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Howard and Byrne Solicitors, York - Criminal Defence Specialists

York Council 'Not Obliged' to Make People Pay Lendal Bridge Fines

Lendal Bridge

12:01am 11th December 2013
(Updated 1:50pm 11th December 2013)

York Council says it is "not obliged" to make people pay fines of up to £60 for crossing Lendal Bridge but says motorists should avoid using the bridge so they don't get fined.

It comes as Minster FM has been reporting the case of a man who successfully won an appeal against his Lendal Bridge fine which he put down to it being an unsigned bus lane.

Allan Harvey, from Hull, wrote to York Council saying he was not familiar with the city and asked for photographic evidence of the sign to show he had broken the restrictions. He then went to say that if it was alleged he had broken the current signs he would appeal as the signs were not adequate to show a bus lane and that the bus lane was not enforceable. The fine was then cancelled by the city council.

Since then, several other people on the "Say No to Lendal Bridge Closure" Facebook page have also had their fines cancelled after also suggesting that the closure is invalid as it is an unmarked bus lane. When the penalty charge notices arrive they state that motorists have been caught in a bus lane.

Allan has been offering advice to other people caught on the bridge cameras, referring to a previous court case in Oxford and saying the signage issue breaks the Traffic Act 2000. He told Minster FM:

"I would like to see people that have been fined contact the council, ask them for a refund, bearing in mind they've now found the bus lane isn't enforceable and if they won't pay send them to the Small Claims Court."

Last month, the city council announced it would introduce five metre square signs and also label the bridge as "Lendal Bridge" to reduce the number of people being caught on camera but nothing was said at the time about bringing in bus lane signs.

Tony Clarke, Head of Transport at City of York Council, told Minster FM:

“The Lendal Bridge scheme is fully compliant with the DFT and all signage on and leading to Lendal Bridge are designed to the appropriate legal standards. On some occasions we have cancelled PCNs at our discretion where there has been a genuine exceptional circumstance.  However, as with any traffic enforcement matter the council is not obliged to pursue every penalty and can, at it’s discretion choose to cancel, waive or not pursue certain ones. In all cases when PCNs are issued they are valid and should be paid. However, we would advise motorists to continue to avoid using Lendal Bridge during the restricted hours so that they don’t receive a PCN.

“The purpose of the Lendal Bridge trial and consultation is to find out how this scheme affects all traffic movements around city, and how the trial affects drivers so we can learn from any issues (technical or otherwise) that may arise along the way, and we can be in the best position to decide if this scheme should be abandoned, extended or made permanent in some way.”

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