Spy Cars hit #Southend
12th July 2011
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Anti-social motorists beware – two new CCTV-equipped parking enforcement cars have started operating in Southend.

The brand new Toyota iQ cars are going operational in response to residents‟ concerns about dangerous parking practices, particularly in the vicinity of schools.

A Cabinet report into parking enforcement which was commissioned last year identified four areas where the CCTV-equipped vehicles could play a crucial deterrent role.

Safety – by targeting vehicles parked illegally on double yellow lines, zig-zag lines outside schools, in „no waiting restriction‟ areas, bus stops, cycle ways or other locations where they adversely affect pedestrians, cyclists and other road users.

Loss of revenue – vehicles parked illegally in Council-run car parks create a loss of revenue as the spaces they occupy cannot be used by someone wishing to park legally. They also create a loss of revenue for businesses when spaces are occupied for longer than permitted because spaces dedicated for short stays and shoppers cannot be used by those wishing to make use of shops and services.

Congestion – vehicles parking illegally in loading bays and bus stops can create congestion on key routes, especially when they force buses to wait in the carriageway. This in turn affects the level of punctuality of bus services.

Improvement of the local environment – cars parking illegally on grass verges damage the highway infrastructure and cause obstruction to pedestrians.

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council‟s Executive Councillor for Public Protection, Waste and Transport, Councillor Tony Cox, welcomed the arrival of the cars.

He said: “These CCTV-equipped cars are being brought into operation specifically to target concerns raised by the borough‟s residents in relation to dangerous and anti-social parking.

“They are intended for use around schools, on cycleways, box junctions, prohibited turns and other areas where inconsiderate and irresponsible motorists create safety issues.

“By using these vehicles we hope to deter drivers from anti-social parking and allow the borough‟s carriageways to function as highways first and parking resources second.

“They will enable us to commence serving some Penalty Charge Notices by post for the first time instead of having to place them on the windscreens of vehicles in contravention.

“But this isn‟t about generating revenue for the Council‟s coffers – it‟s about sending a clear message to motorists whose behaviour has the potential to put lives in danger.”

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Claire T

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