Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Is the BPA Ltd fit to retain ATA status?

Following on from Dr Julian Lewis MP's letter to Stephen Hammond MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Department of Transport, one of the issues raised was that the BPA Ltd are turning a blind eye to questions of compliance, and are not bothering to enforce the sector.

Essentially, they are acting as a private members club where anything goes; any transgressions are brushed under the carpet with a nod and a wink to the naughty member, and a dismissive letter to the poor motorist.

Here is one example of many, documented on this website.

Although this motorist's report highlights many failures of the system, the most important one is that the documents that the operator UKCPS sent to the POPLA appeal revealed that their contract had expired and they were therefore issuing tickets without authority. The POPLA result confirms this.

This is a serious breach of the BPA Ltd code of conduct, and should result in 10 sanction points.

The motorist asked the BPA Ltd to investigate. Instead of springing into immediate action and taking positive steps, such as requiring the operator to cease operation until a contract was in place, to refund all charges for tickets issued invalidly and to audit all other car parks for similar transgressions, the BPA Ltd informed the motorist the matter was closed.
Once an appeal has gone to POPLA and been allowed, we do not investigate unless the Lead Adjudicator believes there has been a breach of the Code and requests us to do so. The BPA is a membership association only and not a regulatory body and therefore consider this matter closed and will not enter into further correspondence.
This does raise serious issues. The DVLA are assuming that the BPA Ltd are regulating their members. However, the BPA Ltd state they are not regulating their members, and point 6.4 of their code of practice confirms they are not a regulatory body..

The BPA Lld also state in 6.4 
We will investigate any complaints about alleged noncompliance with the Code.
However, it now appears that this is not correct, and that they will only investigate non-compliance if POPLA's Lead Adjudicator asks them to, even for breaches which class as being in the most severe category. Since the Lead Adjudicator only reviews 1 in 10 decisions, it seems that the BPA Ltd have found a convenient get-out statement which allows them to pay lip-service to the idea of investigation, without actually requiring them to do anything.

Perhaps the DVLA could give a short sharp shock to the BPA Ltd, and inform them that unless it starts to take its responsibilities seriously, its ATA (Accredited Trade Association) status will be under review.

Only members of an ATA can get electronic access to the DVLA database for the purposes of parking enforcement on private land.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster


  1. I had similar confirmed to me in an email today from someone at BPA Ltd;

    " You should now appeal to POPLA and let them address any further concerns you might have. If the lead adjudicator believes that the signage at this site requires further investigation, he will refer this matter back to us."

    As we know POPLA will pick up on one issue, such as GPEOL, and rule on that so will never address issues such as signage.

    In my case, the PPC has clocked up enough breaches of the COP that it would warrant suspension on the one ticket alone.

  2. The DVLA were made fully aware that the BPA were not fit for purpose, when in the lead up to the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, the BPA estimated that between 36,000 and 90,000 court claims were issued by their members annually.

    When an FOI revealed that the true figure was just 845, the DVLA shrugged their shoulders and said that the cost of court time had not been 'monetised' so it didn't matter.

    All of which proves three things:
    1) The BPA haven't got a clue what their members are doing.
    2) If they do know what's going on, they are barefaced liars.
    3) In either case, the DVLA are failing in their public duty as Civil Servants, and the people involved should tender their resignations.

  3. Many BPA members get all their revenue from what they term - Pre-estimates of loss i.eThe Parking Charge notices which they issue. However since these companies make profit they must be over-estimating their losses(damages) to their own pecuniary advantage. I am of the opinion, that legally, a remedy for a loss can only restore the one suffering a loss to the position before the loss occurred and it is improper to make a profit on damages. If one attempts to inflate damages, as in the case of 'Insurance Fraud,' when a motorist claims damage to a vehicle or person that did not occur, or exaggerates the damage; it is fraud which is not just a civil offence but a criminal offence.

    Could it be that the DVLA has been colluding, by passing information to these companies, which if examined by the serious Fraud Office, could be seen as aiding and abetting fraud?

  4. The Borders AGENCY paid its senior staff huge bonuses right up to the day it was deemed not fit for purpose, was scrapped, with the government taking it back in house.

    The Driver and Vehicle Licensing AGENCY pays its senior staff huge bonuses and is obviously not fit for purpose..........

  5. Google the name 'Peter Del Grosso' for a frightening insight into exactly how much the BPA Ltd will let you get away with. He is still an AOS member to this day and will remain so for the princely sum of thirty pieces of silver.

  6. I have thought for some time now that reporting breaches of the code and other failing to either the BPA or DVLA are a complete waste of time and paper / electrons. Every possible failure to comply with the codes has been reported so many times and it is abundantly clear that no meaningful action is going to be taken. There has to be a better way

  7. Have you looked at the consultation document " Alternative dispute resolution for consumers" published by the Dept. for Business Innovation and Skills?
    The problem of ADR with private parking companies is mentioned on the front page in the Ministers introduction.
    There is also a long list of "approved" ADR schemes and providers and both the BPA and the IPC are notable for their absence.
    You can make comments on line or you could write to the Minister, Jenny Willott MP and make your views know.

    I am convinced that everyone who gets a private parking ticket should complain long and loud to their MP. Parliament passed very poor legislation and they should be pressured into sorting it out.

    1. Agree. Lobbying MPs is the best way. There are more votes in stopping these parasites from operating than there are from leaving things as present and it will not the government money to put companies like Parking Eye out of business.