New relaxed parking law under fire

editorial image
  • Havant council leader says 10-minute leeway will create more work for traffic wardens
Have your say

A council leader today criticised a new 10-minutes leeway for drivers who overrun parking times.

Under a change in the law to take effect within weeks, the 10 minutes grace will apply to all on-street and off-street council parking spots in England.

If you’ve paid to park until 9am then that’s all you should get.

Councillor Mike Cheshire

The move is designed to bring an end to decades of drivers’ complaints about returning to their cars moments after a ticket expires to find they have already been hit with a penalty.

But Councillor Mike Cheshire, the leader of Havant Borough Council, said it will mean more work for parking wardens.

He said: ‘My view is that it’s like dropping litter. If you’ve dropped it, you’ve dropped it. If you’ve paid to park until 9am then that’s all you should get.

‘If you give drivers 10 minutes leeway the ticket has to be checked twice so that means extra work.

‘I’ve no doubt people will say, “But I was only one, two or five minutes over the 10 minute leeway”. In my view if you pay for an hour that’s all you should get.’

The new rules, approved as part of the Deregulation Bill, will apply to cars parked in a pay-and-display bays or other spaces with time limits.

Other measures include a right for residents and local firms to demand that their council reviews parking in their area.

CCTV camera cars that automatically issue parking fines are to be made illegal, except in sensitive areas such as near schools and in bus lanes.

There will be an end to fines at out-of-order parking meters when there is no alternative way to pay.

Guidance will also reinforce that councils cannot use parking to make a profit. 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 caused enormous damage to shops and businesses.

‘Over-zealous parking enforcement undermines our town centres and costs councils more in the long term.

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