Motorists will get a 10-minute grace period after their parking tickets have expired under new laws announced today.

The new measures are aimed at stopping “over-zealous parking enforcement” which forces people to shop in out-of-town centres or online, according to communities secretary Eric Pickles.

Other measures include new powers for parking adjudicators to hold councils to account to tackle parking problems such as poor signage at specific locations.

Local businesses will also have a right to demand a council review of parking in their area, including the charges and use of yellow lines.

“We are ending the war on drivers who simply want to go about their daily business. For too long parking rules have made law-abiding motorists feel like criminals, and caused enormous damage to shops and businesses,” Pickles said.

National Federation of Retail Newsagents chief executive Paul Baxter said: “These are wholly sensible solutions. We want to see people visiting their local shops and high streets and not being deterred by over zealous traffic wardens who give them no time to get back to their cars before parking tickets are issued.”

Councillor David Sparks, chair of the Local Government Association, said: “Many councils already allow grace periods of 10 minutes for drivers who overstay their parking ticket.”