A TRAFFIC adjudicator has visited York to assess controversial traffic restrictions in a city-centre street, saying he wanted to see them for himself because of the number of appeals he has received.

Stephen Knapp, of the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, yesterday examined signs indicating the tougher traffic rules which now apply in Coppergate. Since July, private vehicles have been banned from using the street between 7am and 7pm.

The Press reported last month that Mr Knapp had written to a York motorist who sent him an appeal against four penalty charge notices relating to Coppergate.

The adjudicator said he had decided to come to the city and see the signs warning drivers of the restrictions before making further decisions due to the volume of challenges he has received. He has also asked City of York Council officials a series of questions about the new rules.

Before last summer – when a £75,000 CCTV enforcement system was installed – cars, motorbikes, vans and lorries were prevented from using Coppergate between 8am and 6pm, with no restrictions on Sundays.

The council said the changes were designed to clamp down on illegal use of, and parking on, the street, but opponents have claimed the £60 fines are generating income for the authority at motorists’ expense.

“I don’t disagree with changes, but these were not publicised well enough,” said David Bough, who owns Wards the Florists in Clifford Street.

“I’ve been trading here for 30 years, and I wasn’t aware of the fact the restrictions were changing after such a long time. Everybody was at least used to the old restrictions, and the way these changes have been implemented and publicised just feels wrong.”

Any findings from Mr Knapp’s visit are not expected for several weeks. The council has said all information requested by the adjudicator – which included the number of fines issued and cancelled and the criteria for deciding whether the contest an appeal – will be provided.