A pensioner from Buckinghamshire who fought and won a case against a parking company after receiving a £100 fine for a 20-minute session is taking a stand against ‘cowboy’ firms on behalf of his fellow motorists.

Stanley Luckhurst, 85, from Gerrards Cross spent months embroiled in a legal dispute with Excel Parking last year after receiving an “extortionate” charge of £100 despite paying £1.60 to park in an underground car park in Uxbridge for twenty minutes.

Stanley accidentally parked in a bay reserved for electric vehicles but cited the car park’s poor visibility for his failure to see the relevant signage.

Excel Parking brought a claim for £255 against the 85-year-old, with additional charges including debt collection costs added to the original £100 ticket. It was dismissed by a judge at the Royal Courts of Justice and the parking company was ordered to cover his total legal costs of £306.

Now, Stanley has launched a petition for the UK government to stop “dragging its feet” on the introduction of a new Parking Code of Practice which would hold “bully-boy parking companies” such as Excel to account.

Bucks Free Press:

After his legal battle, the Gerrards Cross resident delved into the world of private parking regulation and discovered that the International Parking Community (IPC), which runs the Independent Appeals Service, is funded by parking firms including Excel – something which only qualifies it as a “so-called independent” arbiter.

A parking Code of Practice was published by the government in early 2022 but was withdrawn after private companies sought legal action against the introduction of new levelled parking charges and a ban on additional fees.

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A public consultation, calling for evidence to inform a re-laying of the code, is ongoing but Stanley is concerned that the voice of the average motorist will be drowned out by heavyweights in the parking industry.

He said: “Motorists are facing a truly nightmarish scenario. The discussions about relaunching the code are dragging on and on. If the new code is not launched before parliament dissolves (for the general election), then the legislation will be shelved, and the parking cowboys will be laughing all the way to the bank.

“I feel strongly that something needs to be done. It’s the average Joe just trying to put bread on the table who gets fined, and what’s he going to do? Take time off work to fight it? It won’t happen. The industry feeds on that like buzzards at a feast.”

Bucks Free Press:

A spokesperson for Excel Parking told the Sheffield Star that they are in support of the new Code of Practice, adding: “The vast majority of parking operators follow an existing Code of Practice with either the IPC (International Parking Community) or the BPA (British Parking Association) and has processes in place for motorists to appeal should they consider that a parking charge has been issued unfairly.

“The new unified Code will adopt many elements of the existing codes which will further improve consistency and clarity for motorists, landowners and parking operators.

“We understand that parking can be an emotive subject, not only for those who receive a parking charge but also for motorists who are negatively impacted by those who park irresponsibly as well as those who blatantly abuse private land.

“A recent survey undertaken by our Trade Association, the IPC, found that 99.7 per cent of motorists comply with private parking.”