Local authority practices of using CCTV and camera-equipped ‘spy cars’ to enforce parking and fine motorists are to be outlawed under new plans announced by the Government today.
In the last five years, such cameras have been used to issue more than 10 million fines across the country, with the revenue generated totaling £301 million.
Local Government secretary Eric Pickles has been speaking out in support of beleaguered motorists and told The Telegraph: “We want to rein in those over-zealous and unfair rules on parking enforcement, so it focuses on supporting high streets and motorists, not raising money.
“Parking spy cameras 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 officers.”
Councils have defended the use of CCTV, claiming they improve road safety, particularly around schools.
Local authorities are banned from using parking fines as a source of revenue, but despite a reduction in traffic volumes in town and city centres, income from parking fines has risen dramatically.
In the thirteen years of Labour Government, income from parking fines rose from £223 million to £512 million.
The Coalition Government has unveiled a series of proposals, including a ban on parking enforcement CCTV cameras and a review on unnecessary yellow lines.
Under the plans, parking fines would only be able to be issued by plainly visible human traffic wardens.
The new measures could be in place “well before Easter”, Mr Pickles told the BBC.
Do you think CCTV cameras are a necessary evil to enforce parking in congested town centres, or just another way of fleecing motorists? Have your say below.