We need less clamping and greater transparency, says DfT
16 August 2007

A consultation document for the Department for Transport (DfT) is suggesting that parking wardens should be more lenient.While the DfT has no actual power to regulate parking enforcement, it can suggest guidelines to local authorities that have such powers.Under the proposals, councils in England and Wales would be banned from using wheel-clamping to raise funds. Instead, cars would have to be clamped only in the most serious cases of parking infringement.Parking enforcement would be used to encourage better traffic flow – so vehicles blocking main roads would receive heavier penalties than those overstaying their time at a meter.One of the other aims of the new proposals is to win public support for the wardens, something they currently lack: a study by the trade union Unison shows that 90 per cent of wardens have been physically attacked.The proposals also suggest more lenient treatment for ‘first-time offenders’, though how this would be established is unclear.We’re all for anything that makes parking easier and less stressful, but unless these proposals are actually followed through by the local councils that control it, they’re as much use for parking as a double yellow line.

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