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Private car park laws

In the legal landscape of England and Wales, the maxim 'an Englishman's [or Welshman's] home is his castle' stands as a cornerstone upheld by Common Law. However, when it comes to private car park laws, there exist distinct boundaries and limitations that every landowner, or their appointed agent, should be well-versed in.
For instance, it is imperative to understand the legal restrictions on what can be lawfully executed, even when dealing with an intruder. Placing malicious objects with the intent to 'punish' unwelcome visitors is unequivocally deemed illegal. Those who may contemplate adopting the practices of 18th and early 19th-century landowners, who resorted to placing mantraps in their wooded areas to deter trespassers, must be aware of the severe consequences. Such actions today would lead to potential State and/or private prosecution, coupled with civil action.
The landscape of private car park laws has undergone significant and swift transformations in recent times, largely attributed to the landmark Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. This pivotal legislative move, the brainchild of two prominent women in the Home Office, carries far-reaching implications, affecting various dimensions of life in Britain.

One of the most crucial shifts initiated by the Act was the unequivocal prohibition, as of midnight on September 30th, 2012, of two practices that private car park laws had hitherto allowed:

  • Clamping
  • Towing

This transformative change was catalysed by intense pressure exerted by the powerful motoring lobby within Parliament.

The concept of the wheel clamp traces its origins to Denver, Colorado, where it was conceived by an orchestra violinist. Initially greeted with acclaim, reports from Denver's civic authorities and counterparts across the USA, as well as globally, attested to the considerable revenue generated from release charges, substantially augmenting local government coffers.

In the United Kingdom, both public authorities and private individuals began employing the wheel clamp from the 1960s onwards. Regrettably, the wheel-clamping industry gradually eroded its reputation, marked by unethical and thuggish practices. In due course, motoring organizations, spearheaded by the esteemed Royal Automobile Club, took a stand, demanding measures to outlaw this practice.

The act of towing vehicles away faced its share of negative publicity. Presently, it stands as an entirely illegal practice on private land. During its heyday in the late, often lamented 20th century, the spectacle of diverse vehicles being hoisted onto towing trucks garnered popularity, particularly among children and onlookers.

Thankfully, the 2012 Act has decisively outlawed both these methods for enforcing private car park laws. However, this legislative stride does create a void, particularly for landlords seeking effective control measures.

Enter Flashpark, an innovative company based in England, revolutionizing the parking control landscape with its eponymous Flashpark method.

In essence, the affected landowner or their appointed agent captures a high-resolution image of the offending vehicle, accompanied by one or more warning notices, employing the services of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), a pivotal government entity, to precisely identify and levy charges on the 'registered keeper.' This captured photograph is then expeditiously transmitted to Flashpark via email.

Crucially, the DVLA extends its permission solely to authorized companies, like Flashpark (a distinguished brand under Vehicle Control Solutions Ltd), allowing them exclusive access to its ownership register.

With utmost confidence, we anticipate the global emulation of this groundbreaking parking control methodology, fully compliant with private car park laws in England and Wales, resonating from India to the United States of America. The most promising aspect lies in the absence of any existing or pending patents, ensuring that no royalties encumber this transformative advancement.

Learn more about Flashpark's innovative parking control solutions here.