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The British Parking Association (BPA) is arguing that there is a need to end the current situation where there are two trade bodies for the private off-street parking management sector. Private parking operators have the option of joining either the BPA-run Approved Operator Scheme (AOS) or the Independant Parking Committee (IPC). Both the BPA AOS and the IPC are recognised by the DVLA as Accredited Trade Associations (ATA’s), which means their members can have access to data on vehicle keepers.

Access to vehicle keeper data enables parking companies to persue a named individual for payment of the debt. Vehicle keepers were made liable for PCN’s as part of the process of banning the routine use of wheel clamps off-street under the Protection of Freedoms Act.

The BPA has said that the transfer policy-making powers for car parks from DfT to DCLG adds to the ‘multiplicity and confusion’ for motorists, consumer groups and businesses about who is setting the standards for parking.

Patrick Troy, Cheif Executive of the BPA said: “We are calling upon the government to act now and do the right thing for motorists and the entire parking sector. Continuing with multiple codes of practice, multiple appeal services, and various auditing and sanctions regimes is unfair and confusing for motorists and businesses alike.

“One aspect of the BPA’s work is self-regulation the management of parking on private land. We have been collaborating with government on behlaf of the entire parking sector and in the interests of consumers since 2007 when we launched our Approved Operators Scheme (AOS) which became the model for Accredited Trade Associations (ATA).

“We have always believed that there is a need for the establishment of a single standard setting body with an independent scrutiny board whcih will deliver a single code of practice and a single independent appeals service for consumers.

“The BPA supports competition in this area but not at the expense of standards which encourages a race to the bottom, or in confusing the motorist by offering different appeals services of varying quality.”

The BPA says its Private Land Appeals (POPLA) service for drivers ticketed by BPA AOS members as evidence of its suitability to be the sole standard setting body.