Boots Cor­ner – more than 58,000 fines handed out

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS - Leigh BOOBYER [email protected]­

NEARLY 59,000 fines have been handed to driv­ers ig­nor­ing the traf­fic ban on Chel­tenham’s Boots Cor­ner in its first year, new data has re­vealed.

The fig­ures show how many driv­ers have been pe­nalised dur­ing the first 12-month pe­riod that Glouces­ter­shire County Coun­cil turned the cam­eras on at a sec­tion of Clarence Street, known lo­cally has Boots Cor­ner.

From Au­gust 14, 2018, to Au­gust 14 2019, 58,965 fines have been is­sued to mo­torists driv­ing through the closed town cen­tre through route.

The pi­lot clo­sure be­gan on June 28, 2018, as part of a Chel­tenham Bor­ough Coun­cil-led scheme to im­prove the town cen­tre and only ex­empt ve­hi­cles, such as buses and taxis, can pass through.

The data also showed that the county coun­cil has earned £1.69mil­lion from the fines.

The cost of the Chel­tenham Trans­port Plan, which in­cludes the pi­lot clo­sure of Boots Cor­ner, so far is £1.45mil­lion, the county coun­cil said.

The county coun­cil has pre­vi­ously com­mit­ted to us­ing any sur­plus money

from the bus lane in Clarence Street to im­prove Chel­tenham’s roads and pave­ments for pedes­tri­ans and cy­clists.

The bor­ough coun­cil tem­po­rar­ily closed Boots Cor­ner to im­prove air qual­ity, cre­ate a new pub­lic space and to re­con­nect the high street.

Of the 58,965 fines, 6,800 of them were sent out for re­peat of­fend­ers. How­ever the county coun­cil said the ma­jor­ity of them were can­celled be­cause they were ac­ci­den­tal­lyis­sued to ex­empt ve­hi­cles.

There have been 1,350 for­mal rep­re­sen­ta­tions which have re­sulted in a fine be­ing can­celled by the county coun­cil, the data found. And there have been 86 fines over­turned by the Traf­fic Penal­ties Tri­bunal, where the per­son fined does not have to pay.

Glouces­ter­shire County Coun­cil, which is re­spon­si­ble for high­ways, will make the fi­nal call on whether the trial should be set in stone.

A date of De­cem­ber 2, 2019, has been set for county coun­cil­lors on the au­thor­ity’s traf­fic reg­u­la­tion com­mit­tee to de­ter­mine the out­come.

A pe­ti­tion which called for Boots Cor­ner to be re-opened was signed by nearly 6,000 peo­ple, and it was pre­sented to Chel­tenham Bor­ough Coun­cil’s full coun­cil ear­lier this year.

MEM­BERS of Plas­tic-free Chel­tenham held a pic­nic and bake sale out­side Pittville Pump Room last week­end. The event raised money for Surfers Against Sewage. Chel­tenham MP Alex Chalk was one of the guests. Above, group found Meg Stone, and Jade Musto, of Zero Waste On Line Pic­tures: Si­mon Pizzey

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