10 min grace period on parking fines introduced

Under new rules coming into effect in April, drivers will receive a 10 minute grace period if they exceed parking time limits.

The change applies to both free and paid-for public parking bays. The use of CCTV ‘spy cars’ used to issue automated fines has been banned in most circumstances, as well.

The measures are intended to stop “over-zealous” parking enforcement, which often forces people away from shopping in town centres and is cited as a significant factor in the struggles many are enduring.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: “We are ending the war on drivers who simply want to go about their daily business. For too long parking rules have made law-abiding motorists feel like criminals, and cause enormous damage to shops and businesses.

“Our measures not only bring big benefits for high streets, motorists and local authorities – they put common sense back into parking,” he added.

The Bill also gives new powers to parking adjudicators so they can hold councils to account over poor signage and allows businesses and residents to demand reviews of parking in their area, including charges and yellow lines.

There will also be tougher rules against heavy-handed bailiffs, a ban on fines at out-of-order parking meters with no alternative means of payment, new guidance reinforcing that councils can’t make a profit from parking fines and a 25 per cent discount for people who lose an appeal against a fine.

The changes do not apply to privately owned car parks.

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