Pickles wants ban on “unfair” parking charges

27/09/2013
Highways Reporters

The use of fixed cameras and CCTV vehicles to catch people parking illegally in the UK could be banned.

Under Government proposals CCTV would no longer be used for on-street parking enforcement.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles wants to “rein-in” over zealous parking enforcement, but the Local Government Association argues that CCTV plays an important role in monitoring traffic flow and keeping cars moving.

Pickles said: “Excessive parking charges and unfair parking fines push up the cost of living, and undermine local high streets and shopping parades. We want to rein over-zealous parking enforcement, so it focuses on supporting high streets and motorists, not raising money.

“Parking spy cars are just one example of this and a step too far. Public confidence is strengthened in CCTV if it is used to tackle crime, not to raise money for council coffers.”

But Cllr Tony Ball, vice chairman of the Local Government Association's economy and transport board, said parking controls are not about revenue raising.

He said: “They are absolutely essential for keeping the roads clear and making sure people can park near their homes and local shops.

"Camera cars have been instrumental in keeping children from being hurt or killed on the way to school, and CCTV plays an important role elsewhere in monitoring traffic flow and keeping cars moving.

"Nobody likes getting a parking fine but the fact that less than one per cent go to adjudication shows that in the vast majority of cases councils get it right.

"Income from on-street parking fines and charges is spent on parking services with any money left over spent on services like fixing potholes and providing subsidised bus travel to children and the elderly."

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