'Greedy' councils banned from using 'spy-cars' that issued £300m in parking fines

Eric Pickles says ban on car-mounted cameras will end scourge of 'over-zealous' and 'greedy' councils cashing-in on unsuspecting motorists

Tom Payne
Saturday 21 June 2014 13:19
Comments
75 councils use car-mounted cameras to automatically issue drivers with fines
75 councils use car-mounted cameras to automatically issue drivers with fines

Council ‘spy cars’ used to catch drivers who park illegally in England are to be banned, the Government says.

Static and car-mounted cars have been used to automatically issue unsuspecting drivers with parking fines totalling £300 million in the past four years.

The controversial cameras were introduced under Labour’s 2004 Traffic Management Act as an alternative to traffic wardens, and have been used by 75 councils since then.

But last night Communities Secretary Eric Pickles vowed to outlaw the devices, which he described as a “clear abuse of CCTV”.

"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,” he 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.”

The fresh ban follows a three-month consultation with local authorities, who insist the cameras help keep roads safe by stopping drivers parking illegally.

As part of the deal, the cameras will still be used near schools, in bus lanes and bus stops, and on ‘red routes’.

Patrick McLoughlin, Transport Secretary, said it offered 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".

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in