The government is about to change the law to protect drivers from ‘cowboy’ private car parking firms. It follows an escalation in protests about some private companies levying unfair charges on drivers.
Figures from complaints handling service Resolver show that gripes about private parking operators doubled in 2016 compared to the year before. Citizens Advice has also seen a steep increase in the number of people seeking assistance to deal with tickets issued by private firms. Last year, nearly 10,000 people approached it for help with parking tickets.
How some private firms trick drivers
If there’s one thing on the road that all drivers are happy to make room for, it’s an emergency vehicle. But many of Britain’s motorists are unaware that by clearing the road for the blue flashing lights and wailing siren of an ambulance, fire engine or police car, they could be breaking the law.
From bus lane penalties to yellow box junction fines, there are plenty of mistakes that drivers may make when being passed by an emergency vehicle. The Highway Code (rule 219) says: “Consider the route of such a vehicle and take appropriate action to let it pass, while complying with all traffic signs.”
To help keep everyone on the right side of the law, we’ve flagged up the five most common mishaps.
Five fails when letting an emergency vehicle pass
That familiar sinking feeling… Now there’s a new tool to help make appealing unfair tickets easier
Every year millions of drivers are hit with an unfair parking ticket – penalties that they don’t think they should have received. Now a new online tool has been launched to help drivers appeal these fines that they believe are unjust. The helpful portal was rolled out earlier this year by Brighton and Hove Council on the south coast. But by the end of 2016 it is hoped every local authority in England and Wales will be using it to help drivers deal with the Traffic Penalty Tribunal more easily.
Most don’t appeal an unfair parking ticket
One bus lane camera in south London has so far raised more than £6m in fines (Picture © iStock)
First it was officious parking wardens, then it was hidden speed cameras; now comes a new menace to motorists: bus-lane ‘entrapment’.
Underhand tactics are being blamed for a massive rise in fines handed out to drivers who are caught straying into a bus lane. Five years ago, approximately 321,000 bus lane fines or ‘infringement tickets’ were issued. But last year that figure had climbed to over one million, raising around £30million in revenue for cash-strapped councils.