THIS VEHICLE in Cecilia Road is one of two camera vans that slides into parking bays in Hackney to photograph motorists’ transgressions.
“The vans are sent into hotspots,” a Hackney council official tells Loving Dalston, “following resident complaints about problems caused by motorists.”
They “capture moving traffic contraventions”, acting as a deterrent to drivers and as an enforcement tool.
In Cecilia Road they film vehicles that ignore the right-turn ban. Among residents, however, the main complaint is about the noise and pollution of the vans’ engine- running for hours at a time.
The council comments that the camera equipment operates from batteries recharged by night in a council depot.
But operators have told Loving Dalston that the batteries sometimes also have to charged by running the van engine in the street. Apcoa, they said, was seeking a battery that stored more charge.
Hackney council declined to reveal how much income the vans raised for the council. That they may be connected to revenue-raising is suggested by the official’s stating: “They may also be sent to areas where the council recognises that the road network makes certain traffic offences more likely.”
Hackney council bought the vans from Ealing Borough Council and contracted their operation to Apcoa, whose parking officers patrol the borough. Apcoa, owned by Eurazeo, a French private-equity firm, also runs parking at Gatwick and Heathrow. Apcoa declined to declined to comment on its search for a longer-working battery.
David Altheer 180710
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