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Councils urge government to scrap CCTV parking camera ban

The government has been urged by local authority chiefs and campaigners to scrap plans to stop CCTV being used to enforce parking rules. 

Under current proposals, the government plans to stop councils from using CCTV to tackle dangerous parking outside schools, prevent drivers blocking bus lanes and loading bays, and stop a crack-down on pavement parkers who pose a risk to disabled pedestrians. 

The Local Government Association (LGA) said the ban would do little to reduce the number of tickets given to drivers breaking the law but would put schoolchildren at risk and worsen road safety. 

Instead of a blanket ban on CCTV parking cameras, the LGA is calling for the government to convene a working group of councils, charities, road safety campaigners and motoring groups to rewrite the current statutory parking guidance and revise the rules on the use of CCTV. 

Cllr Peter Box, chair of the LGA's Economy and Transport Board, said: “Road safety campaigners and disability and pedestrian charities all agree with councils that banning CCTV parking enforcement will put school children and disabled pedestrians at risk and worsen road safety. 

“The government has wrongly claimed councils are alone in wanting to protect CCTV powers but, in fact, they face strong opposition to a ban that is impossible to ignore.” 

So far the LGA’s proposal has been backed by the National Association of Head Teachers, Disabled Motoring UK, Living Streets, Brake, Royal National Institute for the Blind, Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety, Confederation of Passenger Transport UK and the Passenger Transport Executive Group. 

However, last year, communities secretary Eric Pickles said that local authorities which use parking fines as a “cash cow” were in breach of current legislation. He also vowed to amend legislation to outlaw the practice which enabled councils to use CCTV for on-street parking enforcement, which has been on the rise since it was introduced in the Traffic Management Act in 2004. 

The Department for Transport also said the government was committed to reining in over-zealous parking enforcement. 

A spokeswoman said: “It is not fair to motorists and needs to stop. That is why we have frozen parking penalty charges for the remainder of this Parliament. However, we haven't stopped there. 

“We are now looking at the responses to consultation that proposed a number of changes to make sure local authorities are not short-changing motorists and operate in a fair manner.” 

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