Today the Department for Communities and Local Government announced several new regulatory reforms set to be introduced on 6th April 2016. These includes:
Amendments to off-street parking legislation will balance the right of land owners to control the use of their land and protect drivers from unscrupulous practices
It would seem that the Government has taken notice of the behaviour private parking industry and now intends to clip its wings. Quite what measures the DCLG will put in place have not been revealed at this time, but one would hope they would limit charges and enforce a single code of practice and independently enforce it.
History, however, should remind us to remain cautious. Back in 2012, the Protection of Freedoms Act was introduced to get rid of the ‘cowboy clampers’. Whilst this neanderthal-like practice was banned, the clampers simply turned their hands to ticketing, and have used equally aggressive practices to try and enforce them through the county court system. Despite the Government’s guidelines that accompanied the new legislation stating that only genuine loss could be recovered, the Supreme Court decided that the parking companies could enforce charges that bore no relation to any loss caused by the motorist. Arguably motorists are worse off now than they were before.So, let’s wait and see what the DCLG proposes… NB. The draft legislation will be published here when available.
Update – 20th January
The press release has now been taken down. It seems that someone in the DCLG got a bit overexcited and hit the publish button too soon. It is our understanding that the legislation needs further consultation, and won’t be enacted this April. However, it is quite clear that something is being done about the parking cowboys…