A PARKING clampdown has begun in Barnsley after the council got grant funding to buy a new van which records vehicle number plates.

Barnsley Council received £43,000 for the automatic number plate recognition van to record drivers who park illegally in the borough.

The van takes a photograph of the parking offence and a £70 fine is issued - a 50 per cent discount if it is paid within 21 days.

A council spokesman said that the van will patrol all over the borough - but will focus on streets surrounding schools during term time. It will also focus on other restricted parking zones like bus stops, taxi ranks and main arterial roads. Coun Roy Miller said: "I hope people will change their behaviour voluntarily and park more considerately. Thanks to the ANPR vehicles the minority who ignore safety zone warning zigzags and such restrictions now have a much greater chance of being caught and fined.” *Picture shows Coun Roy Miller with the ANPR vehicle at work at Joseph Locke Primary School, Raley Street, Barnsley. This location has enforceable ‘School – Keep Clear’ zig-zag markings. He is pictured with students. *