The government is to ban councils from using CCTV cameras and ‘Orwellian’ spy cars to enforce parking restrictions. It will announce measures today to tackle “over-zealous” enforcement by local authorities.
Coalition ministers hope to ease the policing of parking with the reforms, which are bound to be popular with motorists. The government believes parking restrictions often discourage people from driving to shops and force them to shop out of town or online.
Local government secretary Eric Pickles said there would be no more “over-zealous parking enforcement and unreasonable stealth fines by post”. However, local councils are already claiming that the measures will leave them less money for road repairs and subsidised bus travel.
The ban on CCTV, both fixed cameras and so-called “Orwellian spy cars”, will become law through the Deregulation Bill this autumn. Hundreds of thousands of drivers are currently caught by cameras each year.
Under the reform, cameras will only be used to enforce restrictions in bus lanes, on red routes — on which drivers are not allowed to stop — and outside schools.
Additionally, drivers will be encouraged to appeal against more parking tickets, with the launch of test measure which offers a 25% discount for those who try to overturn a fine but fail. Currently, many motorists choose not to appeal because they receive a 50% discount if they pay within one or two weeks. ·