Double yellow line 'grace period' plans 'dropped'

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The Local Government Association has welcomed what it calls a "victory" against plans to allow drivers to park on double yellow lines for 10-15 minutes without getting a ticket.

Earlier the Mail published an online story in which it said double yellow "grace periods" were being "quietly dropped" after a consultation.

The government has denied that it ever planned to offer such grace periods.

Officials insisted that the debate was over a grace period in parking bays.

Guidance was being changed to allow a 10-minute grace period in on-street parking bays before tickets were issued, they said.

This was announced - along with a plan to outlaw CCTV cars to enforce parking restrictions - at the weekend.

A spokesperson for the Department for Communities and Local Government said that double yellow grace periods were "debated before the consultation" but "not a key part of the consultation".

Last July the BBC and others reported the communities secretary's support for double yellow grace periods.

At the time there was strong resistance to the idea from councils and motoring organisations. So if the government did ever support this idea, when was it dropped?

'Over-zealous'

One local government source who was familiar with the consultation said the government's claim that double yellow grace periods were not part of the discussion in recent months was "simply not true". "Frankly the minister did not say that," the source added.

The weekend press release made no mention of double yellow grace periods.

The DCLG has issued a statement from Local Government and High Streets Minister Brandon Lewis, who said: "Popping to the shops should be simple and pain free.

"Slapping people with hefty fines is akin to criminalising them but by making 10-minute grace periods mandatory we can bring some common sense back to parking on the high street and ease every traffic warden's finger off the ticket trigger.

"In addition the public will now get a new right to demand a review of where yellow lines are if they don't think they are fair or in the right place.

"These changes are part of range of measures that will give drivers a fairer deal by reining in over-zealous parking enforcement practices that force drivers to out of town shopping centres."

A spokesman for the Local Government Association, which represents almost 400 councils in England and Wales, said: "We are pleased to see that the communities secretary has listened to the LGA, which has consistently lobbied against plans to allow motorists a 'grace period' to park on double yellow lines. This is a victory for common sense.

"The LGA argued that these plans would have brought the nation's high streets to a standstill. Allowing parking on double yellow lines would have clogged up town and city centres and we were concerned about the detrimental effect this would have had on local businesses.

"Councils want people to be able to visit local shops and design parking provision to minimise congestion and maximise the chance of motorists being able to find a parking space - which we know is the main concern motorists have about parking.

"We are keen to work with government to help dispel the myths around parking and ensure that people remain happy with the job local authorities do to keep road users and pedestrians safe."

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