Torbay’s MP Kevin Foster has welcomed the launch of a consultation on a code of practice for private car parking companies which will help crackdown on poor practice and cowboy operators.

Following a string of complaints about the enforcement practices used by the operators of two local privately owned car parks, Kevin launched a campaign calling for change, including securing a parliamentary debate on the role of the DVLA in supplying details of car owners to such companies who use ANPR systems.

Kevin also used Parliamentary Privilege to highlight the behaviour of two companies responsible for enforcement at two local car parks, Marina and Crossways.

Kevin called on the Government to change the law and end the ineffective system of self-regulation which allowed operators to choose who to be regulated by.

In response to the widespread concerns about poor practice and behaviour of some parking operators, the Government supported the Parking (Code of Practice) Act 2019, which was introduced by Sir Greg Knight MP.

The act will lead to the creation of an independent code of practice for private parking companies. The draft of this is being consulted on by the British Standards Institute.

The code is one part of a wider regulatory framework. The Government is consulting on the Code Enforcement Framework and this consultation seeks views on how the Government can improve the regulation of the private parking industry for the benefit of consumers, parking operators and landowners alike.

Kevin said: “The launch of this consultation is very welcome. This new code of practice should finally call time on the poor practices in this industry which have affected residents and visitors in our Bay.

“Many private operators act responsibly, yet some have exploited a weak and ineffective regulatory system to engage in unacceptable and sharp practice. I am delighted to see this proposal moving forward having helped secure some of the first debates about how change was needed.”