Shortcut users face being hit with fine

Coun Peter Goldsworthy at the gate at the entrance to the pedestrianised area on Market Street.

Coun Peter Goldsworthy at the gate at the entrance to the pedestrianised area on Market Street.

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Motorists who flout traffic restrictions along pedestrian areas in Chorley town centre face being fined.

After complaints from shoppers, Chorley Council and Lancashire Constabulary are cracking down on drivers using the pedestrianised section of Market Street as a shortcut. During a three-hour period, 62 vehicles were spotted breaching the one-way system and no entry signs or using the road as a cut through.

Council leader Peter Goldsworthy said: “The number of cars and vans driving through the pedestrian area, particularly along Market Street, is getting ridiculous and we are going to take a much firmer stance on this.

“It has been a problem for some time and when we raise awareness the situation improves, but the facts are that people are flouting the rules all the time at the moment.

“The pedestrian area is there to make it safe for shoppers without having to worry about watching for cars.

“So the people breaking the law are increasing the risk of accidents.

“All the motorists spotted flouting the rules when we monitored the use of the pedestrianised area will receive a warning letter explaining the contravention, but in future people will be issued with fines.”

The entrances to the pedestrianised area along Market Street and Chapel Street are controlled by gates, but they are open at certain times for delivery vehicles and this is when the problem is arising.

The gates are locked overnight and opened at 7am each morning. They are then closed at 11am (10am Saturdays) and re-open at 4pm, before being locked overnight again at 7pm.

Access within the gated area at all times is for delivery or collection of goods only, so no vehicle should be passing through without stopping.

“We have created a chicane system with the planters to slow down the vehicles that are allowed to use the pedestrian zone for deliveries,” said Coun Goldsworthy.

Lancashire Police will be stepping up patrols in the area and issuing penalty notices to flouters.

Insp Dave Robinson, of Chorley Police, said: “Whether people are using Market Street as a shortcut, dropping someone off or stopping at a cash machine it risks causing an accident and is not acceptable.”