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Parking enforcement car for Poole?



Dear Cllr Dion, and others.
The points I made below about concerns for a parking enforcement camera car in Poole have been perfectly illustrated by Bournemouth's camera car, and recent news item:
"The camera car was originally intended to catch motorists who park on school zigzags and bus stops but is now also used to catch people on double yellow lines where there is no loading or unloading and is also set to be used to patrol taxi ranks." (in other words, introduce it on a safety pretense, and once you've got it, use it for anything that moves).
"If you look at the freeze frame then yes it looked as though I was parked there but when you look at the video footage you can see that I don’t even brake as I go past the bus stop, I simply drove straight through it."

"It did upset me, I wasted a whole afternoon investigating it and it made me think it’s just a money-making exercise."

"I want to warn others who might have received a fine in error to always challenge it, not to just accept it and pay up."

How on earth could anyone make the mistake of issuing a parking fine to a car that did not even stop????  And this isn't a one off, about 250 fines have been cancelled without question when drivers raised concern. How many other drivers would have had their fine cancelled if they had just written to the council and said "I didn't even stop"? If I sent out large numbers of demands for money (many of which clearly should not have been sent) and only commented that "any (motorist) receiving a fine can appeal", I'd expect to be accused of attempting to obtain money under false pretense - how can the council get away with this? When are our local authorities going to stop behaving in this appalling manner?

A common sense approach to enforce parking regulation where it's needed in the interest of safety would not concern anyone, but the approach in Bournemouth seems to be, get as many fines out as possible even if the car doesn't even stop, the drivers are guilty until they prove themselves innocent, most of them will just pay up, luvely jubbly. Clearly, when used to make the most possible money, instead of where it might discourage the most antisocial and dangerous parking, means that the safety case made to introduce the enforcement is unlikely to be realised. Were any kids at risk because this car was not protecting their zigzag zone, it was somewhere else where it could make serious amounts of cash? Is Poole going to be any different? I don't think so.

It is no different to everything else that is going on with Dorset Road Safe, etc. Money, money, money, just tell the plebs it's about safety and we'll get away with it.

Has Poole been thinking more about the money Bournemouth is making with it's camera car than the number of zigzag accidents that has occurred in Poole that it wants to reduce? How many zigzag area accidents have there been and by how much does Poole think it will reduce this, and what does it base this reduction on? Why does Poole not produce proper, validated, up-front justifications for important decisions concerning safety and use of critical financial resources? 

This is exactly why when you, Cllr Dion, put your name to a scheme that can potentially make loads of money, or possibly improve safety, depending on how it is done, sadly, regardless of your intentions, your aims will be viewed with suspicion. 

Ian Belchamber



“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

Sent: Sunday, February 12, 2012 11:44 PM
Subject: Re: question for Cllr Dion

Cllr Dion,  

Another good response, many thanks. And many thanks for your information about your experience and training which does indeed look very useful for responsibilities in road safety. I wonder if the other councillors / officers have any such relevant training / qualification?

I did not mean to be offensive in my question, I wanted to be sure that when you said “we know that it’s a cost effective method of preventing serious accidents” that you really did know.

Here are my concerns:

I know for sure that the DfT and RoadSafe cannot be trusted, see these items:




I have had no reason to look at anything yet from the other organisations you mention but I am not confident they would be any better, and I’m looking at the exact issue in front of me, not generalisations.

If I inappropriately accused the TAG members of making decisions based on opinion, not proper evidence, it should be easy for you to detail why my criticism of the interpretation of accident data by the officers is incorrect. Please either:

  1. Tell me that you believe the entire 3.9 accident reduction is due to the lights and not at all due to the numerous other factors I have mentioned, in which case, please explain why the other factors could not possibly have reduced accidents, or:
  2. Agree with me that the information provided by the officers was flawed.


If 2 above, please tell me what else was going on in that meeting other than personal opinion. 

Otherwise, please agree with me that my concerns about decisions being based on the opinions of a few laypersons are justified. Please stop avoiding this point. 

