Parking changes: Government looking into a new tiered system which could see fees rise

Martin Lewis explains council and private company parking fines

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The new upgrades promise to deliver a “fair, proportionate and consistent system” for drivers across the country. Under current rules, private parking charges are capped at £100 regardless of the issue.

However, the Government is now considering a tiered system for parking charges based on the severity of the error.

This is expected to “cut excessive fines for motorists” who have only broken minor rules.

To look into the feasibility of the changes, the Government will conduct a technical consultation this summer.

This will seek views from motorists, parking operators and landowners to deliver a new system which works for everyone.

Local Government Minister Luke Hall has urged motorists to get involved in the project and share their thoughts on the research.

He said: “This Government is making life easier for motorists as we get back to life as usual and build back better from the pandemic.

“I encourage motorists and parking operators to share their views on our proposed Parking Code of Practice.

“These changes will bring in a fairer system for drivers, creating a simplified appeals process and curbing excessive charges for millions of motorists.”

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A tiered system was first mentioned last August when Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick announced his plan to crack down on rogue private parking firms.

The original consultations suggested a £40 to £80 charge for less serious offences which would be lower than the current £100 cap.

A new increased fine of £120 would be put into place for the most serious parking problems.

This would be issued to drivers who wrongly park in disabled parking bays or block spaces designated for ambulances.

Other changes being considered include a compulsory 10 minute grace period before firms can issue a late charging fine.

A compulsory five minute cooling off period could also be introduced which would see motorists able to cancel a parking ticket minutes after buying one.

The new rules will also look to crack down on parking firms using aggressive language to intimidate drivers into paying fines.

A new Code and framework including a single Appeals Service and Charter is also being looked at.

This would see drivers able to appeal their fine and see charges reduced to £20 or cancelled completely.

Speaking on the proposals last year, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said the new changes would “restore common sense” to parking charges.

He said: “These new measures are a victory for the millions of motorists across the country.

“They will put a stop once and for all to rogue parking firms using aggressive tactics and handing out unfair parking tickets with no right to appeal, while also boosting our high streets by making it easier for people to park near their local shops without being unfairly fined.

“Our proposals will restore common sense to the way parking fines are issued, while cracking down on the worst offenders who put other people in danger and hinder our emergency services from carrying out their duties.”

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