What with fuel prices sky high, car tax increasing year-on-year and parking charges at a premium, drivers could be forgiven for thinking the world is against them.

And the news we bring today is hardly likely to change their mind.

Motorists have been banned from driving along Oxford's historic High Street during the day since 1999.

But in the short time since camera enforcement began, Oxfordshire County Council has made at least £591,000 by issuing almost 20,000 tickets to those flouting the ban.

Those caught face a £60 fine, reduced to £30 if paid quickly, so the real figure could be more than £1m.

Fair enough? Drivers who have been caught, but were unaware of the restrictions, do not seem to think so.

Many appear to be from outside the city, unaware of the restrictions until it was too late.

Some have called for more and larger warning signs.

The irony is that the county council has embarked on a de-cluttering exercise, taking away many signs along High Street in an effort to tidy it up.

A call for larger, clearer signs to warn motorists is likely to fall on deaf ears.

And, to rub salt into the wounds of those caught, many county councillors need not worry about falling foul of the restrictions, because they have plum parking spaces at County Hall, bang in the middle of the city.

If our politicians want to preserve the sanctity of Oxford, rid the city of cars and let us breathe cleaner air in the process, they need to make tougher and bolder decisions.

Take a look along Botley Road, Abingdon Road, Woodstock Road and Banbury Road on most days at peak times and what do you see?

The congestion charge has been a huge success in London and Durham. How long before it appears in Oxford?