|Council Leader Responds to Panorama Claims|
Cllr Nick Botterill writes letter to residents about traffic fines
Council Leader Nicholas Botterill has written a letter to residents in response to BBC's Panorama programme, being broadcast this evening, Wednesday June 12, which reveals private emails which appear to show officials congratulating each other on the number of tickets issued to motorists.
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Cllr Botterill's letter, answering what the council calls "media reports that accuse some councils of using motorists as 'cash cows' by fining drivers, who clog up bus lanes and yellow box junctions , reads as follows:
We are proud to be doing everything we can to make it as easy as possible for people to get around this borough.
We are helping stretched households by freezing parking charges this year on top of cutting council tax for the sixth year out of seven.
At the same time we are using CCTV to effectively enforce the rules of the road.
You don’t need me to tell you that we have some of the most congested roads in the country. For many of you this is your number one concern. Better enforcement of the rules reduces the number of tickets being handed out in the end because more people learn to respect the rules... and our roads are better for it.
Take the Bagley’s Lane junction, which is one of our busiest. All it takes is one driver to block the junction when the lights are red for this to cause unnecessary delays to fellow motorists. We decided to improve enforcement through the use of CCTV.
Initially there was a big increase in the number of fines being handed out but now more and more people are respecting the rules and the number of fines being handed out has come down by 25% in 12 months. Only one in 500 motorists passing through the junction receives a fine. At the same time delays to bus journey times have come down by 51%.
CCTV enforcement may not be popular with the tiny minority of people who receive fines, but it is working - and the vast majority of our residents benefit from this.
Thanks to better enforcement we are already assuming that we will receive £500,000 less in fines next year across the borough - hopefully it will be even more in subsequent years.
Cllr Nicholas Botterill