Motorists will find it harder to challenge parking fines in future under new government proposals. The Department for Transport (DfT) plans to rewrite traffic sign regulations, scrapping the section that lays down strict rules for the number and positioning of signs informing drivers where they can park and for how long. The changes will allow councils to remove large numbers of parking restriction signs.

In some cases councils will not have to put up any signs at all, making it more difficult for motorists to mount an appeal on the basis that parking regulations were not clearly signposted. In future, for example, restrictions on loading could be shown by two yellow lines painted on the kerb. Likewise, residents-only parking bays could be marked by lettering on the road surface alone. The requirement to place parking signs at 30-metre intervals will also be axed.

The DfT is due to publish its final plans shortly. It has said that the proposals are a commonsense move and councils will have to ensure that restrictions are “fully understood by drivers”.

Caroline Sheppard, chief adjudicator for the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, which rules on parking ticket appeals in England (except London), warned that the plans could confuse drivers, especially those visiting an unfamiliar area. Appeals would no longer be judged on whether councils had installed the required signs but on a vague idea of whether the information was clear, she said.