking Code of Practice Enforcement Framework, on which the department consulted and on 20 March 2021 published the consultation response, available online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/parking-code-enforcement-framework. The response to the consultation announced a series of fairer parking measures that include strengthening the current system of self-regulation by producing a Certification Scheme, independently assessed by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service, and to which parking trade associations must adhere if their members wish to request access to DVLA data. Further measures include: establishment of a Scrutiny and Oversight Board to monitor the new system and creation of a single, independent appeals service for motorists to turn to if they receive a private parking charge.

Finally, DLUHC recently consulted on proposals to bring private parking charges into closer alignment with Local Authority Penalty Charge Notices, including its system of 50% discounts for early payment. We are also developing an Appeals Charter which will protect motorists from charges that are unfair or issued in error.

We intend to publish the consultation response together with the new code of practice later this Autumn so that the industry could adopt the new code and the motorists benefit as early as possible.

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