Government publishes new Code of Practice for Private Parking
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) laid its new private parking Code of Practice in Parliament on 7 February 2022.
The new code is aimed at improving the standards and consistency of private parking operators, generally, as well as to provide greater clarity and protections for the motorist against so called ‘rogue’ operators, unfair and confusing enforcement practices. The new code is available to view here>>.
Key elements of the code include:
- parking penalties cut by up to 50% in the majority of cases, with a maximum cap of £70 / £50, rather than £100
- introduction of a 10-minute grace period before a penalty can be issued
- the requirement for operators to clearly display pricing terms and conditions on signage
- operators breaching the code being barred from accessing motorists’ details for enforcement
- the establishment of a Scrutiny and Oversight Board and the creation of a new, single independent appeals service for private parking, authorised by the Secretary of State.
The department said the code was, in many cases, an ‘evolution of current industry standards’, with the expectation that many of its requirements should not represent a significant challenge for operators.
An implementation period to allow parking operators to align with the code – following ‘as many of the rules as possible’ – will be in place until the end of 2023, after which operators will be expected to fully adhere to the code. The new single appeals service is expected to be in operation by this time.
The new code of practice follows two consultations by the department (previously the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government):
- Private parking charges, discount rates, debt collection fees and appeals charter: further technical consultation>>, to which the department responded on 7 February 2022.
- Parking code enforcement framework>>, to which the department responded on 20 March 2021.
PATROL will continue to engage with DLUHC on the adoption of the new code and will assist, as required, in its discovery phase with regards the new single appeals service.