Motorists could see £50 rise in parking fines

The Transport Secretary, Norman Baker, has said that the Government will review the £70 cap on parking fines outside of London.

Motorists face big increases to parking fines outside the capital which are currently capped at £70. In London the maximum fine is £130 a difference of £50.

Ministers announced that they were debating lifting a cap on parking fines also known as fixed penalty charges over concerns that the current limit is not proving enough of a deterrent to motorists from parking illegally.

Mr Baker acknowledged that the move could send the “wrong message” to motorists and said that the Government had yet to reach a decision on whether or not to lift the £70 cap.

The Coalition has tried to keep voters on side after freezing fuel duty and cancelling plans to increase the price of alcohol. However, this latest suggestion by the Government is likely to incense motorists who are struggling to keep up with rising fuel and living costs.

The president of the AA, Edmund King, said: “It’s hard enough at the moment for motorists to cope with the cost of fuel and insurance, just keeping the car running is a struggle for them”.

He continued: “Our concern would be that local authorities become reliant on the fines as income. It becomes a method of raising revenue rather than keeping traffic flowing”.

Acknowledging the potential pitfalls of this policy, Norman Baker added: “You might argue that the impact on a town centre might be detrimental if the excess charges are introduced”.

When pressed by MPs about the timing and what the final decision is likely to be, Norman Baker said: ” I am taking all the evidence which is before me in both directions and reaching a sensible conclusion. The matter is not entirely in my hands”.