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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 June 2006, 10:26 GMT 11:26 UK
Parking police on board bendy bus
Bendy bus
Police officers are riding the bendy buses to catch offenders
Cars parked illegally on Cardiff's new bendy bus routes are being targeted by police, who are catching the offenders by travelling on the buses.

A team of officers carrying out "Operation Oblong" are hopping on and off the buses to catch motorists who cause obstructions.

The bendy buses, which are 18m (59ft) long, were introduced last month along some of the city's busiest routes.

But illegally parked cars are causing problems for drivers of the buses.

Cardiff Bus liaised with South Wales Police, who have launched a two-week operation to help catch offenders.

Insp Paul Arkontopouls said: "The new buses take up a lot more room than the old buses and Cowbridge Road is one of the main roads into the city centre.

Parking is a major issue in Cardiff and it leads to our major problem of automobile crime
Insp Paul Arkontopouls

"At points it is a fairly narrow road for the buses to operate, particularly at busy times.

"It is a busy shopping area and we've identified a number of pinch points which are causing problems for the drivers."

He said a team of four police officers and one police community support officer were travelling on the buses keeping a look-out for people causing obstructions.

"It's mainly been people parking too close to junctions or in the bus bays," said Insp Arkontopouls.

He said that so far more than a dozen tickets - on top of the usual ones issued by traffic wardens - had been given to motorists as a result of the operation.

"Parking is a major issue in Cardiff and it leads to our major problem of automobile crime," he said.

"Because of the cost of parking in the city centre, people are taking the risk of parking in inappropriate locations.

"We are going to assess the situation next week to see if there has been any improvement for the buses," he added.

Bendy buses take to city streets
24 May 06 |  South East Wales

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