An End to the Parking Cowboys?

Some good news this week, that moves are finally being made to crack down on parking cowboys who rip off the great British public with frequently illegal and often brutally unfair parking fines.

After years of appeals, the Government has finally decided that enough is enough and that they are ready to crack down on the offenders, making the life of those private parking firms as miserable as they have made so many of us over the years. 

The initiative intends to launch a charter for a better and clearer appeals process and an end to fines for those drivers who genuinely made a mistake or have genuine mitigating circumstances. 

Also mooted for review is the current government laws around parking on pavements, which causes untold mystery for those who actually need to use them, such as the elderly, partially mobile or children.

The changes will see an end to the bully boy tactics employed by some parking firms, who use all sorts of threats to trick people into paying often unwarranted fines or charges. They often do so with no right to appeal and include car parks operated by private firms, such as hospital car parks, which have seen a slew of complaints after people have been charged vast sums simply because their appointment has overrun or they did not have the correct change to be able to pay the full charge. Many of these companies use aggressive methods to convince users to pay, threatening legal action, despite not clearly showing tariffs or clearly offering a route to contest the charges.

These new laws should also see an end to the often-astronomical fines, and instead offer a set maximum penalty of £20 for any transgressions. The DVLA could also impose restrictions, preventing their database to be searched to pursue parking fines by these rogue companies. 

The charges are currently out for public consultation, and we anticipate a decision being made by mid-October. We await the results with hope in our heart. If you do feel you have been the victim of an unfair fine, we suggest searching the cases on Martin Lewis’s Money Saving Expert, who has thousands of successful appeals and can help advise on how to successfully challenge unfair fines. 

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