NEW RULES will be introduced to ban cowboy parking companies after operators tried to fine a dead person and a woman too short to read parking signs.
MPs backed proposals that would force all private companies to sign up to a government-backed code of practice. The rules will bar the worst operators from obtaining motorists’ addresses through the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).
The statutory code of conduct is likely to force operators to limit the penalties issued to motorists and introduce a better appeals system.
Speaking in the Commons last week, MPs said that private parking companies were targeting motorists unfairly, threatening to send round bailiffs and taking out county court judgements that can stop drivers from getting a mortgage.
Yvonne Fovargue, the shadow communities minister, said: “One of the examples I’ve received was of somebody who parked in a car park, went shopping and unfortunately they died when they were out shopping.
“However, they got a parking charge on their car . . . and their relations were chased by a parking company for the parking fine.”
Sir Greg Knight, the Conservative MP for East Yorkshire, who introduced the private member’s bill, told of a 69-year-old woman, Angela, who was given a £70 fine for parking too long at a supermarket car park.
“Angela is 5ft tall and the small signs in this case were mounted so high that she initially did not even see them,” he said.
Rishi Sunak, the communities minister, said that the government supported the Parking (Code of Practice) Bill, which had its second reading yesterday.
He told of a motorist who was unable to get a mortgage after a parking company gained a county court judgment over an unpaid £45 fine. The driver had sold the car before the parking offence.
This article first appeared in The Times