Today I return to the subject of covert CCTV surveillance of bus stops. Don’t
all groan; this is a new story. Firstly let’s look at what the legislation says
about Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE). “Enforcement authorities should run their
CPE operations (both on and off-street) efficiently, effectively and
economically. The purpose of penalty charges is to dissuade motorists from
breaking parking restrictions. The objective of CPE should be for 100 per cent
compliance, with no penalty charges.” Does Bexley council follow that? Of course
not, if they did they would not hide their camera cars up side streets and
the police on members of the public who help with the council’s legal
obligation of “100% compliance” by warning shoppers with a home made notice. Let’s not beat around the bush;
if Bexley council’s priority was to operate within the law they wouldnt hide CCTV cars in side streets
or attempt to have warning notices taken away. So whats the latest example of Bexley council’s
Erith Road meets Fraser Road in Erith there are several small shops with a bus stop
in front of them (one bus every 12 minutes on route 99) and a road opposite which
is on rising ground. Bexley’s gestapo wagon parks at that higher level and trains its
camera on the bus stop. In doing so it peers straight into the
bedrooms of the flats above the shops. Why does it park out of sight? To
illegally maximise revenue.
An additional problem is that the bus stop has been
extended over a pavement crossover provided for shop deliveries and access to the
flats above. Anyone stopping in front of the gates to open them is ticketed because
the back end of all but the smallest vehicles hangs a foot over the pavement
for a few seconds. The owner of the car below received a fine for doing just
that. He appealed but Bexley council wouldn’t budge. One of the occupants of the
flats is disabled, she stands no chance against Bexleys gestapo units as she
takes far too long to open the gates.
The Notomob have been active in the area and the Nisa shop owner has one of their
notices displayed in his window. He is therefore ‘guilty’ of the same
‘offence’ as Mr. Peaple who did his best to ensure compliance with CPE
legislation while Bexley council preferred flouting it.
The effect of Bexley council’s activities is devastating on local
businesses. As one shop owner in Fraser Road said to me, “customers just carry on by and go to
the big supermarkets or out of town shopping centres”. I imagine Mr. Newland
whose letter appears in the current issue of The Greenwich Mercury is one of those drivers.
This story was brought to Bonker’s attention by the Notomob team
and their assistance is gratefully acknowledged.