Monday, 29 October 2012

British Parking Association launches probe into PRI firm

An investigation has been launched into the company which monitors parking at Perth Royal Infirmary following criticisms about poor signage.

The British Parking Association (BPA) confirmed it was looking into complaints about worn signs and broken parking meters at the site, which is operated by Town and City Parking.
Visitors and staff at the hospital have been slapped with £60 parking charge notices, despite being unable to read boards displaying the rules at the free-to-use site.
Read the full article here

Separate motorway duty ‘will create two classes of driver’

MOTORISTS using Britain’s motorways and major trunk roads would pay a separate rate of road tax under a proposal being considered in Whitehall.
Government sources say officials are examining plans for an overhaul of vehicle excise duty (VED), which raises £6 billion a year.
One option would see the tax being split into two tiers. All motorists would pay the first levy, allowing them to drive on local roads and smaller A-roads.
Those wanting to use the country’s trunk-road network — consisting of all motorways and major A-roads — would pay a second flat-rate charge.
Read full article here

Your car might be watched 24 hours in future

In the future, you just might be charged for driving to the convenience store around the corner to get milk and bread.
The government is now testing new satellite-tracking technology that could develop into the next-generation electronic road pricing (ERP) system.
The System Evaluation Test (SET) began in May and "is a technological trial to help identify a technological solution most suited for Singapore", Channel NewsAsia reported.
So don't be alarmed if you come across four black cantilevers at Woodlands Avenue 12, the site where the SET testing is being carried out. You will also notice a range of surveillance cameras, reflectors and sensors set on the structures hanging over the road.
Read the full article here

Driver’s £80 fine for accepting valid car park ticket

An angry shopper is warning others not to fall into the trap of sharing car park tickets or it could end up ruining their Christmas.
Lynda Double was faced with an £80 fine after she fell foul of the small print when she took up a stranger’s kind offer of a ticket that was still valid for an hour and a half.

Read the full article here

One in six parking tickets issued by Swindon Council is revoked

ONE in six parking tickets have wrongly been handed out to drivers since 2011.
Drivers have successfully appealed 6,447 tickets that have been slapped on their cars since the start of 2011, figures obtained under the Freedom Of Information Act have shown.
Out of 43,293 tickets issued by Swindon Council, 15 per cent of them were queried by motorists and revoked for reasons such as a having a parking ticket or Blue Badges that might not have been visible when the car was booked.

Read the full article here

Plymouth man given parking fine 'for an act of courtesy'

A MOTORIST claims he was unfairly ticketed by the Plymouth camera car for an "act of courtesy".
David Bailey said he was caught on camera when he pulled into a bus bay to let traffic pass. He said he was "horrified and angry" to receive a fixed penalty for stopping at a bus stop in Hyde Park Road.

Read the full article here

CCTV cars net Sutton Council £1m since March 2011

More than £1m has been taken off motorists by CCTV cars since they were rolled out in the Sutton last year.
The remit of the CCTV cars, initially brought in to enforce parking rules outside schools, was extended in March 2011 to include patrols across the borough looking for cars flouting parking rules.

Read the full article here

Council faces questions over car park confusion

THE Environment Agency is to hold talks with council bosses after admitting it was unaware that the latter were still collecting parking charges on agency land.
Last week the Herald revealed that pay and display signs remain on Environment Agency property which Shepway District Council used to lease as a car park.

Read the full article here

Conmen behind a parking ticket phishing expedition

Motorist Peter Whalley of Manchester was rightly suspicious of the email supposedly demanding payment for a parking fine.
The street where the alleged offence took place was in Haringey, North London. Peter says: "I have never been to London in my 74 years, the farthest I drive is Oldham."
Read the full article here

DVLA keeps eye on parking firms

EXCEL Parking has been banned from using the DVLA database to send out controversial £60 ‘fines’ - but what’s to stop it channelling requests through its sister company, Vehicle Control Services?
The two firms are based at 2 Europa Court, Sheffield Business Park and both are members of the British Parking Association
Read the full article here

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Cowboy parking firm making Hampshire motorists lives a misery

TODAY the Daily Echo can lift the lid on a cowboy parking firm operating in Hampshire charging sky high fines and misleading drivers into coughing up cash.
Shoal Enforcement Ltd, which once clamped a police car guarding the Queen and an AA rescue vehicle, is still making life a misery for motorists.
Clamping on private land has been banned since October 1, but the Hampshire-based firm is now slapping tickets on vehicles demanding up to £180, and threatening to track down drivers using debt collectors.
Read the full article here

Parking ticket adds to handbrake horror for Stortford worker

WHEN a Stortford worker returned to her parked car and found a runaway vehicle had careered into the motor, there was worse to come.

