Havant MP Alan Mak backs new code of conduct for private parking firms

Havant MP Alan Mak has backed plans for a new code of conduct for private parking operators, which aims to clampdown on firms aggressively pursuing motorists for fines.

Under the plans, parking companies that fail to abide by the rules will be banned from accessing a database of 40m vehicle records managed by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). Private parking companies obtain drivers’ details from the DVLA and can pursue them with letters demanding money for overstaying in car parks.

The Private Members Bill has been introduced by Conservative backbench MP Sir Greg Knight, and Alan moved his normal constituency Friday to attend the important vote.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Alan said: “People contacting me to ask for support in appealing car parking tickets and for help with queries with private car parking firms form an increasingly large part of my parliamentary postbag, so I very much welcome this timely Bill."

Evidence shows that nearly 10,000 people approached Citizens Advice for advice on private parking tickets last year, and that parking firms are issuing almost 13 times more tickets than a decade ago. With the new higher standards in place, it is hoped that it will become harder for rogue firms to operate.

The Bill has also been supported by the Secretary of State for Communities Sajid Javid, who said: “For too long, drivers have suffered from unjust fines at the hands of dodgy parking firms.

“We need a fairer, clearer and more consistent system that brings the small minority of unscrupulous operators in line with those who are behaving appropriately.”

Picture: Alan Mak MP at a private car park in Havant