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97% of motorists believe motorway services parking should be free

An online survey of over 2,400 motorists by the car supermarket giant found 97.4% of people quizzed agreed that drivers should be able to stay beyond the mandatory two-hour free parking period at motorway service stations – without incurring a penalty.

Currently anyone who overstays the two-hour limit at the majority of motorway service stations is liable through the use of ANPR cameras for a fine of up to £100 – regardless of whether the driver of that vehicle is asleep, ill, incapacitated or broken down.

Mark Carpenter, managing director of Motorpoint, said: “It is ironic that we are constantly being told to ‘take a break because tiredness kills’ and yet whenever we decide to stop and rest, maybe have a snooze, we face the prospect of being fined for oversleeping.

“We completely understand that motorway service stations need to make a profit but penalising motorists for parking for more than two hours is definitely not the answer – as the results of our website poll clearly show!”

The Motorpoint research comes two months after motorway service stations were accused of ‘profiteering’ over parking charges by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), which urged the Government to change its policy on the two-hour free parking limit. 

Last year saw the Highways Agency announced that it wants penalised drivers to be able to pay for extra time, instead of incurring fines of up to £100.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.