Compassionate, kind and merciful.

Richmond Council is paving the way for equal opportunities – starting with an anti-discrimination drive against cars and their owners.

The council could even see itself win an award for its efforts to launch a new “humane parking” approach – an award for unnecessary use of jargon and gobbledygook, that is.

Marie Clair, spokeswoman from the Plain English Campaign (PEC), said the phrase “humane parking” was a strong contender for one of its annual golden bull awards – the worst examples of “written tripe”.

She said: “Humane parking? That’s a new one. Is that anything to do with not running people over? It would be more humane to stop using new-fangled, gobbledygook labels that tell people nothing useful. “It shouldn’t be necessary to read a page of descriptions to understand two words.”

A spokeswoman for the Campaign Against Political Correctness added: “You wouldn’t think of parking and humane in the same breath would you? I don’t think these things go together at all.”

Despite criticism, the council has stuck by its new scheme, which will transform parking services.

Council leader Nick True said he was “unrepentant” about the choice of words.

He said: “I would say the comments [made by PEC] are plain daft. Humane means civil and courteous and that’s what we want, we want fair common sense community policy [for our parking]. I’m pleased if the title draws attention to what we are doing.”

A “fair parking” package was agreed at a cabinet meeting on October 11.

The council will appoint new parking contractors and wardens would be expected to adopt a common sense and “humane approach” to enforcement in future.

The scheme, estimated to save the council £729,000 per year, would see proposed new company, Vinci Park,  providing additional services such as tourist information and guidance on how and where to park to avoid tickets.

Free 30-minute parking for residents and an end to the controversial CO2 related-tax on parked cars was already agreed by the council earlier this year.

In a statement launching the scheme, Councillor True said aggressive money-making parking policies were killing high streets and it was time to turn controlled parking into community parking to help rectify the situation.