Preston man welcomes 50% reduction in private park fine cap after being ‘unfairly’ fined £75 at Lytham

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Motorists will enjoy greater protection against “aggressive debt collection and unreasonable charges” thanks to a 50% reduction in the cap on private parking fines, the government has said.

Motorists will enjoy greater protection against “aggressive debt collection and unreasonable charges” thanks to a 50% reduction in the cap on private parking fines, the government has said.

Under a new parking code of practice introduced by the Department for Leveling Up, Housing and Communities on Monday, the maximum fine will be reduced from £100 to £50 for most cases in England and Wales, to except for London.

Private car parks will also have to display prices more clearly, use a fairer appeals system and give drivers a 10-minute grace period for delays, under the new rules.

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The maximum charge will be reduced to £50 in most cases, or £70 for more serious offences.

Nick, 23, from Preston, said he was unfairly fined £75 and felt intimidated into paying it despite evidence he had paid within the 15-minute limit.

He said: “It was a busy day at Lytham at the height of summer about two years ago.

“The grace period was 15 minutes to pay for the ticket, but I sorted some things in the car and that along with the waiting time brought me down to 15 minutes.

“I went back to my car and the guy from the ticket was there and because he had ‘started an entry he couldn’t stop him’.

“The moment he issued (when he started his entry) was the same moment I had bought the ticket and returned to my car.

“The company in question was very intimidating about the charge, so we just settled.

“We proved we paid on time by sending pictures of the ticket I bought, but they wouldn’t have it.”

He added: “Stricter regulations are needed because there is no way that if you buy within the same minute of broadcast you will be fined.”

Under the new code, private companies that break the rules could also be barred from collecting fines in the future, by being cut off from access to Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) data.

Leveling up Minister Neil O’Brien said the new measures are intended to protect motorists from “aggressive debt collection and unreasonable charges”.

He said: “Private companies issue around 22,000 parking tickets every day, often adopting a system of misleading and confusing signage, aggressive debt collection and unreasonable charges designed to extort money from motorists.

“The new code of practice will set out a clear vision with the interests of motorist safety at its heart, while cracking down on the worst offenders who put others at risk and prevent our emergency services from carrying out their duties. functions.”

Insurance and vehicle recovery companies, the AA and RAC, have welcomed the new code.

AA Chairman Edmund King said: ‘These much-needed improvements to private parking rules will provide better protection for drivers.

“For too long, those caught by private parking companies are simply paying the fee to get rid of them. Fortunately those days are numbered.

“Drivers need to be confident that having a single code of practice and a new appeal charter will give them the confidence to appeal and be properly heard.

“We are also pleased that honest errors, such as incorrectly entering the car registration into the machine, are now automatically undone.”

RAC Roads Policy Manager Nicholas Lyes added: “The RAC has campaigned for years to end harsh practices in the private parking sector, so we welcome the new National Code which will introduce higher standards and will introduce a lower cap on penalty notices of indictment, an independent appeals system and an end to fraudulent debt collection charges.

“It will undoubtedly make drivers’ experience of using private car parks fairer while forcing rogue operators to clean up their acts once and for all.”

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