BANNED: ‘Spy cars’ used by ‘greedy’ councils
CCTV ‘spy cars’ geared at enforcing on-street parking are to be made illegal under new government reforms.
The move – which aims to ‘end the plague of parking tickets by post’ – is one of several measures attempting to reign in ‘over-zealous parking enforcement practices’.
Becoming law through the Deregulation Bill, following a three-month consultation, tickets will now have to be fixed to the windscreen by parking wardens.
It will be illegal for councils to issue penalty charge notices to drivers using just the CCTV spy cars that currently patrol roads for on-street parking enforcement.
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.
Other measures 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 and changing guidance so motorists parking at an out-of-order meter are not fined if there are no alternative ways to pay,
Parking penalty charges will be frozen for the rest of this Parliament.
Communities Secretary Eric 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.
“Today the government is taking urgently needed action to ban this clear abuse of CCTV, which should be used to catch criminals, and not as a cash cow.”
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin added: “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.”