Council asks public to inform on drivers who flaunt LTN road blockages because traffic calming scheme has no enforcement cameras
- Devon County Council introduced bollards on August 3 Heavitree and Whipton
- It asked locals to submit footage to catch out any wrongdoers who ignore them
- The inititative comes as bollards have been repeatedly removed by protestors
A council has asked the public to report drivers who flout the rules of controversial new bollards put in place to reduce traffic.
Devon County Council introduced the road blockages on August 3 in areas of Heavitree and Whipton in Exeter as part of a new low-traffic neighbourhood (LTN) trial scheme.
Four ‘physical modal filters’ – planters or bollards – prevent access by all vehicles, and while four bus gates can only be used by buses, emergency vehicles and certain other exempt classes of vehicle.
The council confirmed that no cameras are in operation to catch offenders who ignore the bollards and has asked locals to submit footage as part of an initiative to catch out any wrongdoers.
It comes as the bollards have been repeatedly removed by protestors against the scheme since it was launched, with it costing around £215 to reinstate each bollard.
A council has asked the public to report drivers who flout the rules of controversial new bollards (pictured) put in place to reduce traffic
Devon County Council introduced the road blockages on August 3 in areas of Heavitree and Whipton in Exeter as part of a new low-traffic neighbourhood (LTN) trial scheme
Operation Snap is a Devon and Cornwall Police initiative where members of the public can report and submit digital footage showing potential traffic offences via a secure online form.
Anyone who submits footage to Operation Snap must be able to provide the registration number of the offending vehicle, and be prepared to sign a witness statement, with a possibility they will need to give evidence in court.
On the police’s website under the heading of what happens when they are sent footage and images, it states: ‘It will be reviewed by one of our road traffic police officers to see if the footage is of a good enough quality and if an offence is shown.
‘If the clip is of a good enough quality and an offence is clearly shown then we will consider issuing an advisory letter to the owner of the offending vehicle, inviting them to an educational course, issuing a fixed penalty notice or, where appropriate, seeking a prosecution.
‘If the footage shows a more serious offence, or we have evidence of someone committing repeat offences, then we will consider inviting them to an educational course, issuing a fixed penalty notice or, where appropriate, seeking a prosecution.
‘If the video is not of good enough quality or no offence is identified, then there will be no further action taken. All submissions are dealt with pro-actively to help reduce risk-taking and poor driving on our counties’ roads.
‘Any footage submitted through the portal can be used by us to help educate other road users and to advise on case results.’
The changes have been introduced in roads including Ladysmith Road, St Marks Avenue, Hamlin Lane, Whipton Lane and Vaughan Road.
The aim is to make residential roads in Heavitree and Whipton quieter and safer, particularly for pedestrians and cyclists.
Planters have also been targeted with graffiti, including offensive swear words which the council has had to remove.
Four ‘physical modal filters’ – planters or bollards – prevent access by all vehicles, and while four bus gates (pictured) can only be used by buses, emergency vehicles and certain other exempt classes of vehicle
The council confirmed that no cameras are in operation to catch offenders who ignore the bollards
The council said that replacement costs are funded by the Capability and Ambition Fund secured from Active Travel England.
It has not confirmed whether it will by introducing cameras at the bus gates or bollards during the trial which will last for 18 months. However, the scheme can be adapted during that time if the council thinks it is required.
A Devon County Council spokesperson said: ‘There are no cameras at the bus gates but flouting the traffic restrictions is enforceable by Devon and Cornwall Police.
‘Members of the public can submit video evidence of violations of these and other traffic regulations via Operation Snap.
‘Devon County Council will be continuously monitoring compliance with the bus gates during the trial.’
There has been a huge backlash against the road changes on social media with people reporting how it is negatively affecting lives and the environment due to long detours.
Last week, Apple Taxis – Exeter’s largest private hire company – revealed to DevonLive it is deciding whether to stop serving a large area of Exeter where controversial the road closures have been introduced.
Formal objections during the first six months of the trial, ending on February 2, can be made via a ‘Have Your Say’ page on DCC’s website or in writing by calling the council to request an information pack. Further engagement events with the community will take place next month.
The first is being held at Whipton Community Rooms on Tuesday, September 12, from 4pm to 7pm, and the second is being held on Thursday, September 14, at Heavitree Park community building from 4pm to 7pm.
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