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Dangerous to ban safety car - council

Date online: 02 July 2014

THE safety of children is more important than the rights of “inconsiderate motorists” says Oldham Council - which has slammed new government legislation to ban camera cars.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles and Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin want to ban the safety vehicles, which issue parking tickets automatically from recorded footage.

Oldham’s safety car was introduced in 2012 following a plea from school girl Casey Devine. The vehicle parks outside schools at the start and end of the day to catch parents who park inconsiderately.

The car is also used in other areas the council considers dangerous - such as the tram route in Union Street.

Since the car was introduced two years ago, 7,379 tickets have been issued. The level and severity of Oldham traffic accidents continues to fall.

Mr Pickles said: “CCTV spy cars can be seen lurking on every street raking in cash for greedy councils and breaking the rules that clearly state that fines should not be used to generate profit for town halls.”

Councillor Jean Stretton, cabinet member for town centres, culture and tourism, said: “If we are picking sides on this then Eric Pickles can side with inconsiderate motorists who park their cars illegally if he wants. Oldham Council will continue as normal every school day to punish those drivers who park illegally.”


Pickles clearly doesn't know his onions! He says that greedy councils are 'raking in cash' and using the fines to 'generate profit for town halls'. Well, that is certainly not happening in Oldham. Any money that is collected is used to pay for the parking enforcement team and the prevention of accidents, not only outside our schools but also across the borough. If they don't want the fine, they should not commit the crime. Because that's what ignoring parking restrictions is. Make our town safe!

Well it is not parked outside schools. I have seen it many a times parked round a corner, near the post office in town trying to catch drivers out.

Whilst I support the use of these cameras for getting these inconsiderate and dangerous drivers parking outside schools, I do not support it's use for carte blanche parking enforcement.

Because of the range of the camera I have seen it booking cars in Shaw centre from 200 yards away. In this case it is just being used as a money making exercise and has nothing to do with road safety.

If the car was used for the purpose of keeping children safe & ensuring parents were parking safely outside schools I would have no problem with this, however I often see this spy car parked outside Waterhead Academy at 6pm, way after the school has closed & probably happily enjoying catching a few people out who are stopping off at the near-by chippy! It would be interesting to know how much money has been generated by these cars

the only ones to blame are the council.

this car was introduced to improve safety outside schools.

but the council abused their powers and started deploying it to other areas and at times well outside school times.

they also parked it up in unsafe locations where the car actually caused a hazard to other road users and pedestrians.

a prime example was up the road from waterhead academy on main road on double yellow lines further up from the chippy at 6pm.

anyway the government are only making it illegal for councils to issue penalties using these cars unless its on critical routes, like outside schools, bus lanes and bus stops.

the actual job this car was introduced for shouldn't be affected. so child safety shouldn't be compromised.

so why councillor Stretton picking sides? sounds quite childish to me.

maybe because it just messes up their plans for extra revenue.

Pickles soaking himself in vinegar again. Apart from the fact that the people caught by the camera are actually breaking the law, when is the penny going to drop that if motorists didn't park where they shouldn't, when they shouldn't and for longer than they should, that there would be no income from the thing in the first place.

I rarely see them outside schools. One is always parked on Rochdale Road near Paul Price at 5pm for some reason. Absolutely pointless.

I read the comments attributed to Oldham council with disbelief.
Ifthe camera car was being used due to danger caused by motorists parking, why then is it not dangerous for the camera car to park on double yellow lines, loading unloading bays, and opposite legally park vehicles reducing the road to basically single lane. And it is not used to generate money, pull the other one.

Perhaps with the money that is saved by not having two riding around in this vehicle you might paint some white lines on the roads, junctions, roundabouts, I assure you that will be a fantastic safety improvement!

Funny how they try to catch motorists at 5.30 pm. Not many school kids coming out of school at that time and not a tram station in sight. Good riddance.

Why not employ traffic wardens at each school instead of these cars? This would provide employment for the unemployed in Oldham. I have seen these cars many times parked in cycle lanes on double yellows near speed cameras forcing cyclist to move out to get past.

I have absolutely no sympathy for any driver caught by this car or any other means when parking illegally. Each driver has chosen to ignore the restrictions in place, with the arrogant view that the rules don't apply to them. I'd rather see more of these cars & more enforcement. I live near a school & the standard of parking is atrocious; it also displays no consideration at all for other road users & pedestrians.

It doesn't matter what powers are given to councils, history shows that they will abuse them and always to the detriment of those they allegedly represent.
Just look at what happened when they were given powers under the anti terrorism legislation which they then used to spy on people putting the wrong rubbish in bins, whether parents were actually living in the catchment for popular schools, and dog fouling.
The powers had to be taken away from them, just like this case.
They never learn.

