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Raising Standards in the UK

There is so much happening in the parking world at the moment that it’s hard to catch one’s breath.

The British government is pressing ahead with its plans for local authority parking, the Daily Mail has kicked off a summer offensive against the private parking sector, the Royal Mint is poised to launch a consultation on the new £1 coin, and Park Mark reaches the ripe old age of 10—to name but a few.

There is a link, though, between all these events, and it’s not just that they all have something to do with parking. They throw down a challenge to the parking profession in general and the British Parking Association (BPA) in particular to demonstrate our resilience in putting the other side of the argument and our commitment to drive standards in parking ever higher.

So we have successfully persuaded government not to ban CCTV outright but rather to allow its continued use in specific circumstances; we have shown through establishing Parking on Private Land Appeals (POPLA) and renewing the Code of Practice on Parking on Private Land that Daily Mail readers who are recipients of parking tickets have an independent means of redress against those tickets; we are directly involved with the Mint prior to its formal consultation so we can shape and influence policy on behalf of our members; and through Park Mark, we can demonstrate we really are serious about raising standards and not just talking about raising standards.

We are going to talk more about raising standards though during the autumn as we try to engage with members on how to develop a Professionalism in Parking Award for all sectors to continue to drive those standards still higher. We need to demonstrate to government, media, and stakeholders that we can do it so we have the tools and the commitment to tackle future onslaughts in the future. That’s why lots of things happening is a good thing if at the end of them you come out on top.

I believe the parking profession can come out on top if it truly believes in raising standards in every part of its make up.


  1. Claire says:

    There’s no point harping on about your code of practice when you pointedly refuse to enforce it in the private parking arena.

    If you want us to believe you are raising standards, start doing something other than spin.

    The only people you are fooling is yourselves.

    • Patrick Troy says:

      Interesting response from Claire.

      Of course, the writer will know that we have three levels of redress which prove we are doing much more than just enforcing our Code:

      1. Every operator has an annual audit to ensure it is compliant with our Code and sanctions are applied if they aren’t
      2. We investigate every complaint made about a failure by an operator to comply with the Code. They are not always valid complaints though and we can only enforce the provisions of the Code, not decisions by operators on individual tickets
      3. We established POPLA nearly two years ago to provide independent redress for all motorists who receive a ticket on private land that they think is unfair. Nearly 40,000 motorists have taken the opportunity to have their case independently considered by the POPLA service.

      So hopefully we’re not fooling anybody!

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