Government to ban use of CCTV 'spy cars' to catch illegal parking

Councils will no longer be able to use CCTV 'spy cars' to catch drivers who park illegally, the Government announced today.

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'Spy cars' ban to rein in 'greedy councils'

Banning CCTV cameras on cars will stop "greedy" councils using the method as a "cash cow", Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has said.

Nine million parking fines are estimated to be handed out by local councils in England every year, generating £1.3 billion in revenue in 2010, and Mr Pickles believes too many parking tickets were being issued for the "wrong reasons".

Eric Pickles speaking to ITV News. Credit: ITV News

"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," the MP said.

"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."

Parking guidance to be less 'heavy-handed'

Along with banning CCTV "spy cars" for parking enforcement, other proposals announced by the Government include:

  • Trialling a 25% discount for drivers who lose an appeal against a ticket at tribunal
  • Allowing local residents and firms to demand a review of parking in their area
  • Reforming parking guidance to make it less "heavy-handed" with motorists
  • Maintaining a freeze on parking penalty charges for the remainder of parliament

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Govt to ban use of CCTV 'spy cars' for parking fines

Councils will no longer be able to use CCTV "spy cars" to catch drivers who park illegally, as the Government attempts to prevent "over-zealous" enforcement.

Eric Pickles said he wanted to end the 'plague' of parking tickets by post. Credit: PA

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said the announcement would outlaw the use of the vehicles as a "money-raising tool for councils" and end the "plague" of parking tickets by post.

The ban on CCTV, both fixed cameras and on cars, will become law through the Deregulation Bill, following a three-month consultation on the issue.

Cameras will still be used to enforce restrictions in bus lanes, on red routes and outside schools.

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