Illegal parking once more in the news thanks to the Freedom of information Act


New data that was obtained thanks to the Freedom of Information act bring new light on details from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) the fact that 1.5 million drivers details were handed over to members of the British Parking Association, which is an industry trade group, over the course of 2012. These figures might intensify controversies that have afflicted the private parking enforcement industry that already suffered a lot of controversies in the past because of its powers to give out tickets in a similar way to that of local authorities.

Sources inside the industry say that the average private ticket notice usually costs a motorist £105 on every notice, even though the recommended ceiling for tickets is set at £100 since last Autumn.

At the same time, the DVLA charges £2.50 per notice to parking companies in order for them to access its database of drivers, which gives it £3.6 million in fees from these companies. Figures for the last eight months show that the financial year will likely end up with many companies living comfortably with these fees.

One particular company, Parking Eye, has had the details of 540,000 motorists during the year. These were granted increased powers in return for a ban on clamping which was passed last year, and have often come under attack from motorists.

Many landowners employ these firms in order to provide their services on their own private parking lots which leads to a lot of different difficult situations. While the current arrangements may be preferable to clamping, something that is now illegal, motoring groups want additional safeguards against fines that may be too high or suspicious.

Another issue is the one reported by the Daily Telegraph which talked about a case where a motorist was fined by one such company acting on behalf of a service area on a motorway after he slept in his truck. Drivers can also be fined for staying in a car park for too long while getting some fast food, going to a store or doing some other commercial activity.