10-minute council parking ‘grace period’ begins
From 6 April 2015 drivers who park in regulated street spaces or car parks run by councils and overstay by up to 10 minutes will avoid a swingeing penalty charge.
The AA has long argued that a £40 penalty charge for a brief overstay of a few minutes is particularly unfair and disproportionate. Whilst some councils are sympathetic when drivers challenge and give reasons for an overstay, it still does not go far enough – so having an official grace period at least gives drivers a small degree of leeway.
New government regulation and Department of Transport statutory guidance* say that any Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) issued before expiry of the 10-minute grace period would be illegal, unless the vehicle itself is parked unlawfully, such as when the motorist has not paid any required parking fee or displayed a parking ticket where required.
there has been very little ‘grace’ in council parking enforcement, only a culture of milking cash out of residents and visitors
Edmund King, AA president
“At last, we are beginning to see local authority parking enforcement that reflects the realities of modern life. It is a shame and an indictment of local authority attitudes towards drivers that central government has had to step in to enforce this ‘grace period’,” says Edmund King, the AA’s president.
“There wouldn’t have been a need for central government to interfere if all local authorities had exercised the discretionary approach to parking enforcement of old. For years, there has been very little ‘grace’ in council parking enforcement, only a culture of milking cash out of residents and visitors who rely on their cars at every opportunity. Parking tickets were supposed to be a deterrent to bad behaviour, not a fines harvest.”
(7 April 2015)
* The Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) General (Amendment) Regulations 2015
Traffic Management Act 2004 - The Secretary of State's Statutory Guidance to Local Authorities on the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions – March 2015