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News

Government Private Clamping Ban Holds Sting In The Tail For Landowners

British Parking Association : 18 August, 2010  (Company News)
Whilst welcoming tougher action against rogue private wheel clamping firms operating on private land, the BPA calls for alternative measures to enable private land-owners to take effective action against illegal parking of vehicles
In response to the Government's announcement about a forthcoming ban on wheel clamping on private land, Patrick Troy - Chief Executive of the British Parking Association (BPA) - calls for a full review of the private parking sector.

Patrick Troy comments: 'We have long lobbied for better regulation of the private parking sector, including clamping. We want to see higher operator standards and a fairer deal for motorists when they fall foul of the rules. We are concerned however that banning clamping removes any incentive to follow the rules.

Clamping provides a last resort to landowners, who are faced with persistent offenders and ticket evaders. The Government must be accountable for protecting landowners' interests if ticketing is ineffective and drivers continue to park unlawfully.

Drivers should be encouraged to comply with the conditions of private car park use. Everyone recognises landowners' rights to control their land; if drivers trespass, there must be repercussions. However, these repercussions must be proportionate and take a driver's needs into account.

The Government's plans are a charter for the selfish parker. We urge the Home Office to tightly regulate the private parking sector, instead of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Real progress can be made by addressing the scrag end of the market occupied by rogue clampers.

In a bid to improve standards and in the absence of adequate Government legislation, the BPA launched the Approved Operators Scheme (AOS) in 2007. Every member is subject to a robust Code of Practice. If they cannot demonstrate compliance, their membership may be revoked. This in turn removes their right to access vehicle keeper details from the DVLA. Membership to the AOS - currently the only Accredited Trade Association (ATA) for the sector - must be compulsory.

The AOS is designed to act as a blueprint for any future government legislation. Until the introduction of tighter regulations, the BPA will continue to drive up industry standards for the benefit of everyone - landowners, car park operators and drivers.
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