The British Parking Association advisory panel have recommended changes to the AOS code of practice which remove requirements for parking charges to be a genuine pre-estimate of loss. Instead, the charges must be 'commercially justified'. This is a dangerous change which would essentially allow operators to charge what they would like, removing all checks and balances, because this phrase can be used to mean anything.
Robert Toft of the DVLA was present at the meeting, which took place at the Institution of Highways & Transportation on 17th July. It is not known whether the DVLA objected to the change.
Jo Abbott of the RAC were also there. It is not known whether the RAC objected to the change. Members of the RAC may wish to enquire what the RAC view is.
Other attendees were Gary Brierly (Debt Recovery Plus), Grahame Rose (CP Plus), Philip Hammer (Cambridgeshire County Council), Jo Abbott (RAC), John McArdie (BPA), Simon Renshaw-Smith (Excel), Spencer Palmer (London Councils), Patrick Troy (BPA), Kelvin Reynolds (BPA), Jane Hack (BPA), Steve Clark (BPA) and Dave Smith (BPA).
The change may be premature. The change has been introduced following HHJ Moloney's judgment in the ParkingEye v Beavis case. However this is being appealed and the appeal is due to be held in February 2015.
If parking companies change their charging model in accordance with this proposed COP change, and Mr Beavis wins his appeal then the commercial justification argument for parking charges would appear to fly out of the window. The COP would be at odds with the law and the BPA will be unable to introduce this change. The BPA's time would be better spent dealing with those who do not comply with the COP rather than trying to pre-judge Judicial decisions and introducing terms and conditions that may be at odds with the law
The Parking Prankster