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News & views

Three more private parking firms suspended from access to DVLA data

[16 Oct 2012] [Updated 19 Oct 2012] The murky and secretive private parking industry has been plunged into turmoil after two of its biggest operators, Excel Parking Services Ltd and Roxburghe, were suspended for three months from electronic access to the DVLA's database of registered keepers' names and addresses. A third firm, MET Parking Services Ltd, was also suspended.

The suspension effectively cuts off the main income stream of these companies. They rake in millions of pounds every year from drivers' alleged contraventions of parking rules on private land. Excel has a £10million annual turnover and its managing director, a BPA bigwig, paid himself £766,353 last year, according to Companies House records.

As we have shown numerous times (see our Archive and, many of the contraventions arise because motorists are confused by poor signage.

The decision is embarrassing for the British Parking Association (BPA), the members' club that oversees much of the private parking industry, as it brings the number of BPA member companies suspended in the last few weeks to six.

The BPA is supposed to undertake annual audits of all member companies' signs and documents to ensure they comply with its code of practice. The suspension will fuel suspicion that the  BPA has been failing to do this properly, which calls into question its status as a Government-accredited trade association. If it loses that status – which is unlikely given its closeness to the DVLA – the parking companies would find it much more difficult to chase motorists for money. [cont] 

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