Currently, only council-owned car parks in England have to offer drivers a 10 minute grace period

 

Private parking firms in the UK could soon be forced to offer drivers a 10 minute grace period when they go over their time on a ticket.

The UK Government is proposing that all private parking firms should have to provide a 10 minute grace period for drivers who overstay their ticket before handing out a fine.

The new proposal has been put forward by Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government. Under the new proposal, all private car parks in England, Scotland and Wales will be forced to wait 10 minutes after a drivers time on a parking ticket has run out before issuing a fine for returning back to their vehicle late.

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10 minute grace period being suggested by UK Government for private parking firms to adopt. © Copyright Richard Webb and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Currently, only council-owned car parks in England have to offer drivers a 10 minute grace period and have done so since 2015 but this practice is voluntary at the moment for operators of private car parks.

If accepted, the proposals will form part of the Parking Code of Practice – this was revealed earlier in the year as a measure to tackle the problem with dishonest private parking firms that conduct their service in an improper way.

The Code is still in the process of being written but received Royal Assent in March 2019 and will also include extra measures to deal with threatening and hostile debt collection practices conducted by private parking firms, all of whom will have a single set of compulsory rules to follow.

Any company that flouts the new rules risk losing their power to request a drivers details from the DVLA, making it almost impossible for them to implement the fines they hand out.

“For too long, rogue parking firms have operated in an unregulated industry, handing out unjust fines, putting drivers through baffling appeals processes and issuing tickets to motorists who were only seconds late back to their cars,” said Mr Jenrick, adding: “That’s why we’ve appointed the British Standards Institution to work with consumer groups and industry to write the first ever compulsory Code of Practice for private parking firms.”

Mr Jenrick believes that the new Code will bring back some common sense to how parking fines are issued and may spur people back to the high street, whilst cracking down on dishonest operators who use a threatening approach to torment drivers.

 

 

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