The government will make it illegal to use CCTV spy-cars alone to enforce on-street parking, with the practise of by-post parking tickets, according to communities secretary Eric Pickles and transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin. The announcement has been made in an attempt to rein-in over-zealous parking enforcement practises, which are causing people to shop either in out-of-town centres or online. The ban _ which has been called for by a number of different parties _ will now become law as part of the Deregulation Bill, following a three month consultation.æ Tickets will have to be fixed to the windscreen by parking wardens, meaning that it will become illegal for councils to issue penalty charge notices to drivers using just the CCTV cars that currently patrol the streets. Parking officers will now be held totally responsible for carrying out essential enforcement, limiting the use of CCTV in order to issue tickets by post to critical routs such as schools, bus lanes, bus stops and red routes. A number of other measures have been tabled, with the aim being to help local shops, support drivers and help communities develop more of a say on parking policies, including:
- Trialling a 25% discount for motorists who lose an appeal against a parking ticket at tribunal against the full price of their ticket.
- Altering guidance so that motorists parking at an out-of-order-meter are not charged if there are no alternative ways to pay available.
- Introducing the right for local residents and local firms to demand a review of parking in their area, including issues such as charge rates and yellow lines.
- Reforming operational parking guidance so that it's less heavy handed with motorists and positively supports local shops, clearly reinforcing the prohibition against parking being used to generate profit.
- Updating guidance so that the public are aware of when they can be awarded costs at tribunals.
- Increasing parking transparency so councils have to publish how the income generated from parking charges is being use.
Mr 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."