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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 June 2006, 07:12 GMT 08:12 UK
Overhaul of parking policy urged
A parking ticket on a windscreen
The MPs are set to call for more flexibility on ticket issuing
A committee of MPs is set to call for a major overhaul of the way parking regulations are enforced in the UK.

The Transport Select Committee report is expected to recommend a single national system governing traffic wardens and parking attendants.

Some councils have been accused of treating parking enforcement as a money-making exercise.

The committee has heard evidence that up to a fifth of tickets are cancelled after complaints from motorists.

Parking attendants need to be seen as parking attendants and not as revenue collectors
Michael, Luton

Paul Watters, head of transport policy for the AA Motoring Trust, said local authorities were often driven by profit, where parking was concerned.

He expressed concern that parking control appeared to have "lost its way" under the deregulated regime.

Mr Watters said in many areas there was "a feeling that it was about fining and punishment, rather then about trying to help people out of their minor parking mistakes that they make."

'Controversial local issue'

And Keith Banbury, chief executive of the British Parking Association, called for a "transparent" system that was consistent.

He also called for fairness and proportionality, by which he meant "different sorts of fee for different sorts of offences".

BBC Transport Correspondent Tom Symonds said parking had become "a seriously controversial local issue in many parts of the country" since the gradual transfer of powers to issue tickets from the police to councils.

The committee is likely to call for reform of the system of traffic wardens, or parking attendants.

MPs are expected to ask for a national system of standards for privatised parking enforcement, with more councils being able to use their discretion when issuing tickets rather than rigidly sticking to the rules.

Our correspondent added that this was an important report because the government is planning to issue its own new guidance for parking in the next few weeks.

A parking officer defends his work


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