Recently the AA published data revealing that UK motorists pay Â£30 million per month on public parking fines in locations such as town centres.
Further investigation into the cost of parking fines imposed on UK motorists has revealed that private parking fines will soar to 2.3 million by the end of 2013, representing a rise of 500,000 on the previous year.
The surge in private parking fines has been attributed to the widespread ban on clamping, which was enforced in 2012. The ban was implemented to prevent motorists from having to pay extortionate release fees. However, despite the ban, private land owners were granted powers to issue parking fines to motorists caught parking on private land without permission.
Consequently, private land owners have now discovered an alternative â€˜cash-cowâ€™ and the AA warns that by the end of 2013 approximately 2.3 million private parking fines will have been issued.
As well as questioning the surge in the number of private parking fines issued, the AA has also questioned the behaviour of many private parking companies since the clamping ban.
In a statement from AA president, Edmund King, he said: â€œIâ€™m extremely concerned about this issue. Private parking enforcement remains unregulated and is a free-for-all even when firms, signed up to a code of practice, breach their own rules.â€
He added: â€œIt seems many of the notorious clampers have moved their sharp practices to private parking enforcement. Others seem to have adopted strong arm tactics to threaten drivers into paying tickets that are often unjust and set at an unreasonable level compared to those issued by regulated local authorities.â€
In order to challenge private parking fines the British Parking Association (BPA) established an independent appeals service following the ban on clamping, in order to safeguard motorists who were in receipt of unfair tickets.
In a statement from the Chief Executive of the BPA, Patrick Troy, he moved to defend the private parking industry, saying: â€œIt is disappointing that the AA has taken a typically negative attitude to the significant changes brought about by changes in the law introduced last year.â€
He added: â€œWeâ€™ve invited the AA to join us in managing the scheme which ensures BPA members comply with a robust Code of Practice but they have consistently declined, unlike many other organisations representing the motoristsâ€™ interests. We and they are interested only in placing the motorist at the heart of our thinking, not scoring cheap political points.â€