Power to the Parking People
Communities secretary Eric Pickles has continued his all-out war with council parking practise by giving residents and businesses the power to petition fines on unfair yellow lines.
If the plans are followed through it will take just 50 residents or 10% of the affected area to challenge a councils method of parking enforcement.
This discussion document will be brought in through statuary guidance; however the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) officials have flagged that minsters may attempt to entrench the policy in legislation.
Mr Pickles said: Too often yellow lines are imposed on neighbourhoods or the high street without fair consideration of the livelihood of residents local shops or the availability of parking spaces. Now local people will have a direct and democratic right to trigger a formal council led review of road restrictions in their area.
Town centres need to allow for proper traffic flow but incessant yellow lines CCTV spy cars and trigger happy parking wardens make everyday life unbearable for drivers looking for somewhere to park when shopping locally.
Minsters have suggested that petitions to challenge councils should be determined locally’ and a minimum response form the local authorities should be adhered to:
– Councillors considering and voting on the recommendations of any review
– Publication of the outcome of all reviews and all petitions with clear information on how local residents and businesses can engage in the process;
– A public statement on how they will manage any challenges to their parking policies with details of how reviews will be carried out and how the final decision will be taken and communicated.
A Local Government Association spokesman said: Councils already listen carefully to their residents road users and businesses consulting widely on parking schemes. As with any other area of policy local authorities are totally accountable to local voters and the democratic process. Residents and road users have effective means of contacting their councils including talking directly with their councillors. People can already petition their council on this and any other issue.
Local authorities review parking restrictions where there is a need and have to carefully weigh up and balance the priorities of many different road users. Central government meddling will simply make achieving balanced and sensible outcomes much harder. The Government recently did a u-turn and dropped its plans to allow grace periods on double-yellow lines. We sincerely hope this announcement follows the same route.
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) is asking for responses to the discussion paper by 10th October 2014.Written by Phil Adams
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