The British Parking Association has confirmed that drivers parking on private land now have a ten minute grace period after their tickets expire and before being fined.
This brings the rules for private car parks in line with local authority spaces that are often found in struggling high streets.
Earlier in 2015, government championed a grace period to stop motorists being fined for being just a few minutes late. The initiative aimed to help local shops that were struggling due to strict parking enforcement forcing drivers to shop at out of town centres or online.
Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, said such measures: “Will deliver a fairer deal for motorists and help boost the high street by ensuring that parking enforcement is proportionate, while also protecting school children and keeping key routes and bus lanes clear.”
The British Parking Association Code of Practice (October 2015) explains to enforces: “You should allow the driver a reasonable period to leave the private car park after the parking contract has ended, before you take enforcement action.” It adds: “If the location is one where parking is normally permitted, the grace period at the end of the parking period should be a minimum of ten minutes.”
This period is in addition to the established rule of allowing motorists time to choose whether to stay or leave. The Code of Practice says: “Allow a driver who enters your car park but decides not to park, to leave the car park within a reasonable period without having their vehicle issued with a parking charge notice.”
In March 2015, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: “We are ending the war on drivers who simply want to go about their daily business. For too long parking rules have made law abiding motorists feel like criminals, and caused enormous damage to shops and businesses. Over-zealous parking enforcement undermines our town centres and costs councils more in the long-term.”