DRIVERS are being given one last warning this week before the introduction of the new Wisbech Market Place scheme becomes official.
Vehicles parked on the Market Place this week will receive notices warning that from next week they will face a fine if they breach the new rules, which come into force on Monday.
David Oliver, Wisbech Town Council Leader, said there had been a lot of interest in the scheme with many people confused about the new rules relating to disabled Blue Badge holders.
The bays in the centre of the Market Place, which have been realigned over the past week after it became clear they were not at the right angle to enable drivers to pull in and out in the right direction, are for anyone to use including Blue Badge holders.
There will be a time limit of one hour for cars parking in these bays Drivers will have to take a ticket and put it in their vehicle. Parking is free for the hour but those breaking the time limit will face a £60 fine. Blue Badge holders will also have to abide by the one hour limit or they too will face a fine.
Extra disabled bays have been introduced along Hill Street, High Street and Market Street as well as on Market Place and these have a two-hour limit on them. Drivers overstaying will again face parking fines.
The loading bays introduced as part of the scheme, some of which have also had to be redrawn to meet access needs for emergency vehicles, will have a 15 minute limit on them.
The scheme will have a one-way system in operation with drivers entering the Market Place either via Hill Street or High Street and having to drive down the south side (99p store side) of the Market Place to access the parking bays. Cars will exit via Market Street, High Street or Church Terrace. There will be no access from Church Terrace (except for cycles).
Mr Oliver said some drivers have already been given tickets for violating the no-entry signs at the Church Terrace end of Market Place.
The north side (WH Smith side) of the Market Place will be pedestrianised with bollards in place either end to prevent vehicular access.
On Market days (Thursdays and Saturdays) the whole of the Market Place will be closed to traffic - although vehicles can still access via Hill Street and exit out of High Street on these days.
Mr Oliver said the scheme will be operated on a trial basis for 18 months during which alterations can be made where necessary. At the end of the trial the scheme will be formally adopted.
“We will be monitoring the situation to see how the scheme is operating. If there is a need for changes then we will make them, like we have with the redrawing of the parking bays, to make sure it works,” said Mr Oliver.