Coppergate spy cameras to be switched back on?
Coppergate – Time to move on
Council officials are recommending that Number Plate Recognition cameras, used to enforce access restrictions on Coppergate, be switched back on.
They will not do so though “until signage has been improved”.
Consultation is also promised.
The Council was forced to offer refunds to thousands of motorists, fined using camera evidence. when an independent inspector ruled that the signs indicating the restriction were inadequate.
The restriction hours were changed to coincide with the introduction of the ANPR camera enforcement system.
An extra hours enforcement was added at the end of each day (and Sundays were included in the restricted hours).
While the original restricted hours (8:00am – 6:00pm) had been in force for many years, it was the extension to the hours which caused confusion.
We think that the Council would be wise to revert to the original restrictions (but including Sundays) and to rely on conventional means of enforcement.
The spy camera fiasco has left a bad taste in many mouths and reintroducing a failed system would further damage the Council’s reputation.
The York Council has now published details of where the controversial “spy camera” van has been operating.
The van has generated 473 fixed penalty notices. Of these most (249) have been paid at the £35 prompt payment rate.
222 are outstanding with 65 subject to appeals.
A day by day list of the locations visited by the camera van can be downloaded by clicking here
The total number of parking tickets issued by the York Council increased during the last (financial) year
- 2010/11 – 20,262
- 2011/12 – 16,510
- 2012/13 – 14,010
- 2013/14 – 17,232
The value of the fines income generated also increased, as did enforcement costs
- 2010/11 £581,444
- 2011/12 £465,902
- 2012/13 £414,294
- 2013/14 £485,758 (2137 outstanding tickets)
Cost of enforcement
- 2010/11 £818,977
- 2011/12 £716,113
- 2012/13 £665,207
- 2013/14 £750,750
The number of tickets successfully appealed was:
- 2010/11 – 4074
- 2011/12 – 3655
- 2012/13 – 3074
- 2013/14 – 3490
The Council has admitted that it will use data from its “free WiFi” service to track people movements around the City centre.
The admission comes in response to a Freedom of Information request which can be read by clicking here
The Council says it will not reveal the activities associated with individual phones
The issue has not been discussed publicly by any committee of the Council.
Minster FM is claiming that the parking enforcement camera van has now expanded its coverage area to include shopping streets.
Amongst them is Front Street in Acomb together with Acomb Road itself.
Traders in the sub-urban area have been having a difficult time over recent years and any suggestion that customers could pick up a £70 fine for parking would be an unwelcome development.
Free parking is one of the few advantages that small traders in Acomb have over the retail giants.
The camera car was introduced to stop poor (sometimes dangerous) parking outside primary schools in the City. Although not popular with everyone, we recognise that the initiative was a genuine attempt by the Council to address a real problem.
Local schools being monitored include Westfield and Woodthorpe
Extending the use of spy cameras to routinely issue tickets in less critical streets would be a step too far.
We are fortunate that York’s parking wardens (civil enforcement officers) do exercise discretion before issuing fixed penalty tickets. That approach needs to continue.
It appears that the Labour Council have learned little from the Lendal bridge fiasco. There, the crude use of cameras to enforce restrictions that were misunderstood by many, damaged the City’s reputation.
Labour’s inclusion, in their budget for the current year, of an additional £150,000 from spy camera generated fines confirms that they intend to continue the war against their own citizens.
NB. Respondents to our survey in west York have come out by 2:1 against the extended use of spy cameras in the City.
City of York Council is introducing a new CCTV road safety camera car to help make children safer on their journey to and from school.
The car will patrol the area immediately outside schools at pick-up and drop-off times, issuing £70 Fixed Penalty Notices to cars parked illegally – and unsafely – from next month.
The scheme is being brought in following concerns from head teachers about dangerous parking outside their schools and forms part of a wider initiative – the Parents’ Parking Pledge – which encourages parents and carers across York to pledge their support to parking safely and considerately when taking their children to and from school.