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Government announces ban on CCTV parking fines

Announced by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles and Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, the ban was first mooted last September and will now become law through the Deregulation Bill, following a three-month consultation.

Tickets will have to be fixed to the windscreen by parking wardens, making it illegal for councils to issue penalty charge notices to drivers using just the CCTV spy cars that currently patrol roads for on-street parking enforcement.

The Government added that CCTV should just be used to catch criminals and not as a “cash cow” and so will be limited issue tickets by post to critical routes such as schools, bus lanes, bus stops and red routes where public transport must be kept moving for safety reasons.

Other measures announced include:

· Trialling a 25% discount for motorists who lose an appeal against a parking ticket at tribunal on the full price of their parking ticket;

· Changing guidance so motorists parking at an out-of-order meter are not fined if there are no alternative ways to pay;

· Introducing a new right to allow local residents and local firms to demand a review of parking in their area, including charges and the use of yellow lines;

· Reforming operational parking guidance so it is less ‘heavy handed with motorists, prevents over-aggressive action by bailiffs, positively supports local shops and clearly reinforces the prohibition against parking being used to generate profit’;

· Proposing a widening of the powers of parking adjudicators. This could include, for example, measures to protect drivers where adjudicators have repeatedly identified a problem at a specific location, such as inadequate signage, and parking tickets have repeatedly been issued; 

· In such circumstances, potential measures could see adjudicators allowed to direct an authority to stop issuing tickets or direct the authority to change the signage, or indeed both;

· Updating guidance so the public know when they can be awarded costs at tribunals;

· Increasing parking transparency so councils are required to publish how income from parking charges is being used, including a new statutory Transparency Code.

· Maintaining a freeze on parking penalty charges for the remainder of this Parliament, as announced in December.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: ‘These measures will deliver 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.’

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Written by Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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