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New Parking Enforcement For 2008

14th January 2008
By Scott McCarthy

What is the difference between Stalin's Russia and Burgess Hill? Not a lot if the front page of the 3rd January 2008 Mid Sussex Leader is to be believed. In a move reminiscent of George Orwell's novel 1984, motorists may be able to escape the traffic wardens - but they won't be able to get away from the prying eye of big brother.

West Sussex County Council is planning to install CCTV cameras in order to catch motorists who avoid the wardens on the street, which they can legally do thanks to that well thought out Traffic Management Act, which comes into force this April.

Fines will rise from £60 to £70, while lower offence fines are set to drop to £20. While on the surface this may have people honking their horns with delight, the drop in fines means more tickets will need to be handed out - or the council will be facing up to a £1m shortfall in income. Good news for motorists everywhere!

London already has a similar scheme in place for catching not just parking criminals, but also dealing with general crime. It is an easy link to make between the capital and Burgess Hill in terms of justifying this system - after all, we live in a place well known for its gang wars between the Victoria and Sheddingdean Industrial estates, terrorists plotting to bomb the Market Place Shopping Centre, vital institutions at the heart of all that is British, such as St Johns Church, the bandstand and the multi storey car park, and ultimately old women stealing cars and holding illegal burn outs up and down Junction Road while under the influence of a dangerous cocktail of Horlicks and chocolate biscuits

All of those facts obviously make a compelling case for the CCTV, along with the minor detail of the council needing to line its pockets with even more of its residents hard earned cash. And I bet they still won't sort out the St Johns Park toilets…

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