A CCTV car used by the Council to patrol the streets of Bath to catch motorists breaking rules on parking is to be banned, the government have announced.
The car, which was introduced in September last year, is often seen driving around Bath targeting motorists who’ve parked dangerously or may be causing a safety risk.
The new law coming into force will end the amount of fixed penalty notice tickets that are sent in the post to drivers.
The long-called for ban will now become law through the Deregulation Bill, following a 3-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.
Parking officers will now carry out all essential enforcement, limiting the use of CCTV to issue tickets by post to critical routes such as schools, bus lanes and bus stops.
The other measures designed to help local shops, support drivers and give communities a greater say on parking policies 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;
- 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.
Communities Secretary Eric 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.”
The current scheme in Bath costs the Bath and North East Somerset Council £7,500 a year.