Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans last night led a debate in the House of Commons on the issue of car parking charges and fines on private land. Mr Evans secured the debate having been contacted by several of his constituents on this issue, particularly with reference to the Whalley Arms Car Park.
In the debate Mr Evans said, ‘A growing problems has resulted from operators of private car parks deciding that a lucrative income stream is to be had by clobbering motorists who use their car parks. The car parks are cash magnets for the operators, who milk the motorist and use harassment and threats to extort money.
A good case in point is The Whalley Arms car park in my constituency, use by the local community in a village that is strapped for car parking places. Local councillors Terry Hill and Joyce Holgate and I have received numerous letters of complaint from individuals who are incandescent that the operators are allowed such powers.’
Addressing Transport Minister Robert Goodwill Mr Evans said, ‘Minister, enough is enough. We all know that this wretched rinsing of the public has to end. The disproportionate fines should go, and those operators and the hoodlum side of their operations – the debt collectors who use oppressive means – have to be tamed and reined right back.’
Speaking after the debate Mr Evans said;
“Some people are being hit with a fine of £100 pounds when the parking fee they paid was only £1. This is a fine totally disproportionate to the offence. Overzealous car parking enforcement is discouraging people from going into town and village centres, and hurting local trade.
I welcome the recent announcement by the Government that there will be a 10 minute grace period introduced, and am pleased that Eric Pickles is taking leadership on the issue.
I was pleased to be able to raise this issue in Parliament and hope that the debate has shed light on the issue and will encourage the Government and local authorities to act to protect motorists.”