Gary Osner’s career in parking started in 1991 when he was asked by APCOA if he could collect unpaid Excess Charge Notices, then priced at £40, a challenge he took on and succeeded at by adding a commission to the value of the charge and collecting it from the motorist. He then pitched the concept to Sureway Parking, now Saba Park, to collect a Notice of Impending Prosecution via the Civil Court. This effectively introduced what we now know as the collection or administration fee payable by the motorist. Using this successful formula, Gary started to work with a growing number of operators including CP Plus to collect parking charge notices issued at motorway service areas.
As parking became an increasingly important part of his business, Gary became involved with the British Parking Association (‘BPA’), both corporately and personally. During his first period as a BPA Board Director Gary worked with the Operational Services Board to launch the first Approved Operator Scheme Code of Practice (CoP) in 2007, Roxburghe became one of the founder members of the scheme. Around the same time Gary joined the Institute of Parking Professionals as it was launched and has continued to support the scheme as it developed into the Individual Members programme.
In 2012 as the industry was preparing to work with the forthcoming Protection of Freedoms Act (PoFA) regulations, Gary worked collaboratively with the BPA’s Operational Services Board to update the CoP and ensure it was compliant with the new regulations and has continued to contribute, subsequently drafting sections of the CoP relating to parking on private land managed under Railway Byelaws for the last edition.
The implementation of PoFA meant the abolition of clamping on private land, to ease clamping operators into the more regulated world of ticketing, Gary unveiled PCN Parking Services to offer dedicated portals to both operators and motorists allowing each to manage their PCNs appropriately. This quest for excellence developed further when Gary launched ZZPS Limited in 2014 on the simple concept that to deliver outstanding results, ZZPS had to treat clients and customers to an unparalleled level of service.
As ZZPS started trading, Gary was elected to the BPA’s Council of Representatives as a member for the private parking operators and shortly after was appointed to the main Board for his second term. In 2014 the Individual Members scheme invited applications for Fellowship and Gary was one of the first group, seven in total, to be accepted. Gary continues to be a stalwart of the Operational Services Board where he represents the views of small and large parking operators alike.
Understanding the importance of training, Gary has supported both ZZPS’s enrolment of all staff into the Individual Members scheme as a corporate sponsor and ensures that all ZZPS staff are trained to CIWM WAMITAB NVQ Level Three in Notice Processing. As ZZPS works with a significant proportion of the private parking sector, this commitment supports the BPA’s goal of improving standards across the industry.
This dedication to excellence at every level has turned a once fledgling ZZPS Limited into one of the leading suppliers for the management of notices emanating from parking on private land, from initial issue through to back-end enforcement, and one of the most respected firms in the sector.
Since the enactment of the Parking (Code of Practice) Act in 2019, Gary has worked tirelessly with his colleagues on the BPA Board to respond to the consultations launched by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, now the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, and the British Standards Institute. His commitment to the industry coupled with his fair and consistent approach has been an invaluable voice promoting the voices of the operators and in particular the small operators whose voices could otherwise be lost in the assertion of the more confident contributors.
Gary’s passion for excellence is second to none and he has an acute eye for detail, both characteristics have assisted in his success to date although, without doubt the attribute that contributes most to his success is an unfaltering commitment to fair play.
According to Tina Kealy – Chief Operating Officer, ZZPS Limited, “Whilst it was not thought possible, the level of commitment demonstrated by Gary has multiplied exponentially particularly over the last couple of years as the Parking Code gained momentum towards publication. He has shown assiduous resolve throughout this period of uncertainty to protect the wider interests of the parking industry addressing the importance of justified fair play and with others has appropriately highlighted concerns to provide a voice to smaller operators whose input may otherwise have been lost. This ardent determination is one of the most revered characteristics that so many who know Gary will enumerate. I have worked with Gary well in excess of a decade and have always been impressed and inspired by his overriding objective of measured fair play. As a colleague, mentor and leader Gary leads by example and encourages self-development and growth and looks to aid and assist this at every turn. Gary is a true advocate of promoting Women in Parking and actively champions and encourages involvement wherever and whenever he can.”
She adds, “Gary’s approach to the industry to seek and encourage improvements is analytically proactive, questioning how to drive the industry as a whole forward. Gary is exceptionally knowledgeable and takes a fervent interest in every aspect of the parking industry to further understand where modifications or clarification may be required to provide a customer centric experience whilst protecting the interests of the operators. For as long as I have known and worked with Gary, he has been involved in helping to drive up standards and improve education and awareness through his involvement with the BPA through Service Boards, Advisory Panels, and the main Board. His commitment to educating others is unparalleled and inspiring to all that meet him.”
Gary has been hailed as a genuinely humble man whose focus is the goal for the greater good rather than seeking personal indulgence through praise or recognition although is always keen to deliver praise and encouragement to others. His commitment to the industry over many, many years makes him an exceptionally worthy candidate for this award, and it is my pleasure to be able to write this testimonial in support.