Traffic wardens may soon be obsolete. Sounds like good news?

Well, think again because the increased adoption of CCTV cameras in combatting illegal parking could lead to more penalty fines being issued than ever before.

Following a succesful trial in Westminster earlier this year, around 20 cameras will monitor and automatically fine vehicle owners who park in restricted areas or obstruct other road users.

Some of central London’s busiest streets will be covered, and the hope is that congestion will be eased and that video footage will both provide hard evidence against illegal parkers and reduce the volume of challenged tickets.

They will also be used to protect the traffic wardens from assault.

Last year, the council received an income of £31.1m from issuing 715,000 parking tickets.

Westminster Council spokesman Danny Chalkley said: “It will mean fewer delays for motorists, consistent and evidence-based enforcement and a visible car crime deterrent".

"Our pilot scheme proved that CCTV is reliable and cost-effective. CCTV cameras mean more tickets will be right first time."

However, the AA Motoring Trust was critical of the scheme, labelling CCTV as “too blunt an instrument” to be used alone in the battle against illegal parking as their purpose was to catch people breaking the law rather than deterring them.