Parking honeytrap – question

PUBLIC QUESTION NO. 18

LONDON BOROUGH OF LEWISHAM

COUNCIL MEETING

24 SEPTEMBER 2009

Question asked by: Massimiliano Calò

Member to reply:    Deputy Mayor Question

Parking firms often set up no parking zones that lack clear signage but impose extremely heavy fines for infractions. One of these sites is currently operating in Lewisham on the forecourt of the former George Pub (now owned by London and Quadrant) on the corner between George Lane and Rushey Green.

Fines for parking there can exceed £400 and confrontations between motorists and the operators have provoked issues with public order. It is private land but it is open to the public.

Are there ways for the Council to regulate such activities so that unaware members of the public are not damaged by unscrupulous operators?

Reply

Private parking firms should display clear signage giving the terms and conditions under which people can park. The parking fines are not criminal fines but governed by contract law, so the parking firm would have to recover any unpaid fine by taking action in the County Court. If the signs are unclear, the person receiving the parking ticket could defend any court action.

Trading Standards advice service, Consumer Direct, can advise consumers on their rights if they have received a ticket from a private parking firm in these circumstances. They can be contacted on 08454 04 05 06.

If parking firms also immobilise vehicles (eg by clamping), they need to be licensed by the Security Industry Authority.

In this particular case the parking company are London Parking Control Ltd. L&Q had received complaints from residents of George Lane about cars parking illegally on the forecourt of the former George Pub which was not only an eyesore but also angered the residents that had paid for permits to park on George Lane.  L&Q had no option but to instruct LPC to prevent unauthorised parking and cars being abandoned on the site.

There are signs on the site stating that cars would be clamped if they are parked illegally. These are placed high up to prevent people from taking them down, and to allow them to be visible if a van is parked there.

LPC state that the appeal process is clearly outlined on the back of the receipt.

Construction on the site is to start imminently and therefore the area will be hoarded off and parking will no longer be an issue on the forecourt.

There are no powers available for the Council to directly regulate these type of activities.

One Response to “Parking honeytrap – question”

  1. Out and about with James – weekend roundup « . Says:

    […] month I submitted a question at Council about it and honestly I didn’t expect Lewisham Council to just copy and paste from an email […]

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