Nearly every motorist at one point or another has received a parking ticket, and sometimes it is perfectly understandable why, especially if you know you have parked illegally or for well over the parking period you paid for. However, many drivers are often frustrated when traffic wardens issue fixed penalty notices for being only slightly over the paid period, which is why Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has argued that drivers should not be fined just for ‘popping to the shops’ for a short period of time without paying or parking on a yellow line.
Mr Pickles has said that he believes over-zealous traffic wardens are putting people off from visiting their local shops as many are worried that they will be faced with a fine or have to pay for a whole hour of parking and waste their money. Seeing as many drivers are already concerned with the cost of running their vehicles, it’s no surprise that a large amount of people don’t want to risk receiving a fine. It will please many drivers to hear then that there have been rumours that Mr Pickles is planning on changing the laws concerning parking, much to the chagrin of local councils who depend on parking fines as part of their income.
Speaking at the Conservative spring forum at the weekend, Mr Pickles said: “Thirteen years of Labour’s war on the motorist have created an over-zealous culture of parking enforcement. Extending CCTV, not to catch criminals, but to catch you out the moment you park on a yellow line. A rigid state orthodoxy of persecuting motorists out of their cars, with no concern about its effect in killing off small shops.” Mr Pickles has also called for local councils to introduce more off road parking in order to take the pressure off of busy roads and promote visitors to local town centres and other areas.
Even though Mr Pickles’ calls for more lenient parking rules may please motorists, it may soon be not enough to gain support for the Conservative party, especially if George Osbourne announces an increase in fuel tax in his annual budget report next week. The cost of petrol is sure to be a huge talking point in the upcoming weeks, especially as it has recently been revealed that some of the poorest families in the UK have to spend a quarter of their weekly earnings on running their vehicle. Even though cheap car insurance policies can help with these costs, a fuel tax increase could end up leaving a large portion of the UK out of pocket.