MP calls for crack down on 'rip off' car parks

Not all signs are this clear says Nick Smith Credit: PA

MPs have backed a call from Nick Smith, the Labour MP for Blaenau Gwent, for a change in the law to stop car park operators putting up signs that confuse motorists into incurring penalty charges. Mr Smith said he had received a series of complaints from drivers in his own constituency.

Mr Smith said his constituents had faced £40 penalty charges after making a genuine mistake. He said that he was worried about a developing business model for car parking, where the landowner receives all of the the hourly charge income. The car park operator keeps any extra charges and so benefits from confusing signs. He warned that the practice is driving consumers out of town centres. The MP's proposal, introduced as a ten minute rule bill has little chance of becoming law unless the government decides to support a change in the law.