New row over York's parking camera-car

York Press: Camera cars could be banned under Government proposals Camera cars could be banned under Government proposals

NEW transport proposals that would render some of York's parking policies unlawful have been condemned by campaigners and city leaders.

The Department for Transport is looking at ordering a reduction in the value of parking fines and banning councils from using CCTV to enforce parking restrictions, which would mean City of York Council having to get rid of the camera car it bought last month.

MPs today debated the proposals in Parliament, but the suggestions were criticised in York.

Coun David Levene, city council cabinet member for environmental services, said: "If localism means anything then I’d hope that the Government would leave local communities to decide such decisions for themselves.

“Residents and parents alike have for many years complained about illegal and irresponsible parking and Labour is taking this seriously. This is about having consideration for other road users and there is no value in having a parking restriction if you are not prepared to enforce it”.
He said it was pleasing the Government was exploring the issue but said they should not stop councils taking necessary action.

The council introduced the car in February, saying there had been complaints from many parents and head teachers about irresponsible parking near schools.

In Parliament today, Richard Burden, Shadow Minister for Transport, said: “The move to ban CCTV has been opposed by pretty much every single group I have met.”

“I have yet to see any evidence base for such a ban.”

“More than 75 councils have made substantial investments in this technology. More importantly than the cost is the importance this could have on road safety because CCTV cameras have proved pretty effective in improving safety in places such as around schools.”

I am shocked that the Government seems to be prepared to ban CCTV without economic or safety assessment at all if that is what they are going to do.”

The Government ran a consultation from December to February on the proposals to amend parking strategies, to ensure they "complement and enhance the attractiveness of our high streets and town centres".

It had been claimed some councils were using parking as a "cash cow". As well as fine levels and CCTV use, other issues considered by the Government include whether councils should have to give a short "grace period" when drivers over-stay in a paid-for parking place, and calling for less heavy-handed approaches to parking enforcement.

The Local Government Association said banning CCTV parking enforcement would put children at risk, by preventing councils from tackling dangerous and illegal parking outside schools.

Comments (21)

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6:38pm Thu 27 Mar 14

john655 says...

The council introduced the car in February, saying there had been complaints from many parents and head teachers about irresponsible parking near schools. so what is it doing cruising around hungate at 16.55, not many schools there?
The council introduced the car in February, saying there had been complaints from many parents and head teachers about irresponsible parking near schools. so what is it doing cruising around hungate at 16.55, not many schools there? john655
  • Score: -97

6:38pm Thu 27 Mar 14

NoNewsIsGoodNews says...

This was very well publicised before the powers that be decided that it would be a good idea to shell out our hard earned on a noddy car with a camera on a pole.
This was very well publicised before the powers that be decided that it would be a good idea to shell out our hard earned on a noddy car with a camera on a pole. NoNewsIsGoodNews
  • Score: -30

6:50pm Thu 27 Mar 14

What-a-joke-they-are says...

Bad parking outside schools should be penalised - no arguments

However, camera cars **** people off whilst getting told off by a traffic warden is embarrassing - which one deters people more I wonder?

Educating people in the error of their ways cannot be done by fines fines fines.

Overuse of cameras just diminishes people's respect for cameras
Bad parking outside schools should be penalised - no arguments However, camera cars **** people off whilst getting told off by a traffic warden is embarrassing - which one deters people more I wonder? Educating people in the error of their ways cannot be done by fines fines fines. Overuse of cameras just diminishes people's respect for cameras What-a-joke-they-are
  • Score: -12

6:51pm Thu 27 Mar 14

carpon says...

“Residents and parents alike have for many years complained about illegal and irresponsible parking and Labour is taking this seriously. This is about having consideration for other road users and there is no value in having a parking restriction if you are not prepared to enforce it”.

I am not making a political statement at all, when has CYC and the Police taken this seriously? I am a motorist but having complained on numerous occasions regarding vehicles parked (sometimes fully blocking a footpath) I have always been told, either “ we will send someone out “ never done or “we don’t have the resources available at the moment “. And that is a FACT.
“Residents and parents alike have for many years complained about illegal and irresponsible parking and Labour is taking this seriously. This is about having consideration for other road users and there is no value in having a parking restriction if you are not prepared to enforce it”. I am not making a political statement at all, when has CYC and the Police taken this seriously? I am a motorist but having complained on numerous occasions regarding vehicles parked (sometimes fully blocking a footpath) I have always been told, either “ we will send someone out “ never done or “we don’t have the resources available at the moment “. And that is a FACT. carpon
  • Score: 46

12:28am Fri 28 Mar 14

RingoStarr says...

