Making Parking Fairer and Clearer for Everyone

Rosie Winterton, MP, Minister of State for Transport explains how and why on street parking enforcement is changing from the beginning of April

New powers to make on-street parking enforcement clearer and fairer for motorists will come into force across England and Wales on 31 March 2008.

Rosie Winterton MP, Minister of State for Transport This is important, because proper parking enforcement is a powerful tool for tackling urban congestion, as well as ensuring that badly parked vehicles do not present a danger to drivers, pedestrians, cyclists or children.

This is also a positive move for both local authorities and drivers as the new regulations and guidelines clarify and reinforce the need for fairness and transparency throughout the process.

That's why, for example, the guidelines discourage clamping except for those with at least three outstanding, unchallenged penalty charge notices (PCNs).

That's why the rules extend the period for a discounted payment from 14 days to 21 days for penalty charges sent by post, with further encouragement to local authorities to re-offer the discount after an unsuccessful informal challenge.

And that's why independent adjudicators will get more powers to decide cases if the authority has not followed the correct procedures, as well as being able to refer cases back to local authorities when there are mitigating circumstances.

These are just a few examples of the beneficial changes we are introducing and most reasonable people looking through the new regulations and guidelines will see that the package is designed to ensure that parking enforcement is fair and justified across the board.

It is not our intention to inconvenience generally law-abiding people. Our objective is simple – to ensure that we get effective parking enforcement that is perceived to be fair for everyone.

Equally, we have a duty to protect the safety of parking attendants and other road users – one of the main reasons why we are allowing PCNs to be served by post when the attendant is prevented from serving it in person by violence or the motorist driving the vehicle away. There should be no incentive for a motorist to risk an accident by trying to escape a PCN.

At the same time, we are urging thorough training for everyone involved in civil parking enforcement, as well as being clear that local authorities must avoid using targets for attendants to ensure that all penalty charge notices are served for the right reasons.

There are a number of other changes in the regulations and guidelines, but the measures are aimed toward the same goal – to keep the traffic flowing and our streets safe.

As such, I believe that updating the rules will generate greater support and confidence in the system, especially as we will be encouraging every local authority to regularly review and publish their parking policies in consultation with their local communities.

The AA has played its part through the Working Group that advised the Department and helped to shape the new regulations and associated guidance and I would like to thank the organisation for its valuable input.

Working with the AA and other stakeholders has helped ensure that we deliver a clearer, fairer parking regime that works for everyone and as the new regulations come into force, I believe that March 31st will mark the date we made a positive impact on parking across the country.

Rosie Winterton, MP
Minister of State for Transport

What does the AA say about the changes »


13 March 2008