Parking charge notices issued on private land
From 1 October 2012, the Protection of Freedoms Act made it an offence to clamp, block-in or tow vehicles on private land in England and Wales, a move welcomed as a crackdown on rogue clampers. However, at the same time, stronger laws on ticketing were introduced, which mean that unpaid charges can be claimed from the keeper of the vehicle, as well as the driver, provided that the company issuing the ticket is a legitimate member of an accredited organisation (the British Parking Association – BPA). Certain land, such as some railway, port authority and airport car parks, is covered by separate by-laws and is not affected by the new legislation; public bodies, including the police and Vehicle and Operator Services Agency will retain their powers to clamp and remove vehicles.
The BPA, which has more than 700 members, has funded an independent appeals service, to be run by London Councils – known as POPLA. This will allow motorists to appeal against a parking charge issued on private land by a company that is a member of BPA's approved operator scheme but it is not binding on other operators and contract law will still apply.