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An independent appeals service is being launched for motorists who incur parking charges on private land to enable cases to be settled fairly and in an open way.

London Councils has agreed with the British Parking Association (BPA) to set up a Parking on Private Land Appeals scheme (POPLA) which will cover England and Wales.

London Councils already runs the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service (PATAS) which hears appeals against penalties issued by local authorities in London, and Transport for London, on public roads in the capital.

The scheme is being launched to coincide with the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 which will ban clamping and removal of vehicles parked on private land from 1 October. Examples of private land include multi storey car parks and council housing estates.

The new law means the only parking enforcement allowed will be barriers at the entrances and exits of car parks and the issue of charges to vehicles which have broken the rules for using the private land.

The Government has agreed that as there is to be an independent appeals service, parking charges can be enforced against the registered keeper of the vehicle rather than the driver, by organisations which manage parking on private land. The exception to this is local authorities which can only enforce against the driver.

Councillor Catherine West, Chair of London Councils’ Transport and Environment Committee, said: “The Parking on Private Land Appeals scheme will give motorists who are issued with parking charges on private land the right to appeal.

“There is currently little regulation of parking on private land and no equivalent of the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service which hears appeals from motorists who have been issued with parking charges on public roads.”

Motorists who want to appeal against a parking charge issued on private land must do so to the organisation which issued it. Only when the enforcer’s appeals process has been completed can the motorist take their case to POPLA. The decision of the independent adjudicator is binding on the organisation which issued the parking charge.

POPLA will be based in London and appeals will be handled by post. The lead adjudicator will be barrister Henry Michael Greenslade.

The scheme is funded by the organisations which enforce parking on private land through the BPA which has agreed a three year contract with London Councils to run the scheme. It is estimated POPLA will cost around £772,000 a year to run, based on the assumption there will be 2.3million parking enforcement notices issued a year of which one per cent are appealed – the same proportion as on public roads. 

August 7, 2012