The government is hoping to put the brakes on a range of damaging parking restrictions which ministers claim are harming local shops.

A ban on unnecessary yellow lines and aggressive parking enforcement are among the proposals for consultation to reform parking rules.

Speaking ahead of the Tories’ annual conference this weekend, communities secretary Eric Pickles said money-making restrictions were damaging town centres and being enforced unfairly.

The Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Transport plan to consult on:

  • Updating parking enforcement guidance to support local shops
  • Tackling wrongly-issued fines
  • Stopping unacceptable parking fine collection practices
  • Reviewing unnecessary yellow lines and the scope for residents’ reviews
  • Reviewing the grace period for parking offences
  • Clamping down on anti-social driving and encouraging social responsibility
  • Spreading best practice on supporting town centres and tackling illegal parking
  • Analysis of the impact of different transport policies on town centre vitality.

Further reforms, including a ban on CCTV being used for on-street parking enforcement and new open data on parking to allow the public to ‘go compare’, will also be announced in due course.

“Excessive parking charges and unfair parking fines push up the cost of living, and undermine local high streets and shopping parades,” Pickles said. “We want to rein in over-zealous parking enforcement, so it focuses on supporting high streets and motorists, not raising money. Parking spy cars are just one example of this and a step too far. Public confidence is strengthened in CCTV if it is used to tackle crime, not to raise money for council coffers.”

The government has already scrapped previous Whitehall planning policy that encouraged councils to hike car parking charges, and removed Whitehall restrictions which restricted the provision of off-street parking spaces.