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Hundreds fined for using St Mary street.

Byline: By Phillip Nifield South Wales Echo

The council has raked in more than pounds 25,000 in fines from drivers breaking a traffic ban in a busy city street

A staggering 866 motorists have been fined for driving through St Mary Street, which is banned to private cars.

In the first month of enforcement in St Mary Street and High Street, 580 drivers were handed pounds 30 tickets.

South Wales Police said that 228 more motorists were caught by street cameras and 58 by officers in the month to November 16, the latest figures available.

The fines amount to pounds 25,980.

In August, Cardiff council introduced an experimental scheme banning all but buses, taxis and cyclists from the street.

The work has sparked controversy but if the plans are eventually made permanent, new, extended pavements will be provided, trees and shrubs planted and it is hoped that street cafes will be set up.

David Hughes-Lewis, of the Cardiff Retail Partnership, who runs Jonathan David jewellers in St Mary Street, said: "Motorists are still ignoring the ban, whether through ignorance or just being bloody minded.

"I can stand outside the shop and count 10 private cars going down the street. I don't know what the answer is apart from stationing officers at the top end of the street to stop drivers coming in."

Councillor Simon Wakefield, the new executive member for environment and transport, said: "There may be some action we can take to improve the road signs coming down from the Law Courts so motorists become more aware of the changes.

"I would hope that those breaking the restrictions are visitors rather than local residents given all the publicity there has been about the scheme."

Next month the council's executive consider a updated report on the experimental scheme including whether or not to re-open the bottom end of St Mary Street from the Wood Street junction. Spotted on The Street: In 20 minutes on Friday afternoon, the Echo spotted these cars flouting the ban in St Mary Street, Cardiff, at its junction with Wood Street:

3.05pm: A small van and white Transit van.

3.06pm: A red car.

3.17pm: A blue estate car and a grey mini.

3.18pm: A small black car with L plates.
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 24, 2007
Words:380
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