An East Herts District Council parking enforcement officer had ticketed both cars for being outside a marked bay on Friday, October 19.

Read full article here

Don't get conned by parking fine scam

MOTORISTS in Worcestershire are being warned to stay alert to a car parking fine con.
Drivers are being sent bogus parking tickets from the email address

Read full article here

Call for 'tax transparency'

THE National Motorist Action Group (NMAG) and FairFuelUK are calling on MPs to back a campaign to ensure motorists can see how much of their cash is going on fuel duty – at the point of purchase.

NMAG spokesman Rupert Lipton said: "We want to see the amount of Fuel Duty and VAT taken by the Government displayed on every fuel receipt.

Read the full article here

Thursday, 18 October 2012

DVLA bans Excel from database

MOTORISTS can park without fear for three months after the DVLA banned Excel Parking from using its database.
The Sheffield company will be unable to send £60 ‘fines’ to drivers who uses any of its camera-controlled car parks.
It was suspended for breaching the British Parking Association’s code of practice.
Excel makes about 20,000 requests for addresses every three months. The ban will cost it tens of thousands of pounds in lost income. It issues tickets for staying too long or failing to input number plate details correctly.
Read the full article here

Firm wins big payout in court fight with store

A Chorley-based parking company has been awarded £350,000 damages from a supermarket giant following a court ruling.
Buckshaw Village-based ParkingEye Ltd sued Somerfield for terminating a contract to monitor its car parks.
ParkingEye Ltd put in automated systems at 17 Somerfield stores to record vehicle registration numbers and catch out over-stayers.

Read the full article here

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

For Whom the Road Tolls? Looks like the motorist is set to become the target yet again. If ever there was a time for a gathering of the clans this is it.

Road tolling backed by Britain's employers

Motorists could see the cost of driving rise under proposals to privatise motorways and A-roads and introduce tolling, drawn up by the Confederation of British Industry.

The CBI has called for a major overhaul of how the roads are paid for which would see part of existing road taxes converted into a “user charge” which in the long term would be supplemented by pay as you drive tolls. Read the full article here

Elderly drivers voted most irritating

Elderly motorists wind other road users up the most according to new research by car insurance firm Admiral. Is this an unfair slight against older drivers?
Admiral, the car insurance firm, asked more than 3,000 people to tell them which road users they find most irritating as part of its annual survey of road users.
Read the full article here

Monday, 8 October 2012

Council Leader opposed to MEVs Equita wishing to provide a vehicle!

NMAG supports Tendering District Council Leader’s position of resisting revenue-raising CCTV cars.  There are more effective ways of ensuring that parents do not park wrongly outside schools and that involves road safety initiatives with schools and parents and providing a visible Civil Enforcement Officer deterrent … a bit like when Bobbies used to walk the beat and prevent crime.

The involvement of a bailiff company in the provision of such enforcement vehicles, that being only for profitable purposes, should be alarming to any responsible member of a local authority.

Essex: Council leader Neil Stock speaks out over CCTV car proposals

A COUNCIL leader has spoken out about proposals to introduce patrolling CCTV cars outside schools.
Outgoing Tendring District Council leader Neil Stock has called for evidence to prove that CCTV cars will solve parking problems.
Read the full article here

Fuel tax stands at forecourts across the country show the true cost of taxes on petrol and diesel

Great work by the Taxpayer's Alliance. Check out their article below ...

We’ve today launched a major new campaign with the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) to highlight the burden that excessive fuel taxes are placing on motorists and retailers alike. Our latest campaign against high taxes is targeted where they hurt the most, at the pumps. Working with the PRA, over 5,000 Fuel Tax Stands have gone to independent forecourts across the UK so that customers can see exactly how much of their cash is going straight to the Treasury.
Read more ...


