Richmond drivers wait for vote on CCTV spy car programme


Drivers are waiting anxiously for Richmond Council to vote on its controversial CCTV spy car programme next Thursday.


By Sarah Hubbard

Richmond drivers will be able to breathe a sigh of relief if Richmond Council passes a vote to axe its controversial CCTV spy car programme at a Cabinet meeting next Thursday.

Councillors will be asked to vote on recommendations in a new report published in the wake of the problematic scheme which has seen the much hated Smart Cars labelled ‘drive-by-spies’ by many in the borough.

The review marks the latest twist in the CCTV car saga which this year saw the council pay out in the region of £1m in refunds for over 18,000 wrongly issued parking tickets, after it was discovered the cars were incorrectly licensed. 

The discovery led the council to take the cars off the road pending a review, the results of which will now be debated next week.

Lord True, Richmond Council Leader, said: “These CCTV cars have been a menace to people for years and I for one will be glad to see the back of them.” 

He added: “We have set out to create a climate of fair parking; removing these unhelpful, sneaky cars would be another step closer to achieving the level of trust between the Council and residents which we aspire to.”

The cars have proved controversial from the start with drivers complaining of receiving penalty notices after just 17 seconds of stopping.

Along with the scrapping of CCTV cars, the report includes wider recommendations for how traffic wardens issue penalty notices. 

A 10 minute ‘grace’ period will be allowed for delivery vehicles illegally parked and drivers who return to their wrongly parked cars before a traffic warden has issued a ticket should be able to drive away without having a penalty served on them. 


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