Which Ipswich town centre streets are being pursued for tougher crackdown on vehicle use?
PUBLISHED: 05:31 08 August 2019 | UPDATED: 07:48 08 August 2019
Additional parking restrictions and traffic orders are set to be pursued to crack down on vehicles illegally driving in pedestrian zones.
A survey carried out over 11 days in Ipswich town centre this summer found 323 vehicles driving in pedestrian areas, with Westgate Street, Providence Street and the side roads to the main shopping avenues considered to be the biggest problem areas.
Ipswich Borough Council chiefs said it had been a long-running problem which a lack of enforcement meant had worsened.
The council's executive agreed to pursue traffic regulation orders with Suffolk County Council on Tuesday, and vowed to write to police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore urging more to be done.
Labour council leader David Ellesmere said that the council's parking officers could not clamp down on vehicle use in pedestrianised areas, unless those vehicles were parked.
"The police have got to enforce it and due to police cuts the police are not enforcing it," he said.
"I don't think they are likely to give this any priority anytime soon.
"We are not going to be able to get round that but one of the side effects is we are getting vehicles parking in the streets that are affected by it which we cannot enforce at the moment.
"We can ameliorate this if we can get the county council to get a traffic regulation order in place."
Additional parking restrictions would mean that council parking officers could penalise vehicles found stopping in pedestrian areas.
The council's report said goods vehicles in the town between 10.30am and 4.30pm was a particular issue.
The current town centre pedestrian areas are listed below:
Princes Street (between King Street and Cornhill)
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Tower Street (at the Tavern Street end)
St Lawrence Street
St Stephen's Lane
The order being pursued with the county council will likely ban all parking in pedestrian areas, and could curb loading and unloading between 11am and 4.30pm.
Among the other options up for debate were installing bollards and barriers, but the council opted not to pursue that as it would require an ongoing budget to maintain.
Fines issued by police are understood to go to the Home Office, whereas any financial penalties issued by the borough council could remain in the town to be invested back into the town centre.
Conservative group leader Ian Fisher said: "My concern is we have already got areas on the periphery of the pedestrianised areas where we are struggling with enforcement - I am thinking Norwich Road and Bond Street.
"Will we be diverting those resources away from there?"
Borough council officers will now work with Suffolk County Council to draw up the draft traffic orders, which will then have to go out to public consultation.
A timeline for that work has not yet been made clear.
A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council said any unique traffic regulation order submitted for consideration would need to provide sufficient details to allow organisations to work together on imposing it. She said it would need to follow the usual process, which includes public consultation.