PRIVATE firms should not be allowed to access drivers’ personal details that would allow them to enforce parking fines in car parks.

Just now firms that issue fines in for example supermarket car parks cannot enforce the fine unless they can prove the registered keeper of the car was driving at the time.

Pauline McNeill, Glasgow Labour MSP, wants to prevent the private companies getting their hands on the data.

Instead she wants only local authorities to be able to enforce parking penalties.

Murdo Fraser, Conservative MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife has tabled an amendment to the Transport Bill, that will give the private parking firms power to demand to know who the registered keeper of the car is.

He said: “ To ensure that issues of fairness to operators are also considered, I want to examine the introduction of keeper liability, which would help operators to identify those who would become liable for penalties.”

He also said toop many people have been hit with unfair penalty notices and wants the law clarified for the benefit of both drivers and operators.

Ms McNeill, said: “This is effectively giving private companies additional, enforcement powers they have lacked and it will be used against ordinary people parking in Asda, Lidl, Aldi’s and others, with next to no accountability for their actions. It is a source of income.”

She said that many people are punished for overstaying for just a few minutes of when they have not been able to see signs if it is dark in the evening.

Ms McNeill added: “It will make it easier for companies to bully people in to paying. The language used in the letters issued to these companies are threatening and many people pay up through fear. Many companies are known to be ruthless.”

The Glasgow MSP added that it is not a loophole that should be closed but the law in Scotland.

She added: “Scots Law has always been different from England and should not be described as a loophole.”

The Transport Bill and Mr Fraser’s amendment will be considered by the Connectivity Committee at Holyrood today.

Ms McNeill, added: “Car Parks are owned by a variety of different companies such as Pension Funds, Finance Companies but usually not by the individual stores who sell them off. They are driven a great deal by revenue considerations.

“This is a hammer to crack a nut and should be opposed.”