Parking ‘industry’ got crabs

After this weeks (8th Jan 2013) broadcast on BBC 1 of the documentary (Parking Mad) about parking campaigners, you may wonder what the so called parking industry thought of how they came out of it.


Most of the UK’s parking industry are members of the British Parking Association (BPA), and it’s from some of their members all of the following comments have come from:-


There is a lesson here for all parking managers and Cabinet Members.”


No matter what assurances that you are given, if you are talked into participating in parking related documentaries, you could be on a hiding to nothing.”


Unfortunately Apcoa had a PR disaster last night, with an obviously undertrained CEO being subject to very basic scrutiny and not faring too well. It was not the fault of the individual, but those who prepared for the filmed TPT case.”


What the program could do however is to portray and stereotype all CEOs as being incompetent and under skilled. I expect there is very little sympathy among parking professionals for the lone crusader who has racked up £40,000 in costs at the High Court, and now looks as though he will have to sell his house.”


The message is clear – all local authorities must be more proactive with their lines and signs. It is frustrating for all of us to lose adjudications on loopholes, but it happens and will continue to happen until we all get our houses in order. My final thought is that the program will encourage the growth in PCN challenges, and that is a costly exercise for all of us. the more robust and compliant are our lines & signs and the quality of our PCNs, the higher the odds of a positive outcome at adjudication”



Like a great deal of my colleagues working in parking across Local Authorities, I sat down last night to watch the Parking Mad Documentary on BBC 1. The following 50 minutes was, on a positive note, good entertaining TV that produced emotion and discussion. It was though, a poor documentary that was inbalanced in its argument, factually vacant and was more akin to a low budget production on Channel 5 than the BBC.”


I suspect that all the balancing arguments are on the floor of the cutting room. However, the production company, as I stated above, had produced good entertaining TV. The main problems I have are that the Council’s were poorly representated, and there was not enough time spent on why enforcement is needed in terms of safety and also the ring fencing of revenue created from penalty charge notices. Not only is the potential damage to the industry as a whole, the program clearly invited un-warranted penalty charge notice appeals.”


In terms of TPT, since joining the industry, and having some legal experience, I have vocalised the need for Parking Teams across the country to upskill in dealing with the adjudicators and have a greater understanding of rules governing evidence and burden of proof. But that is a discussion for another day, but I am working on a proposal. Unlike others, I don’t think TPT is biased, but I do believe that we as an “industry” need to improve in terms of handling of the cases.”


The programme, in my opinion, made several local authorities look foolish, and I imagine that was only two of a great number of cases that they filmed. We also as an industry need to improve communication to the general public, because actions groups such as those details last night, are produced with well meaning intentions but acting on a semi-informed basis”


I haven’t seen yet but will watch with interest this evening. I have to say, with experience of a previous role in managing evening and night time economy, that their was, sorry to appear cynical, only ever going to be one outcome. The BBC is only interested in creating entertainment and the same assurances of impartiality etc etc were put forward many times when the BBC wanted to film night life, stating they wanted to promote the partnership work between Councils, CCTV and police… surprise surprise is ended up being lots of drunken people doing things I won’t describe and, whilst the same behaviour every city experiences, ultimately damaging to the reputation of any city.”


It would be excellent to think we could establish a relationship with such a body as the BBC to promote a balanced showing of the challenges we face in parking however, in my experience, the local media is challenging enough; but heres to hope for the future.”


I would however add weight to some comments I’ve read stating that their really is onus on us all to ensure highway markings are clear and CEO’s only issuing where practacable; don’t get me wrong we have enough of a challenge keeping on top of this ourselves and still have much more work to do. I await to see any formal response from TPT/BPU to support the industry; but being realistic their isn’t going to be a re-run”


The above comments are a selection of comments from individuals within the parking industry, and they are not speaking on behalf of their respective companies, but they do give a rare and candid insight to the parking industry’s true reaction to the documentary.


At least they had their right to reply, and they should now be aware they are being watched more closely than some of them may have thought.


Perhaps it is to be expected that the parking industry seems to think they didn’t get a fair crack of the whip, as a few of the comments are a bit crabby.


But some of the nicest people have crabs, as the following clip from the documentary explains:-


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