Government targets aggressive parking policies

Rise in drivers details being sold to private parking firms
6 Dec, 2013 4:50pm Joe Finnerty

CCTV cameras, double yellow lines and a 'grace period' part of new project to boost high streets

Aggressive parking policies are in the crosshairs of the government’s latest billion pound project to support UK high streets.

Reviewing double yellow lines, introducing a ‘grace period’ for drivers and scrapping CCTV enforcement cameras are part of plans to revive local business.

Parking penalty charges will also be capped, with immediate effect, for the rest of the government’s tenure in a bid to make it easier to park in high streets.

These radical plans are included in a new consultation launched on Friday (December 6) by Eric Pickles, Communities Secretary.

Mr Pickles believes ‘over zealous’ parking laws are harming high streets and businesses.

He added: “Sensible changes to over zealous parking rules will help make high streets more attractive to shoppers.”

Councils in England issue more than eight million parking fines each year and the total raised from parking has doubled to £1.3 billion since 1997.

In 2011/12, a total of 59,000 parking appeals – 0.7 per cent of all fines issued – were considered by an adjudicator with almost 60 per cent allowed.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said unfair parking fines blight the use of high streets and aggressive parking policies need to be reined in.

He said: “We will also update guidance to emphasise a less heavy-handed approach to parking enforcement and to reinforce that charges and fines cannot be used as a means to raise cash.”

The consultation follows the government’s previous efforts to improve parking.

It has reformed the blue badge system, scrapped the policy encouraging parking charges to be hiked and started a programme to remove unnecessary signage.