Could a ‘transit’ charge be answer to Warwick’s traffic problems?

A chartered engineer who once installed motorway 
control signalling systems, has come up with his own solution to Warwick’s traffic problems.

Dennis Crips, who retired in 1999, has been studying the town’s congestion for many years.

At a talk in St Nicholas church on Monday, Mr Crips outlined his ideas for a “transit charge.”

The member of the Warwick Society told his audience: “This is not the same as London’s congestion charge.

“The transit charge would only apply to drivers who travel through Warwick town centre without stopping.”

Local people would be exempt for any charge.”

Recent county surveys have shown that 76 per cent of vehicles entering the town centre simply pass right through, en-route to other destinations.

Mr Crips said: “This adds nothing to the town’s economy and creates congestion, illegal levels of air pollution and environmental damage.”

Over the past few months he has even gone as far as locating a company which might be willing to manage an Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) scheme.

And after finding an interested company, Mr Crips went on to organise a preliminary meeting between them and county council transport planners.

On Monday he told an audience of some 25 people at the church: “The idea is a simple adaptation of an existing commercial car parking system using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR).

“All traffic entering and leaving the town is continuously recorded and if the transit time is less than a certain duration then the driver may be liable for a transit charge.

“No charges would be made for vehicles registered within the CV34 area, or for emergency or public service vehicles.”

Mr Crips, who was responsible for installing motorway signalling controls at Perry Barr in Birmingham, explained: “Contractors would be willing to do this work free of charge to the local authority because they would pick up the transit charges and any fines.”

He said ANPR could also deter heavy goods vehicles which illegally exceed the 7.5 tonne weight restriction in the town.

It might also catch speeding motorists or those driving without insurance.

Charges would be pre-paid or paid electronically within 24 hours of the transit.

After that a penalty charge would become payable.

Mr Crips believes if ANPR could be adopted in the town, it would reduce the traffic burden by 20 per cent.

And a knock-on effect of that would be to improve air quality and provide the highways authority with valuable additional information about traffic flows.

Places like Old Town in Leamington might benefit.

Warwickshire County Council transport planner Roger Newham said: “We have held a meeting with the company identified by Mr Crips but at the moment there are no plans for future meetings.”




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