A COUNTY councillor has called for fines to be handed out to drivers who flout the new High Street car ban.

Last month, a number of interim traffic measures were introduced in the town centre and towards North Station.

As part of the plan only cyclists, taxis, buses, motorbikes, blue badge holders and goods vehicles are allowed to access the High Street.

All other vehicles are prohibited.

The changes have been made to make social distancing in the High Street easier as well as encourage walking and cycling as part of the Safer, Greener, Healthier initiative.

But Lee Scordis, who represents the town centre on the council, said the rules were being ignored.

He has called for enforcement action to be taken against anyone who ignores the ban.

“I have cycled the town centre a number of times now to get a flavour of the changes and the challenges we still face,” he said.

“The main thing I have noticed is that people are still continuing to use the High Street despite the restrictions.

“If we want to see fewer cars using the High Street and we want to achieve the aim of this project, which is to make walking and cycling safer and a more attractive alternative, then we need to enforce this ban with a camera.”


  • Council stewards tell vehicles if they can go into the high street

Mr Scordis said delivery drivers, blue badge holders and any other exempted group would need to register their registration plates with the council so they were not fined.

Mr Scordis has also called for more consultation with business on the long term plan.

He added: “I desperately want this to work.

“If we want to face the challenges of the climate emergency and congestion then we need to do a lot more work to get people changing their travel behaviour and making cycling, walking and public transport a more viable alternative. ”

A number of councillors are also calling for 20mph across the town centre.

Mr Scordis said: “Working with the three Colchester councillors for Castle ward, we all agree that the majority of roads in the town centre should be 20mph, especially on housing estates. This is certainly one positive initiative we will all push for.”

Bosses to review fines and 20mph

Robert Mitchel, Essex County Council’s deputy cabinet member for infrastructure said: “Spot enforcement of usage and parking infringements is currently being undertaken by the Police and North Essex Parking Partnership.

“If further measures are required then we will consider them.

“The measures introduced on Colchester High St have been introduced in rapid response to the Government’s instruction to provide and promote social distancing within town centres to protect the public health and support businesses.

“Consultation through the dedicated communication channels set up as part of the measures has been progressed in parallel given the tight timescales we have needed to work with.

“Essex County Council has been working closely with Colchester Council and Colchester BID on the implementation and modification of the initial measures and we have expanded the 20mph which we will keep under review for possible further expansion.”