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01 April 2015

Single standards setting body can deliver real parking reform

The responsibility for all off-street parking, including parking on private land in England has now transferred from the Department for Transport to the Department for Communities and Local Government, adding to the multiplicity and confusion for motorists, consumer groups and businesses alike about who is setting the standards for parking.

One aspect of the BPA’s work is self-regulating the management of parking on private land. We have been collaborating with Government on behalf of the entire parking sector and in the interests of consumers since 2007 when we launched our Approved Operators Scheme (AOS) which became the model for Accredited Trade Associations (ATA). 

We have always believed that there is a need for the establishment of a single standard setting body with an independent scrutiny board which will deliver a single code of practice and a single independent appeals service for consumers. The BPA supports competition in this area but not at the expense of standards which encourages a race to the bottom, or in confusing the motorist by offering different appeals services of varying quality. 

By establishing POPLA in 2012, by agreement with Government, the BPA led the way in delivering independent redress for the consumer. The Government is confusing matters by allowing proliferation of standard setting and appeals bodies. 

The BPA recently appointed The Ombudsman Services to succeed London Councils as the service provider for POPLA from 1st October 2015. The Independent Scrutiny Board for Parking Appeals (ISPA) will continue to scrutinise POPLA to ensure that the service they deliver continues to be independent and be seen to be independent. Since POPLA’s launch by the BPA on October 1st 2012, over 60,000 appeals have been considered. There has not been one instance where a BPA operator has refused to accept a POPLA decision. 

Patrick Troy, Chief Executive of BPA says “We are calling upon the Government to act now and do the right thing for motorists and the entire parking sector. Continuing with multiple codes of practice, multiple appeal services, and variable auditing and sanctions regimes is unfair and confusing for motorists and businesses alike.”

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