Who Manages Parking?

Empty parking lot

Understanding Parking Regulations

Parking management is a crucial aspect of urban infrastructure, ensuring orderly and efficient use of limited parking spaces while addressing issues of accessibility, safety, and revenue generation. However, the question of who manages parking and where responsibility lies can be complex, involving a mix of public and private entities with varying levels of authority and oversight. In this article, we'll delve into the intricacies of parking management, exploring the roles of different stakeholders and shedding light on the mechanisms that govern this essential aspect of transportation infrastructure.

Penalty Charges issued by local authorities

At the forefront of parking management are local authorities, which oversee parking regulations and enforcement within their respective jurisdictions. These authorities, often represented by municipal councils or boroughs, have the responsibility to implement parking policies, designate parking zones, and enforce parking restrictions on public roads and streets. They employ parking attendants or traffic wardens to monitor compliance with parking regulations and issue penalties, such as parking fines or Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), to violators.

Transport For London (TFL)

In the context of London, parking management extends beyond individual boroughs to encompass the entire Greater London area, overseen by Transport for London (TfL). TfL is responsible for managing parking on red routes, which constitute major roads and thoroughfares critical to the city's transportation network. By implementing parking regulations and enforcement measures on red routes, TfL aims to maintain traffic flow, enhance road safety, and minimize congestion in the capital.

Private Parking Operators

In addition to public authorities, parking management also involves private entities, such as parking operators and facility owners. Private parking operators manage parking facilities on private land, including shopping centers, commercial complexes, and residential developments. These operators have the autonomy to establish their own parking policies, set fees, and enforce regulations within their premises. They may employ technologies like Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) systems or employ parking attendants to monitor compliance and issue fines to violators.

Half filled parking lot. No PCNs or parking charge notices being issued.

The British Parking Association

The British Parking Association Limited (BPA) are a trade organisation for parking companies in the UK. The BPA Ltd is not a Governmental organisation; it is paid for and run by its members for their benefit. It runs the Approved Operator Scheme (AOS) for operators of private car parks whereby members are required to follow a code of practice. The BPA Ltd is one of only two Accredited Trade Association (ATA) for the parking industry. Being a member of an ATA allows the parking company direct electronic access to the DVLA’s vehicle keeper database for a small fee; £2.50 a time. Access to the DVLA database is very important to parking companies since it allows them to look up keeper details. Without this parking companies cannot identify keepers where tickets are not paid.

Civil Enforcement Ltd (CEL)

Civil Enforcement Ltd (CEL) are a private parking company operating in the UK. They operate on privately-owned land, such as supermarket car parks, retail parks, and trading estates. As with the majority of private parking companies, they derive their income from issuing Parking Charge Notices; this is the industry term for parking tickets. Parking Charge Notices (PCNs) are issued for breaking the terms and conditions, such as overstaying, parking outside of a marked bay, or not purchasing a ticket. For more information on PCNs, take a look at our page.

Gladstones Solicitors

Gladstones Solicitors are a law firm based in Knutsford, Cheshire. They are owned by John Davies and William ‘Will’ Hurley. Gladstones have a significant involvement in the parking industry in that it offers debt recovery and legal services in relation to unpaid private parking charges.

Excel Parking and Vehicle Control Services

Excel Parking are a private parking company. They operate on private land, such as retail parks,Excel logoairports, and supermarkets. To generate income they issue Parking Charge Notices (aka parking tickets). However, these are not the same as Penalty Chargen Notices as issued by local authorities, these are based on contract law, but intended to look the same to motorists. They are issued when a motorist breaks the parking conditions, such as parking outside of a space, or staying longer than the free time allowed. See our page on PCNs, to understand what what a PCN is.

Highview Parking

Highview Parking is a private parking contractor, along with their sister company Ranger Services. Highview Parking operate on privately-owned land, such as supermarket car parks (such as Tesco), retail parks, and hospital car parks. They generate income by issuing Parking Charge Notices which is the industry term for a parking ticket issued on private property. Parking Charge Notices (PCNs) are issued when they believe the terms and conditions of the car park have been breached. Examples could be overstaying the free parking limit, parking outside of a space, or not paying the correct fee.

Parking Eye

Parking Eye is the UK’s biggest private parking company, with a turnover of £25 million per year from parking charges (privately issued “fines”). ParkingEye primarily use Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras to monitor car parks, issuing tickets for overstays. Parking Eye’s success has been based upon signing contracts with large retail chains, such as Aldi, The Range, and Morrisons. Parking Eye’s ticketing operation works as follows:On entry and exit, car registrations are photographed by Parking Eye’s camerasIf the difference of the photograph times is greater than the maximum stay then a ticket is issuedParking Eye then lookup the registered keeper’s identity from the DVLA’s databaseWithin 14 days Parking Eye send a letter (known as a Notice to Keeper) to the keeper of the vehicleThe Notice to Keeper requests payment (typically £100), or the name of the driver at the time (since the driver is responsible for parking) so that they can instead be pursued for paymentIf tickets are not paid, then Parking Eye (or a collection company) send a series of debt collection letters to keepers and motorists chasing paymentIn 2011/12 accounting period ParkingEye ticketed over 600,000 cars using this method, with a large proportion being paid. Until late 2012, Parking Eye didn’t follow through with the threat of court action, and this resulted in increasing numbers of tickets being ignored. As a consequence Parking Eye needed to change the perception of their tickets, and started to make county court claims. Since 2012 Parking Eye have issued as many as 1,000 per week. Faced with real court claims (and thoughts of County Court Judgements on their credit record), a good proportion of people pay up, whilst others have fought their case in court with mixed success.

Highview Parking

Highview Parking is a private parking contractor, along with their sister company Ranger Services. Highview Parking operate on privately-owned land, such as supermarket car parks (such as Tesco), retail parks, and hospital car parks. They generate income by issuing Parking Charge Notices which is the industry term for a parking ticket issued on private property. Parking Charge Notices (PCNs) are issued when they believe the terms and conditions of the car park have been breached. Examples could be overstaying the free parking limit, parking outside of a space, or not paying the correct fee. We explain PCNs in much more detail here.

Smart Parking

Smart Parking is a private parking operator in the UK. They were formerly named Town and City Parking until they were acquired by an Australian group called Car Parking Technologies in 2012, and later rebranded as Smart Parking.Smart Parking logoSmart Parking operate on privately-owned land, such as supermarket car parks (such as Asda, and Lidl), retail parks, and trading estates. They generate income by issuing Parking Charge Notices; this is the industry term for parking tickets. Parking Charge Notices (PCNs) are issued when they believe the terms and conditions are broken. Examples could be overstaying, parking outside of a marked bay, or not purchasing a ticket. For more information on PCNs, take a look at our page.

UK Parking Control

UK Parking Control (UKPC) is a private parking enforcement company that operates in the United Kingdom. The company was founded in 2000 and is based in Romford, Essex.UKPC provides a range of parking management services to clients across a variety of sectors, including retail parks, supermarkets, hospitals, and leisure centers. The company’s services include the installation and maintenance of parking control equipment, as well as enforcement services such as issuing parking charge notices (PCNs) to violators.UKPC’s enforcement practices have been the subject of much controversy and criticism. Some motorists have accused the company of issuing excessive or unfair fines, while others have reported feeling intimidated or harassed by UKPC’s enforcement agents.

JustPark

JustPark is a technology platform that matches drivers with parking spaces through its website and mobile application. JustPark, previously known as ParkatmyHouse, was founded in London in 2006 by Anthony Eskinazi.

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