A bid to bring private parking firms into line has taken a step closer.
A date for the debate of a private members bill has been announced, with the discussion set to take place in the new year.
It is being backed by Perth and North Perthshire MP Pete Wishart, who has been inundated with complaints about private parking firm, Smart Parking’s operations in the Fair City.
He believes the introduction of a statutory code of practice for private parking companies will prevent motorists being ripped off.
The Parking (Code of Practice) Bill, which is being introduced by Sir Greg Knight, MP for East Yorkshire, will be published early in 2018 and debated on February 2.
Mr Wishart said: “The need for the bill has been demonstrated after recent figures show that the number of privately issued parking ‘tickets’ have soared to 4.7 million last year – a rise of 28% in just 12 months.
“Recent statistics show that private parking providers are now issuing a ticket every seven seconds and many of these are in dubious circumstances.
“Some dodgy operators are engaging in practices such as ‘ghost ticketing’, unclear signage and tickets being issued despite parking payment machines being out of order. Currently there is no legally binding code to prevent this.
“Of course, private landowners have rights, but when landowners invite people to park on their property, the rules need to be fair to both parties.’
Sir Greg Knight added: “Time and time again, I am hearing horror stories from motorists across Britain so this Bill will reform unfair parking practices.
“It will apply to anyone who runs a private car park and will oblige them to operate in a fair and reasonable way and I am delighted to have the support of Pete Wishart MP.”
Neither Smart Parking or the British Parking Association (BPA) commented but the BPA has previously backed the bill.
Last month Andrew Pester, BPA chief executive, said: “We are delighted that parliamentarians are listening and taking decisive action to ensure the private parking sector operates in a consistent and transparent manner for the motorist.
“The BPA has been calling for better regulation of the private parking sector, and the common code of practice provided by this bill is good for the motorist and the sector.”