England's Local Councils Encouraged To Clean-Up Streets
The Department for Transport is encouraging councils to “rid the streets of clutter” by minimising the use of yellow lines. Why? Because some people claim that they look unsightly, particularly on narrow streets where the lines on opposing sides sit close together. Furthermore, some look uneven on traditional cobbled streets. Yellow lines can be replaced with restricted parking zone signs that are less intrusive (arguably). However, it could be claimed that these are harder to see than lines - particularly on dark/wet nights. This could increase the number of people that accidentally park in restricted zones. Despite this, several councils throughout the country now favour signs where practical. These include: Cheshire East Council, Cornwall, Slough, Warwickshire and Suffolk and Nottingham. Norman Baker – a Local Transport Minister and Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Lewes – now wants other authorities to follow suit.
Transport Minister Discusses Yellow Lines
Mr Baker said: “No one wants to see unnecessary yellow lines blotting our towns and villages when there is an alternative. They are a clear eyesore that can be intrusive and can have a huge impact on the look and feel of our streets, particularly in historic town centres or conservation areas.” The Transport Minister continued: “I encourage local authorities to think about the use of restricted parking zones. They can be used to improve the visual impact of the street while providing clear information to motorists.”
Proposal To Allow Motorists To Park On Double-Yellow Lines
Furthermore, the Government is considering allowing motorists to park on any remaining double-yellow lines in an effort to boost high street sales. This proposal – which comes from the Secretary of State for Communities Eric Pickles – would create a fifteen minute “grace period” for people to park close to shops without charge. Short overstays in traditional parking spaces might be overlooked too. These changes could attract the type of motorist that is currently put-off by inconvenient and expensive parking, plus the threat of inflexible traffic wardens. However, this Conservative Party proposal – or so The Telegraph has reported – is not popular with some Liberal Democrats that claim it is “unworkable”. So, political horseplay within the coalition might be required if it is to become law. The initiative might therefore be accompanied by considerably higher fines for dangerous and illegal parking. These are currently limited to seventy pounds outside the capital city and to one-hundred and thirty pounds within.