Drivers are to be given a 10-minute grace period when overstaying a parking space time limit in a bid by the Government to stop local authorities from treating fines as a cash cow.
Local Government and Communities Secretary Eric Pickles and Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin claimed the measure, which will come into force later this month, was putting “common sense back in the driving seat”.
Under the new laws drivers will not receive parking fines for being just a few minutes late back to their vehicle – be it in a paid or free parking space both on-street and off-street in council-owned car parks and similar.
ACFO, the UK’s leading fleet-decision-makers’ organisation, has welcomed the announcement but wants the measure to be introduced across all car parks. It has called on the British Parking Association, whose members include private car park operators, to encourage the widespread adoption of a similar grace period.
ACFO has also reminded fleet decision-makers, company car and van drivers and employees who drive their own cars on business, that there has been no change in the maximum time periods for which vehicles are allowed to be parked. It says the 10-minute grace period should not be viewed as an automatic extension of the period of time they have paid to park by drivers, who should still aim to return to their vehicles within the maximum time allowed, but in the knowledge that in the event of a small delay they may escape a hefty fine.