The FTA has welcomed proposals from local government secretary Eric Pickles that would give businesses the power to force a review of local parking restrictions they are unhappy with.

Under the proposals, which went to consultation earlier this month, individuals or businesses would be able to force a council review of parking rules and enforcement by raising a petition signed by at least 50 people, or at least 10% of the residents or businesses in the affected local area.

Councils would then be obliged to conduct a review and produce a report for consideration by councillors at an appropriate public council meeting.

FTA head of policy for London Natalie Chapman welcomed the news but said she would prefer to see councils having to carry out a cyclical review of parking restrictions every five years as a matter of course, particularly in high street locations.

“There are stores opening and closing all the time,” she said. “Their delivery patterns are different and their needs for loading and unloading could be different to those of the site’s previous occupants. In many cases, we’re dealing with outdated parking restrictions that don’t meet current needs.”

Chapman also questioned how workable the scheme would be if councils were swamped with requests for reviews and cautioned against expecting widespread changes to result. “We have to be realistic about what we can expect from cash-strapped and resource-strapped local authorities,” she said.

“It would be helpful if local authorities could review their parking and loading and unloading hotspots to identify locations that need to be reviewed early.”

The consultation runs until 10 October and can be found here.