A CCTV crackdown on York’s city-centre streets could lead to £100,000 in driver fines over the next two years.
City of York Council is set to introduce a “controlled zone” covering Coppergate, Piccadilly and Stonebow, which will see cameras catch motorists who flout traffic laws, use bus lanes and ignore bus and taxi-only restrictions.
The authority’s budget proposals for 2013/14 and 2014/15, which will be debated next week, say the enforcement measures could bring in fines totalling £100,000 during this time, based on traffic surveys.
The Coppergate CCTV is due to come into operation in May or June, and the council said the system is likely to be extended to Piccadilly and Stonebow, although there are no plans to widen it to other parts of the city.
Restrictions have been in place on Coppergate since the 1960s, but the council said they have been enforced “infrequently” and an August 2011 study found more than 600 motorists illegally used it during restricted times.
From this year, the authority will have joint responsibility for enforcement action with North Yorkshire Police, and the hours when only buses, taxis and cyclists can use Coppergate are being extended.
“The plan is to introduce a controlled zone in the city centre encompassing Coppergate, Stonebow and Piccadilly,” said a council spokeswoman.
“The modelling involved [to estimate the level of fines] has been based on traffic surveys which identified the number of vehicles contravening the existing traffic restriction on Coppergate during the hours the CCTV enforcement will be in operation.
This has been projected forward to give a likely level of penalty notice-issuing, with a reduction of 80 per cent between years one and two to account for drop-off in offender rates.”
She said this drop-off figure was a “likely worst case”, as other cities had seen the number of fines fall by 50 per cent after the first year of similar CCTV enforcement schemes, and the cameras were “a more efficient tool for enforcing basic traffic restrictions already in place”.
Osbaldwick councillor Mark Warters said he would oppose any moves to extend the bus-lane enforcement system to areas such as Hull Road, saying this would lead to drivers using residential side streets instead.
Coun Ian Gillies, who leads the Conservative group, said he supported using CCTV to enforce road rules but questioned the “assumption” in the budget proposals over the likely income from fines before the measures had been introduced.