The Role of the Parking Attendant

Steven Leckenby, Chartered Legal Executive in our Litigation team, recently reviewed why car park management is needed, and how difficult the job can be for car park attendants who are just doing their job and are human beings who should not be mistreated

In my role at BW Legal, I work for clients in the private parking sector who are looked at as being the so called ‘bearer of bad news’ by fining individuals for infringing ‘minor’ permissible breaches or so called ‘mistakes’ by individuals in private car parks.

Everyday millions of car journeys take place across our roads. Each of these journeys will involve parking in some way shape or form. The need to manage this vast volume of traffic is clearly required.

The law surrounding parking on private land is clear, if you breach the terms and conditions in operation you can be issued with a parking charge notice. It is ever more important that on private land we manage terms and conditions in force, as the benefit of compliance and enforcement upon breach serves a legitimate purpose in protecting our own interests as motorists who wish to use private parking facilities.

Enforcing a breach of terms and conditions fulfils many legitimate purposes, for example, as motorists we don’t want a vehicle obstructing our residential property permit holder only bays without our consent or even taking up free spaces without paying for parking.

The question I ask is why some believe that we can treat car parking attendants differently to any other human being doing a job to support themselves and their loved ones.

It is abundantly clear that a motorist should not be allowed to park at a car park without the landowner’s consent. Why would we as permit holders for our private residential property allow anyone to park in our permit bay and prevent us from doing so?

I’ve sadly seen a number of articles in recent times showing violence towards parking attendants. There was a case in early August 2018 where a 72 year old parking attendant was knocked unconscious by a motorist following a disagreement over a parking space. More recently I watched a sickening video of a group of men violently attacking a parking attendant in Birmingham, again for him simply doing his job.

Many parking operators now inform their parking attendants not to engage with motorists from a safety point of view. It is disappointing that this is the case but, as can be seen from just the examples above, nothing tends to create instant emotion like that of a parking ticket.

Parking attendants have a simple role. They manage a site and ensure that motorists are complying with the various terms and conditions in place.

The industry in general often receives abuse as do we as their acting legal representatives. It is of course a tough area of law to work in from both a technical and emotional standpoint. I hope people understand that from our point of view we do things the right way and we will continue to represent the industry. We are proud to endorse all our parking clients and are pleased that they are fully on board with working with our dual regulated firm and its best practise cultures which incorporate responsible collections policies.

I was heartened to see a recent article, on the Metro website, which showed a parking attendant jokingly placing a PCN upon a child’s toy vehicle for parking without a permit.

This article shows that car parking attendants, despite issuing motorists with a parking charge notice for a legitimate purpose, are also human beings and are providing a benefit for motorists as a whole As you will read, car park attendants do aim to treat us fairly and even have a sense of humour.

In the lead up to the festive period we all know how difficult finding a parking space can be. We have all experienced that Christmas rush for last minute present shopping and struggled to fit in a car parking space because another motorist has taken up two bays or overstayed the paid period.

It’s great to be able to show car parking attendants are everyday people, serving a legitimate purpose for us all.

Full article can be found at

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