CYC....Hoist with their own petard....again.
CYC....Hoist with their own petard....again. RingoStarr
  • Score: -16

12:49am Fri 28 Mar 14

sniper 9964 says...

Get the clampers out ;-)
Get the clampers out ;-) sniper 9964
  • Score: 27

4:24am Fri 28 Mar 14

Magicman! says...

Before now I have lodged formal complaints complete with a photo I have taken of a car that had been repeatedly (several consecutive days) been parked in a way which blocked access to a junction - and every day after reporting the car I'd go back a couple of hours later and still no parking fine despite the car being parked on double yellow lines, partially on a kerb, and blocking a junction, and the next day there would be the car parked again (but not been left overnight, as it'd be facing the other way)... If a camera car will tackle issues like this, then it's a good idea and should not be curtailled.

It had been claimed some councils were using parking as a "cash cow".

I'm guessing most of the people who use that phrase have been stung with fines issued by CCTV and didn't want to say "it's a fair cop".... a bit like Coppergate really.
Before now I have lodged formal complaints complete with a photo I have taken of a car that had been repeatedly (several consecutive days) been parked in a way which blocked access to a junction - and every day after reporting the car I'd go back a couple of hours later and still no parking fine despite the car being parked on double yellow lines, partially on a kerb, and blocking a junction, and the next day there would be the car parked again (but not been left overnight, as it'd be facing the other way)... If a camera car will tackle issues like this, then it's a good idea and should not be curtailled. [quote]It had been claimed some councils were using parking as a "cash cow".[/quote] I'm guessing most of the people who use that phrase have been stung with fines issued by CCTV and didn't want to say "it's a fair cop".... a bit like Coppergate really. Magicman!
  • Score: 7

7:18am Fri 28 Mar 14

yawn.. says...

It really is an extraordinarily premise to grasp.. don't park like a self centred, arrogant **** sack who doesn't give a fig about the safety and well being of others - and you won't get saddled with a WELL DESERVED fine.. simples.!
It really is an extraordinarily premise to grasp.. don't park like a self centred, arrogant **** sack who doesn't give a fig about the safety and well being of others - and you won't get saddled with a WELL DESERVED fine.. simples.! yawn..
  • Score: 40

7:49am Fri 28 Mar 14

Thislittleold market town says...

This council couldn't organise a **** up in a brewery
This council couldn't organise a **** up in a brewery Thislittleold market town
  • Score: -32

9:09am Fri 28 Mar 14

LibDem says...

Have to say that I agree with Cllr Levene on this one. Local solutions for local problems

Central government shouldn't ban the use of CCTV. They should legislate only to prevent the misuse of power at a local level.
Have to say that I agree with Cllr Levene on this one. Local solutions for local problems Central government shouldn't ban the use of CCTV. They should legislate only to prevent the misuse of power at a local level. LibDem
  • Score: 10

9:11am Fri 28 Mar 14

jumpersforgoalposts says...

eg./ tadcaster road, combined car park/bus stop layby, bus stop regularly blocked by cars nipping to chippy etc, never seen any enforcement taken, solution ? build passenger walkway to edge of road for bus to stop in the road and block traffic on the main arterial route into town! how does this improve the pollution levels locally and traffic flow generally? council should be banned from making any decisions until they can prove their competency/agenda. if we could trust them to act in the interests of the city and not themselves they would meet less opposition.
eg./ tadcaster road, combined car park/bus stop layby, bus stop regularly blocked by cars nipping to chippy etc, never seen any enforcement taken, solution ? build passenger walkway to edge of road for bus to stop in the road and block traffic on the main arterial route into town! how does this improve the pollution levels locally and traffic flow generally? council should be banned from making any decisions until they can prove their competency/agenda. if we could trust them to act in the interests of the city and not themselves they would meet less opposition. jumpersforgoalposts
  • Score: 5

9:20am Fri 28 Mar 14

chelk says...

Never had a motoring/parking fine in 36 years of driving have to agree that people have got to park in the right places if not fine them... Nice to see the score manipulator is still working on any comment against the local Council and for that reason I hope the Government vote for it because, all this person does is turn people against the Council
Never had a motoring/parking fine in 36 years of driving have to agree that people have got to park in the right places if not fine them... Nice to see the score manipulator is still working on any comment against the local Council and for that reason I hope the Government vote for it because, all this person does is turn people against the Council chelk
  • Score: 6

9:32am Fri 28 Mar 14

yorkmax99 says...

