The government has announced that it will introduce new measures to deliver “a fairer deal” for motorists faced with parking fines.
Following from previous reports of thousands of unfair parking fines dished out to motorists across the country, Whitehall ministers have outlined a range of new “common sense” revisions to the law.
Drivers will now get a 10 minute ‘grace period’ when parked in a public parking space, either paid or free, preventing outlandish fines being handed out for drivers who are just a few minutes late.
Ban on unfair fines and spy cams
As well as that, the government has also announced that the use of CCTV ‘spy cars’ will be banned in order to end “the tyranny of automated fines landing on doorsteps and being issued in industrial volumes”.
Other measures include new powers for parking adjudicators to hold councils to account for poor signage, plus a new right which allows drivers to demand local councils to review parking spaces, charges and the use of yellow lines.
Tougher rules will also be implemented against heavy-handed action from bailiffs, while guidance will reinforce that councils cannot make profit from parking fines, the government said.
The measures have currently passed all stages in the House of Commons and the Lords, and are expected to become law in the coming weeks after both Houses agree on the final wording.
Late last year, it was revealed that councils rake in as much as £667 million a year from parking charges alone, with Westminster council alone making a massive £51 million in profit last year.
According to Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, the new government measures will stop the kind of “over-zealous” parking enforcement which has plagued drivers for years.
“Ending the war on drivers”
He said: “We are ending the war on drivers who simply want to go about their daily business. For too long parking rules have made law-abiding motorists feel like criminals, and caused enormous damage to shops and businesses.
“Our measures not only bring big benefits for high streets, motorists and local authorities – they put common sense back into parking.”
Last month, it was also revealed that West Berkshire Council issued fines to 142 motorists who failed to fit their cars into under-sized parking spaces which had been painted by the council up to a metre short.
It’s hoped that the new measures will allow drivers to fight back against unfair parking fines and help end the so-called “war on the motorist”, however the measures have come under fire from local authority leaders.
Local Government Association chairman David Sparks claimed that the government has “rushed through” the legislation, without fully consulting councils on the finer details of the regulation.
He said: “Beyond the headlines, what is particularly worrying is the detail of these proposals which could make roads less safe for vulnerable pedestrians and inconvenience millions of motorists and commuters.”