The British Parking Association have responded to the Daily Mail articles exposing cowboy parking companies.
To summarise for those who need to get up to speed:
The Daily Mail:
Pointed out MET Parking use a firm of debt collectors, Roxburghe, ruled unfit to hold a credit licence by the office of fair trading.
Pointed out that the managing director of Roxburghe is Gary Osner who sits on the board of the BPA.
Pointed out MET Parking used a firm of solicitors, GPB Solicitors, which was shut down because of staff dishonesty
Exposed MET Parking for issuing tickets for 'motorist left site' when they were still in the restaurant
Exposed ParkingEye for giving a ticket to a cancer sufferer who was 13 seconds late
Reported that cowboy tactics, scaremongering and bullying were used by many private parking companies
Pointed out that as the British Parking Association is paid for by the parking industry, this is like inmates guarding the jail
Pointed out that MET parking were one of 6 firms who had access to the DVLA suspended in 2012
Pointed out that MET parking issued a ticket to a motorist who suffered a medical emergency
Pointed out that UKPC train its wardens to target cancer wards
Pointed out that ParkingEye issued a ticket to a pensioner visiting hospital for a 13 second overstay.
Pointed out that Gemini Parking Solutions issued a ticket to a motorist giving birth with complications.
Pointed out that UKPC issued a ticket to a mother whose two year old child was having fits
Pointed out that ParkingEye issued a ticket to a mother recovering from a heart attack in hospital
Pointed out that PCP Enforcement Agency issued a ticket to a mother taking her child to hospital for violent stomach pains.
Pointed out that the BPA, in theory, is responsible for policing parking companies
The BPA Ltd
Rehashed a 2012 quote from Patrick Troy.
Stated there is much to be proud of in the Protection of Freedom Act 2012, but that the regulations do not go far enough
Stated that an appeal service not binding on all operators is a recipe for confusion
Stated that a ban on clamping is no substitute for proper regulation.
Stated that the ban on wheel-clamping was ill conceived
Pointed out that the AA is not a member of the BPA
Advised motorists to check parking conditions before leaving their car
Advised motorists not to ignore Parking Charge Notices.
Accused the Daily Mail of undermining the validity of parking tickets, and stymieing the rights of landowners
Accused the government of being rogues for failing to regulate
Accused the dailiy mail of being rogues for running an ill-conceived campaign.
The Parkster will now referee
The Prankster detects the hand of Patrick Troy in this response. Patrick Troy is the master of answering questions he has not been asked, and deflecting concerns from the main issues. This was apparent from his recent appearance on Watchdog. If the response is not from Mr Troy, he has surely trained up his minions well in the art of the non-answer.
Perhaps Gary Osner had a hand in the reply. Although Gary Osner is the managing director of Roxburghe, (an unfit company) he is also a board member of the BPA. During the the BPA AGM on 2nd July 2014, Gary Osner was awarded a fellowship of the BPA denoting him as a role model for the profession demonstrating leadership qualities, a significant contribution to the parking profession as well as championing the raising of standards and promoting continuing professional development. Gary Osner now sits on the board of the BPA for 2014/5.
Another person awarded a fellowship was Anjina Patel. Anjina recently starred in the TV series 'Parking mad'. You may not have recognised her, because she used the false name Kira Fleck during the programme.
The BPA reply misses the point of the Daily Mail articles. There are clearly rogue elements in the parking industry, as evidenced by the examples shown in the articles. The BPA should not be seeing this as an attack on the entire industry - merely a timely highlight of the problems the industry faces, and a wake up call to the BPA.
The Daily Mail is not attacking all parking tickets - merely the rogue elements in the parking sector.
It is ironic that the BPA stated 'a ban on clamping is no substitute for proper regulation' and then blamed the government for failing to regulate the industry. According to the DVLA, it expects the industry trade associations, of which the BPA is one (the other being the IPC), to regulate its members. That the BPA is obviously failing to do this, as evidenced by the Daily Mail report, is not a reason for the government to introduce more regulation. Rather it is a wake-up call for the BPA to begin policing its own members. Failing that, the DVLA needs to step in and remove the Accredited status from the BPA.
The Prankster has helped many motorists who have had problems, and time and again the BPA has washed their hands of the matter, stating it does not have the power to force operators to cancel tickets, and refusing to hand out sanctions for misbehavior
The Prankster looks forward to the DVLA requiring the BPA to actually police the sector,.