REACTION: York Council Told Re-Open Lendal Bridge and Pay Back Coppergate and Lendal Fines
1:46pm 1st April 2014
(Updated 3:38pm 1st April 2014)
Opposition councillors say York Council should re-open Lendal Bridge and re-pay fines issued to drivers who broke the restrictions on the bridge and on Coppergate.
Minster FM exclusively revealed the Traffic Adjudicator said cameras could not be used to issue fines as neither road could be counted as a bus lane due to the 14 exemptions for other vehicles on Coppergate and the 21 exemptions for other vehicles on Lendal Bridge.
Now, the council is saying it will seek legal advice over the ruling.Darren Richardson, Director at City of York Council, said:
“City of York Council is seeking independent legal advice in relation to the adjudicator’s decision on this specific appeal. We will also be speaking to the Department for Transport, who approved signage used for both schemes.
“The restrictions will remain in place on Lendal Bridge and Coppergate and we would urge drivers to continue to adhere to these.
“We know that a number of councils nationally will be concerned about this decision and the implications this may have in their area.”
Darren Richardson from York Council gave his first interview since the Minster FM exclusive to our News Editor Kevin Larkin, beginning with reading the above statement:
Leader of the York Conservatives, Chris Steward told Minster FM:
"The bridge should be opened, there are obviously serious issues about fines that have been paid by people and whether those should be reimbursed. The council's going to have all sorts of challenges, it really is an absolute mess."
Liberal Democrat Transport spokesman, Ann Reid told us:
"I would have thought the council will have to refund all the fines that have been made. Certainly, if I was somebody that had been fined, I would be asking for my money back. I think they would be extremely foolish to leave the cameras on for any longer than is necessary because, what's the point?"
Independent councillor Mark Warters added his voice saying:
"It's a major, major foul up. I'm sure that those fines now will be challengable. The Lendal Bridge trial's finished so it should have opened up immediately after that trial finished".
York Outer MP Julian Sturdy has called the ruling a "victory for common sense", he's released a statement saying:
"The closure of Lendal Bridge has been a dog’s breakfast from start to finish. Not only has it caused horrendous traffic problems throughout the city, it now appears that the Council have been wrongly demanding payment for fines that should never have been issued in the first place.”
“The Council has failed to oversee the trialed closure properly and I think the very least the Council Leader should do is apologise for trouble he has caused local residents and businesses.
“Hopefully the Council will now see sense, waive the outstanding fines that should never have been handed out, and re-open Lendal Bridge as quickly as possible.”
Susie Cawood from the York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, has restated business opposition to the Lendal Bridge restrictions and called for the bridge to re-open to cars immediately.
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