NMAG supports the excellent work of the FairFuel Campaign – please support by visiting their site

  FairFuelUK's Key Objectives

Stop any Fuel Duty Rises – Fight to scrap the January & August 3p deferrals that are now planned for implementation in January 2013
Go even further and fight to Cut Fuel Duty for the benefit of economic growth and what the whole nation wants – Convince the Govt to recognise that by sensibly controlling fuel duty, it is a growth stimulus not just a Treasury cash cow
Bring UK petrol and diesel to European Parity in terms of fuel pricing and taxation
Set up a mechanism that is the fairest way to price petrol and diesel for business, the economy and hard pressed motorists
Actively support the inquiries into fuel pricing transparency and oil price speculation. Do you have information to help?

Sunday, 7 October 2012

NMAG says – ‘Support the Petrol Promise’ is an independent campaign for cheaper petrol and diesel. They are asking the Government to cut fuel duty, and urging big energy firms to reduce prices at the pump.

NMAG supports and encourages everyone to share the link and sign their petition here

Labour chief nicked in car with no MoT

Ed Miliband's pal facing ban 

LABOUR bigwig Jon Cruddas — the party’s policy chief — has been nicked for driving with no insurance or MoT.

The MP — at the wheel of a Land Rover Freelander pulled over by cops in central London last night insisted his lapse was an “honest mistake”.

Read the article here

Drivers face new surprise 'repair' motorway fees

Drivers are being hit with expensive bills from Highways Agency contractors for emergency repairs. Motorists claim the prices are over-inflated and in some cases they question whether the repairs ever took place.

Sheila Kaur-Patel, who works as a BBC production manager, was shocked when she received an invoice for £3,000 for damage she had allegedly caused during a motorway incident.
Read the full article here

Major threat to routes in England

  Great work by Brian and the ABD team. Spread the word.

  Major threat to routes in England

 Friday, October 05, 2012

 IN 2007, the Government backed down after 1.8 million people signed a petition against road pricing. Wary of that, the newly-elected coalition government promised not to bring in road pricing (other than for lorries) or even prepare for it.

Although the Government would consider levying tolls on totally new roads like motorways, we were assured that our existing roads would not be tolled.

There is now the threat of major routes in England effectively being sold off, and the public being charged to use existing roads. The government has quietly started engaging with local authorities with a view to softening up public opinion.

The driving public has paid something like £500 billion into the roads since 1997, with only a fraction spent back. To charge us even more for driving on inadequate roads would be adding insult to injury.

The government should get its priorities right instead of reaching into our pockets. I encourage readers to write to their MP c/o House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA to say "Can't pay, won't pay".

Brian Gregory, chairman

Association of British Drivers

The Association of British Drivers is a voluntary and non-profit-making organisation whose aim is to provide an active, responsible voice to lobby for Britain's beleaguered drivers.

To support the ABD click here

To contact ABD click here

To contact your MP click here

Friday, 5 October 2012

Man not paying £80 parking fine

NMAG will be investigating this matter detailed below. It appears as though the NMAG forum has a number of posts already here and here and they are mentioned here If you have received a ticket or been clamped by Armtrac Security Services then please post on the NMAG Forum.

This is Cornwall
4th October 2012

A DRIVER is disputing a hefty parking fine in Truro over claims the security firm imposed the penalty illegitimately.

The motorist complained to the car park owner and discovered the security businessDescription: had no authority to issue the fines within the area.
Read the full article here

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Will Westminster's parking sensors set a new trend?

Parking in Westminster is difficult at the best of times.

The council estimates that half a million vehicles travel in and out of central London a day.

Of course this puts a huge strain on the number of available parking bays. Now the council is trialing a new technology to make it easier to find a space. 

It's early days but the technology seems to work, albeit a very small trial.

New technology

What's interesting about Westminster City Council is it sets the trends for parking across the country.
Read the full article here

Cars parked on private land can no longer be clamped

New laws were put in place on Monday to stop cars from being clamped or towed on most private properties in England and Wales.

Parking tickets will still be issued and those who do not pay can be traced through the DVLA.

5 liveMorning Reports spoke to Tony Glackin, from Worcester, who had his car clamped while parked in his own space and to the British Parking Association's Kelvin Reynolds who said the new legislation did not go far enough.

Wheel clamping banned on private land

New parking laws that make it illegal for private companies to clamp cars come into force in October, although most motorists know nothing about them.

Wheel clamping on private land becomes illegal in England and Wales today as new parking laws are introduced, although most drivers are unaware that the changes are taking place.

