Camera dei Lords - Dibattito sulla riforma 2007
The BBC in the midlands has recently undertaken some work in Birmingham to examine the
operation of private clamping in the city. It got a woman driver to park a vehicle on a privately
owned space and leave the scene. Almost immediately, the clampers from a private company
emerged and began to tow away the vehicle. The woman returned to be told that she had to
pay hundreds of pounds in cash to the company to release the vehicle and that she would be
escorted to a cash machine to make the payment. When she said that she could not pay, she
was left to make her own way home alone late at night. The company’s behaviour was clearly
unacceptable. However, people will pay almost anything to get their car released.
My constituent, Paul Watling from Telford, was also caught out on an area of land in
Birmingham. He fully acknowledged that he was parking in a private space. However, the
signage on the site was poor and he had to pay £350 to get his car released from clamping.
6 Mar 2007 : Column 1387
was virtually frogmarched to the cash machine by some fairly aggressive and intimidating
The Bill proposes that clamping companies must inform the local authority in their area of
activity of the scope, style and location of signs to be used on private land. I am trying to drive
towards some standardisation of the signage in local authority areas. The Bill also proposes
giving the local authority the power to set a range in which penalty fees should be set. Clearly,
that may vary between different towns and cities, depending on the market and the scarcity of
parking spaces. I believe that the decision should be made locally by the local authority.
However, we should consider setting a maximum amount for such fees—£350 in cash is
The second element of the Bill concerns the provision of disabled parking spaces on private
land. The Department for Transport provides advice on the provision of spaces for disabled
drivers. The Disability Discrimination Act requires service providers to take reasonable steps to
ensure that disabled people can enjoy services. Department for Transport leaflet 5/95
“For car parks associated with shopping areas, leisure or recreational facilities, and
places open to the general public: A minimum of one space for each employee who is a
disabled motorist, plus 6 per cent. of the total capacity for visiting disabled motorists.
The numbers of designated spaces may need to be greater at hotels and sports stadia
that specialise in accommodating groups of disabled people.”
Most disabled persons’ parking bays in off-street car parks, such as supermarket car parks, are
not covered by blue badge scheme regulations. Such car parks and parking bays are likely to
be privately owned and managed by the individual business: the agreement, and any cost to
use them, will be between the owner and the motorist or customer.
If a disabled motorist or passenger complains to, for example, a supermarket that a non-
disabled motorist has parked in a disabled bay, an employee of the store can ask the driver to
move their car but cannot legally insist on it. In some instances, the owners of private car
parks are reluctant to take action against people, because they think that it is bad for
business. In my view, not providing bays for people with disabilities and mobility problems is
bad for business. One of the problems is that spaces tend to be close to the store and people
feel that they can park briefly in one of those
6 Mar 2007 : Column 1388
spaces when they use a cash machine or pick up friends or family who have been shopping.
Such behaviour is not acceptable.
A number of surveys have been conducted on the use and abuse of disabled parking bays in
recent years. In 2005, a survey carried out by Baywatch found that one in five bays were
being abused on supermarket sites. The Bill would require all owners of private car parks with
disabled parking bays to have a clear written strategy on enforcement, which is available to
the public on request. It would also require owners to submit an annual report on their
enforcement activity to the local authority and the Disability Rights Commission or its
I have considered proposals to extend the blue badge scheme on to private land and, for
example, supermarket car parks. My main concern about an extension of that scheme is that
many authorities already find it difficult to enforce the provision on public car parks. The Bill
does not therefore include such proposals. Supermarkets and other car park owners who
provide disabled places are, however, drinking in the last chance saloon: they need to act
more effectively, or we will have to bring in more draconian legislation.
In closing, may I thank Douglas Campbell, chairman of Mobilise, and John Pring of Disability
Now for their help on this issue? I also thank the hon. Member for Shipley (Philip Davies),
whose support for the Bill has been especially helpful. I am conscious that the House is fairly
full this afternoon. To ensure that the next speaker can make his points, perhaps Members will
leave the Chamber quietly once they have listened to the presentation of my Bill.
Question put and agreed to.
Bill ordered to be brought in by David Wright, John Mann, Mr. Iain Wright, Mr. Dai Havard,
Chris Mole, Mike Penning, Philip Davies, Mr. Robert Flello, Martin Salter, Helen Jones and Ann
Coffey. Private Parking (regulation)
David Wright accordingly presented a Bill to make further provision about penalties relating to
parking on private land; to make provision about compliance with notices concerning parking
for disabled people on private land; and for connected purposes: And the same was read the
First time; and ordered to be read a Second time on Friday 15 June, and to be printed [Bill
6 Mar 2007 : Column 1389 Speaker’s Statement
Mr. Speaker: I have a statement to make relating to the main business.
In the debate on House of Lords reform, I have selected amendment (c) to the motion on
For the benefit of the House, I will set out the procedure to be followed at the end of the
debate tomorrow. Under the Order of the House of 27 February, at 5.30 pm tomorrow I shall
put the Question on the first motion, on retention of a bicameral Parliament. Thereafter, the
Questions will be put successively on each of the remaining motions until the last. On that
motion, on hereditary places, as I have selected the amendment in the name of the Leader of
the Opposition, I shall put the Question on that amendment first. I shall then put the Question
on the main Question in the usual way.
I also inform the House that I have decided to apply a 10-minute time limit on Back-Bench
speeches on both days of the debate. When the opening speeches have been made, in the
exceptional circumstances of this debate I am prepared to give an indication to those wishing
+1 anno fa
I contenuti di questa pagina costituiscono rielaborazioni personali del Publisher Atreyu di informazioni apprese con la frequenza delle lezioni di Politica comparata e studio autonomo di eventuali libri di riferimento in preparazione dell'esame finale o della tesi. Non devono intendersi come materiale ufficiale dell'università Milano - Unimi o del prof Giuliani Marco.
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