Cardiff Council has been left red-faced in a battle of parking enforcement camera cars with arch rival Swansea, Transport Network can reveal.
After claiming to operate Wales’ first parking enforcement camera Cardiff had to backtrack after finding that Swansea Council had not only been operating a vehicle for around 6 months previously but also it had helped issue more than 5,000 Penalty Charge Notices for illegal parking - compared to Cardiff’s zero.
Cardiff introduced its enforcement car in early June to patrol parking outside schools. The authority intended to allow a fortnight’s grace where letters would be issued to errant drivers, but is still unable to issue PCNs for infringements recorded by the car.
In a press statement last week, the council said the Vehicle Certification Agency was validating the camera car. It said: ‘As this is the first vehicle in Wales an independent adjudicator has to assess and approve the vehicle for use. This process seems to be taking a little longer than we thought.’
Swansea’s camera car however has operated since December. A spokesman told Transport Network that more than 5,000 PCNs had now been issued as a result.
He said bus operators were supportive because more than 3,000 of the parking infringements had been at bus stops. The car’s only teething problem had been the interface between the authority’s computer system and that of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, which keeps records of car ownership. When questioned about the statement a Cardiff CC spokesman responded: ‘Our certification for yellow box enforcement cameras will be the first in Wales. I hope this clears up the confusion.’
Cardiff is the first authority outside London with powers to enforce moving traffic offences. Its plans to enforce yellow box junctions have been delayed for technical reasons.