Read the full article here

Police in Haworth back change in wheelclamping law

A Worth Valley police officer said he “wholeheartedly welcomed” the fact that clamping vehicles on private land is now an offence in almost any situation.
Sergeant Chris Watson, of the Worth Valley Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) was commenting on one of the latest provisions of an act of parliament, which came into force today.
His patch includes the Changegate Car Park, in Haworth, where hundreds of people’s vehicles have been clamped over the course of more than a decade.
Read the full article here

Most motorists unaware of new parking laws

Ninety-one per cent of people are unaware that from today they are required, by law, to provide details of the driver of any vehicle wrongfully parked on private land, according to a poll conducted by road safety charity the IAM.
Half of motorists are uninformed that consumer rights are different depending on whether a parking ticket is issued by a private company or by a local council.
Read the full article here

Drivers caught by aggressive private parking firms handed lifeline

Motorists hit with penalties when parking on private land – including outside shops and hospitals – can fight back from tomorrow.

The Parking on Private Land Appeals scheme will at last give independent adjudication on disputes involving companies signed up to the British Parking Association. 

About 700 of the UK’s 2,000 private parking firms, including major names such as NCP, belong to the association. However, it will not stop others that do not belong from ignoring the guidelines.

Read the full article here



ROGUE car clamping firms will be banned from operating on private land from tomorrow, saving British motorists £108million in fines.

A new law, introduced as part of the Protection of Freedoms Act, means it will be a criminal offence to clamp or tow a car away on private land – with fines of up to £5,000 for offenders. The ban will mean private parking firms will be hard-pressed to enforce tickets without the use of a clamp.

Read the full article here


Victory for Mail campaign as cowboy clampers banned from all private land and facing criminal charges

Wheel clamping on private land becomes a criminal offence from tomorrow following a seven-year campaign by The Mail on Sunday.

The new law bans immobilising and towing away vehicles at retail parks, blocks of flats, council housing estates and hospitals. 

It affects both unscrupulous operators who set out to trap motorists, and companies that have legitimate contracts with landowners to patrol off-street sites.

The move is expected to save motorists £55 million a year in release fees.

Read the full article here 

£240,000 still owed in unpaid parking fines to North Lincolnshire Council

More than £240,000 is still owed to North Lincolnshire Council in unpaid parking fines over the past three years, according to recent figures.
The Telegraph used the Freedom of Information Act to find out the amount owed in unpaid penalty charge notices to the local authority.
Since 2010 there is £241,000 outstanding, roughly 20 per cent of the total value of notices issued.

Read the full article here

There may be trouble ahead …

As the penny starts to drop for the British Parking Association that their organisation is as good as the worst of the apples in the barrel we predict that whilst there may be trouble ahead there ain’t gonna be much dancing going on … except for officials at the DVLA who have created a lucrative industry based on the free, unfettered supply of public data to private land parking operators, many of whom have paid scant regard to the BPA’s VOLUNTARY Code of Practice.
How do we know of the pending doom?

Check out this here

A very bright spotlight is about to be shone on an ‘industry’ the Minister failed to properly examine before embarking on a route which will end up causing a great deal of embarrassment for all concerned.
The motoring public were cynical and suspicious previously about the legitimacy of private land parking enforcement in its attempt to mimic local authority enforcement. Now the hot poultice of publicity is about to be smeared on the top of a festering boil!

Regulation of Signage and Ticketing Technology (Publicly-available Car Parks)

