A Devon council is to scrap its CCTV equipped parking enforcement car due to a lack of profitability and huge unpopularity amongst local residents.
A staple feature of parking enforcement in the UK’s congested capital, CCTV enforcement cars have since spread further afield, and enable councils to quickly identify and document parking offences, simply by driving around a particular area.
However, they have proven unpopular with motorists, who often don’t know they have been caught out until weeks later, when a penalty notice lands on the doormat.
Torbay Council introduced its own camera car last year, which generated £10,828 in fines from 364 individual penalty notices.
However, as the car itself costs £14,000 a year to run, it is now facing the chop, as the council struggles to cope with a £22million spending cut in the next financial year.
Councillor Robert Excell has said the council would go back to using pedestrian traffic wardens instead.
Speaking to the BBC, he said: "The mayor has indicated to me that is now time to get rid of the vehicle," he said.
"It is losing money and it also became very unpopular."
"People were thinking more about the camera than about what they were doing on the road," he added.
Not all of Torbay’s residents are happy to see the back of the camera car, though. Malcolm Wright, head teacher of the town’s Hayes School has raised concerns over the safety of children during busy school-run periods.
"No amount of money is going to bring back a child if they are run over in the road," he told the BBC.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has previously stated that he wanted to see the back of camera cars, along with unfair parking rules, as part of an end to the ‘war on motorists’.
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