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Council parking fines could shrink under new DfT rules

Minimum parking penalty charges would be abolished and grace periods introduced under new government proposals.

In its response to recommendations published by the transport select committee last year, the DfT agreed that more should be done to increase transparency in local authority parking accounts.

It states: “The Government agrees that local authorities should publish annual parking accounts.”

Grace periods for fines could also be introduced. The measures are out to consultation, ending on February 14, and could see lower charges brought in.

Committee chair Louise Ellman MP said: “It is gratifying to hear that ministers have accepted our recommendation for greater transparency, particularly our suggestion that local authorities should in future have to produce annual reports on parking enforcement. Parking charges should not be imposed to raise funding for local authorities.

“Looking to the future, the transport committee hopes that this topic will be debated in the near future in Westminster Hall and we look forward to seeing our recommendations implemented.”

But Cllr Peter Box, chair of the LGA’s Economy and Transport Board, said: “Councils are on the side of hard-pressed motorists by keeping a lid on parking charges whereas the average motorist is paying 30 times more to Whitehall in charges and taxation each year than they do to their town hall through parking. They also adopt a common-sense approach that already includes grace periods for motorists.

“Many already publish annual parking reports to be open and transparent with residents and combat the deep-rooted misconception that they are being used to raise money. The reality is that income from charges and fines are spent on running parking services and any surplus goes on essential transport projects such as bringing our dilapidated road network up to scratch and providing subsidised bus travel for children or elderly residents.”

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