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Parking policy is devolved. This briefing paper summarises parking policy in England. Information about parking in the devolved regions can be found :

Parking on Private Land

Since changes were brought into force in October 2012 under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, private landowners have been able to claim parking charges against the keeper of a vehicle, if evidence of the driver’s identity cannot be found. Two independent appeals bodies, Parking on Private Land Appeals (POPLA) and the Independent Appeals Service (IAS), exist to hear cases, saving both landowners and vehicle owners/drivers the cost of going to court. These measures were introduced alongside a ban on wheel clamping on private land.

Parking Code of Practice

The Parking (Code of Practice) Act 2019 received Royal Assent in March 2019. A draft of the Code was published in February 2022, to be implemented by the end of 2024. On 7 June 2022 the Code was temporarily withdrawn pending review of the levels of private parking charges and additional fees.

In a letter dated 17 April 2023, the Government advised the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee that it intends to consult on the issues of parking charge levels and additional fees before the Summer parliamentary recess.

The code seeks to create a single code of practice that is applicable to every private parking operator. By providing a single code of practice, it aims to create clarity and consistency across the industry for both parking operators and motorists. It also aims to raise the standards of the industry by incorporating best practice as standard across the industry.

Parking on Public Land

The primary legislation governing the enforcement of parking on public land is the Traffic Management Act 2004.

Since 1995 local authorities in England have had the ability to assume control for parking enforcement in their areas from the police. Almost all local authorities have now assumed these powers. This means that parking offences on public land are not dealt with by the police and the courts but by the civil authorities – the local authority and an independent traffic tribunal which hears appeals. The law on civil parking enforcement was revised and consolidated in 2004, and the current arrangements came into force in 2008.

Legislation was introduced in 2013 to tighten the circumstances in which CCTV may be used as the sole evidence for issuing an on-street parking ticket but they do not prohibit the use of CCTV for on-street parking enforcement entirely.

In 2015 legislation introduced a new 10 minutes’ grace period at the end of a paid for period of parking by vehicles parked on public land, and a right to challenge local parking policies.

Private Roads

The issue of parking on private roads is a complex area because there are different definitions of a ‘private road’ and the extent to which sanctions can be enforced on a road will depend on what type of road it is. In terms of parking, there is no general right to park in a private road except for the owner of the road. In practice, parking may be permitted or tolerated by the owner (in which case there is a licence to park) and in some cases a legal right may have been granted by the owner

Information on other parking-related matters, such as traffic wardens, on-street or ‘pavement’ parking, parking for disabled people and wheel clamping can be found in the Parking FAQs Library paper.   

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