CCTV IS to be installed to catch on camera rule-cheating cabbies and other motorists.
Since Durham County Council moved the main night-time taxi rank on Claypath, Durham City, back in 2012, there have been complaints of drivers ignoring the new rank on the Prince Bishops shopping centre slip road and still picking up passengers where they used to, opposite Walkergate’s restaurants and bars.
Now the council is to install an Automatic Number Plate Recognition camera on a trial basis.
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It will operate between 8pm and 4am every night from Monday, March 3, and anyone caught parking illegally could be hit with a fine.
Councillor Neil Foster, the council’s cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “We need to educate motorists that they have a responsibility to drive safely and responsibly, especially in busy areas such as Claypath.
“We are hopeful that having a camera in place will serve as a reminder to people to think of others when driving in our city.”
Local county councillor David Freeman said he was pleased at the move, adding: “I would like to see the council go further and for those persistently found breaking the rules to have their taxi licence removed.”
Coun Freeman also urged the council to install cameras on North Road, where residents of nearby Crossgate say they are facing the same problem as exists on Claypath, with cabbies parking illegally where a taxi rank used to be, outside Santander.
Roger Cornwell, chair of Crossgate Community Partnership, said: “We will be watching the (Claypath) experiment with interest.
“If it works we would like to think they could install one at the bottom end of North Road or if they are sufficiently easy to move then share the camera.”
Coun Foster said: “While we are aware of issues with traffic elsewhere in the city, the situation in Claypath represents a much more significant problem with regard to road safety.”
The move could be affected by a Government consultation on abolishing the use of CCTV for parking enforcement, which closed on Friday (February 14).
Coun Freeman said he and his colleague Richard Ormerod had written to Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles telling him a ban would be wrong.