Do people seriously expect it to only be used half an hour in a morning and half an hour in the afternoon? You'd soon be moaning if it was sat unused for the rest of the day. Of course the council are going to use it to do other things, they'd be daft not to.

almost everyday, there is one of these parked on union st in an area clearly marked for loading/unloading only, why aren`t they reporting themselves, one rule for the council, one rule for us

I have never seen this car outside a school yet, mainly it's parked (illegally I might add) on market street in Shaw where I suspect it makes a killing.
But JMTS is correct if you don't park in the wrong place you will be fine, however illegal parking in the middle of town is not the issue the issue is a car purchased for a specific job is not being used for that purpose but as a money spinner instead.

You never see it in Glodwick. If you place it on Waterloo Street from Abbeyhills towards the town centre, the council would generate enough money in one week to clear the national debt.....

Wow......the simple fact is. This vehicle has abused its original objective. - to monitor parking outside schools. It then appeared on streets no where near schools and caused uproar. Victims have received tickets in none dangerous situations. The simple fact is, the car would still continue if they had not abused its objective. End of!

I've seen these cars overseas ,but they are not there for money grabbing councils but for public disorder ,drunks druggies and other misbehaving riff raff

Isn't Eric Pickles the guy who suggested that people could park on double yellow lines for up to 15 minutes?

As much as it pains me, I agree with JMTS. If you obey the rules of the road then you won't get fined.

It would be interesting to see the breakdown of those people caught; area, times etc.

I've seen it on Waterloo street Ax102, only once mind, but it was surprising how few vehicles were parked that day!

Why should it matter if it is not always outside schools? At the end of the day if you're parking illegally then quite rightly you should face the risk of a fine. For those people who think this is generating huge sums of money I would suggest they look at the Council accounts as car parking and enforcement is a loss making arm of the council as it subsidies free parking across the borough. Only in this town would people moan at the council for trying to reduce dangerous and illegal parking. Sad

I can honestly say I've only ever seen this car parked near the school on the next street once and that was at 7.30 in the morning when there's no-one there!
I have, however, seen it parked on Rochdale Road obstructing the view of people trying to pull out of St Philips Drive meaning that they have no choice but to inch forward out of the road to see what is coming from the left to enable them to head towards Royton!

Could the fines accrued within Shaw be used to replace the boiler at Shaw baths? Why can this vehicle park on double yellow lines whilst the driver nips in Tesco express? As said in many replies, should this driver not be setting an example?

Dead simple. Unless you have broken down there is absolutely no reason to park illegally. Park somewhere nearby and walk 50 yards.

Oh Bramble you are silly !
If it's subsidising free parking then it must be making a profit !
Why should it matter if it's not always outside schools? Because the rules say that's how it should be used. If you don't like the rules then you campaign to change them, not just ignore them and carry on like they're not there!
We cannot trust local government to act reasonable - history shows us that, they constantly fail to stay within the rules set out for them and then lose their powers as a resu

Presumably the employees are employed on a term time only basis, and the car is off the road during the school holidays? Why is the vehicle out on the road outside of school hours - surely it will be in the Council garage.

Why are people complaining about this car ? I say get another couple that could lawfully record all traffic offences in this town and get the drivers prosecuted. There's way too much law breaking in cars going around all of Oldham and the districts. Then take the money and put it back into the area, like fixing the boiler at Shaw baths.

Time that the Highway Code ruled the roads again, not the "don't-give-a-monkeys" code.

Flake - clearly not as silly as you as you quite obviously don't understand basic financial principles. By offering free parking the council does not get enough income to cover the costs of the parking service resulting in a loss. You can't make a profit when your costs exceed income. Pretty basic stuff. Made yourself look a bit silly again there!!

bramble. are they the same basic financial principles that had the council should have implemented free car parking years earlier? then the town would not have been damaged so much with the massive drop in footfall within the town?

meaning more businesses remaining in town.

if the council hadn't been greedy they would still probably have a reasonably affluent town. even after the devastating tram works.

the council benefits from visitors to the town. if theres nothing there it gets nowt.

@fedupoldhamer - not sure how you can call the council greedy for running a cost neutral parking service? They don't make money on parking. You always seem to forget the worldwide recession when you're having a pop at the council. Free parking would have done nothing to stop shops closing e.g. Woolworths, Game etc. Need to face facts that Oldham is not an affluent town but change is underway to try and attract people and business in to the tone centre


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