Pickles permits parkers to overstay

6 Mar 15

Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said today that he was ‘ending the war’ on motorists by giving drivers a 10-minute grace period for being late back to their vehicle.

The Department for Communities and Local Government said the measure would stop councils from using parking fines to make a profit.

This new law, expected to come into force later this month, applies to paid for or free parking spaces both on-street and off-street in council-owned car parks.

Other measures contained in the Deregulation Bill include new powers for parking adjudicators so they can hold councils to account for parking-related problems such as poor signage at specific locations.

It also brings in new rights for residents and local firms to demand that their council review parking in their area, including charges and the use of yellow lines, and it bans the use of CCTV ‘spy cars’ to issue automated fines except in no parking areas around schools, bus stops and red routes.

There will be tougher rules against aggressive action by bailiffs and an end to fines at out-of-order parking meters when there is no alternative way to pay.

Pickles said for too long parking rules have made law-abiding motorists feel like criminals, and caused enormous damage to shops and businesses. 

‘Over-zealous parking enforcement undermines our town centres and costs councils more in the long term. Our measures not only bring big benefits for high streets, motorists and local authorities – they put common sense back into parking,’ he said.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin added that helping local businesses thrive was a key part of the government’s economic plan.

‘These measures will deliver a fairer deal for motorists and help boost the high street by ensuring that parking enforcement is proportionate, while also protecting school children and keeping key routes and bus lanes clear,’ McLoughlin said.

  • Judith Ugwumadu

    Judith Ugwumadu joined Public Finance International and Public Finance online as a reporter after stints at Financial Adviser, Global Security Finance and The Sunday Express. Currently, she writes about public finance, public services and economics.

    Follow her on @JudithUgwumadu_

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