On 22nd October the Transport Select Committee published its findings into Local Authority Parking Enforcement. We campaigned strongly for a change in the law to stop local authorities using motorists as cash cows.
We submitted a 20 page report with over 100 pages of supporting evidence to the committee and we are delighted to see that they have referred to our evidence and made recommendations to Government as a result.
1.) They referred to our evidence that parking fines in London are substantially more than fines for speeding or shoplifting. They recommend that the Government introduces a “freeze” on parking fines
2.) We argued strongly for a 5 minute grace period at paid for parking bays. – they have recommended that a 5 minute grace period be introduced.
3.) We expressed concerns that, despite Westminster council’s assurance to the contuary, that Bay Sensors will be used for parking enforcement. The committee found that in Perth there was a 750% increase in parking fines when they introduced Bay Sensors. They say “There is a risk that the introduction of parking bay sensors could discourage local authorities from taking a common sense approach to parking enforcement”.
4.) We told the committee that the loss of the 50% discount discourages motorists from appealing even when they know they did nothing wrong. The committee have suggested that if a motorist appeals all the way to adjudication and loses that they are given a 25% discount if they pay within 7 days. This is really good news as it will reduce the disincentive for a motorist to appeal.
We are delighted that the Select committee have taken on board our representations and are making recommendations to the Government. We did ask that all parking fine income be sent to central Government as the current system rewards councils who are ruthless and do not consider appeals properly whereas councils who are friendlier lose out financially. However they have not commented on this. We also asked for the abolitionn of controlled parking zones and we haven’t found any reference to this in the report so far.