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Medway's CCTV spy car is here to stay thanks to new laws

By Lynn Cox

Medway Council will continue to use its CCTV spy car to issue parking fines in streets as it’s already operating under new laws soon to be introduced.

The government announced at the weekend that it is to ban councils using the cars to impose fines on drivers without putting a parking ticket on a windscreen.

The Medway Council CCTV car
The Medway Council CCTV car

The announcement means wardens will now have to attach any fines issued to a car windscreen, something the council says it already does.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles and Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the move would rein in over-zealous parking enforcement practices, which have been used by councils to raise cash. The ban is due to become law after a three-month consultation.

It means parking tickets will have to be fitted to a car windscreen by traffic wardens, but councils will still be allowed to use cameras along critical routes, such as schools, bus lanes, bus stops, and red routes, where traffic must be kept moving for safety reasons.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles
Communities secretary Eric Pickles

Mr Pickles said: “We don’t want them used to raise money. The priority is for them to be used for public safety and to cut congestion.”

A Medway Council spokesman said: “We will, of course, look at any new legislation and act accordingly, but it appears from media reports over the weekend that the minister is seeking to put in place laws that would make councils operate in the same way Medway has for some time.

"Schools constantly request that we use the car to help them prevent people parking on the yellow lines" - Medway Council

“We already tell our enforcement officers to place penalty notice charge tickets on a vehicle’s windscreen unless it is not practical to do so.

“We carry out enforcement to ensure drivers don’t cause congestion on roads by inconsiderately parking in areas they should not and for safety reasons.

“In fact, local schools constantly request that we use the car to help them prevent people parking on the yellow lines, as this is a danger for parents and children crossing the road.

“In addition, residents frequently ask us to carry out enforcement where they live to stop drivers blocking their street and we have numerous requests from householders seeking parking restrictions to stop motorists clogging up their road.”

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