Parking chiefs demand right to issue even higher fines… claiming that hammering motorists visiting hospitals will help the NHS
- Parking firms have brazenly claimed increases to fines would ‘protect the NHS’
- Ministers considering new rules with proposals to cut fines to £50 if paid early
- Chief of controversial Parkingeye says reduced fines would see breaches double
- A spokesperson for the AA said it was ‘sceptical’ higher fines would be deterrent
Parking firm ‘fat cats’ have argued fines should be increased – with brazen claims it will ‘protect the NHS’ and help reduce CO2 emissions.
As ministers consider new rules for parking charges, some of Britain’s largest car parks have advised the Government to increase penalty charges to the £120 option being looked at in Scotland.
They have fought against proposals to cut notices to £50 with a 50 per cent reduction if paid early in some areas – instead asking the current £100 cap be boosted.
The boss of one of the UK’s biggest hospital parking firms, which has been criticised for its ‘immoral’ charges, astonishingly suggested this would ‘protect the NHS’.
A stock picture of a penalty charge notice on the windscreen of a car. Parking firms have argued fines should be increased amid brazen claims it will ‘protect the NHS’ and help reduce CO2 emissions
Philip Boynes, chief of Parkingeye, told the Commons housing, communities and local government committee the ‘deterrent’ of a hefty penalty ensures motorists don’t overstay and block spaces for potential patients in town centres.
He said reduced fines would see breaches ‘doubling’ and cause ‘bigger traffic jams as people struggle to park and raise CO2 levels.’
He added: ‘In effect we would probably see something in the region of £100million in lost revenue to businesses, we would see circa 80 million lost footfall to the NHS, to retail, to the high street.’
Jack Cousens, of the AA, said he was ‘sceptical’ higher fines would be a deterrent.
He said: ‘That’s not how drivers think.
‘Drivers simply just want to park, pay the rate and get on with their day.’
How to appeal a parking fine issued by a private enforcement company
1 – Check if the company who fined you is accredited by the British Parking Association or the International Parking Community by checking the member lists on their websites. If they are not they won’t be able to get your name and address from the DVLA.
If you get the letter from a company that does not belong to either of the above organisations, then they have got your address so you should reply. However, you can write to the DVLA to make sure they have not got your details illegally.
Also make sure you write to the institution that owns the site you were fined on – such as a school or hospital – to state you were a genuine customer. Many ParkingEye contracts include a ‘genuine customer exemption’, which means that if you were a genuine customer or service user the ticket could be cancelled.
2 – Write to the parking company to appeal the ticket, including any evidence you have that it was wrongly issued. This could include a valid pay and display ticket, photos of signs that are hard to see or misleading, permission from the landowner or a letter from a witness who can confirm what happened.
According to Citizens Advice, the notice to the vehicle’s owner must be delivered within 14 days after the last day of parking. If it isn’t delivered to you in time, tell the parking company you don’t have to pay the charge.
3 – If you are unhappy with their response then you can appeal to the independent arbitrators. For members of the BPA go to Parking on Private Land Appeals (POPA); for the IPC use the Independent Appeals Service.
4 – If your appeal is rejected then you should pay or the parking company will take you to court. When you can pay you should write that you are ‘paying under protest’ and keep a copy. If you still think you were wrongly fined you can take the firm to small claims court to try and reclaim the money.
Appealing a parking ticket issued by a council is a slightly different process. Visit Citizens Advice for more details and support.