Police in Rhyl are hoping that the threat of three points and a fixed penalty will deter motorists from driving down the pedestrianised High Street in Rhyl.
Despite two No Entry signs and clear signage indicating the restrictions in place, some drivers have been seen travelling by car down the pedestrianised High Street.
A number of motorists have even gone as far as to open the barrier at the top of the street to gain access, when the only exceptions to the no entry rule are emergency service vehicles. Deliveries are permitted between 5pm and 10am only.
A new system means that offenders will be slapped with a £100 fixed penalty and three points on their license.
Inspector Jason Devonport said: “The enforcement process, which is underway on the High Street follows a period of education and warning to drivers and following that, enforcement was the next available tactic, in order to ensure the safety of the people using the High Street through early and late evening.”
Local police officer PC John Wickerson said that the police became aware of the problem during Operation Tricep patrols, where officers spend a designated amount of time in a certain area.
He said that motorists blatantly ignoring signs “can prove dangerous to anyone walking on the High Street”.
He continued: “The signage noting the restrictions has been in place for many years and for some time now, shoppers using the High Street have been weaving their way around vehicles as the drivers try to manoeuvre their way down the street – sometimes the wrong way.”
Disgrunted locals brand scheme ‘cash cow’
However, some unhappy residents are insisting the scheme is “entrapment-based”, with one saying drivers should be stopped before they enter the zone rather than being fined as they are leaving it.
Many motorists use the paved shopping area as a shortcut to McDonald’s. Tracy Larner said: “I followed a few cars into the High Street in Rhyl, where there was a nice collection of policemen booking all cars that go up to McDonalds.
“Why can’t the police stand outside Wetherspoons and stop the cars entering, rather than craftily positioning themselves around the corner, where it becomes fixed penalty?
“Police are meant to be about crime prevention, not entrapment based.”
Commenting on the news, Mark Lampkin, Principal Solicitor and founder and owner of Lampkin & Co Solicitors said:
“While some drivers may not welcome the new scheme, it is good news for pedestrians including children and the elderly who no longer have to worry about watching for cars on Rhyl High Street.
“All road users, including pedestrians, are protected in law to ensure their safety on our roads. Motorists and local authorities share these responsibilities, so if you were injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, get in touch to see whether we can pursue a personal injury claim on your behalf.”