Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Mike Waters' blog: 3 September 2013 - Fit for market
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Mike Waters' blog: 3 September 2013 - Fit for market

Date: 03 September 2013

Mike Waters is senior insight & consultancy manager at leasing and fleet management company Arval

Parking is always a contentious subject to address. Of course there must be rules in place to deter and punish dangerous or inconsiderate parking. However, no motorist wants a situation where over-zealous parking attendants are creating an expensive tax for the driver.

In the UK, congestion is an issue, especially in popular, built up areas at peak times. It is one of the factors driving shoppers from town centres at weekends and into out-of-town retail parks where spaces are not only abundant but also free.

It sounds as though this is one of the factors behind Government proposals to slacken the rules surrounding parking on double yellow lines. 

Touted as the biggest shake-up to parking fines in Britain for more than a decade, drivers will be given a grace period of 15 minutes to allow them to park outside shops or keep their vehicles in parking bays for longer.

At the same time, the Government plans to introduce higher parking fines outside of London for people who park dangerously. On the face of it, this is a pragmatic approach, targetting those drivers that create a parking menace while loosening the rules where drivers are not presenting a risk.

My initial reaction is that I can't complain about a common sense approach, which also delivers a greater deterrent for drivers acting dangerously. My concern is that any changes are clear and well communicated.

Inconsistency in this area generates anger and confusion so the Government must think carefully about how it will fairly enforce a 'grace period'.

Reassuringly, there is precedent here as several local authorities already allow motorists to park free for up to 30 minutes near local shops. I'm sure that any increase in schemes like this across the country would be welcomed by drivers and shop keepers alike.

No one wants to see the motorist used as a means of subsiding local government budgets and when it comes to enforcing the law, a common sense approach is the best one.

However, the laws of the road must be clear, understood and consistently enforced. I just hope that this proposal meets those criteria, and if it does I will welcome it with open arms.