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Fine by me


Alan Bennett's letter Another fine mess (NCE 29 March) reminded me of recent speculation that some local authorities have a sustainable fines policy regarding parking penalties. This seems to be the case in north London where various boroughs maintain harsh parking restrictions but appear to enforce them carefully to maximize cash returns.

The logic is that relaxed enforcement leads to traffic chaos and brings little financial return, but zealous enforcement causes nearly all motorists to obey the rules, thereby achieving clear streets, but providing low financial returns.

A balanced middle position, by allowing a motorist the chance to evade a fine, yields a good financial return while keeping the streets reasonably clear.

Possibly, as speed control is a new field of local authority endeavour, town halls around the country will try to optimize speed camera placement with enforcement levels that maximize financial returns rather than improve road safety. Presumably, authorities are fine tuning this process at present.

George Green (M), 29 Grosvenor Road, Muswell Hill, London, N10 2DR

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