Trader attacks ‘over zealous’ approach of CCTV Smart car

� A Rainham trader has launched a campaign against Havering Council’s CCTV Smart car after an independent adjudicator threw out his parking fine.

John Kirkwood, 61 who runs the Rainham Osteopathic and Chiropodist Clinic, Upminster Road South, Rainham has created a petition, which has been signed by 600 people, opposing the “over zealous approach” of the CCTV Smart car.

He said: “They are continuing to harass residents and businesses in Havering.

“Businesses are suffering enough with the recession but the CCTV smart car will push many into closing.”

An independent adjudicator ruled in his favour on January 17 after he was fined last year for parking on a yellow line in Elm Park for one minute and 40 seconds.

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He appealed against the decision with the council because there were no signs warning drivers, but went to a independent adjudicator after it was rejected. The adjudicator ruled in his favour due to the lack of signage.

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Mr Kirkwood said; “It is a great feeling and I am hoping that my case will set a precedent for other people.”

He claims he has seen the car waiting for people to go into shops before motorists get fined.

Last year he had a confrontation with a CCTV Smart car driver after he pulled up outside his shop on white zig-zag lines so he could record a man who stopped for 60 seconds to go into the launderette.

When he complained to the council he says he was told that the CCTV car driver was wrong but he would be let off with a warning because he was new to the area.

He said: “The residents in Rainham would like to be let off with warnings but are not.”

John and other traders in Rainham are due to meet Rainham and Dagenham MP Jon Cruddas on today (Friday) to discuss the matter.

He said: “I just want the CCTV smart cars scrapped, the council expects us to regard their road traffic rules but they ignore all known guidelines.”

Cabinet member for the Environment, Councillor Barry Tebbutt said: “We do have a duty to keep the roads moving but we certainly don’t want to appear to be heavy handed.

“When mistakes are made they can be overturned at appeal and we apologise to Mr Kirkwood. “We have started work in Rainham to make a one way system that will include additional parking for the village shops and we will be using money from our Outer London Fund bid to drive more shoppers and tourists to the area.”

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