Knight’s Days: the Life at Westminster column with Sir Greg Knight

Following the ban on wheel clamping there has been a massive increase in privately issued parking tickets.
Following the ban on wheel clamping there has been a massive increase in privately issued parking tickets.

Every week I continue to receive letters and emails complaining about unfair penalty notices issued by cowboy car park operators.

Following the ban on wheel clamping in 2012, privately issued parking ‘tickets’ have soared to 4.7 million last year – one issued every seven seconds, with many of these issued in dubious circumstances.

Sir Greg Knight MP.

Sir Greg Knight MP.

The clear majority of car park providers are honest and fair but some unscrupulous rogues are undermining the whole sector with bad practice.

These dodgy operators are engaging in practices such as unclear signage, fining people while they are getting change to pay for parking and penalties being issued despite parking payment machines being out of order. Currently there is no legally binding code to prevent this.

My Private Member’s Bill, the Parking (Code of Practice) Bill, which will tackle such abuse, passed its first Parliamentary hurdle back in February and is now awaiting scrutiny in committee.

My Bill will do nothing to diminish the rights of landowners to earn a fair income from their land, including seeking redress when motorists don’t play by the rules.

But the scales need to be rebalanced to make the system fair for all involved.

My Bill will help stamp out rogues in the industry and the sooner it becomes law the better!

Late last year the whole of Europe saw the introduction of a huge power cut.

No, not an electricity supply failure, but a mandatory cut to the maximum power of all new vacuum cleaners to be made in future.

The maximum power permitted has been almost halved from 1600w to 900w under European Union rules.

Of all of the difficult issues facing the world, the European Union feels that as one of their priorities they need to impose a ban on powerful vacuum cleaners!

This raises the question of whether vacuuming a house in future is going to take almost twice as long!

Although tests appear to show that the new lower power models are adequate at picking up fine dust – used by the EU in their tests – there is uncertainty about the more everyday dirt that you find in a typical home.

Britain still needs to comply with all EU regulations until we reach the point at which we leave.

This latest law, to make vacuum cleaners weaker, is another example of why Britain is right to decide to quit this regulation-ridden club.