Public Right To Challenge Parking Rules
Proposed Rules Could Allow Motorists To Challenge Double-Yellow Lines
The government might soon permit residents to force a council review of parking restrictions in their region, the Department for Transport has revealed. This could provide a 'direct and democratic' influence over (say) yellow line restrictions and the 'power to challenge' policies such as hourly rates in car parks. A review – and this is subject to a consultation document - might be triggered by a petition of at least fifty local council tax payers (or ten percent of the residents/businesses). The latter would ensure that those in areas with a small population have their say. Any petition should include a description of the relevant region, e.g. road names or polling district; the nature of the challenge, e.g. yellow lines in the high street hurting businesses as customers cannot park and this forces them to shop elsewhere; and details of the petition organiser, e.g. name, etc. Signatories might have to provide a postal address to prove they live locally. This stops the petition organiser seeking support from elsewhere.
Eric Pickles Discusses Proposed Rules
The Local Government Secretary, Eric Pickles, claimed: 'Too often yellow lines are imposed on neighbourhoods or the high street without fair consideration of the livelihood of residents, local shops, or the availability of parking spaces. He continued: 'Town centres need to allow for proper traffic flow, but incessant yellow lines, CCTV spy cars and trigger happy parking wardens make everyday life unbearable for drivers looking for somewhere to park when shopping locally.' Mr Pickles concluded: 'This government is standing up for hard working people and tackling over-zealous parking enforcement practices, and unfair parking charges, that force people from the high street and into out of town shopping centres or online.'
How Local Councils Might Respond To Petitions
If such a right is implemented, there will have to be clear procedures to ensure that petitions are properly evaluated. It is likely that councils – rather than central government – will define these steps based on their resources. It has, however, been suggested that each council has a public statement that confirms how it manages challenges to its parking policy. This could cover how reviews are conducted, low long they take, any public consultation requirements, and how final decisions are taken, e.g. by voting. Statements might also highlight the circumstances where petitions will not be considered, e.g. when somebody is being troublesome without any justification. The councils might also keep petition organisers in the loop then widely publish their results.