Pickles picks plan to pep up the high street
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles is championing a move to allow shoppers to park on double yellow lines, in a bid to perk up the high street and encourage more business.
Say for example, shoppers want to nip into a shop to buy very large pork pie (not that Eric would do anything like that). They'll get a 15 minute grace period and they wouldn't be subject to any fines.
Pickles has called British high streets 'ghost towns' and partly blames lack of parking and high parking fees for the exodus of shoppers to larger shopping malls. (Nothing to do with the fact that the high street is made up of two branches of Card Factory and a William Hill.)
Between 2000 and 2007, average parking charges jumped 40 per cent from 86p for two hours to £1.21, and research has shown that shoppers are put off by extortionate charges. However, critics say parking fees are necessary to curb illegal parking and encourage shoppers to use public transport.
AA president Edmund King was less sure about the proposal and recommended a full review of the double yellow system.
'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.'
Where do these people go shopping? TRUMPTON? You need more than 15 minutes to browse the rails at TK Maxx, try on lipstick at Boots, get a fish pedicure and go for a Nandos, mate.