A visitor from Denmark faced a £66 charge after falling foul of the Coppergate ANPR cameras.
He quickly paid the fine to gain the £30 discount but later received a supplementary bill from the hire car firm that he had used. They wanted another £30 plus £6 VAT to cover the costs of processing an enquiry about who was driving their vehicle.
The tourist explains that on a dark and wet evening in September he and his family decided to use their hire car to get from their guest house to a City centre restaurant.
They were caught on camera at 18:50pm – just 10 minutes before the restriction ends.
They did not see the signs (the new hours of operation of the restriction are in a small font) and – with some justification – feel that the invisible policeman (ANPR cameras) method of enforcement is unfair.
He suggests a rising barrier be used.
Others have argued for an amnesty for “first offenders”
Visitors see the use of ANPR cameras as a money making trap which will damage the City’s reputation.
In a separate development, The Council Leader last night accepted that the numbers of people accessing the City centre is in decline.
He was asked to publish footfall figures for the last couple of months and compare them with 12 months ago.
He hasn’t done so yet but he claimed to have put on line graphs which show City centre visitors numbers falling over an extended period of time.
Heavy handed enforcement of traffic restrictions – like the above – can only accelerate that decline.
NB. Questions on the amount that the Council has collected in fine revenue from ANPR cameras in Coppergate and Lendal Bridge were not answered at last night’s Council meeting.
The responsible Labour Councillor is being given a week to respond in writing before a Freedom of Information request is submitted.