January parking roundup

Read on for some of the interesting developments in the parking industry this month.

BPA speaks out on confusion

The British Parking Association (BPA) has spoken out on parking confusion among motorists following a statement from the Citizens Advice Bureau that revealed it has seen an increase in the number of people seeking advice on the issue, especially in relation to parking on private land. 

BPA chief executive Patrick Tory stated: "Unfortunately Citizens Advice fails to mention in their advice that if a motorist’s appeal is rejected by a parking operator in the BPA's Approved Operator Scheme they can take their appeal to POPLA, an independent appeals service for motorists in receipt of parking tickets issued on private land. Over 50,000 motorists have done this since 1st October 2012 when it was introduced. It is a free and simple process and the decision is binding on the operator, but not on the motorist."

Mr Troy also pointed to a website - Know Your Parking Rights - that has recently been launched by the BPA to address the issues highlighted by Citizens Advice.

"We work closely with organisations that represent the consumer to continuously raise standards in the private parking sector and we would welcome Citizens Advice's involvement so we can achieve still higher standards," he added.

Stafford officers help to fight crime and keep community safe

In Stafford, the role of civil enforcement officers has expanded beyond ensuring parking regulations are adhered to. 

According to the Staffordshire Newsletter, the professionals have been playing an active role in helping to combat crime in the area of late. Officers twice reported suspect activity to the police, leading to an individual being detained for suspected drugs offences and an uninsured car being discovered.

The parking workers have helped the community in other ways too, as officers have twice aided members of the public who have suffered a fall and stayed with them until ambulances arrived. One individual even scaled a garden fence to assist an elderly woman who had fallen over. Meanwhile, another parking professional took a lost child to the police, who were then able to contact the youngster's guardian.

Stafford Borough council parking manager Steve Allen praised the actions of the local authority's officers, saying they serve as its "eyes and ears".

Local parking stats revealed

Statistics regarding parking enforcement on the Isle of Wight and in Derby have been released this month. For the former, it was revealed some 1,631 penalty charge notices were issued in December, with 1,355 paid in full by the end of the month, On the Wight reports.

Some 284 informal challenges were received in December, while two appeals have been reported so far this month and issued to an independent adjudicator. On the Wight said the number of penalty charges handed out in December is significantly lower than the average of 3,000 per month that were issued during 2010-2011.

Meanwhile in Derby, it has been revealed that the City Council brought in £1.4 million through parking fines in the year up to April 2014. The figure has attracted criticism, but the local authority said all of the money raised has been reinvested in improving roads and car parks, the Derby Telegraph reports. According to the RAC, English councils brought in a total of £667 million in parking charges during the period in question.

In Dover, the Dover Express has reported that parking charges will be frozen for the duration of the next financial year.

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