City takes in £80m in parking fines

Motorists have paid Transport for London at least £80 million in parking fines in the past five years, thanks to increased use of street cameras, according to figures released by the city mayor.

The RAC has claimed that CCTV is now the most profitable method of targeting drivers who park illegally and that TfL, the local government body responsible for most London transport, has adopted "stealth" tactics in order to raise money.

Statistics published by Mayor Boris Johnson, who runs TfL, indicate that 950,000 parking tickets were issued by traffic wardens while CCTV has clocked more than a million alleged illegal parking incidents.

TfL began enforcing "red routes" in November 2004, a job once carried out by police, and oversees one of the UK's largest CCTV systems. Around a third of city traffic is watched by 700 cameras.

The RAC's Stephen Glaister said: "London's drivers are happy to follow the rules if they are fair and effective but what will alienate them is a system they regard as draconian, more about raising money than clearing the jams, and policed by stealth."

TfL claims CCTV is effective in clearing roads and says the money from fines is used to improve London's transport system.

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