The International Parking Community is one of two Accredited Trade Associations (ATA) in the UK private parking industry. When they were launched in late 2013, they were originally known as the Independent Parking Committee, but changed their name in 2016 whilst maintaining their abbreviation. In fact the Independent Parking Committee’s name changed to United Trade and Industry Ltd, and use International Parking Community as a trading name.
The International Parking Community (IPC) is an alternative members association to the British Parking Association Ltd for parking enforcement companies. Most private parking companies are members of an ATA since membership allows them access to the DVLA’s database for finding keeper data, in order to pursue unpaid parking tickets. Amusingly, and unlikely coincidently, the IPC chose a very similar logo to the BPA.
As an Accredited Trade Association, IPC has been required to establish a code of practice, an accredited operator scheme, and an independent appeals service (IAS), similar to the BPA’s Parking on Private Land Appeals service (POPLA). The IPC’s independent appeal service, called the Independent Appeals Service, is run in-house by IPC, as opposed to POPLA which BPA outsourced to an external supplier, currently Ombudsman Services.
The International Parking Community is owned and operated by Will Hurley and John Davies of Gladstones Solicitors, Knutsford. Gladstones offer private parking companies additional services for debt collection and county court legal enforcement of parking charges.
Before the IPC was setup, private parking companies only had one association to choose from if they want access to the DVLAs database – the BPA. By starting a second ATA, parking companies have a choice. It is understood the IPC have lower membership fees and independent appeals service charges than the BPA. Given the DVLA database access is a key reason for joining an ATA, many parking companies, particularly the smaller ones, have swapped their membership to the IPC.
The IPCs Independent Appeals Service has come under a lot of criticism since it was setup. Unlike the BPAs POPLA scheme, the IPCs scheme is much more opaque in the way it operates. The Parking Prankster blog has been particularly critical of it, calling it a ‘kangaroo court’. Evidence cited includes:
- Only upholding around 20% of appeals, in contrast to the BPAs POPLA upholding around 50% (according to a Parking Review report)
- The motorist not being able to see or respond to parking company evidence, whereas the parking company can see the motorists. This would be unfair anyway, but there is documented evidence from BBC’s Watchdog of an IPC-member parking company submitting false evidence, and this allows such behaviour to occur in secrecy
- The assessors names and qualifications are not disclosed
- Not interpreting the law correctly. Amongst the cases the Prankster cites is where, despite the operator not meeting the requirements for keeper liability under PoFA, the assessor found the keeper to be liable
If you get a ticket from an IPC affiliated company, and you feel hard done by, we would recommend you do your research on how to fight back.
Click here to review the IPC’s Code of Practice.