Motorists will be allowed to park on double yellow lines as part of attempts to save Britain's high streets, it has been reported.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles is pushing for a 'grace period' of 15 minutes to allow drivers to pop into shops without being hit by charges.

In exchange, the Liberal Democrats are demanding higher fines for drivers who park illegally, according to the Daily Telegraph.

A source close to Pickles told the paper: "The high street is in danger of shrinking or dying off, and over-aggressive parking enforcement is part of the reason why.

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"If people are worried about paying a fortune in parking fines, it will make them more likely to do their shop online or go to out of town shopping centres.

"For too long parking has been a revenue raiser. It's time to end that.

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"There is room for a deal (with the Liberal Democrats). Dangerous parking is a menace to people, whereas if you're in the parking bay or just on the side of the road you're not presenting any risk."

It is understood the Lib Dems believe the Tory Cabinet minister's plans could prove "unworkable" and are keen to raise the current £70 cap on fines for all illegal parking outside London, according to the newspaper.

Lib Dem transport minister Norman Baker told the newspaper: "We are keen to ensure that the high street works for businesses by stopping people parking illegally for hours on end.

"I have been in discussions with other colleagues from government about how we can best take decisions on this
forward.

"This is about tackling motorists who are parking illegally, not about raising charges for those who park legally."

The Government has previously issued guidance to councils encouraging them to attract shoppers by setting competitive parking charges and urging them to improve the quality of parking in town centres.

Tory local government minister Brandon Lewis said: "This Government has scrapped Whitehall rules that previously told councils to hike up parking charges, adopt draconian enforcement and impose arbitrary limits on off-street parking spaces.

"Councils now need to play their part in reining back in the overzealous culture of municipal parking enforcement.

"They should adopt a common sense approach. Ministers are considering what further steps can be taken to ensure that town hall parking policies and practices support local high streets."