The Fed (NFRN) says changes to parking restrictions are long overdue and should help boost footfall in town centres and shopping areas.
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has published the Private Parking Code of Practice, setting out the requirements that parking operators must follow when enforcing parking restrictions in England, Scotland and Wales.
These include a compulsory 10-minute grace period to prevent operators issuing charges for being just a few minutes late, higher standards for signage and surface markings, and a crackdown on the use of aggressive and pseudo-legal language.
Announcing the changes in the House of Commons on February 7, Neil O’Brien, Parliamentary-Under Secretary for Levelling Up – Local Government, Constitution and the Union, said; “These changes will bring much-needed consistency to the private parking sector, benefitting millions of motorists. It will boost our high streets and town centres by making it easier for people to park near their shops without being unfairly fined.
“We are also prohibiting parking operators and debt recovery agencies from levying additional enforcement fees over and above the cost of parking charges.
“Parking operators will be expected to fully adhere to the Code before 2024, by which time we will have introduced a new single appeals service for motorists to challenge unfair private parking charges. The industry should update their processes and procedures as quickly as possible from today so that motorists can benefit from the new Code immediately.”
NFRN National President Narinder Randhawa said: “Parking has long been one of the main reasons why shoppers are put off using stores in town centres and shopping precincts, particularly those who have previously been slapped with fines for just slightly going over the allotted time or have been caught out by poor signage warning them of any restrictions.
“With that in mind, we are pleased that the government is taking action and hope the new code of practice will encourage more people to shop locally, rather than at out of town shopping centres.