Headlines: July 30th, 2008

Councils will get more help to tackle bad car parking under proposals which have been put out for consultation. The parking framework, introduced by the Department for Transport earlier this year gave councils in England the power to issue Penalty Charge Notices to motorists parking at dropped kerbs or who double park, now the Department wants to make the power more effective.

It says councils in London have used the powers for a number of years to ensure it is easier for people in wheelchairs and those with pushchairs to get on and off pavements. The measure has also helped to deter motorists from blocking the road. The new consultation is around plans to allow local authorities outside the capital to take enforcement action on those offences without having to display the restrictions with traffic signs or roads markings.

The DfT believes that would improve national consistency by bringing the rest of England into line with what happens in London where restrictions do not have to be indicated. This, it adds, will also help to reduce street clutter.

The Transport Minister, Rosie Winterton, said dropped footways were there to help wheelchair users and those with mobility scooters or people with prams get around easily and safely. “The Highway Code says that you should not stop or park in such places and we believe placing of traffic signs and road markings to indicate these restrictions should not be necessary, as is the case in London,” she added.

The proposals have been welcomed by the British Parking Association. Its Chief Executive, Keith Banbury, said, “We must be absolutely sure that this power, which has been used in London for a number of years, is implemented in a fair and transparent way and this consultation will allow all stakeholders to comment on the application of these new rules across the rest of England.”