Transport minister announces smaller fines for lesser parking misdemeanours
24 July 2007

Wheel clamping will be discouraged and penalty charges reduced for less serious parking offences under new parking legislation due to come into effect next March. But local authorities outside London will also be able to issue parking fines by post using only camera evidence for the first time. The new regulations, designed to “increase public confidence in parking enforcement by making it fairer,” were announced by incoming transport minister Rosie Winterton yesterday. “These new rules will make the system more transparent and consistent,” she said.Minor parking offences, such as an expired pay and display ticket, will receive lower penalties while more serious offences, such as parking on double yellow lines, will attract higher fines. Clamping and vehicle removal for persistent offenders will be stepped up and carried out more quickly, but discouraged in less serious cases. Parking appeal adjudicators would also be given more power under the new rules.Motorists will also have to watch out for an increase in roadside cameras monitoring bus lanes and red routes across the UK, as local authorities get the power to issue fines using CCTV evidence.The government is also keen to finally do away with the performance-based rewards for parking attendants that have blighted the reputation of local authority parking enforcement. “Authorities should make it clear performance and rewards/penalties should never be based on the number of PCNs, clampings or removals,” said a DfT statement.Although the new regulations are known as Statutory Guidance, local authorities will have to adhere to them or justify their reasons for not doing so to the Department for Transport.

Dan Stevens

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