FILM CREW in tow, the NoToMob, a slightly irritating yet somehow endearing group that campaigns against camera cars, came to Hackney today 27 June 2012.
The “mob” — motto, “fighting revenue-driven enforcement” — popped into Dalston with a production company to make an hour-long documentary about the mobile CCTV vehicles hired from private companies by councils to catch out motorists but seen by most drivers as a cynical money-making scam — sorry — scheme.
As the portly campaigners pulled on V-for-Vendetta masks and held up signs warning motorists there was a “$camera car” in Cecilia Road E8 2EX, an elderly resident approached to ask what their point was. He explained that though he had doubts about the cost effectiveness of hiring camera cars from Apcoa rather than installing CCTV, he was puzzled why motorists so often ignored the right-turn ban at the end of his street when the camera cars were absent.
The V-mask wearer tried to argue that the ban was inadequately signposted, but the number of signs — three — voided that point. The ageing local replied that children from a primary and a secondary school crossed busy Dalston Lane at that point and were at danger if cars turned unexpectedly. Why, he asked, did drivers think they could ignore the turn ban at that point; what made drivers ignore the traffic signs at that spot, of all places in London?
Century Films reporter James Ross was, of course, delighted with the animated discussion. “You’re the first local,” he delightedly told the local, “to say you’re against these campaigners.”
The resident replied that he was against anything that encouraged people to disobey the law. There was no excuse for not obeying the signs.
Older locals may remember the original reason for the right-turn ban. The intensity of traffic in Dalston Lane in the 1980s made right turns difficult. Vehicle queues developed in Cecilia Road during morning and evening peak periods, sometimes reaching north beyond Sandringham Road. Residents asked Hackney council to ban right turns, which it did. Continual congestion in their street ended.
Loving Dalston has been told by Apcoa camera-car operators that they catch between two and seven motorists a day making illegal turns in Cecilia Road. Apcoa describes itself as a “security and parking management company operating across [sic] 17 European countries”.
Its Uxbridge, London office has previously refused to respond to a Loving Dalston request for comment. Whatever you might think of the council, it has always co-operated with this sites attempt’s to represent the public.