Parking tickets issued by private firms soar 24%

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Private parking firms issued 24% more tickets in 2019/20 compared with the previous 12 months, according to new research.

Companies handed out 8.4 million tickets to British drivers during the last financial year, analysis of Government data by the RAC Foundation indicated.

This is up from 6.8 million in 2018/19.

The data suggests tickets are being issued at a rate of one every four seconds.

Parking companies obtain records from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to chase car owners for alleged infringements in private car parks such as at shopping centres, leisure facilities and motorway service areas.

Each resultant ticket can cost drivers up to £100.

Penalty tickets issued to drivers parking on private land
(PA Graphics)

“To put the numbers in context, if every one of the 8.4 million releases came with a ticket to the next Glastonbury festival Michael Eavis would have to re-run the event over 60 times to fit everyone in.”

Sir Greg Knight MP’s Parking (Code of Practice) Bill officially became law in March 2019 with the aim of bringing rogue parking firms into line or putting them out of business.

It was designed to lead to the creation of a code of conduct, but that has not yet happened.

Mr Gooding went on: “The hard graft of creating a new code of practice for the industry is currently under way. This will go out for public consultation before being presented to Parliament.

“But the code is just one part of the new framework that needs to be put in place, including a single appeals body and independent scrutiny of the private parking trade associations and their members.”

A spokesman for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: “We are committed to cracking down on the minority of rogue parking operators who exploit motorists.

“That’s why we are working with the British Standards Institution on a Code of Practice for the industry that is fair to both drivers and operators.

“We expect to consult on this new Code later this year.”

The DVLA charges private firms £2.50 per record.

The agency says its charges are set to recover the cost of providing the information and it does not make any money from the process.

– Here are the number of vehicle keeper records obtained from the DVLA by parking management companies since 2006-07, according to RAC Foundation analysis:

2019/20: 8.41 million
2018/19: 6.81 million
2017/18: 5.65 million
2016/17: 4.71 million
2015/16: 3.67 million
2014/15: 3.06 million
2013/14: 2.43 million
2012/13: 1.89 million
2011/12: 1.57 million
2010/11: 1.17 million
2009/10: 1.03 million
2008/09: 687,000
2007/08: 499,000
2006/07: 272,000

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