Fleet News

DfT considers parking fine cut

Parking fines could be cut and a statutory grace period introduced, after a growing perception that local councils use parking enforcement as a "cash cow".

The details are included in the Department for Transport’s (DfT) response to a Commons transport select committee report last year, which was critical of how local authorities police parking.

It said it was “hard to justify parking fines that are substantially more than the fines for more serious offences like speeding”.

The Government also wants local authorities to be more transparent about how much money they collect from parking fines by publishing accounts online and is seeking views on whether to end the use of cameras for on-street parking enforcement.

Transport committee chairman Louise Ellman 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.”

Penalty charges were frozen for the remainder of the current parliament by the DfT in December, when it launched a consultation on parking issues, including whether five-minute grace periods should be made a statutory requirement.

Ellman continued: “We are also pleased to learn that the Department for Transport has begun consulting on some of our suggestions, including the introduction of a statutory ‘grace period’ if people overstay their parking ticket by a few minutes, and the availability of a 25% discount for motorists who pay promptly after losing an appeal.

“We are reassured to hear that ministers are going to consider allowing appeals where local authorities have not followed statutory guidance.

“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.”

Fleets pay millions of pounds in parking fines and last year, the Local Government Association calculated that councils made a £411m surplus from both on- and off-street parking in 2011-12.

 

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Comments

  • Patriot - 12/01/2014 22:08

    The Road Traffic Regulations Act ('RTRA') 1984 is not a fiscal measure and therefore does not authorise a local authority authority to use its powers to charge motorists and residents for parking to raise surplus revenue for other transport purposes funded by the general fund. ( R (Attfield) v London Borough of Barnet [2013] EWHC 2089 (Admin) "Fleets pay millions of pounds in parking fines" That is because they are too stupid and lazy to challenge parking tickets. Why does the fleet industry maintain a legal department if they just roll over and pay every single parking ticket? Fleet Managers are not allowed to deduct money from an employees salary if the company has paid a (legitimate) parking ticket on employee's behalf. Councils keep trying to use motorists as a cash cow and then start complaining because town and city centres are dying. It's not rocket science. Fleet owners and Fleet managers can play their parts by making sure they work with local authorities to ensure parking restrictions do not impact on the viability of a business and any company that employs a large percentage of local labour is in a strong position to do this.

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