The government may take action to reduce parking fines in England following concerns that local authorities view parking enforcement as a “cash cow”.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said it was looking into abolishing the minimum rates for parking penalty charges in order to give councils the flexibility to allow lower charges for minor violations.

Local authorities could also be forced to introduce a five-minute grace period after the expiry of a parking ticket, the DfT said in its response to a Transport Select Committee report on local authority parking enforcement.

The committee said in its report that it was “hard to justify parking fines that are substantially more than the fines for more serious offences like speeding” and urged the government to reduce the penalty for minor offences. The government responded that it was “considering the legislative options to abolish the minimum rates for parking penalty charges” and reaffirmed that parking penalty charges would be frozen for the remainder of the current Parliament.

It also said that making a five-minute grace period a statutory requirement for local authorities was “worthy of consideration”. The measure is included in the government’s consultation on local authority parking. The deadline for submissions is 14 February.