Latest Public Sector News

01.09.14

Pickles unveils new right to review council parking policies

A new right could allow local residents and businesses to raise-up a petition that will force councils to review the use of yellow lines and ‘unfair’ parking charges, local government secretary Eric Pickles has announced. 

Following a consultation on what it calls “over-zealous” parking enforcement the government plans to amend statutory guidance to allow a petition to trigger a local authority review of any aspect of its parking policy. 

The changes are intended to give local people a say over yellow line road restrictions in their area and a way to challenge council parking policies. A minimum of 50 signatures or at least 10% of the residents or businesses in the affected area is being proposed as the minimum amount needed to trigger a review. 

In response to the petition, local authorities will be required to review their parking policy in a specified location and produce a report for the council.

Pickles said: “Too often yellow lines are imposed on neighbourhoods or the high street without fair consideration of the livelihood of residents, local shops or the availability of parking spaces. Now local people will have a direct and democratic right to trigger a formal council led review of road restrictions in their area.”

In June this year the government published a range of other measures as a result of the same consultation. These included making it illegal to use CCTV ‘spy cars’ alone to enforce on-street parking and introducing a mandatory 10 minute grace period at the end of on-street paid for and free parking.

An LGA spokesman told PSE: “Councils already listen carefully to their residents, road users and businesses, consulting widely on parking schemes. As with any other area of policy, local authorities are totally accountable to local voters and the democratic process. Residents and road users have effective means of contacting their councils, including talking directly with their councillors. People can already petition their council on this and any other issue.

“Local authorities review parking restrictions where there is a need, and have to carefully weigh up and balance the priorities of many different road users. Central government meddling will simply make achieving balanced and sensible outcomes much harder. The government recently did a u-turn and dropped its plans to allow grace periods on double-yellow lines. We sincerely hope this announcement follows the same route.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@publicsectorexecutive.com

Comments

Clive English   01/09/2014 at 13:57

Pickles once again shows his ignorance of the existing legal framework governing this area.

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