MOTORISTS who park close to a town centre pedestrian crossing could be hit with a £100 fine and three points on their licence.

Police in Barnard Castle are targeting drivers who have started parking illegally on the white zig-zag lines at the crossing in Horsemarket.

The crossing is close to a new fast food outlet, a bakery, bookmaker and supermarket.

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With official parking space on the nearby cobbles at a premium, police believe motorists are prepared to take a chance by parking on the white lines.

Sgt Simon Rogers said an increasing number of drivers had been pulling up on the white lines and this had led to several complaints.

“Although it is viewed as a convenient place to park, drivers are selfishly putting pedestrians' safety at risk,” he said.

“Drivers are prevented from having a clear view of the road ahead and are forced to overtake other parked vehicles immediately in front of the crossing, causing a considerable safety hazard for those using it.”

Sgt Rogers said the issue had been raised at a recent Pact meeting and as a result, patrols at the crossing would continue throughout February.