It's Not Fine - Unfair Charges for parking on Private Land

A number of constituents have raised concerns with me regarding unfair charges which are charges for parking on private land.  One example of this in the Lidl supermarket at the West Port.  The Courier recently reported the case of a man who was sent a Parking Charge Notice for parking there he was asked to send his bank statement to prove he had in fact shopped at the store.  This would have left him open to identity theft and highlights the lack of regulation of this industry in Scotland.

I find this absolutely unacceptable.  It makes it clear that there is a real need for regulation of these private parking charges. They have little or no legal basis in Scotland.  I’m not advocating that people just park anywhere, or parking on private land with no consideration to the owner, but there is a need for regulation. It’s obviously silly that there isn’t a way of organising these things that doesn’t look like a form of extortion.  I will be writing to the Scottish Government to take action.

Citizen's Advice Scotland has produced a very interesting report on this.  The report It's Not Fine makes some very sensible recommendations.  These include stopping the parking industry attempting to mislead people into thinking that they have actually been fined when this is not the case.  There should also be an independent third party appeals service in Scotland.  The Scottish Government should legislate to regulate the operations of the private parking industry.  Retailers should also remember that it is their customers who are being penalised unfairly here and work to find a better way of operating car parking at their premises, a way that doesn't feel and look like extortion.