Send the car down main street fulford during the day see if it can clear the road from all the parked cars outside bike shop/chemist/bigbite
/fishshop its a nightmare going along that road and i live in fulford so use it every freaking day
Send the car down main street fulford during the day see if it can clear the road from all the parked cars outside bike shop/chemist/bigbite /fishshop its a nightmare going along that road and i live in fulford so use it every freaking day yorkmax99
  • Score: 7

9:37am Fri 28 Mar 14

roskoboskovic says...

this was only a money raising exercise by yorks anti car council.if you were playing russian roulette as regards parking outside your kids school what are the chances of being caught out by ONE car.i would say that the odds are stacked in your favour.obviously it is just meant to cruise around with a specific remit to hand out fines with no regard for the safety o schoolkids.
this was only a money raising exercise by yorks anti car council.if you were playing russian roulette as regards parking outside your kids school what are the chances of being caught out by ONE car.i would say that the odds are stacked in your favour.obviously it is just meant to cruise around with a specific remit to hand out fines with no regard for the safety o schoolkids. roskoboskovic
  • Score: 0

10:30am Fri 28 Mar 14

asd says...

Just a few thoughts that occurs to me, how will the one car cover all the schools at the same time? If it was about schools then have a fixed camera budget by both council and education as yo cant put a price on a kids life. As for parking in general I thought Traffic wardens did illegal parking and if vehicles are actually obstructing then its a traffic violation with police action. I have just had an idea, why don't the police and council use the speed van to go to schools that will kill two birds with one stone
Just a few thoughts that occurs to me, how will the one car cover all the schools at the same time? If it was about schools then have a fixed camera budget by both council and education as yo cant put a price on a kids life. As for parking in general I thought Traffic wardens did illegal parking and if vehicles are actually obstructing then its a traffic violation with police action. I have just had an idea, why don't the police and council use the speed van to go to schools that will kill two birds with one stone asd
  • Score: 6

10:53am Fri 28 Mar 14

The Bald Eagle says...

Coun David Levene, city council cabinet member for environmental services, said: "...there is no value in having a parking restriction if you are not prepared to enforce it”.

Has Councillor David Levene never heard of Civil Enforcement Officers, (or as they are more commonly known, traffic wardens) then? A traffic warden has the ability to prevent bad parking by moving drivers on, whereas a spy car just sits there and issues fines. And you could get about 8 traffic wardens for the price of one spy car.

That's 7 more taxpayers who will not be a drain on the national economy, and if that's repeated across the country where councils use these spy cars, it's a massive saving in unemployment benefits and will result in an incremental increase in public safety and traffic flow.

It is disingenuous for Councillor Levene to suggest that there would be no enforcement without spy cars. It is equally disingenuous for him to suggest that government is trying to stop councils from taking necessary action when there is a perfectly adequate legal remedy readily available in the shape of traffic wardens.

So let's get down to the nitty gritty Councillor Levene. Why would you not want to increase employment rates, enhance public safety and ensure better traffic management?

Or is there a hidden agenda?
Coun David Levene, city council cabinet member for environmental services, said: "...there is no value in having a parking restriction if you are not prepared to enforce it”. Has Councillor David Levene never heard of Civil Enforcement Officers, (or as they are more commonly known, traffic wardens) then? A traffic warden has the ability to prevent bad parking by moving drivers on, whereas a spy car just sits there and issues fines. And you could get about 8 traffic wardens for the price of one spy car. That's 7 more taxpayers who will not be a drain on the national economy, and if that's repeated across the country where councils use these spy cars, it's a massive saving in unemployment benefits and will result in an incremental increase in public safety and traffic flow. It is disingenuous for Councillor Levene to suggest that there would be no enforcement without spy cars. It is equally disingenuous for him to suggest that government is trying to stop councils from taking necessary action when there is a perfectly adequate legal remedy readily available in the shape of traffic wardens. So let's get down to the nitty gritty Councillor Levene. Why would you not want to increase employment rates, enhance public safety and ensure better traffic management? Or is there a hidden agenda? The Bald Eagle
  • Score: 9

11:01am Fri 28 Mar 14

The Bald Eagle says...

Coun David Levene, city council cabinet member for environmental services, said: "...there is no value in having a parking restriction if you are not prepared to enforce it”.

Has Councillor David Levene never heard of Civil Enforcement Officers, (or as they are more commonly known, traffic wardens) then? A traffic warden has the ability to prevent bad parking by moving drivers on, whereas a spy car just sits there and issues fines. And you could get about 8 traffic wardens for the price of one spy car.

That's 7 more taxpayers (don't forget the spy car operator is already a trained CEO) who will not be a drain on the national economy, and if that's repeated across the country where councils use these spy cars, it's a massive saving in unemployment benefits and will result in an incremental increase in public safety and traffic flow.

It is disingenuous for Councillor Levene to suggest that there would be no enforcement without spy cars. It is equally disingenuous for him to suggest that government is trying to stop councils from taking necessary action when there is a perfectly adequate legal remedy readily available in the shape of traffic wardens.

