A new law that comes into being on the 1st October 2012 will change the rules as far as parking on private land is concerned. The liability will change from the driver of the vehicle that is illegally parked to the registered keeper of the vehicle, unless the keeper will clearly identify who was driving at the time.
The British Parking Association has released its figures for 2011, which shows that 1,800,000 private parking charge ticket were given out. 31% of these weren’t paid, leaving 1,242,000 outstanding. Over the next year, British Parking Association members intend to issue a further 500,000, bringing the total to a whopping 2,300,000.
The problem is, however, that because the keepers cannot currently be chased for these charges, it is highly likely that the amount of ticket that will go unpaid will rise by approximately 1,000,000. With the tickets averaging £50 each, this will increase the BPA members revenue by approximately £50,000,000, but leave the British motoring public out of pocket by another £50,000,000.
The big question is is why is this being allowed to happen, and there is no easy answer either. Firstlt, consumer journalists seem to have fallen asleep on the job and not warned the public about this assault that was about to take place on their pockets. Secondly, MP’s either had a vested interest in the new law being passed, were misled over the facts or were simply too stupid to fully understand the implications.
An impact assessment was carried out before the act was passed, which particularly dealt with the county court system carrying the burden of cases where the drivers and the keepers have been pursued for not paying private parking charges that they have been issued with. However, a Freedom of Information request showed that only 85 small claims court actions were registered by BPA members, and only 49 were actually contested.