Motorists are easy targets

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MOTORISTS are set to face even stricter enforcement under new plans revealed by Sheffield City Council.

Mobile cameras are likely to be deployed as part of council plans to free up foot patrols and to catch more motorists flouting restrictions.

The target will be to stop the abuse of bus lanes during peak times and to reduce the amount of illegal parking.

Of course, there is another target as well and that is to find new ways of generating revenue.

The city currently has some of the toughest enforcement measures, with not only the traditional foot patrols, but also bus gate cameras - some of which have been discredited because of the way they were first introduced.

This latest move is likely to see the number of tickets issued to motorists rise by around 38 a day, in addition to those already handed out.

And the income is predicted to be around £264,000 in a year.

Latest figures reveal the council already brought in £1m in 19 months from bus gate and bus lane enforcement action.

The flip side of the coin, of course, is that motorists are still flouting the laws, creating obstructions to the free flow of traffic.

So, while enforcement remains necessary, it is difficult to make a case against further action - except that motorists appear once again easy targets for a council needing to raise revenue.

Were Thatcher’s policies worth it?

THE mere mention of her name is enough to drive some to distraction.

And thanks to a Hollywood film, Margaret Thatcher is back on the news agenda in all her Iron Lady glory.

For admirers, she was the woman who transformed Britain by allowing people to buy their council homes and giving them the chance to have a stake in the companies which created the nation’s wealth.

This view is indulged by the film which, as our review says, conceives a poignant tribute.

But before we start the eulogies, let us not forget the cost of her policies.

Mrs Thatcher divided communities, rode roughshod over traditional industries and created fertile ground for the 1981 riots which brought sharply into focus the misery many felt.

Many in our region will have bitter memories of her era and when she finally went, few tears were shed.

No doubt Mrs Thatcher’s self-belief drove her on and helped her become the first woman Prime Minister. But many will say this Tory talisman was nothing but arrogant and ultimately wrong.