Motion for leave to bring in a Bill (Standing Order No. 23)
1.13 pm
Nick Smith (Blaenau Gwent) (Lab): I beg to move,
That leave be given to bring in a Bill to make provision relating to signage and ticketing technology for parking charges used in publicly-available car parks; and for connected purposes.
This is a straightforward Bill. It will get a better deal for the motorist and stop them being ripped off at car parks. Misleading and confusing signs are inexcusable; it should be simple to get the signs and pay machines right.
Last autumn, angry constituents came to see me when a new operator took over a town centre car park in Ebbw Vale. Within weeks, I had received a flood of complaints from blue badge holders. There were criticisms about signage, and about a complicated payment system in which drivers had to enter their car registration number into a fiddly key pad. I am fed up with poor signage in car parks that confuses and confounds the motorist. At that car park in my constituency, motorists were told, in micro-print:
“Do not leave the car park to retrieve change in order to purchase a valid ticket”.
The fact that they are unable to read that instruction before entry makes it hard for the motorist to do the right thing; it also helps the operator to pocket fines. However, the British Parking Association, which oversees the self-regulation of the private car parking industry, told me that that sign was acceptable.
Perhaps the greatest grievance brought to my attention was the extortionate parking charge notices. Like most MPs, I bat for my constituents. I am a reasonable person, and I think that motorists should pay to park on private land. However, I expect parking operators to tell drivers how and what to pay. Signs should be clear and unambiguous, and when drivers do pay, but make a genuine mistake when entering their registration number into a machine, they should not have to pay an additional parking charge of £40, as a constituent of mine was asked to do. They had already purchased a ticket and paid for their parking space, so there was no loss whatever to the operator. My constituent had done the right thing, but was still forced to cough up. That is just wrong.
I have met representatives of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, which passes on vehicle registration data to the so-called approved car park operators. I have also met representatives of the British Parking Association, the industry-funded body, which requires its members to abide by its members’ club code of practice. The BPA told me that it would like statutory regulation of the sector, but that that has been spiked by the Government. When I met the Transport Minister, I was told that an independent appeals service for unfair ticketing would be introduced under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. That safeguard is welcome, but it fails to address the large-scale and deliberately exploitative ticketing operations of some in the sector.
18 Sep 2012 : Column 798
Since raising this issue in Parliament, I have been contacted by people from all over the country who have been hit by car park operators’ sharp practice. Their anger and frustration is backed up by statistics from the DVLA. In 2011-12, the DVLA received 1.57 million electronic requests for driver information. Those requests give drivers’ personal details to car park operators, and the information is used to chase up motorists for payment. The number of requests went up by one third in the past year alone. When a driver allegedly breaks the rules, the car park operator gets their personal details from the DVLA and uses them to send them an instant penalty charge notice. In short, the operators are milking the motorist.
Now, following much consumer campaigning, the BPA is reducing the maximum charge, but it will still be a hefty £100. If drivers do not pay the charge, it increases and a solicitor’s letter often follows. That aptly named “threatogram” can often frighten the motorist into paying up. Such charges can cost the British motorist a staggering £125 million a year. In Stockport, a gentlemen won his case because the judge thought that the signage was poor, and that people could have been forgiven for thinking that they did not have to pay. It turned out that more than 11,000 people in the previous three years had not paid, but, yet again, the BPA thought that the signage was fine.
I am pressing for simple and fair signage. I want clear notices at the entrances to car parks, to let motorists know whether or not they have to pay. Drivers also need to know how to pay, and how much. One idea is to have large signs painted on the tarmac as well. That is certainly a low-cost solution. The BPA tells me that it plans to improve signage, including through the use of larger font sizes. Let us hope that it takes inspiration from the excellent Olympics signage that we have all seen in the past few months; it was first class.
Above all, the BPA must get on with this; otherwise, motorists will continue to be a soft target. I was disappointed, but not surprised, to find that the BPA is giving its car park operators up to three years to change their signs, even though we all expect the operators to make the changes quickly. That will mean another three years of unfair fines for many.
I am also worried about a developing business model for this sector, in which the landowner receives the hourly charge from the motorist but the car park operator receives the income from any extra charges. So, from the car park operator’s point of view, the more confusing the signage is, the better. When it is confusing for the motorist, the car park operators make more money. That cannot be right.
This Bill will end the open season on motorists; it will deliver clear, easy-to-read signs in all car parks used by the public. Payment systems, too, must be as simple as possible. Motorists who pay should not face extra charges when they have done the right thing.
If we want shoppers to use our high streets, we need to make sure they can park at reasonable cost. Confusing and misleading car park signs are quite literally driving consumers out of our town centres. They are going to out-of-town retail centres, where they can park for free. Nobody is arguing for free car parking in our towns. People should pay for parking and the landowner should get a reasonable return. Motorists should not be ripped off, however. This Bill would mean that, in future,
18 Sep 2012 : Column 799
motorists can use their local town centre without fear of being fleeced. Crucially, car park operators must clean up their act.
Question put and agreed to .
That Nick Smith, Stephen Barclay, Nic Dakin, Chris Evans, Yvonne Fovargue, Diana Johnson, Barbara Keeley, Ian Lucas, Seema Malhotra, John Mann and Jim Shannon present the Bill.
Nick Smith accordingly presented the Bill.
Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 25 January 2013, and to be printed (Bill 71).