The number of motorists handed parking fines by private companies soared by more than a quarter over the past 12 months, new figures reveal.
RAC Foundation analysis of official data showed that 4.7 million of the DVLA’s vehicle keeper records were obtained by parking management firms in 2016/17, up 28% on the previous year.
In the majority of cases the information will have been used to send penalty charges, worth up to £100, to drivers who the companies say infringed parking rules.
The data indicates a parking ticket is issued every seven seconds in Britain.
The latest data stands in stark contrast to the situation back in 2012/13, when only 1.89 millions DVLA records were obtained by private firms.
The study follows separate research from the RAC, which suggests that hospital car parks are adding unnecessary stress among drivers. The RAC said 38% of trusts offer no credit or debit card payment options at hospital sites.
Steve Gooding, RAC Foundation director, said: “These numbers are eye-watering. We all hoped the problems association with parking on private land would go away when clamping was outlawed.
“It turns out we hoped in vain. Since the ban there has been a surge in ticketing. Something is clearly going awry.
“Of course the rights of private landowners need to be protected, but where landowners invite people to park on their property, often to benefit from their trade, the rules need to be fair to both parties.
“Time and again we hear stories of people who feel that the terms were unclear, the tone of communicating intimidating and the price of even the shortest accidental overstay extortionate.”
A consultation on changes to regulations for parking on private land was launched by the coalition government and concluded in May 2015.
Mr Gooding criticised ministers who he said have had the results of the consultation on their desks for two years.
“It is high time that politicians – thinking of their election prospects – and landowners alike woke up to the calls for a better, fairer, properly regulated approach,” he said.
In response, a Government spokesman said: “We’re committed to reforming unfair parking practices and have already taken steps to tackle rogue private parking operators, including the banning of wheel clamping and towing.”
Source: ADI News
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