COVID Emergency restrictions on motor traffic in Corporation Street now enforced (from Nov 2021)
As part of the response to supporting the growth in cycling and walking during the early days of the pandemic, Derby City Council applied to the Dept for Transport (DfT) and were awarded funds for various works around the city. One of these works was restricting the legal users of Corporation Street (in front of the Council House) to buses, taxis and cycles during the 7am-7pm period.
The initial implementation of the scheme was done using temporary signs and there was some confusion from drivers and a general lack of compliance with the restrictions. This was reported in the Derby Telegraph in October 2020 at which the Council stated that they were aware of a significant level of non-compliance but were providing a short period for motorists to get used to the change.
A year later and there was still a significant level of non-compliance with the restrictions. Surely motorists have now got used to the change? The signage couldn’t be clearer (see photo above) but there seems to be general knowledge amongst some regular motorists that flouting the rules will not result in any penalty and hence, no intention to follow the rules.
Councillor Prosser asked the City Council meeting on 21th July 2021 about the high level of non-compliance and received the reply of “The current restriction on Corporation Street has been monitored using cameras and warning notices have been sent to drivers during targeted periods, no fines have been issued.” The answer continued with further waffle about the background of the emergency COVID travel schemes and blaming the short timescales (a year!) for not enforcing the rules.
The Council has recently consulted on making the restrictions permanent and is currently considering the responses so things may be sorted at some (distant?) future point. In the meantime, we’re in the situation of having DfT funds spent on implementing temporary measures to support cycling and walking, having lots of regular motorists learn that the restrictions are “optional” (as there is no enforcement) and, for the last year, gaining no or minimal benefit for the DfT spend to support walkers and cyclists as high levels of non-legal motor traffic use the route.
UPDATE December 2021 – The Derby Telegraph reports that the access restrictions are now being enforced (starting in November 2021). A number of people have already been fined and, as you would hope, the number of offenders is reducing as people realise they can no longer get away with ignoring the restrictions.