Although I don’t need evidence to understand the benefit of well placed zigzags for safety outside schools, because this is largely consistent with common sense, like speed limits or anything else, there are places where they work and places where they don’t.

For example, I’m not sure they really help here, where I sometimes pick my kids up:



  1. The main busy area is up by the school, not here
  2. It’s a middle school, the children are starting to be traffic aware
  3. There’s no reason to cross the road here
  4. the main area of conflict is entering and leaving the car park, any waiting space outside will reduce this
  5. Cars waiting in this area cause traffic to go much slower on the main road as it’s virtually one way


Here’s where I used to pick my kids up:


anyone parking on these zigzags needs their head testing as:

  1. As there’s parking on the other side of the road, it would completely block the road
  2. It’s a primary school
  3. It’s right on the road.

Naturally, you get many more people parking on the zigzags at the first location than the second, as, right or wrong, many people do what they believe is reasonable, and a lot of the time, they are not too far wrong. I’d be all for enforcement at the second and it would quite likely discourage parking which is actually dangerous and properly antisocial.

There may therefore be good (but unpopular) intention in this kind of enforcement but I’m afraid in reality the camera will visit the first in preference because it will make MORE MONEY, as this seems to be the way the Poole / Dorset authorities operate, as we have seen with other forms of enforcement.

My conclusion is therefore that such enforcement COULD reduce the possibility of serous accidents, but in the way Poole is likely to use it, (rather like the speed on green camera for example) it is very unlikely to.

Therefore, when you speak up for such enforcements on safety grounds,, you need to try to regain the trust that has been destroyed in the past and reassure the public that the enforcements will be used intelligently, reasonably and where there are real safety issues, not just to make money, and having stated this, you need to make sure it happens.


Regards, Ian Belchamber./font>

Sent: Sunday, February 12, 2012 7:39 PM
Subject: RE: question for Cllr Dion

Mr Belchamber.  I fear that if I dug up all the publications from the Department of Transport, the ‘Make Roads Safe’ Organisation, the Roadsafe and Roadsafety GB not to mention the Office for National Statistics all who have countless pages of evidence that have led, over many years to the introduction of zigzags outside schools to make a clear no parking zone because of the number of children hurt by crossing the road from in between parked cars, it would not be enough for you.   

When I did my Masters degree in public health, I spent years on a research study using qualitative (grounded theory) methodology.  I had to find the best methodology for my study, so I understand the importance of evidence based information.  I say that because I realise you are trying to bring out that I am making decisions based on anecdotal evidence and personal opinion, which is what you so inappropriately accused all the TAG members of, but I can assure you I am not.  I am more than satisfied that there is sufficient evidence - quantitative, (which should be much more satisfactory to an engineer), to warrant the use of heightened surveillance to enforce the no parking restrictions.  

The reason a camera car is more effective than a person on foot is that often people see the enforcement officer, on foot, way before they actually can get to the premises and the habitual offenders just drive off, to come back and do the same the next day.  A car can get to the premises more quickly and sometimes not as obviously.  Unfortunately the small minority of people who continue to flout the parking restrictions only seem to pay attention when they get stung with a fine.

I have no doubt we will not please everyone, but I do believe that over 20,000 schools that have these zig zags in place cannot all be wrong.  Children are seriously injured from crossing the road between cars.  It is a fact.  Schools need a car-free zone by the entrance to improve safety and that zone, unfortunately, has to be regulated. 


Cllr Xena Dion (Penn Hill Ward)p>

Portfolio Holder Environment and Consumer Protection Services

and Local Economy (inc. Transportation and Tourism)


(Ha(Have you signed up for your green bin yet?)

From:pan> Ian Belchamber [mailto:ian@belchamber.net]
Sent: 12 February 2012 18:10
To: Xe Xena Dion (Cllr)
Subject: question for Cllr Dion


“We have seen the camera car working really well in other areas and know that it’s a cost effective method of preventing serious accidents and solving the problem of dangerous parking,” said Cllr Xena Dion, 

Cllr Dion, please could you quantify how many serious accidents have been prevented in other areas, and what data and methodology has been used to arrive at this conclusion?p>


Thanks, Ian Belchamberp>