Finchley Road camera earns TfL £1million in parking fines in just one year

Cab driver Norman Stone discovered the camera that falsely fined him had issued almost �1million in

Cab driver Norman Stone discovered the camera that falsely fined him had issued almost �1million in fines in just one year. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

A CCTV camera overlooking a tiny stretch of a road in Swiss Cottage has led to motorists being fined almost £1million in penalty charges over the past year alone – and many could be due for a refund, a London cab driver has discovered.

The Transport for London (TfL) camera, which overlooks Harben Parade in Finchley Road, issued 7,426 penalty charge notices (PCNs) to motorists between April 2013 and March this year, landing drivers with a £130 fine per ticket.

The figures were provided to the Ham&High by black cab driver Norman Stone, a victim of the camera after it recorded him stopping in a loading bay for a few minutes while he was at work.

The incensed cabbie managed to do what many motorists only dream of – have his ticket overturned by an independent adjudicator.

It came after a four-month battle in which he successfully argued the loading bays were incorrectly marked and thus led him to believe he could park there for 20 minutes.

Mr Stone, from Edgware, said he believed there were many like him owed money.

He told the Ham&High: “There are thousands of residents who have been left with these charges from a stretch of road that is incorrectly marked.

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“Also, there are no prominently placed warning signs advising the use of CCTV as instructed by the Information Commissioner’s Office.

“Essentially, it’s an illegal camera and a lot of people are owed money by TfL.

“They hound the hell out of you when they want paying, but it’s so difficult to get your money back from them.

“In the end, it’s left me a day’s work out of pocket – more than the cost of the ticket – but it’s the principle that’s important.

“Friends thought I was crazy to chase it up but I didn’t want them to get away with it.

“And now I’ve been totally vindicated.”

Despite agreeing to cancel the ticket, TfL insisted its camera and loading bays complied with statutory requirements and said the adjudicator’s decision rested on a “technicality”.

TfL claimed CCTV signs were in place at “random points” along Finchley Road, but admitted to Mr Stone it did not have a record of where these were located.