Civil Parking Enforcement
The ever mounting number of vehicles on our roads, and more specifically on our city and town centre roads, means that parking is a problem for many motorists. Often they complain that it is just too sparse, but many consider city centre parking to be far too expensive. It is these people that often fall victim to wheel clampers, with more and more parking enforcement companies now operating throughout the United Kingdom.
Land owners (be it residential or commercial) of private car park areas including supermarkets, shopping centres, office blocks or apartment buildings have, in recent decades, been increasingly opting to utilise the services of parking enforcement companies to mange and run their busy car parks. Most importantly their aim is to ensure that those not utilising the car parking facility appropriately, will be penalised for their breach.
As such, parking enforcement companies have found themselves coming under fire from motorists, angry at having been caught out and questioning the tactics of these companies – often labelling them underhand.
Parking enforcement companies are, however, managed and regulated to some extent – with licensing and guidelines now in place in many counties across the country. Of course frustrated motorists consider this to inadequate at times and legal action has been taken against parking enforcement companies on many occasions, however victory is rare.
Online forums have been set up to challenge parking enforcement companies, with the costs incurred by the irresponsible motorist being the main bone of contention. Sometimes release fees exceed a hundred pounds and the legitimacy of this level of charge, must be brought into question.
Interestingly, parking enforcement companies are fast becoming the new traffic wardens, in terms of unpopularity in our towns and cities. What remains to be seen is whether these companies can be regulated in such a way that they have the backing of the land owners and the motorists alike, but is the forums I have just visited are anything to go by, we are a long way from that!