Alex Chalk MP has welcomed the Government’s decision to give drivers new legal protections from rogue private parking operators. The announcement was made in a statement following questions in Parliament. Responding to a series of questions from the Cheltenham MP, Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid MP, confirmed that the Government will support new legislation aimed at raising standards in the industry.
Alex Chalk had been raising his concerns about the behaviour of rogue parking operators after intervening in a number of cases in Cheltenham.
Alex Chalk said: “The ban on clamping by private operators was a solid start, but there’s still too much poor and - at times - sharp practice. I’m pleased that the Government is supporting new legislation to regulate the private parking industry.
"Self-regulation isn’t working. I’m still hearing about too many parking horror stories. We need to put this on a statutory footing to stop motorists being ripped off. Drivers deserve a fairer, more transparent and consistent enforcement system."
Under the plans, a stringent new Code of Practice will be developed by the Secretary of State in conjunction with motorists groups and other experts.
Those falling foul of the rules would then be blocked from accessing driver data and issuing fines, effectively forcing them out of the industry.
These measures build on action government has already taken to tackle rogue private parking operators, including banning wheel clamping and towing, and over-zealous parking enforcement by councils and parking wardens.
Secretary of State for Communities, Sajid Javid, said:
“For too long drivers have suffered from unjust fines at the hands of dodgy parking firms. We need a fairer, clearer and more consistent system that brings the small minority of unscrupulous operators in line with those who are behaving appropriately.
“That is why government is putting the brakes on these rogue operators and backing new laws that will put a stop to aggressive behaviour and provide a simpler way for drivers to appeal fines.”
Industry bodies including the AA and RAC have lined up to support the Bill.