Government proposes double yellow line parking to save ailing high streets

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Government proposes double yellow line parking to save ailing high streetsIan Britton

Motorists may be able to park on double yellow lines for a short period of time should a proposition by the Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles get the green light.

Pickles suggests that shoppers should be gifted a "grace period" that allows them to park outside shops for around 15 minutes or given longer to park in designated short-stay parking bays often found in or near town centres and shopping precincts.

A source close to Pickles told The Telegraph: "The High Street is in danger of shrinking or dying off, and over-aggressive parking enforcement is part of the reason why.

"If people are worried about paying a fortune in parking fines, it will make them more likely to do their shop online or go to out of town shopping centres. For too long parking has been a revenue raiser. It's time to end that."

The source went on to explain that dangerous parking will not be tolerated and in a move that hopes to cement a deal with their Liberal Democrat colleagues, the Conservatives are also proposing to allow higher parking fines outside the capital for people who park dangerously.

Currently, the cap on parking fines outside London is £70 for illegal parkers, compared to an eye-watering £130 in the capital. Lib Dem leaders are calling for this cap to be lifted in order to bring the rest of the country in line with London.

Pickles is likely to meet resistance from his coalition colleagues with regards to his "grace period" plan, with many inside the party believing it is "unworkable".

The Lib Dem transport minister Norman Baker told The Telegraph: "We are keen to ensure that the high street works for businesses by stopping people parking illegally for hours on end.

"I have been in discussions with other colleagues from government about how we can best take decisions on this forward. This is about tackling motorists who are parking illegally, not about raising charges for those who park legally."