"Be more lenient to help boost trade": Pickles wages war on traffic wardens

Pickles wages war on 'over-zealous' traffic wardens as he orders them to stop fining people who have popped into the local shop to boost tradeCommunities Secretary said wardens can be 'overzealous'Drivers should be able to 'pop into a local shop', without fear of a ticket

By
Daniel Martin

PUBLISHED:

01:49 GMT, 18 March 2013

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UPDATED:

02:05 GMT, 18 March 2013

Ease up: Pickles demanded that 'officious' wardens should be more lenient to help boost local businesses

Ease up: Pickles demanded that 'officious' wardens should be more lenient to help boost local businesses

Drivers should no longer me hit with parking fines just for stopping at the local shop for 10 minutes, Eric Pickles has said.

The Communities Secretary said he wanted to put an end to the 'over-zealous culture of parking enforcement'.

He demanded that 'officious' wardens should be more lenient in a bid to help boost local firms.

Mr Pickles said the 'rigid state orthodoxy of persecuting motorists' is damaging small businesses across the UK.

The words will spark a clash with local authorities who, banned from putting up council tax, increasingly rely on parking charges for their income.

The minister also called on town halls to create more off-street parking spaces to take pressure off busy roads.

Speaking at the Conservative spring forum at the weekend, Mr Pickles said current parking rules need to change, indicating that he is considering bringing in new laws to assist car owners.

'Thirteen years of Labour's war on the motorist have created an over-zealous culture of parking enforcement,' he said.

'Extending CCTV, not to catch criminals, but to catch you out the moment you park on a yellow line.

'A rigid state orthodoxy of persecuting motorists out of their cars, with no concern about its effect in killing off small shops.'

Mr Pickles added: 'Councils should allow more off-street parking spaces, to take pressure off the roads. They should end dodgy town hall contracts which reward and encourage the proliferation of fixed penalty notices.

'I believe we need to give people the good grace to pop into a local corner shop for 10 minutes, to buy a newspaper or a loaf of bread without risking a 70 fine.'

Mr Pickles said a 'rigid state orthodoxy of persecuting motorists' is choking retailers

Mr Pickles said a 'rigid state orthodoxy of persecuting motorists' is choking retailers