Parking fines of up to 120 on the way

* Overhaul of parking fine system from April * Different penalties according to level of offence * Tickets can be issued based on CCTV footage...

Parking fines of up to 120 on the way

Motorists could face fines of up to 120 for parking offences from next month.

This is because of changes to the fine system that will allow local authorities to issue different penalties according to the severity of an offence. Previously, motorists were charged a flat fee regardless of the offence.

Offences will fall into two categories: there will be 'lesser offences', such as overstaying your time on a parking meter, and 'serious offences', such as parking on a double yellow line.

Although councils can decide how much fines will pay, they are limited to a maximum of 50 and 70 for lesser and serious offences respectively for all of the UK except London, where they will be 80 and 120. Prompt payment reductions of 50% will still be permitted.

The Government has instigated the changes under the Traffic Management Act 2004, saying that it hopes to make parking legislation fairer and clearer for everyone.

As part of the changes in the law, traffic wardens, who will be renamed civil enforcement officers, will also be able to issue tickets if they witness a parking offence without even having to attach the notice to a vehicle.

Councils will also be able to use CCTV evidence to impose fines, something that was previously only possible in Greater London.