Parking Ticket
The number of parking tickets issued has grown 13-fold in the last decade. Getty

The UK government has unveiled plans to crack down on "dodgy" parking operators, to ensure they are prevented from fining drivers.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed he will back a bill brought by former minister Sir Greg Hands, which aims at ensuring "fair, clear and consistent" regulations are implemented in the parking industry.

The bill, which is due for its second reading, also calls on authorities to be allowed to clamp down on "unscrupulous and aggressive" parking operators.

"For too long, drivers have suffered from unjust fines at the hands of dodgy parking firms, " Javid was quoted as saying by Sky News.

"We need a fairer, clearer and more consistent system that brings the small minority of unscrupulous operators in line with those who are behaving appropriately.

"That is why Government is putting the brakes on these rogue operators and backing new laws that will put a stop to aggressive behaviour and provide a simpler way for drivers to appeal fines."

The number of parking tickets issued is 13 times higher than a decade ago and in 2017 almost 10,000 drivers approached Citizens Advice Bureau for guidance on how to deal with parking tickets.

Intimidating payment letters, inconsistency in decision-making practices and confusing appeal processes were all highlighted as some of the main concerns related to the industry.

 Sajid Javid
Communities secretary Sajid Javid said the new bill will ensure fairness in the parking industry. Reuters

Under plans contained in the new bill, parking firms falling short of the requirements will lose access to the driver database allowing them to issue fines, which would effectively force them out of business.

"We all hoped the ban on clamping would end the sharp practices that had come to plague private parking," said Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation.

"The fact that companies are issuing millions of penalty tickets annually is clear evidence that something is still going badly awry.

"Drivers don't want a parking free-for-all, but they do want a system that is fair to all parties and that's what a code of practice set by Government - rather than the industry itself - should bring about."