Council rakes in �20k from parking camera

The figures emerge as traders complain that the camera has driven them to financial ruin

A council could have raked in nearly �20,000 in parking fees from a CCTV camera – as traders say they are facing business ruin because of the device.

Since it was installed last December in Harrow Road, Queen’s Park, the controversial camera has led to some 353 tickets being issued. Out of this, 222 have had their fines – �80 for a less serious offence – paid, amounting to an estimated �17,760.

The figures have emerged as Westminster Council has pledged to keep the camera despite warnings from traders that customers are staying away from their shops out of fear that they will get a ticket.

A 355 signature petition calling for the camera to be taken down was also handed in to the town hall.

Beleaguered trader Saifeldin Ali, manager of Nabta Food Centre, said: “We are considering closing down because of the camera. It just isn’t possible for us to continue.

“The customers aren’t coming because of the camera. They would come to buy a pint of milk, but if they get a �65 fine they won’t come back.

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“No one from the council has even come to speak to us. It is outrageous. We would never have rented these premises if we had known what was going to happen.”

Cllr Paul Dimoldenberg (Lab: Queen’s Park) accused the council of profiting from the traders’ misfortune. He has called on the CCTV camera to be moved to the nearby Queen’s Park library, where which he claims has suffered from anti social behaviour.

He said: “The council says it is business friendly, but as far as I have seen this is not the case.

“These traders don’t want this camera, while people are complaining about persistent anti social behaviour down the road which is waking them up in the night and intimidating them. It should be moved.”

Cllr Lee Rowley, Westminster City Council’s cabinet member for parking, said: “Following concerns about this particular camera, we are considering a review of the controls at this location and will consult on the possibility of converting an area of yellow lines into paid for parking bays.

“No one wants to see small businesses suffer and we will also work with traders to understand the effects on their business which the camera may have had.”