Ministers will look at how DVLA sells on details of drivers to parking companies

Daily Echo: Sue Harris and Christine Lemon. Sue Harris and Christine Lemon.

TOP Government ministers will look at how drivers’ private details are sold on to enforcement companies, after two Hampshire women’s victory in a court battle.

Christine Lemon and Sue Harris successfully overturned a £100 fine they had been handed by ParkingEye after parking at The Range in Southampton.

As previously reported, they believe the firm did not actually have a contract to run the site when they were fined.

And they have criticised the Driver and Vehicle and Licensing Agency (DVLA), which sold their information to ParkingEye before their fines were posted to them, saying it should not have released the information if the company did not have a valid contract.

Sue, 54, from Poppy Close in Locks Heath, added: "I'd like to see action taken at Government level to stop the DVLA selling motorists' personal details (at £2.50 a time) to private parking companies.

“Car owners cannot avoid filling in application forms for road tax and are given no option about their personal data being sold.”

Now Christine’s MP, Julian Lewis, has taken the matter up with transport ministers in Whitehall, saying he believes the whole practice of selling information on to companies needs to be looked at.

The DVLA sold the details of 1.8million drivers to parking firms in 2012/13 alone – with ParkingEye the biggest customer, buying the details of 684,000 motorists and spending more than £2million in the process.

Conservative MP for New Forest East Mr Lewis has asked Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin and his junior minister Stephen Hammond to scrap the practice of selling data.

He also wants to know what checks the DVLA carry out on firms before selling data.

He said: “Should a Government agency be supplying information such as names and addresses to a firm which may or may not be seeking to bring action before a court?

“Personally I don’t think it should.”

A spokesman for the DVLA said the organisation “took its responsibility to protect information seriously”.

He added: “That is why information is only provided under strict controls to parking firms who meet the standards set by an appropriate accredited trade association and are compliant with its code of practice.”

The DVLA is currently investigating ParkingEye’s contract at The Range.

ParkingEye has insisted to the Daily Echo that it does hold a contract for the site, but has refused to produce proof.

The Range declined to comment.

Comments (5)

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12:41pm Sat 8 Feb 14

funchal says...

The Range are a disgrace allowing this to happen to their customers.Customer service doesn't feature at The Range either in the shop or its car park.
The Range are a disgrace allowing this to happen to their customers.Customer service doesn't feature at The Range either in the shop or its car park. funchal

1:24pm Sat 8 Feb 14

bigfella777 says...

funchal wrote:
The Range are a disgrace allowing this to happen to their customers.Customer service doesn't feature at The Range either in the shop or its car park.
Not really, they have to have some control because of it's close proximity to the General Hospital, how would you suggest that they do it?
What's to say that these women were even in the range at all and not visiting the hospital?
[quote][p][bold]funchal[/bold] wrote: The Range are a disgrace allowing this to happen to their customers.Customer service doesn't feature at The Range either in the shop or its car park.[/p][/quote]Not really, they have to have some control because of it's close proximity to the General Hospital, how would you suggest that they do it? What's to say that these women were even in the range at all and not visiting the hospital? bigfella777

5:30am Sun 9 Feb 14

roster says...

i dont think anybody should have to pay to go shopping. In this day and age the shopping is expensive enough without getting a parking ticket to add on to the bill. I received a parking ticket in Asda car park at Chandlers Ford
i dont think anybody should have to pay to go shopping. In this day and age the shopping is expensive enough without getting a parking ticket to add on to the bill. I received a parking ticket in Asda car park at Chandlers Ford roster

8:22am Sun 9 Feb 14

DannyMan says...

DVLA speaks with forked tongue. Parking companies have an electronic link to the DVLA database, they just log in and request whatever details they want, without any checks. Yes they have to be members of an "Accredited Trade Association" (ATA) before they can get the electronic link, but the DVLA doesn't care if they abide by the ATA's Code of Practice, and most parking companies break it routinely and daily. The main ATA is the British Parking Association Ltd which brushes off complaints about its members and hardly ever sanctions them for anything. ParkingEye is the BPA Ltd's biggest member by a long way and BPA Ltd would be bankrupt without ParkngEye's membership fees, so it's hardly surprising that BPA Ltd turns a blind eye (!) to anything ParkingEye does. There is another, tiny ATA (the "Independent Transport Association Ltd"), and it beggars belief how this one got its ATA status. It lurks an an address in Knutsford, and its supposedly independent appeals service is at EXACTLY the same address. Also at the same place is a parking company, and a firm of solicitors which sends threatening letters on behalf of parking companies (and which shares a director with the IPC Ltd). And we are supposed to believe that this cosy little setup makes for a fit and proper organisation under whose auspices the DVLA can hand out our personal details like confetti. DVLA and the Department for Transport should be ashamed of themselves.
DVLA speaks with forked tongue. Parking companies have an electronic link to the DVLA database, they just log in and request whatever details they want, without any checks. Yes they have to be members of an "Accredited Trade Association" (ATA) before they can get the electronic link, but the DVLA doesn't care if they abide by the ATA's Code of Practice, and most parking companies break it routinely and daily. The main ATA is the British Parking Association Ltd which brushes off complaints about its members and hardly ever sanctions them for anything. ParkingEye is the BPA Ltd's biggest member by a long way and BPA Ltd would be bankrupt without ParkngEye's membership fees, so it's hardly surprising that BPA Ltd turns a blind eye (!) to anything ParkingEye does. There is another, tiny ATA (the "Independent Transport Association Ltd"), and it beggars belief how this one got its ATA status. It lurks an an address in Knutsford, and its supposedly independent appeals service is at EXACTLY the same address. Also at the same place is a parking company, and a firm of solicitors which sends threatening letters on behalf of parking companies (and which shares a director with the IPC Ltd). And we are supposed to believe that this cosy little setup makes for a fit and proper organisation under whose auspices the DVLA can hand out our personal details like confetti. DVLA and the Department for Transport should be ashamed of themselves. DannyMan

9:29am Sun 9 Feb 14

DannyMan says...

Sorry, that should've been "Independent Parking Committee Ltd", I'm getting my associations and departments all mixed up!
Sorry, that should've been "Independent Parking Committee Ltd", I'm getting my associations and departments all mixed up! DannyMan

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