Big Brother Is Milking You!

Turnham Green Terrace camera branded "oppressive" by resident

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A new closed circuit camera positioned on the railway bridge outside Turnham Green Tube station by Hounslow Council has been branded "oppressive" and "unacceptable".

The camera which covers the area around the tube station and the Terrace has caught motorists and traders unawares. Wheelers, the garden centre adjacent to the tube reportedly received £700 worth of tickets before they realised where the camera was positioned. They claim that business as been hit by the new more draconian restrictions on loading and unloading and by customers not being able to pick up goods from the garden centre or the flower stall.

Hounslow's Chris Calvi-Freeman explained that the camera is only used to fine motorists who break the Highway Code. He stated that, "You may stop momentarily to pick up or set down a passenger on a single or double yellow line even when a loading restriction is in place. (You can’t stop at all on a bus stop; taxi stand, controlled crossing, zigzag or red route and you can’t drive in a bus lane during its hours of operation.) Any longer than this momentary stop, for example to load or unload goods, is an offence if there is a loading restriction in place at the time which is the case in peak hours along CHR."

He added that the camera can also be used by police and hence increases security at the station. However, many residents have argued that personal safety is being compromised as it was their custom to pick up vulnerable family members after they travelled on the tube. It is also likely to make trips to the airport less viable by tube as people with heavy luggage can no longer rely on being met at the station.

The stated aim is to try and improve the flow of traffic outside the tube station which sometimes can be impeded by cars dropping off or picking up at the station. Residents have reported getting tickets from this camera after waiting an estimated two minutes.

There appears to have been little or no publicity for the camera raising suspicions that its primary purpose is revenue raising rather than traffic management. No signs have been erected to discourage parking in the area. Although the parking bay at the station does have double yellow lines they are very eroded (see picture right) and many cars are still using the bay unaware that they are committing an offence.

Hounslow Council is believed to have set a target to repeat the zero percent rise in income tax of this year and they have budgetted for a £3 million surplus on the parking account for the current financial year. This requires a substantial increase in the number of tickets being issued and this is being partly met by new CCTV cameras in Chiswick and Brentford.

A few months previously residents started to receive fines in the post for parking in the loading bays outside the Old Cinema not aware that the area was now monitored by a CCTV camera at the junction with Turnham Green. In Brentford, locals are up in arms about a camera which is covering a set of parking bays which appear to be misleadingly signed causing people to describe it as a trap set by the Council. Click here to read related article.

October 27, 2007