AA warns of a surge in private parking fines


AA warns of a surge in private parking fines

The AA has warned that the recent ban on clamping on private land has led to an increase in parking charge notices, the fines issued by private parking firms.

It is estimated that 2.3 million private fines will be issued this year, an increase of 500,000 over the previous year.

A ban on clamping on private land came into force last year - much to the relief of many motorists - but in return, private land owners were given powers to impose parking fines on motorists who weren't entitled to park on the land or those how had overstayed their allotted time slot.

Despite being members of the British Parking Association, some of the private firm's behaviour has been questionable. "Private parking enforcement remains unregulated and is a free-for-all when even firms signed up to a code of practice breach their own rules," Edmund King, the AA's president, told The Telegraph.

"It seems many of the notorious clampers have moved their sharp practices to private parking enforcement.

"Others seem to have adopted strong arm tactics to threaten drivers into paying tickets that are often unjust and set at an unreasonable level compared to those issued by regulated local authorities."

Unsatisfied customers have made their feelings known to the AA about extortionate parking charges and unreasonable behaviour from some private parking firms. One motorist was fined £160 – 60 per cent above the BPA recommended maximum. In another case a diabetic motorist who was concerned about his blood sugar levels was hit with a fine for spending more than two hours in a motorway service area.

An appeal to the parking firm to reconsider the penalty was rejected.

Patrick Troy, the chief executive of the British Parking Association has defended the industry, saying: "It is disappointing that the AA has taken a typically negative attitude to the significant changes brought about by changes in the law introduced last year".

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