York transport bosses powerless if foreign-registered cars breach new traffic rules (From York Press)
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York transport bosses powerless if foreign-registered cars breach new traffic rules
DRIVERS of vehicles registered overseas can breach York’s controversial new traffic rules without punishment, it has emerged.
City of York Council relies on the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency’s (DVLA) records to issue fines to drivers who use Lendal Bridge or Coppergate outside permitted hours, but the DVLA does not have records of foreign-registered vehicles.
The loophole has long meant that tourists who bring their own cars to the UK on holiday can ignore many parking fines, and The Press has now been told the same is true of York’s new traffic rules.
Since August, private vehicles have been banned from using Lendal Bridge between 10.30am and 5pm, and the Coppergate traffic restrictions have recently been extended to ban private traffic between 7am and 7pm. Both restrictions are being enforced by cameras.
A council spokeswoman said: “This is a national issue and applies both ways, in that UK registered vehicles are difficult to trace when abroad as well. The registered keeper details are held by the DVLA and as such only a limited number of foreign registered vehicles will return information on the keeper.”
A DVLA spokesman said it did not routinely hold details of any foreign-registered vehicles. He said any vehicle registered overseas could legally be driven in Britain for six months in any 12-month period. If being used for longer, it must be registered with the DVLA.
Foreign drivers using cars hired in the UK will still be liable for fines, due to a standard clause in hire agreements. Earlier this month, Visit York chief executive Gillian Cruddas voiced concern about the new traffic rules, saying she was worried that visitors would return home from an enjoyable trip to York to have their happy memories soured by a traffic fine.
The city council has said the Lendal Bridge trial is not to generate revenue but to reduce traffic going over the bridge and through the city centre, “as part of a long-term vision to create a more attractive and thriving city centre for us all.”
It has said the number of signs advising of the bridge restrictions has been increased around the city and a new online travel planner has been launched.
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