Bolton Council's parking 'spy car' could be banned from the road
BOLTON’S “spy car” — which uses CCTV to catch out motorists parking illegally — could be banned from the roads, under new government proposals.
Local government secretary Eric Pickles also said councils who were making a profit from parking enforcement were “acting outside the law”.
He said: “We are worried that what is happening in local authorities is they are using parking fines as a kind of a cash cow from motorists. The legislation is very clear, you cannot do so.
"The legislation originally on CCTV was really about ensuring it was about stopping crime, not using it as a way just to pick out motorists to make that extra few bob.”
But Bolton Council denied it made a profit from parking fines and defended its use of the “spy car”.
A council spokesman said: “Any surplus we make from parking fines — either from on-street enforcement, or through the CCTV car — has to go back into traffic schemes and improving the road network, for the benefit of all council taxpayers.”
Labour councillor Nick Peel added: “Using the Smart car is sometimes the best way of enforcing the traffic regulations. Originally, we got the car to enforce outside schools.
“It was a safety issue and that is still the case. It is used in other locations where parking can be dangerous, such as double parking outside the train station.
“If a traffic warden approaches, a driver can drive off and avoid a fine.
“They can’t do that with the Smart car and so, it acts as a deterrent. It is preventative in the long run.
“As for Eric Pickles, he seems to have nothing better to do than to try to micro-manage local authorities.”
Bolton Council says it would await the outcome of the government’s consultation on the proposals before making any decisions on the future of the CCTV car.
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