Common sense on mobile CCTV vans, says MP Richard Fuller

MP Richard Fuller with Eric Pickles, secretary of state for local government.
MP Richard Fuller with Eric Pickles, secretary of state for local government.

Eric Pickles, the secretary of state for local government, is a big man so I felt bad giving him a walking tour around Bedford on a hot day last week.

It was for a good cause, though.

It was all about trying to knock some sense into the use of the mobile CCTV vans so beloved by our Liberal Democrat-controlled borough council.

I am all in favour of the vans being used as they were first intended to be used – to stop cars being parked dangerously outside schools.

In some cases, this rush to pick up children during the school run causes mayhem and can be dangerous.

Unfortunately, though, the CCTV vans have been increasingly used as a means to raise money for the council, with people being given tickets just for stopping for a few minutes at a shop to pick up some milk or at a chemists for a prescription.

On his walkabout, Eric met with shopkeepers and local business people and listened to their concerns about the impact of these vans on their customers and on their business.

Eric listened and now he has acted.

Last weekend, just a few days after his first-hand experience in Bedford, Eric had had enough and he announced an end to overzealous enforcement by CCTV vans.

From this autumn they will be restricted to enforcing parking rules on bus lanes and outside schools.

At last, a national politician who listens and acts to promote common sense.

What do you think about the way mobile CCTVvans are being used? Email your letters to, or go online at