Kentish town road stung with 2000 parking tickets in a year

Camden Council netted more than �100,000 from the fines

Two thousand parking tickets were dished out to drivers in one street over a single year – netting the council more than �100,000.

Parking wardens stung motorists with 38 penalty charges a week in Highgate Road, Kentish Town, throughout 2010, according to figures rereleased by Camden Council under the Freedom of Information Act.

CCTV cameras were installed in the road, which runs North West from Kentish Town tube station adjacent to Hampstead Heath, in 2003.

While the devices have been instrumental in issuing 2001 parking tickets, they have only been used as evidence in criminal cases of safety issued which did not relate to drivers in 24 incidences.

Duncan Rogers, of Makepeace Avenue, Highgate, found out the figures after noticing that one of the street’s cameras, near Fortress Road, was trained on a bus lane during the day, and the box junction during the evening.

The health centre administrator said: “Those cameras are just there to fine people.

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“I can see why parking enforcement is necessary but they have taken it too far. That is what these figures show – they are focused on drivers not crime.”

Mr Rogers warned that small businesses were being driven out of Kentish Town by the CCTV cameras.

“One of the big problems I have noticed when driving through Kentish Town is it has really struggled as an area and a lot of businesses are closing down”, he said.

“Before they put the parking cameras in, my family and I used to shop in Kentish Town all the time, bit now I got to Camden where there is 20 minutes free parking during the day.”

Richard Chaumeton, of the London Motorists Action Group, said: “This is my whole objection to these cameras. They are put up primarily to help the Metropolitan Police, but as always the cameras are then used to raise income for the council.”

The revelation comes after it emerged that in nearby Grafton Road some 40,000 drivers were issued with penalties between October 2006 and March 2011, prompting Camden Council to vow to simplify the road signs which were blamed for confusing motorists.

A council spokesman said: “CCTV cameras are used for public safety as well as enforcement and when required public safety will always take precedent over enforcement. The PCNs in Highgate Road were issued between three CCTV cameras and the vast majority of these were for bus lane contraventions.

“The bus lane restrictions in this road are clearly signed.”