Following previous stages of our consideration of the Bill, and having received a number of representations, it is apparent to me that it can and should be strengthened further. One point of concern that has been raised, including by Stephen Doughty and my hon. Friend Mike Wood, relates to the appeals services available to motorists. Currently, when a motorist receives a ticket, they must first go to the parking operator to challenge it. If the challenge is rejected, they may go on to an appeals service provided by whichever accredited trade association the parking operator is a member of. Parking on Private Land Appeals and the Independent Appeals Service are the appeals services of the British Parking Association and the International Parking Community respectively. However, POPLA does not operate in Scotland, so motorists who receive parking tickets from British Parking Association operators in Scotland are denied an independent appeals service entirely, which I do not think is right.
The Bill provides an opportunity to raise the standards of the private parking industry and create more consistency in the process. My amendments would expand that opportunity, providing the Secretary of State with the power to appoint a single appeals service for the whole industry, providing greater consistency for motorists in England, Scotland and Wales, as they would know exactly where to go when they want to appeal a private parking ticket.