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Councils to be banned from widespread use of CCTV ‘spy cars’

The government will make it illegal for councils to issue penalty charge notices to drivers using just closed circuit television (CCTV) ‘spy cars’ that currently patrol roads for on-street parking enforcement.

One of a range of measures used to rein in ‘over-zealous’ parking enforcement practices, the ban will now become law through the Deregulation Bill, following a three-month consultation.

According to communities secretary Eric Pickles and transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin, tickets will have to be fixed to the windscreen by parking wardens, making it illegal for councils to issue penalty charge notices to drivers using just the CCTV spy cars.

Under the new rules, parking officers will now carry out all essential enforcement, limiting the use of CCTV to issue tickets by post to critical routes such as “schools, bus lanes, bus stops and red routes where public transport must be kept moving for safety reasons”.

Pickles said: “CCTV spy cars can be seen lurking on every street raking in cash for greedy councils and breaking the rules that clearly state that fines should not be used to generate profit for town halls.

“Over-zealous parking enforcement and unreasonable stealth fines by post undermine the high street, push up the cost of living and cost local authorities more in the long term.”

Other measures introduced by the government include trialling a 25% discount for motorists who lose an appeal against a parking ticket at tribunal on the full price of their parking ticket; introducing a new right to allow local residents and local firms to demand a review of parking in their area, including charges and the use of yellow lines; and maintaining a freeze on parking penalty charges for the remainder of this Parliament.

McLoughlin said: “These measures will deliver a fairer deal for motorists, ensuring that parking enforcement is proportionate, that school children are protected and buses can move freely, and that key routes are kept clear.”

The Local Government Association, which represents more than 370 councils in England and Wales, stated that the cameras stop motorists parking dangerously and protect pedestrians.

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email


Fair And Just   23/06/2014 at 13:07

"Greedy local councils" raking it in. Pickles should go further and request right of refund by motorists where local councils have not provided adequate public parking near schools, hospitals, city centres, high streets and there is no adequate public transport options to compensate.

David Sheard   23/06/2014 at 13:57

If parking bans are unnecessary they should be lifted. To interfere with enforcement causes confusion and does nothing to solve any problems. Eric the criminals friend seems to encourage illegal parking.

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