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BPA welcomes amendments to the Protection of Freedoms Bill

The British Government agreed a number of amendments to the Protection of Freedoms Bill and while the British Parking Association (BPA) welcomes those that refer to the issues of keeper liability and an Independent Appeals Service, the changes outlined do not go far enough.
Unfortunately, The Government has ruled out any measure which would force rogue parking operators to submit to some sort of regulation. The BPA has been arguing for government to make membership of an Accredited Trade Association, and in turn signing up to an Independent Appeals Service, mandatory for all organisations who manage parking on private land. Currently, anyone can set themselves up as a parking operator and can then mistreat motorists with virtual impunity.

The majority of scrupulous operators are already regulated by the BPAs Approved Operator Scheme but sadly, a small number of rogue operators continue to give the industry a bad name. The BPA is disappointed that government has not included any provisions for dealing with what we fear will be an increase in rogue ticketing operators once clamping is banned. We are therefore continuing to urge government to consider dealing with this problem, in the interest of the motorist.

The BPA is pleased that government agree with their long-held contention that the sector needs an Independent Appeals Service (IAS) so that the there is a fair and equitable balance for both operator and motorist. Furthermore, the launch of an IAS will undoubtedly see an improvement in the standards of the operators who participate in it, as well as enhancing the perception of the sector. An IAS will afford motorists the same right to appeal against an enforcement action on private land as they would have if they had parked on the street.

After a long campaign, the BPA is pleased that the Government has made a huge step towards closing a legal loophole which had allowed selfish parkers to avoid paying charges by introducing keeper liability for vehicles parked on private land.

Patrick Troy, Chief Executive of the BPA commented We firmly believe that the only way to stop rogue clampers becoming rogue ticketers is to make membership of an Accredited Trade Association mandatory, for all who wish to manage parking on private land. We are delighted that the Government concurs with the need for an Independent Appeals Service and we will be continuing with our plans in this regard.

About BPA

The British Parking Association (BPA), founded in 1970, is the largest independent professional association in Europe, representing 720 member organisations in the parking and traffic management sector. Members range from technology manufacturers and car park operators to local authorities and theme parks.

The BPA is dedicated to promoting and representing knowledge and standards in every type of parking facility, both onstreet and off-street, and to bringing together the interests of Government, local authorities and commercial organisations, providing a forum for the exchange of information and ideas concerning parking.
British Parking Association
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