Newry MLA backed by Consumer Council on private parking firms

Posted by
info@newrytimes.com
Wednesday, November 1st, 2017
Community, News, Politics

SDLP Assembly Member Justin McNulty has received backing from the Consumer Council for his calls for an independent regulator to oversee the practices of Private Car Parking Operators. 

McNulty made the call last week in response to a large volume of complaints from the general public over recent weeks.

 

 

Speaking to Newry Times, McNulty explained, “Over recent months I have been inundated with complaints from motorists who have fallen foul to the practices of private parking companies, and their enforcement actions.  

“There have been countless cases of people receiving parking tickets either from overzealous attendants or by post and the ticket justification and fines are often questionable.

“The common themes include everything from claiming the motorist has been observed leaving the carpark to shop in another store or claiming that the motorist has overstayed their time. The problem is that you don’t actually receive a ticket on the car windscreen and the first you are aware of the misdemeanour is when you receive a fine through the post,” he continued.

“I’ve described the way these companies operate as being a law unto themselves. In Newry and Armagh, the private companies are causing distress and widespread havoc. They operate without any oversight or regulation. This just cannot continue. 

 

 

“I have sought a meeting with the Permanent Secretary at the Department of Infrasture to discuss this important issue which is causing aggravation to so many people.

“This week I have been contacted by the Chief Executive of the Consumer Council following some of the comments I made about this issue in the media. Mr French has said the Consumer Council share my frustration and that they too believe the rules around private parking tickets/fines remain unclear.

“The Consumer Council have a long history of being a very strong advocate for the rights of consumers across a large range of issues and I welcome their support for my efforts to bring some sort of control and regulation to these ‘cowboy private carpark operators.’

McNulty added, “I hope to meet with the Consumer Council in the coming weeks and to work with them in the absence of proper regulation for these companies. This work, I hope will help guide any new regulation that the Department of Infrastructure will consider introducing in the coming months.”

 

 

 The Consumer Council has produced a factsheet as a helpful guide.

It is available from: www.consumercouncil.org.uk/publications/unfair-private-parking-charges-factsheet

More on this story:

Local MLA brands private parking companies in Newry as ‘cowboy companies’

Car park company ‘preying on Newry motorists’ says local Councillor

 

 


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