So let's get down to the nitty gritty Councillor Levene. Why would you not want to increase the local employment rate, enhance public safety and ensure better traffic management?
Coun David Levene, city council cabinet member for environmental services, said: "...there is no value in having a parking restriction if you are not prepared to enforce it”. Has Councillor David Levene never heard of Civil Enforcement Officers, (or as they are more commonly known, traffic wardens) then? A traffic warden has the ability to prevent bad parking by moving drivers on, whereas a spy car just sits there and issues fines. And you could get about 8 traffic wardens for the price of one spy car. That's 7 more taxpayers (don't forget the spy car operator is already a trained CEO) who will not be a drain on the national economy, and if that's repeated across the country where councils use these spy cars, it's a massive saving in unemployment benefits and will result in an incremental increase in public safety and traffic flow. It is disingenuous for Councillor Levene to suggest that there would be no enforcement without spy cars. It is equally disingenuous for him to suggest that government is trying to stop councils from taking necessary action when there is a perfectly adequate legal remedy readily available in the shape of traffic wardens. So let's get down to the nitty gritty Councillor Levene. Why would you not want to increase the local employment rate, enhance public safety and ensure better traffic management? The Bald Eagle
  • Score: 5

12:10pm Fri 28 Mar 14

PKH says...

You've got to love The Press the photo they are showing is just some generic Photo not the photo of York's vehicle which is a actually a van which they have featured before, the photo in this article is just pure laziness in using the first photo of a camera vehicle they come across.
You've got to love The Press the photo they are showing is just some generic Photo not the photo of York's vehicle which is a actually a van which they have featured before, the photo in this article is just pure laziness in using the first photo of a camera vehicle they come across. PKH
  • Score: 3

1:04pm Fri 28 Mar 14

greenmonkey says...

yorkmax99 wrote:
Send the car down main street fulford during the day see if it can clear the road from all the parked cars outside bike shop/chemist/bigbite

/fishshop its a nightmare going along that road and i live in fulford so use it every freaking day
A good point, except because of local opposition there are not any parking restrictions here, so nothing the traffic warden or camera car can do anything about. This parking is one of the main reasons for so much congestion in the evening tailing back right to Fishergate, because two buses or a bus and lorry cant pass each other. It needs sorting, given the air pollution that is above legal limits.
[quote][p][bold]yorkmax99[/bold] wrote: Send the car down main street fulford during the day see if it can clear the road from all the parked cars outside bike shop/chemist/bigbite /fishshop its a nightmare going along that road and i live in fulford so use it every freaking day[/p][/quote]A good point, except because of local opposition there are not any parking restrictions here, so nothing the traffic warden or camera car can do anything about. This parking is one of the main reasons for so much congestion in the evening tailing back right to Fishergate, because two buses or a bus and lorry cant pass each other. It needs sorting, given the air pollution that is above legal limits. greenmonkey
  • Score: 0

5:00pm Fri 28 Mar 14

york_chap says...

The reason the government is considering banning cctv enforcement of parking restrictions is because some councils are using it over-zealously, to the point of absurdity. Last month for example, the BBC reported how a Bradford driver was issued with a parking ticket after a council camera car photographed his stationary vehicle in a traffic jam. It was obviously appealed, successfully - but how much public money and time was wasted on the matter?

That wouldn't have happened with a traffic warden. As other people have commented, why can't the council send a few traffic wardens to school zones at the relevant times? This would solve the problem using existing resources. No need to spend thousands on a new vehicle which may become illegal soon anyway. I'm not a big fan of traffic wardens on the whole, but they do a necessary job and most of the time do it with a bit of common sense.
The reason the government is considering banning cctv enforcement of parking restrictions is because some councils are using it over-zealously, to the point of absurdity. Last month for example, the BBC reported how a Bradford driver was issued with a parking ticket after a council camera car photographed his stationary vehicle in a traffic jam. It was obviously appealed, successfully - but how much public money and time was wasted on the matter? That wouldn't have happened with a traffic warden. As other people have commented, why can't the council send a few traffic wardens to school zones at the relevant times? This would solve the problem using existing resources. No need to spend thousands on a new vehicle which may become illegal soon anyway. I'm not a big fan of traffic wardens on the whole, but they do a necessary job and most of the time do it with a bit of common sense. york_chap
  • Score: 4

1:40am Sat 29 Mar 14

ZachCohen says...

How about the council send a traffic warden. And if they do turn up (once a year at each school?) how about they give out a fine instead of ignoring the issues.
How about the council send a traffic warden. And if they do turn up (once a year at each school?) how about they give out a fine instead of ignoring the issues. ZachCohen
  • Score: 0

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