A MOTORIST was given a “ludicrous” parking ticket by Southend Council’s spy car for stopping to let children cross at a zebra crossing.

Graham Wilkinson got the £35 fine after waiting briefly at the crossing in Caulfield Road, Shoebury, so children could cross into Shoebury High School.

While stopped, Mr Wilkinson’s son Joel, 12, got out of the van so he could get to school.

The spy car snapped this moment and said the vehicle was stopped for seven seconds in total – which Mr Wilkinson points out was because children were on the crossing.

Mr Wilkinson, of Jena Close, Shoebury, said: “I’ve been getting quite worked up about it.

“It’s a ludicrous decision. It’s not like I have parked up and got out. I even spoke to a police officer to see if I was breaking some road traffic law, but they said I wasn’t.

“You can clearly see the kids walking across. I couldn’t have driven on, even if I’d have wanted to, and I wasn’t holding anyone up.”

Mr Wilkinson recieved the fixed penalty notice from the council on Friday, March 7.

The notice ordered him pay £35 within the next 21 days, or face a £70 fine after this date.

The Echo reported in January how the two spy cars raked in almost half a million pounds in their first two years of operation.

However, the scheme has come under fire from numerous people caught by the cars.

Bill Cook, of Cook’s Coaches, Westcliff, says fines are making jobs at Chase High School and Lancaster School, in Prittlewell Chase, uneconomical.


Schools have resorted to paying fines on behalf of firms just to keep the coaches coming.

Mr Cook said: “I have said before there needs to be a little common sense coming into these decisions. It is as simple as that, but those in power cannot see it.

It is just a money game.”

Zulfiqar Ali, Southend Council’s strategic highways and traffic manager, said: “There is an appeals process if people wish to challenge a penalty charge notice they have been issued with.

“We look at each case on its ownmerit, based on the evidence and representations made.”