Police issue first fines after Norwich city centre traffic shake-up
- Credit: Archant
The first fines have been issued to drivers caught flouting new road restrictions brought in following a major shake-up to Norwich city centre traffic.
After a three-week period of grace following changes, which includes general traffic being banned from St Stephens Street and Rampant Horse Street, Norfolk police have begun issuing £50 fines.
Yesterday afternoon, six fixed penalty notices were issued to drivers who had gone down St Stephens Street - which is now off limits to all but buses, taxis and cyclists.
When the changes were first introduced, bosses at Norfolk County Council, which introduced the changes, took a 'softly, softly' approach, with marshals stationed to advise drivers of the shake-up.
But Norfolk police are now taking action, with those caught committing an offence ordered to pay £50 or face being hauled before the courts.
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A police spokeswoman said: 'A large number of motorists continue to ignore these bus lane restrictions and following a three-week period of grace, we would urge drivers to familiarise themselves with the changes as officers start to enforce the law.'
The Norwich Evening News recently reported how, after a snap survey, up to 16 cars an hour were still using St Stephens despite the changes.
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The traffic shake-up is part of the £1.7m Transport for Norwich scheme, which has also seen a new bus lane installed in Grapes Hill and Chapel Field North made two-way.
Council bosses said the objective of the changes were to make the city centre more pedestrian-friendly, to encourage more shopping, and to improve punctuality and reliability of buses.
In the longer term, Norwich City Council has plans to install cameras which will provide 24-hour enforcement at the St Stephen's Street and Rampant Horse Street bus gates.
• What do you think of the changes? And are the police right to fine drivers? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.