Monthly journal Parking Review has been the definitive source of news and intelligence on the UK and international public and private parking sectors since 1989.

POPLA hears 2,500 NI and Scottish appeals

Independent appeals service expands beyond England and Wales

Mark Moran
10 June 2020

An independent service enabling motorists in Scotland to challenge parking tickets received more than 2,000 appeals in its first year – leading to 700 charges being cancelled.

POPLA (Parking on Private Land Appeals) has revealed that, in the 12 months following its launch in Scotland on 1 May 2019, a total of 2,155 appeals were submitted online at

Of the 1,959 Scotland cases completed by POPLA, 703 (36%) resulted in the parking charge being cancelled – either through the appeal being
allowed or the parking operator deciding not to contest the appeal.

Meanwhile, a total of 570 appeals were submitted online by motorists in Northern Ireland over the same period. Of the 517 Northern Ireland cases completed by POPLA, 215 (42%) resulted in the parking charge being cancelled.

Motorists can take their case to POPLA when a parking operator that belongs to the British Parking Association (BPA) rejects a parking charge notice (PCN) appeal. The motorist is given a 10-digit verification code by the parking operator, enabling them to submit an appeal through the POPLA website.

John Gallagher, lead adjudicator at POPLA, said: “We think it’s a huge positive that motorists in Scotland and Northern Ireland now have access to a free, independent and impartial parking appeals service.

“We would urge anyone who feels they have a strong case to appeal to us. We would also recommend that they provide as much information and evidence as possible to help their case. If you are unhappy with a PCN you should appeal to the parking operator in the first instance. If the operator rejects your appeal, you can then use our service.”

POPLA was introduced by the BPA in England and Wales in 2012. The scheme expanded into Scotland and Northern Ireland last May.
Since 2015, the POPLA scheme has been run by Ombudsman Services, a not-for-profit organisation that operates in other sectors including energy and telecoms.

Steve Clark, head of business operations at the BPA, said: “Since its introduction in 2012, POPLA has allowed independent redress for thousands of motorists who receive parking tickets on private land where they feel they have been treated unfairly.

“We are delighted with the progress of POPLA in Scotland and Northern Ireland, allowing motorists there the opportunity to have their cases independently considered.’’

Due to coronavirus, POPLA is currently putting new appeals on hold and giving motorists across the UK extra time to submit their case.

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