Police targeting driver using Bath Street as a short cut stopped more than 100 cars in the space of three hours.
The road is subject to traffic regulations meaning it is a no go zone for motorists and only public service vehicles such as the police and fire service are permitted to drive up the pedestrianised street between 10am and 4pm. Outside of these hours the only vehicles permitted are blue badge holders and businesses that need to unload.
On June 17 between 4.30pm and 7.45pm, police stopped 116 vehicles, issued 20 tickets and gave 90 warnings to drivers.
Formal action had not previously been taken because of inadequate signage. Inspector Nick Daines from Ilkeston Police said the sight of cars flouting the regulations had become more common. In his column this week he states that ‘access only’ did not mean ‘access only to use the cash machine’, ‘access only to pick up fast food’, or ‘access only to take a short-cut across the Market Place’.
He said: “Over 100 motorists were stopped and spoken to in only a few hours. I know that the word started spreading on social media sites shortly afterwards, and I hope that through the Advertiser the message can be reinforced.”
However, some people feel the restrictions remain unclear. Dale Utterson on Twitter, said: “What we need is clarification as to what ‘access’ means.”
David Vipond, chairman of the Ilkeston Traders Group, said: “The problem is it is not consistent if they do it for one day and then nothing, people just start using it again. They need to put barriers up at either end and the markings on the road could be better.”
One driver, who did not wish to be named, said he was driving up Bath Street after 4pm one Wednesday when he noticed police officers were ticketing people outside the former Argos. He said: “They have now put ‘no parking’ signs on Bath Street but they are behind the ‘no entry’ signs. If you go to Bath Street from Wharncliffe Road there are straight forward ‘no entry’ signs. That’s the sign they should put at each end.”
PC Simon Doar, from the Ilkeston Police, said: “People are choosing to ignore the rules concerning the prohibitions placed on this street.”
He added that the police had no choice but to take action and further checks will be carried out in the future.