Elderly drivers could benefit from major changes to 'make parking less of a headache'

An elderly driver

The changes come under the Government's goal to make motoring easier for drivers

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 02/10/2023

- 15:36

Updated: 02/10/2023

- 15:36

The National Parking Platform could be rolled out nationwide in the future

New law changes could make parking easier for drivers up and down the country with plans to overhaul complicated payment systems, which could massively help elderly drivers.

The Department for Transport has unveiled the new “Plan for Drivers” report which looks to address key concerns that drivers share about the future of motoring.

The report argues that parking has lagged behind developments in other markets and industries.

Many argue that paying for parking is not as simple as it was previously when drivers would pay with coins to get a physical ticket which told them when they had to leave by.

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Nowadays, motorists struggle with the growing number of different parking apps, as well as some car parks removing pay-and-display machines in favour of using online or text payment methods.

Drivers, particularly older motorists, have issues with using a mobile phone to pay for parking, citing poor connection, confusing instructions and complicated payment methods.

Some fear that they may be fined more frequently because of the difficulty in paying, with around a quarter of UK drivers receiving a penalty charge notice from a private parking company.

The Government remains intent on introducing an independent code of practice to raise the standards of parking and crack down on predatory private parking companies.

Mark Harper, Transport Secretary, said: “We will remove annoyances that irritate many drivers and get in their way, like by making parking less of a headache.

“We will reform driving penalties and restrictions to be fair, transparent and limited to where there is a legitimate road safety case.”

This includes the National Parking Platform, which was first introduced in Manchester two years ago and is now being rolled out to three further areas.

The aim of the platform is to link car parks together by allowing drivers to pay for parking with the app of their choice, with development work now starting to launch it nationwide.

It is said to create an open market to automate processes and “end the scourge of needing multiple parking apps forever”.

The report states: “By creating this payment platform, we also create a mechanism to join up other forms of motoring payment.

“The NPP could in future develop to handle EV charging and other services, so drivers can use their app of choice to find and pay for parking, vehicle charging and more.”

Commenting on the “Plan for Drivers”, Edmund King, AA president, said the motoring organisation had been calling on the Government to implement road reforms to make things easier for drivers.

He added: “The AA has long campaigned, on behalf of our members, to tackle some councils using moving traffic violations, such as yellow box junctions, to fleece drivers - often caught in a trap of poor road markings and bad signage.

“We welcome this review and hope councils act accordingly,” adding that the AA had called on the Government to look into private parking companies for years."


A pay-and-display parking machine

Some drivers have difficulty when paying for parking with phones


Further guidance was unveiled by the Government to target inconsiderate driving, the quality of roads and enforcement of penalties.

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