Justice and the Law

Government hails parking law changes as ending the war on London’s motorists

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A change in the law means drivers in England will now receive 10 minutes grace after their parking tickets have run out before being fined.

The legislative reform has been passed by the House of Commons and House of Lords.

It’s expected to take effect in the coming weeks once final wording is approved.

This is the initiative of Communities secretary, Eric Pickles.

He wants to try and get people back into England’s high streets by making them more accessible to drivers.

In a joint statement, Mr Pickles and transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the move is designed to end the war on motorists caused by over-the-top parking enforcement.

Ticket machine in Dalston, East London.

Ticket machine in Dalston, East London. Image: Emily Browne.

The RAC Foundation has found that councils in the UK made nearly £667 million in profits in 2013/14 by imposing parking fines.

London made up 44% of the overall surplus.

A graph showing which London councils earnt the most from parking fines. Image courtesy of the RAC Foundation

A graph showing the rise of parking fines from 2011-14. Image: the RAC Foundation.

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, believes the change in law will reduce the everyday harrassment of motorists:

For such a minor part of our lives parking generates a huge amount of frustration and anger. Allowing a grace period will help ease tensions and make everyone’s lives easier.

The shame is that we have required ministerial intervention to tackle the ‘rules are rules’ culture which can result in heavy handed and disproportionate penalties. Most drivers probably don’t care how parking regulations are being enforced as long as they thought it was being done fairly.

The legislation also brings about a ban on CCTV ‘spy’ cams which automatically fine for drivers parking on yellow lines.

However, ten minutes of grace will not be available for anyone parking near schools or bus lanes.

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