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10 August 2015

Monday Musing: Scottish Shout Out!

Last year we created Parking Scotland to enable our Scottish members to better represent parking and traffic management issues at a political and stakeholder level in Scotland.  More powers are coming to Scotland in the shape of the Scotland Bill which will build on the significant powers which have already been devolved to Holyrood. The Bill has completed the committee stage; the next stage is the report stage which will take place in the autumn.

Fairer Scotland events are running across the country this month and we think a fairer Scotland would include better regulation of parking on private land. This means a single standard setting body, a single Code of Practice and a single and a truly independent appeals service for parking charge notices issued on private land in Scotland.

As the only Professional Association for the entire parking sector we are keen to ensure that parking on private land is managed properly, effectively and yet fairly in Scotland.

Many motorists know that we introduced independent appeals services for parking tickets issued on private land England and Wales; we’d like to do the same in Scotland. We continue to call for the introduction of POPLA in Scotland. The Parking on Private Land Appeals Service (POPLA) is providing motorists in England and Wales with a fair and effective appeals service for parking tickets issued by BPA members on private land.

We are also actively engaged in conversation with Citizens Advice Scotland and the Scottish Government about how to deliver POPLA to motorists in Scotland in a fair and equitable way. Presently we believe this involves the introduction of keeper liability of a kind seen in the Protection of Freedoms Act in England and Wales. This would ensure regulation and management of parking is effective, with registered keepers being held accountable for the actions of drivers who are using their vehicles when that is necessary.

POPLA should be available to motorists in Scotland to ensure parking enforcement is undertaken fairly and responsibly; we will continue to work with operators and the Scottish Government to offer an appeals service for those who wish to challenge parking tickets issued on private land.

Over 65,000 appeals have been registered at POPLA since it was launched in England and Wales in October 2012. Currently it stands that motorist’s appeals are upheld in 49% of cases.

But what about regulated parking, that is on land managed under relevant legislation by local authorities? Scotland currently has the Scottish Parking Appeals Service and we are calling for the service to be transformed and through Parking Scotland we’re offering to help develop and improve this service. We believe that it needs to be modernised, become more transparent and accountable when dealing with local authorities and motorists.

The BPA and more specifically, its members in Parking Scotland have a real desire to work with the Scottish Government, consumer groups and others to help transform the way motorists can appeal all parking tickets issued in Scotland. It’s frustrating for motorists when we are unable to help them with advice about tickets issued by operators who cannot offer them the right to an independent appeals service.

Our Master Plan for Parking in Scotland and our UK wide campaign for a single standards setting body both call for better regulation for parking on private land and a better future for motorists in Scotland.   

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