Effective parking management is vital for motorists and landowners

Since we launched our Approved Operator Scheme jointly with Government and DVLA over ten years ago it’s been continuously improved through consultation with key stakeholders, including government and consumer groups.

We investigate every complaint we receive and regularly make sure our members are adhering to our Code. Qualified auditors visit their car parks, make recommendations, and suggest improvements, all with the aim of raising standards. We’ve expelled a number of operators over the last seven years for serious non-compliance.

We undertook a robust investigation into the management of Westgate car park in Basildon, Essex, as soon as concerns were raised. Auditors visited the site and identified some issues for improvement, and we made further visits to follow up on our recommendations. We engaged with local media, met Stephen Metcalf MP and John Booth MP and listened to their concerns, and acted accordingly. Smart Parking was found to be broadly compliant and applying the Code appropriately, and applying sanctions wasn’t appropriate since the operator responded positively to all of our requests for improvements.

We always encourage landowners to think about the outcome they wish to achieve through the management of parking and engage with operators to help achieve this outcome. Effective parking management enables customers to park easily and safely to access the services on offer.

We’re delighted that the Parking (Code of Practice) Bill has been approved by the Parliament, having completed its Third Reading in the House of Lords earlier this month. We eagerly await Royal Assent and the opportunity to help develop a single Code for the entire private parking sector. The Bill aligns with our long-standing calls for a legislative framework and is good news for motorists and the parking sector.

Kelvin Reynolds, Director of Corporate and Public Affairs at BPA says: “We welcome the advent of better regulation of parking on private land. We are delighted that the Parking (Code of Practice) Bill, which we have supported throughout the Parliamentary debates, is awaiting Royal Assent. We look forward to working with Government on developing a robust Code of Practice for the entire private parking sector that provides for a fair outcome for all, motorists, landowners and parking operators alike.”


Did you know?

We are a not for profit organisation, representing, promoting and influencing the parking and traffic management profession throughout the UK and Europe. Our membership of more than 900 organisations and individuals includes local authorities, car park operators, retail parks, healthcare facilities, universities, railway stations, technology providers, trainers and consultants.

We’ve always been at the forefront of raising standards in the parking sector, with the first code of practice in 2006 and launch of the Approved Operator Scheme (AOS) in 2007, the model for Accredited Trade Associations. Our Code is continuously improved with stakeholders, accompanied by a full internal and third-party audit, and a scheme of sanctions to ensure our members comply. 

In 2012, we launched POPLA, the first independent appeal service for tickets issued on private land in England and Wales. We want to extend POPLA into Scotland and Northern Ireland and allow motorists access to free independent appeals and will deliver this in 2019.

The Parking (Code of Practice) Bill is supported by government and approved by Parliament. It will soon become law and aligns with our calls for a framework that enables a single standard setting body, code of practice and independent appeals service. It’s good news for motorists and the parking sector, and provides a unique opportunity to deliver greater consistency and consumer confidence.