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MPs: Give drivers five minutes grace on parking tickets

MPs on the Commons Transport Committee have said that drivers should be given "five minutes grace" after their parking ticket expire before given a fine.

The committee has also suggested that councils in England should publish their annual parking-charge accounts if they wish to prove that they're not using fines to increase revenue, which is both illegal and unacceptable according to the Transport Committee.

According to MPs, the Local Government Association calculated a total of £411 million in parking fines in 2011/12, while the RAC Foundation came to the higher figure of £565 million. These figures have lead to the committee urging ministers to freeze charges, that are currently capped at £130 in London and £70 outside.

Labour MP Louise Ellman, committee chairman, has also said that the Department for Transport's rules for councils in England should include a five minute grace period after the ticket expires before a fine is imposed.

Mrs Ellman also agrees that the charges shouldn't be increased, and suggested that they shouldn't exceed fines for more serious violations such as speeding, for which the maximum fixed penalty is £60. She said: "It's right that parking charges be determined locally, but hard to justify fines that substantially exceed penalties for more serious offences like speeding."

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