Motorists generally do not welcome increased traffic restrictions and fines around in their local area, especially as many claim that running a vehicle is already expensive enough due to the cost of petrol, car insurance, road tax and MOTs. Therefore residents of Newcastle will be unhappy to hear that the local council is planning on introducing stricter motoring rules in the area, which will include penalising those that are caught performing illegal U-turns, ignoring no-entry signs, or driving in bus lanes.
It has been reported that the local authority are introducing these measures in order to create money for their budget, and it is expected that the tougher rules will bring in around two million pounds a year. Not only are the council targeting motorists that don’t obey certain driving regulations, but are also increasing parking meter costs, bringing in new evening parking charges for on and off-street parking, and withdrawing free parking permits for churches. Discussing the plans, Newcastle councillor Henri Murison said: “As part of our thought-out budget proposals, it was fair to review fees and charges, and this is done regularly by all the other privately run car park operators in what is a market environment.”
“That is what we have done, and when motorists see the facts, not empty rhetoric, I am confident they will believe what we are doing is fair. We have also managed to keep any increases on on-street charges to less than 10p. Most importantly, thanks to continued support from NE1, the city’s Business Development Company, we will retain Alive after Five, with free parking after 5pm not available from other councils today.”
However, the RAC have criticised the plans, with Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation saying: “Councils such as Newcastle shouldn’t be fooled into thinking a good traffic restriction is one which raises lots of money from penalties. On the contrary, this means it isn’t working. The best rules and regulations are those which drivers accept as fair and hence stick to, thus costing them not a penny.”