Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
The Protection of Freedoms Act was introduced in 2012. It contains new laws to deal with parking on private land which came into effect in October 2012 . As was demanded by the public for years, wheel clamping on private land is now illegal. Specifically, wheel clamping without lawful authority. Lawful authority allows for exceptions where there is specific legislation, such as certain train station car parks or public roads.
Section 56 of the Act introduced a change in law to make the keeper of a vehicle liable for parking charges incurred on private land if the keeper does not know the identity of the driver at the time. Previously for private parking fines, the land owner could only pursue the driver of the vehicle at the time since that is who they had a contract with. Have a look at our page on keeper liability for detailed information about what this means.
One of the conditions for putting the legislation in place was the establishment of an independent appeals service for private parking tickets. Each of the accredited trade associations were required to set up an independent appeals service (POPLA for BPA members, IAS for IPC members). The independent appeals service allows motorists to make an appeal to a body ‘independent’ of the parking company, if the parking company reject an initial appeal. (We say ‘independent’ since they are not truly independent, the parking companies fund the ATA they are a member of and so there is a potential conflict of interest).
It should be noted is that if you do appeal to an independent appeal service and your appeal is not upheld, that does not make the ticket any more enforceable than it was before, so effectively you have nothing to lose by making an independent appeal.
The official POPLA website can be found here.
For more information on the clamping ban, see here.