Figures from a Freedom of Information request show the number of fines issued to drivers for parking and driving violations in Greenwich borough doubled after CCTV enforcement was switched on in September 2020.
The latest figures for November 2020 show 12,840 fines issued compared to 6384 in November 2019. Fines are £130 or £80 if paid within 14 days.
The increase follows almost no fines given issued lockdown last spring. It appears the majority of fines are now CCTV as traffic warden numbers have declined from the same time last year – despite what Greenwich Council’s cabinet were told in a December 2020 report.
CCTV powers enabling fines again poor driving – or moving traffic violations – including parking outside schools on ‘Keep Clear’ markings and driving through no entry signs have been available since 2004 for London councils though Greenwich were one of the last to authorise their use. They went live in August 2020 though a grace period meant fines were issued from 8th September 2020.
CCTV cannot be used for enforcement against the vast majority of illegal parking except on bus lanes and outside schools on ‘keep clear’ markings. The majority of parking enforcement must be carried out by staff on the ground. Greenwich also do not use cameras for Low Traffic Neighbourhood enforcement.
October 2020 saw 11404 fines compared to 5674 the previous year. All income is ringfenced to transport and thus cannot bolster other areas of an authority’s budget. Transport improvements can include overall street improvement work to encourage walking. Many London councils have previously added it to annual TfL funds to improve local areas.
We have to see if this increase in income – potentially totalling hundreds of thousands a month – will see an improvement in public spaces for pedestrians. Let’s just hope it’s not another bollard frenzy. Additional funds are little use if working practices from the 1980s persist in council departments and senior staff.
There’s plenty of genuinely positive schemes that could be enacted. Greenwich are currently last out of London Labour councils in using funds for street and transport improvements derived from parking and developer income.
The full list of camera locations can be seen below:
The most controversial spot appears to be a lay-by near the o2 in North Greenwich which has been used as a drop off point for many people using the tube.
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