Birmingham, United Kingdom: Preet Kaur Gill, Labour and Co-op Member of Parliament for Birmingham Edgbaston, expressed her disappointment to see that the Government has no plan to protect motorists from poorly regulated private parking companies.
“The Govt won’t say when the Parking Code of Practice will be reintroduced after being ‘temporarily withdrawn’ in June 2022,” she noted through an official post on X.
While expressing this, she shared the sample letter she sent to the government of the United Kingdom, urging amendments to fall victim to poorly regulated private parking firms. She wrote this letter on behalf of herself and her constituents.
“As the government itself recognises, private firms issue roughly 22,000 parking tickets every day, often adopting a labyrinthine system of misleading and confusing signage, opaque appeals services, aggressive debt collection and unreasonable fees designed to extort money from motorists,” she mentioned through social media.
Additionally, she mentioned that this is certainly the reality for my constituents who get in touch with me to share their nightmare stories.
“Cases l have dealt with include parking firms not providing the correct reduced rate of penalty if paid within the first 14 days, Penalty Charge Notice (PCNs) being issued to motorists when payment machines not working properly or not working at all, €100.00 fine levied against a €0.60 ticket which had been paid and displayed but the site staff failed to properly via a mobile app, which they were instructed to do as the payment machine in the car park was not working,” she further added.
MP Gill also outlined that what follows the issuing of a PCN is then months of threatening and harassing letters, threats of court action, and near-unanimous successful attempts to appeal PCNs on genuine grounds with the parking firm. Similarly, appeals she has escalated through POPLA and the International Parking Community have been unsuccessful. The result of this is emboldened parking firms who think this behaviour is acceptable.
She also expressed, “Little wonder my constituents are frustrated with the system and their most used phrases when referring cases to me is ‘scam’ and ‘fraud’.”
Of course, there was hope for motorists with the Private Parking Code of Practice, which was laid before Parliament on February 7, 2022. However, this was later withdrawn on June 7, 2022. This withdrawal was supposed to be temporary but remains withdrawn almost a year later.
In addition to this, she raised the matter with your department through a Written Question (UIN 61273) in October 2022. The department could not confirm when the Code will be reissued. Since then, her casework continuous to include constituents raising cases of unfair PCNs.
In conclusion, she wrote that the Code received cross-party support and motorists in Edgbaston – indeed, across the country – are suffering because of withdrawal. Therefore, can you please outline a clear timescale for this review, and when can my constituents expect the Code to be reissued.
Along with this, the Member of Parliament of Birmingham Edgbaston shared the letter by the government and expressed her disappointment with the anticipated actions by the UK authorities.