The British Parking Association (BPA) is warning today that government should be careful what it wishes for with regard to parking.

Many local authorities already apply grace periods on permitted parking bays. Making it statutory means that when motorists get a ticket after 11 minutes they are not likely to thank the government for changing the rules. Allowing councils to use their discretion on grace periods can actually help local shops because in areas of high demand traders actually want faster turnover of custom 

On CCTV, we are pleased the government listened to us during the consultation period and agreed to CCTV continuing to be lawful for enforcement outside schools and on bus stops. But, because they failed to do an equalities impact assessment for these proposals, there will be adverse implications for vulnerable road users such as wheelchair users and parents with buggies crossing road junctions protected by yellow lines where councils will no longer be able to use CCTV to deter selfish parkers.

Local councils are not allowed to introduce parking controls and charges on-street simply to raise revenue. There must be good traffic management or road safety grounds to do this. If surplus revenue is generated and income from those parking charges exceeds the expenditure for management and enforcement, then the law stipulates what the local authority can do with it.

Taking inflation into account, since 2008 parking income has fallen in real terms and in fact, an increase in parking revenue is a sign of a healthy town which meets the needs of the community. To counter this, there are strict rules laid down by law that stipulate how surplus funds are spent and this means re-investment in traffic management that benefits the entire community.

Patrick Troy, BPA’s CEO said: "Local councils want to ensure that their High Streets are vibrant and they know that parking can be an important contributor to that vibrancy. But successive research shows that shoppers value convenience and accessibility far more than the issues Mr. Pickles has announced today. Councils will continue their hard work in attracting customers into high quality and safe car parks despite these changes rather than because of them."