To the delight of many motorists, the British Parking Association (BPA) has recently published a revised code of practice for parking which prevents carparks from penalising motorists who make a mistake when typing vehicle details.

The revised code also contains guidance on grace periods and self-ticketing, as well as motorist keying errors, in the hopes that this will ensure Approved Operator Scheme (AOS) members are delivering a high standard of service for motorists.

The keying errors identified in the revised code are categorised into major and minor keying errors. Minor keying errors are identified as one letter or number incorrect or letters and numbers in the wrong order, while major keying errors have multiple number and letter keying errors, only the first three digits  have been recorded or a completely incorrect registration number is used.

Head of BPA business operations Steve Clark said, “We recognise that genuine mistakes can occur, which may result in a parking charge being issued even when a motorist can demonstrate they paid for their parking. In recognition of this we have further clarified the situation for all parties.”

He added: “Motorists will still need to appeal, but we expect our members to deal with them appropriately at the first appeal stage.”

It is hoped that the revised code will improve clarity for both motorists and adjudicators on issues like keying errors, which previously have been costly mistakes.

John Gallagher, Lead Adjudicator at Parking on Private Land Appeals (POPLA) expanded on this, stating: “The introduction of a section on keying errors, requiring parking operators to cancel Parking Charge Notices in certain circumstances and reduce the amount to only administration costs in others, is particularly welcome.”

The addition to the code, based on feedback given to the BPA means that POPLA adjudicators will be able to make decisions on keying errors without referring to the operator, in order to improve the process of appealing fines and managing them.

Gallagher concluded: “We would like to thank the BPA for listening to our feedback on this and other issues – and involving us in ongoing discussions on the best way to ensure a fair system that protects motorists.”

While motorists will still have to appeal fines, it is hoped that the introduction of the revised code will mean that appeals are dealt with at the first stage of the process, rather than being allowed to escalate.