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18 August 2010, 06:00
Just as some councils in our region cut down speed cameras one has just placed an order for a brand new one.
From the autumn a mobile CCTV camera will take to the roads in Bedford, in a bid to tackle “problem area” parking offences especially outside schools.
The move follows a number of injuries to pupils from schools in the borough in the past year – back in June this year the council increased patrols outside schools to make sure parents parked lawfully when dropping off or picking up their children.
Other problem areas where the camera will operate are around all loading restricting, yellow lines, and bus stops/lanes.
The CCTV camera will be mounted on to an existing Bedford Borough Council fleet vehicle, and will survey the streets on its travels.
The vehicle will work by collecting the registration numbers of vehicles parked illegally and processing this information to create Penalty Charge Notices for offenders, which will then be sent out in the post.
Councillor Charles Royden is the Portfolio Holder for Environment and Transport at Bedford Borough Council. He has been telling Heart:
“Parking outside our schools has become unacceptable and following accidents involving children, enforcement outside schools is our number one priority. Parents are placing the lives of children in danger and this cannot be allowed to continue, it is anti-social behaviour which must not be tolerated.
“The new mobile CCTV vehicle will be able to patrol the 80 schools across the urban and rural areas very effectively and offer the support which schools are asking us to provide.”
“The costs associated with operating the vehicle, the technology for this, the cost for back office processing and for advertising the scheme totals to almost £100,000 in the first year.
“We expect it to be revenue neutral – we will be giving out more tickets so therefore tickets will help to pay for the cost. As time goes along there will be less tickets issued and since the equipment would have been paid for it would be revenue neutral.”
The council has told Heart that they hope to issue around 3,000 tickets in the first year to make this scheme “revenue neutral” - which equates to 10 tickets a day.
We want to know how you feel about this. Is it right for the council to spend this money on a camera when other councils in our region are having to make cuts? Is it right for parents to be targeted this way? Fill in the form below and leave a comment.