Thursday, July 24, 2008

Transport for London to be 'fairer' to drivers ...

Why the change of heart?

Could well have something to do with the imminent exposure of a number of enforcement 'errors' to the public at large ... driving a greater wedge between the motoring public and the enforcement authorities.

How will they ever regain the public's trust?

Always carry with you the old market trader's proverb ... "the thief with their fingers in the till never says sorry before they're caught and they never stop until they are!"

Let's hope Mr. Craig's employer has deep pockets to repay everyone who was fined when they weren't operating fairly.

We'll be fairer to drivers, promises transport boss
London Evening Standard
David Williams, Motoring Editor

The body that enforces the rules for London's roads today pledged to be fairer to motorists in future.

The move comes after criticism of Transport for London's heavy-handed policing of red routes, the congestion charge and parking fines.

Graeme Craig, its new chief of congestion charging and traffic enforcement, said: "We have got to change our attitude."

He said TfL was switching its emphasis from enforcement through fines to compliance by ensuring drivers understood the rules.

Figures show that 144,309 drivers were fined for parking in red-route loading bays in the year to March, compared with 37,418 in the 11 months to March 2006, a rise of almost 300 per cent.

Mr Craig, 40, said: "Up to now we have been unwilling to hold up our hand where we have made mistakes.

"Now I would much rather people understood and complied with the rules than issue high numbers of penalty charge notices. Every time we have to issue a penalty charge notice we should see it as a failure."

Mr Craig has ordered a review of TfL's website to ensure parking rules are easier to follow, and the organisation is also rethinking its "signs and lines". He said the three-minute rule for using loading bays on red routes was being increased to five minutes as a "sensible first step" and there could be other changes, such as allowing delivery drivers to book bays in advance.

A rule which meant cars that contravened red-route rules were towed away away immediately has been scrapped in favour of a 30-minute wait.

Mr Craig said: "I do not want penalty charge notices to be seen as a mechanism for raising revenue. My view is we have used enforcement to improve compliance and it has been successful but I would like to think we have reached a level of maturity that says there are more effective mechanisms to achieving this."

He said TfL would focus on drivers who deliberately flouted rules rather than those who made errors. It would also have to reduce costs to compensate for lower revenue from fines. Simon Aldridge, of, which obtained the figures-said: "We are glad TfL has listened and acted."

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