Update: The Independent Parking Committee has now been renamed the International Parking Community. We have a new page on the site describing them; this page is kept for historical reference only.
A new Accredited Trade Association (ATA) has been established, as of late 2013. The Independent Parking Committee (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.
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 London Council. IPC itself is run as an offshoot of Gladstones Solicitors.
Funnily enough, the similarities to the BPA don’t stop there – with IPC using a very similar logo scheme to the BPA – which rumours suggest the BPA aren’t very happy about. One also assumes the BPA won’t be too enamoured by the establishment of a rival ATA. Up until this point, operators have had no choice than to join the BPA, whereas now they will have a choice.
It is understood that IPC membership fees are lower than those of the BPA, as are the appeals service fees. Interestingly, IPC’s appeals fee depends on the outcome of the appeal – £15 if the operator wins, and £25 if they lose. As the Parking Prankster has noted, the BPA are struggling to balance the books of their appeals scheme, so one wonders how IPC will achieve that when charging less?
At the time of writing, IPC has a handful of members. It will be interesting to see how many other parking companies decide to make the move – and whether any of those are the bigger players in the industry. The BPA’s scope is wider than just private parking enforcement, whereas IPC are focussed on only that area, presumably allowing themselves to run a much leaner operation (hence the lower fees).
From a motorists perspective, the establishment of another ATA should make little difference, since all parking tickets are subject to the same underlying laws and principles. Here at Parking Cowboys, we will monitor developments and update this site as and when more information becomes available.