Shropshire Star

Former council leader Lord Sahota makes a stand over 'Del Boy' parking companies in House of Lords

Lord Kuldip Sahota has condemned “scam” parking companies for targetting “innocent, unsuspecting motorists”.

Lord Sahota in the Lords

The former leader of Telford & Wrekin Council, Lord Sahota has spoken out in the House of Lords against private companies for what he says is a national “scam”.

Lord Sahota previously told the Shropshire Star he was left angry and upset after reading about a 25-year-old mum who was fined £100 for overstaying 21 seconds in a car park in Telford.

Yesterday, the former councillor brandished the paper’s front page as he spoke passionately about the methods private companies use to “entrap innocent, unsuspecting drivers” with the latest technologies.

He is calling on the Government to introduce a code of conduct and create an ombudsman to handle disputes over fines and pricing.

“Over the years I have run many businesses including shops, cafes and a car park,” he told the House of Lords.

“Car parking business is one of the least labour-intensive businesses of them all because of the latest technologies.

“Car parking business is a cash cow, my Lords. Compared to other businesses it has far fewer workers and is far more profitable. It is over a £3billion industry and there are well over 40 million cars on the road. I don’t know any other business that is so profitable yet is not properly regulated.”

Lord Sahota called on the Government to introduce a statutory code of practice as soon as possible and pushed for the creation of an ombudsman to oversee disputes over fines or pricing that is financed by the parking industry.

He slammed private companies for using small signs that are “mostly tucked away somewhere in the corner”. and said that most drivers who do not notice the signs “pay up because they can’t be bothered to go to court.”

“This my lord is nothing more than a page out of Del Boy’s book of money making scams,” he added.

“Come on Rodney, let’s stick a few CCTV cameras here and there and give a certain percentage to the owners and keep the rest - lovely jubbly.”

Lord Sahota told the Lords that in recent years car parking companies have “grown exponentially”, with 2.8 million drivers expected to be fined in 2022 and 2023.