CCTV texting service as a way to report cycle lane abuse?

This article was published in 2006, in Newsletter 68.

Cambridge City Council and the police have launched a new service to enable members of the public to report crimes and anti-social behaviour by text message.

Given the amount of parking in cycle lanes, we wonder whether this would be a useful reporting mechanism. In our view, such behaviour fits within the realm of antisocial, if not dangerous, behaviour.

The Department for Transport and other bodies have confirmed that parking in mandatory cycle lanes (i.e. unbroken white line) is illegal, although unfortunately this cannot be enforced through the Local Authority Parking Enforcement regime unless there are yellow lines within the cycle lane.

You can contact the CCTV Control Room by texting 62288 and sending your message. Bear in mind that:

  • CCTV can only deal with incidents within cameras’ arcs of observation
  • Several locations have the same name – for example both Cambridge and Ely have Market Squares
  • Senders must include the name of the city or town
  • The message should contain location and type of incident e.g. ‘Market Sq, Cambridge. Cycle lane blocked’

Report antisocial and illegal parking in cycle lanes by texting 62288 with the location and description of the problem.

It remains to be seen whether the police will actually turn up and take action. Perhaps with sufficient levels of reporting, this problem will start to register on the police’s radar!

Martin Lucas-Smith