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Dropping double-yellow line ‘grace period’ a victory – LGA

Government plans to introduce a ‘grace period’ for motorists to park on double-yellow lines have been dropped in what the Local Government Association (LGA) calls a “victory for common sense”.

Earlier this week, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) released the response to its consultation on local authority parking, which said: “There were concerns that allowing free periods in places where parking is not permitted (such as on double-yellow lines), could lead to confusion and encourage more anti-social and potentially dangerous parking, and also lead to sequential parking in some popular areas where kerb-space might be continually occupied despite there being a restriction in place.”

The government has denied that it ever planned to offer such grace periods. Instead they said the guidance was being changed to allow a 10-minute ‘grace period’ in on-street parking bays before tickets were issued.

But a spokesman for the Local Government Association, which represents almost 400 councils in England and Wales, said: “We are pleased to see that the Communities Secretary has listened to the LGA, which has consistently lobbied against plans to allow motorists a ‘grace period’ to park on double-yellow lines. This is a victory for common sense.

“The LGA argued that these plans would have brought the nation’s high streets to a standstill. Allowing parking on double yellow lines would have clogged up town and city centres and we were concerned about the detrimental effect this would have had on local businesses.

“Councils want people to be able to visit local shops and design parking provision to minimise congestion and maximise the chance of motorists being able to find a parking space – which we know is the main concern motorists have about parking.”

In response the DCLG has issued a statement from local government and high streets minister Brandon Lewis, who said: “Popping to the shops should be simple and pain free. Slapping people with hefty fines is akin to criminalising them but by making 10-minute grace periods mandatory we can bring some common sense back to parking on the high street and ease every traffic warden's finger off the ticket trigger.

“In addition the public will now get a new right to demand a review of where yellow lines are if they don't think they are fair or in the right place. These changes are part of range of measures that will give drivers a fairer deal by reining in over-zealous parking enforcement practices that force drivers to out of town shopping centres.”

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