High street

The ACS has backed a report on high-street parking charges

ACS and the NFRN have welcomed a report from the Transport Select Committee calling for local authorities to be more transparent about their income from parking charges.

The report, published today, makes a series of recommendations aimed at ensuring that parking charges, penalty notices and other enforcement measures are used appropriately and do not discourage honest motorists from visiting town centres and high streets.

The ACS welcomed the report, which recommends developing business rates relief for businesses that invest in affordable town centre parking solutions; providing greater clarity on the rules for loading and unloading; and introducing a five-minute grace period on time paid on local parking charges, as a step towards making town and local centres more accessible.

“Sufficient affordable parking is vital to a successful centre,” said ACS chief executive James Lowman. “The use of incentives, such as business rates discounts, to encourage the provision of more affordable parking is a good idea that should be explored further.

“We will continue to work with government on solutions to the policy challenges facing the high street.”

The ACS is working with the Future High Streets Forum to develop best practice guidance for local authorities on parking practices, and is working to encourage collaboration with local businesses.

The NFRN said that giving motorists five minutes’ grace after parking tickets have run out is a “sensible solution” and added that any initiative that will encourage people to visit their local shop rather than the supermarket is to be applauded.

NFRN public affairs chairman Mike Mitchelson said: “The Transport Committee has put forward a sensible suggestion that drivers should be given a five-minute grace period after their parking tickets expire, before being fined.

“We would strongly urge the Department for Communities and Local Government to give this measure the consideration it deserves as part of their upcoming consultation on parking reform. 

“We would also welcome any opportunity to work with councils and with relevant ministers to develop parking solutions that bring people back to their high streets and encourage them to shop locally,” he added.