Spy cameras to be installed to combat parking chaos around Bedford schools

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Special ‘spy’ cameras are set to be installed outside dozens of schools in the borough in a bid to end parking chaos.

Parents who park dangerously or pull up on zig zag lines will be captured on film and find themselves served with a hefty £70 fine in the post.

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The move, which is welcomed by headteachers, will cost the council £650,000. But this outlay will be offset by the fines revenue the council confidently expects to come pouring in.

Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “The safety of children and all road users outside schools is an absolute priority for us. We simply have no tolerance for selfish parking which endangers children and young people.”

He added: “They deserve to be able to travel to and from school safely. And their parents deserve to have peace of mind that there is a permanent deterrent in place, and that those who would jeopardise their children’s safety in this way will face enforcement action.

“We want the message to go out loud and clear: do not park unlawfully outside schools in Bedford Borough, or you will be fined.”

The purchase and installion of fixed parking enforcement cameras was due to be approved by Mayor Dave’s Executive group of councillors yesterday (Wednesday) evening.

Already there are cameras in place outside a dozen local schools. The new investment will mean 38 more schools will benefit.

Several years ago the council operated a parking enforcement camera car which was targeted mostly at schools at pick-up and drop off times.

But new rules introduced by the government in 2014 restricted their use so tightly that use of the car was no longer viable, said Mayor Dave.

“However, head teachers and parents want enforcement action outside schools to help children stay safe, hence this major programme of camera installations at schools across the borough,” he said.

The £650,000 will be met from in-year savings in delivering this year’s budget with plans to install the cameras over the next few months, before March 2019.