Originally the appeals procedure required the registered keeper to grass up the identity of the driver. There was no apparent good reason for this, and the danger was that parking companies could make a Norwich Pharmaceutical Order to the IPC, forcing them to disclose driver identities in bulk.
The DVLA therefore took up the fight on behalf of the motorist and after some negotiation, eventually succeeded in agreeing the change.
The IPC has not yet had a chance to update its appeal documentation.
The IPC has proved interesting competition for the BPA Ltd, and its trailblazing attitude has already forced changes to the BPA Ltd code of practice; the BPA Ltd are playing catch-up in many situations. In a recent DVLA consumer forum meeting the IPC gave the opinion that running a business on charges for breach of contract was unsustainable, although the DVLA seem to have conveniently edited that part out of the minutes.
However, the one area The Prankster has strong reservations about is the IPC appeals procedure. The Prankster recognises it is what it is in order to keep costs down, but believes that this has resulted in the process being biased too heavily towards the operator.
The Prankster considers it a fundamental injustice and a clear bias to the procedure that the Operator gets to see the motorist's evidence, but the motorist does not get to see, and thereafter make representations about, the Operator's evidence.
As an example, the fact that this does happen in the rival POPLA process has exposed many irregularities.
- parking companies have sent in maps of the wrong car park
- parking companies have signed landowner witness statements themselves
- parking companies have charged motorists for items they have already been paid for in the contract with the landowner
- parking companies have been caught out submitting different costing documents when previous ones have been rejected
The restriction hat a third party cannot appeal on behalf of the keeper or drive also goes against the fundamentals of justice, where a person can seek out a more qualified person the represent them if they desire. If this happened in all walks of life, the legal profession would become redundant at a stroke.
Here is what the BPA had to say on the matter in their April AOS meeting:
GRyGBT raised the' issue of 'assisted appeals', circumstances where someone who is not the driver or keeper assists someone who is in making an appeal. This was discussed at great length and concluded that people have a right to be represented in such circumstances as occurs in other judicial proceedings
It is also confusing that the BPA appeal deadline is 28 days, while the IPC is 21 days.
The Prankster believes that having two fundamentally different appeals processes for private parking is confusing to the motorist, and urges the DVLA to take action to align the two.
If you would like to make you own views known, email Paul Johnson at email@example.com
The Parking Prankster