In a recent study of the UK private car parking industry Which?, the consumer rights group, found that the many parking penalty signs are hidden, have contact numbers that don’t work, and the penalties for parking can range from £100 to a staggering £360.
The British Parking Association confessed to Which? investigators that the high charges are most probably not fair.
Six councils confessed to setting a weekly target for the amount of tickets that traffic wardens had to issue.
The Department of Transport said that discounts should be offered for those who receive a parking penalty charge and pay their fees promptly. They also stated that reduced penalty charges should be given to those unlucky drivers that appeal and have the case rejected. Further research into this matter found that only a third of Councils offer drivers the opportunity to appeal.
The investigators also learned that the some NHS trusts make over one million pounds each year from parking fees. Although others are operated at a loss and the parking facilities are effectively subsidised by cash that is supposed to be utilised on healthcare.
The editor of Which magazine Martyn Hocking has said that it’s fair to put a stop to people parking on your property, however it must be clearly marked where people can park. Hospitals can charge for parking but it shouldn’t become a money making scheme, and a reduction should be made if large profits are made.
The consumer group Which? agree with the government’s goal of achieving better parking regulations in the UK, although they are urging that signs are clearly marked, penalty charges are reasonable and parking companies are monitored closely.