Bury St Edmunds: Drivers causing danger in street
THOUSANDS of motorists who are putting pedestrians at risk by driving illegally through a Suffolk town are getting away scot-free, a councillor has warned.
Suffolk police has – in a response to a request for information – revealed just 12 drivers have been slapped with a penalty notice this year for driving illegally down St Andrew’s Street South in Bury St Edmunds.
Only public transport and delivery vehicles are allowed to use the granite sett road which is a key pedestrian area for those walking between the Arc shopping centre and Bury’s historic core.
St Edmundsbury Borough Council claims about 69,000 motorists each year are using the road illegally and is currently looking at ways of clamping down on the problem.
But yesterday it emerged how, from the start of the year until December 8, just 12 people have been served with penalty tickets by the police.
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Paul Farmer, who represents the Abbeygate ward on the council and who lodged the request for information with the police, has voiced his concerns about the figures and told how more than 99% of people were going “unpunished”.
He said: “The police have been supportive in trying to catch vehicles prohibited from the street, but something must be wrong if these figures are right. It means that out of up to 69,000 illegal vehicle movements a maximum of only 12 have been punished. That’s less than 0.02%. Worse still, 99.98% appear to be getting away with it and causing a danger to the large number of pedestrians crossing from the Arc to the town centre and back.”
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Inspector Jane Hertzog, of the Bury St Edmunds Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT), said: “The Bury Central SNT is aware of traffic issues on St Andrew’s Street South, and members of the team carry out patrols in the area to ensure vehicles are adhering to the regulations and pedestrians can safely pass between the town centre and the Arc.
“Officers use their discretion and a mixture of education and enforcement to deal with this issue.
“The drivers of any vehicles found to be in the restricted zone illegally, whether driving through or parked, will be spoken to and/or given a fixed penalty notice as appropriate.”