Private parking tickets
Wheel clamping on private land was made a criminal offence on 1 October 2012, through the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. It was outlawed to stop rogue clampers from maximising profits on vehicles, through alleged manpower, time and hardware costs.
With clamping no longer an option for most private locations, however - with the exception of some railway stations, airports and local authority housing under local by-laws, as well as public bodies including the police and DVLA - landowners were left trying to figure out how they would be able to stop people parking on their land. There is still a need for landowners and private car park operators to be able to control those who park, but the enforcement must be fair and reasonable.
Private parking ticket law
The laws of contract and trespass still allow for landowners - or their parking enforcement contractors - to issue parking charge notices to people who park on private land, providing there are clear private parking signs in place and private parking tickets are issued clearly and legitimately. The British Parking Association (BPA) has developed a new system of private parking tickets and an approved operator scheme that sets controls over the parking enforcement companies to ensure that they eschew the cowboy, cavalier and aggressive reputation that certain rogue wheel clampers had given the previous enforcement system.
Regulation and appeals
The BPA has devised a strong system of control over how private parking tickets can be issued, requiring their approved members to issue notices that provide options for credit or debit card payments, as well as fair and clear means for appeal if the person who has received the parking charge notice wants to challenge it. The BPA has said that the normal maximum sum its members are allowed to demand from a ticket is £100, which must be discounted by up to 40 per cent for prompt payment. Any amount in excess of this must be fully justified by the parking enforcement company, for example, if the parking has caused substantial consequential losses.
Companies that are not BPA-registered will also be able to issue private parking tickets, but while they will be able to levy their own level of sanction, it must still be proportionate and fair to the consequential loss.
When the ban on wheel clamping on private property came into force last year, Flashpark was in a perfect position to step in and offer landowners a new solution to preventing unauthorised parking on their property, through a system of issuing - and enforcing - private parking tickets.
The private land parking enforcement system provided by Flashpark is an easy-to-use parking service that serves as an effective deterrent to thoughtless parkers. Users set up an account with Flashpark and are sent official signs to be displayed in visible locations around the area of enforcement. The landowners then take pictures of any offending vehicle, in accordance with strict guidelines set out by Flashpark, they upload them to their account and the contravening vehicle is sent a private parking ticket in the post. Flashpark, as a member of the BPA approved operator scheme is able to obtain the details of owners and keepers of cars from the DVLA.