Camera car set to carry on

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A CAMERA car used to clamp down on illegal parking is to have its trial run extended after being hailed a success.

North Tyneside Council has been using the car, equipped with automatic number plate recognition technology, to tackle problem parking outside schools and at bus stops.

Funding for the initiative was due to run out at the end of the year, but because of its impact in improving safety outside schools so far, its use will be extended for a further 12 months.

The cash to keep it on the road until December 2013 will be provided by the Department for Transport’s Schools Go Smarter programme.

The borough’s schools credit the car for a drop in illegal parking outside their gates over the last six months.

Cullercoats Primary School headteacher Gavin Storey said: “The new parking enforcement car has greatly reduced the number of cars stopping and parking on the zigzag lines outside our school, and as a result, our crossing patrol officer has an improved view of the traffic on Marden Avenue.

“The CCTV car is a visible deterrent to all drivers who choose to park inappropriately.”

Tobyn Hughes, director of customer services at Nexus, added: “Since this initiative has been introduced, bus operators have reported a significant reduction in the number of vehicles blocking access to bus stops, in particular within Monkseaton and Whitley Bay.”