I am writing to respond to a number of points in a recent article (Traders want CCTV removed, October 23).
With more than one million visitors to the city each day, there is enormous pressure on the whole transport infrastructure. Bad driving and inconsiderate parking also causes accidents.
While we have every sympathy for traders and their concerns, the claims that the CCTV camera on Moscow Road 'has no purpose but to collect fines and destroy businesses' is quite simply wrong.
The use of CCTV is considered an essential component of effective parking enforcement in Westminster and is used where there are known traffic problems or risks to safety. Indeed, the camera in question was installed in close proximity to Bayswater underground station due to residents' concerns over levels of crime and disorder, and to ensure motorists are not parking on yellow lines.
Contrary to claims in the article, no-one wants to see small businesses suffer and we have worked closely with commercial delivery companies over the last 12 months to make it easier to avoid a ticket.
We have subsequently increased the loading and unloading time allowance for HGVs from 20 to 40 minutes and this has seen a reduction by almost 50 per cent in the number of tickets given to these vehicles. It is also important to note that stopping on yellow lines is permitted as long as the motorist is seen to be actively loading or unloading and is not simply parked.
Furthermore, we have also introduced a number of common-sense parking measures to make life easier for motorists, one of which has seen a reduction by 40 per cent in the number of tickets issued to resident permit holders when dropping off and picking up passengers.
We are dedicated to providing a parking service that is firm, fair and excellent and I would advise any motorist who feels they have been issued a ticket incorrectly to contact us on 020 7823 4567 or see www.westminster.gov.uk/parking
Cllr Danny Chalkley Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport