The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats remain divided over plans to allow motorists to park on double yellow lines for 15 minutes.

Eric Pickles, the Conservative Local Government Secretary, has proposed to give drivers a “grace period” to allow them to stop outside shops without being fined.

However, Norman Baker, the Liberal Democrat transport minister, believes the plans are unworkable.
He said: “The idea of actually having cars parked for a very long period on a double yellow line of time actually undermines the purpose of a double yellow line and I’m advised it’s not workable.

“They are there for a reason. They are there for a safety reasons and because otherwise it would cause obstruction, congestion and damage the economy.”

Mr Baker’s concerns have been echoed by RAC Foundation director Stephen Glaister.

He said: “We should be careful what we wish for. Drivers are already able to make limited stops on double yellow lines and while we support a common sense approach to parking policy, businesses are as likely to be adversely affected by a parking free for all as they are by draconian restrictions. We are not convinced this move will save the high street.”

Edmund King, president of the AA, said: “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.”