Jul 1 2010 By Jessica Thompson
CCTV cameras used to snare hundreds of motorists across the borough have been suspended by Hounslow Council.
The decision follows an outcry by residents, who were furious that they had been fined for parking offences by cameras that were originally installed to combat anti-social behaviour.
The authority has stopped their use in five Feltham locations, as well as another five across the borough, in the run-up to a council meeting on July 21 to discuss whether residents were properly informed that the cameras would be used to enforce parking restrictions from March this year.
A number of motorists have had fines refunded following appeals to the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service, which last week warned the council to 'consider its position in the case of any outstanding PCNs (penalty charge notices)'.
Disabled badge-holder Kevin Adcock, 43, of Pope Close, got back fines he paid for parking on the pavement in Gould Road. He argued that there was not enough warning to residents that the rules had changed and won his appeal.
Mr Adcock received a letter last week, informing him of the suspension of the cameras.
He said: "They should not be using the cameras for issuing parking fines because that wasn't what they were designed for. They were designed as a deterrent to theft and anti-social behaviour."
A spokesman for Hounslow Council said: "CCTV enforcement has been suspended at five sites that went live in March while a report is undertaken to make sure the measures taken to warn the public were sufficient.
"The issue is that the PCNs have been issued for pavement parking at the junctions or bus stops and there is a perception among some drivers that because they have parked that way for some time, it is all right.
"The Highway Code prohibits parking on pavements and advises drivers to give at least 10 metres clearance at junctions for line of site for other road users."
On June 3, PAT AS adjudicator Edward Houghton ruled that the council must repeal the ines issued to Mr Adcock.
An official letter from Mr Houghton admitted that while the parking was unlawful, the car had been repeatedly observed 'in contravention with no enforcement taken'.
The statement adds: "The council should consider its position in the case of any outstanding PCNs [penalty charge notices] at this location." waMr Adcock believes the ruling could pave the y for the refunding of hundreds of tickets at the location. He said: "My message is do not be afraid to take the council on."
A council spokesman said: "Parking on the pavement is illegal unless signs permit it. We are getting increasing numbers of calls from wheelchair and buggy users and parents complaining about the lack of space caused by cars blocking the way, which is why we increased enforcement in the area.
"There is a car park only a very short distance from Gould Road for people who want to use the local shops."
Where cameras are suspended - page 2