Five councils in London are testing a scheme which uses cameras to catch offenders parking illegally on the school run. Ruth Banks explains how it works.
There may be a move towards smaller cars, but you would struggle to find a vehicle small enough to park on what is likely to be the shortest double yellow lines in the UK.
Measuring just over nine inches long, the lines are in Caxton Street, Westminster, central London, between a taxi rank and some parking bays.
Leith Penny, Westminster City Council's strategic director for city management, said: "This was a mistake by a contractor. We are obviously not happy about it, because double yellow lines should play an important part in traffic management and road safety.
"But on this occasion we can see how absurd this looks and we will make sure it is corrected."
Transportfor London (TfL) is planning to increase the time limit for freeparking on some of London’s busiest roads from 20 minutes to 30 minutes.
The proposals are in line with the recommendations of Mayor Boris Johnson. The aim is to help small businesses by providing more flexibility for people who wish to park and shop, pay a bill or run an errand.
TfL wants to hear the opinions of Londoners about the 'Stop and Shop' scheme, which would affect 600 bays across the city.
Rather than just allow drivers to park on double yellow lines, a thorough review of the lines would be more effective. Many double lines are there for historical reasons and could be lifted.
There is plenty of opportunity to ease back on the signs and lines in many places, giving drivers short-term waiting bays instead, so they can stop briefly to buy a paper or loaf of bread.
– AA president Edmund King
Local authorities should be encouraged to do what the Government does with regulations - 'one in one out' - so that yellow lines do not run out of control.
Lifting restrictions on yellow lines should not be an excuse for hiking parking penalties outside London.
Drivers will be able to park on double yellow lines for 15 minutes under proposals to boost trade in neighbourhood high streets, but face stiffer fines for dangerous parking, it has emerged.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles wants to introduce a "grace period" within months that would allow motorists to pop into local shops without being hit by hefty penalties, according to The Daily Telegraph.
As part of the coalition horse-trading needed to secure support for the move, higher fines could be introduced outside London for motorists who park dangerously.
Parking charges must be "reasonable", local government minister Brandon Lewis said today, after campaigners won a landmark High Court case against increased charges in Barnet.
Mr Lewis said:
This Government has been very clear that parking charges are not, and should not be, a town hall stealth tax on local residents.
We have scrapped the Labour government's guidance which pressured councils to hike up parking charges. Indeed, making sure that car parking charges are reasonable is an important way in which councils can help support their local high streets and local shops.
The AA has been warning authorities of councils increasing parking charges, the head of public affairs said today, after campaigners won a landmark High Court victory against Barnet council.
Paul Watters said: "Some authorities have been saying they cannot fix the potholes or clear ice from the roads unless CPZs are extended and prices increased.
"This is in effect holding residents and drivers to ransom. That is totally unacceptable.
"This case must be a warning to other local authorities that try to profit from ramped up charges, unnecessary extended controlled zones, use CCTV for mass ticketing or argue the case for increased levels of penalty when there is already sufficient deterrent.
"Of course, we need to secure adequate funding for council services, but this is not the way."
Barnet council leader, Richard Cornelius has conceded that an increase in parking charges had been carried out "too abruptly and rather charmlessly", but said there would be an appeal.
Mr Cornelius said:
Both our pricing and spending are very much in line with other London boroughs and I very much believe that our spending of the income from our parking account on items such as road maintenance and transport services is entirely within the scope of the special parking account under the Road Traffic Act.
With that in mind I don't think we have any alternative but to look to appeal this decision.
That said it is fairly clear that the council raised the price of parking permits, after five years of a price freeze, too abruptly and rather charmlessly. I will make sure that doesn't happen again.
Campaigners objecting increased parking charges said that the increases had made parking in Barnet's quiet residential streets "more expensive than parking outside Harrods" after their victory in the High Court today.
Mr Attfield said after: "Barnet Council has been caught picking the pockets of CPZ residents.
"Despite making up less than 10% of the borough, they were being made to contribute disproportionately to a range of services such as road repairs and the provision of bus passes across the borough.
"Today's judgment confirms what I have maintained all along: that Parliament never intended local authorities to take a large cut every time a book club meets, mums get together for coffee or a washing machine is repaired.
"It is regrettable that Barnet has spent over two years, and tens of thousands of pounds, standing by their charges which they should have known were legally and morally wrong."