New Call for Automatic York Lendal Bridge Fines Refund
12:12pm 20th November 2014
(Updated 12:42pm 20th November 2014)
There are fresh calls for an automatic refund of all Lendal Bridge fines.
York's Lib Dems have announced they will put forward a proposal to automatically refund the 56,000 drivers fined in the controversial six month trial. Currently motorists who fell foul of the restriction have until midnight on 31st December to get their money back but they need to apply online.
During September and October only 7,783 people applied for a refund, which is only around one in seven of those who were fined.
We'll find out on 11th December if drivers will get an automatic refund from York Council. The city's Lib Dem leader Keith Aspden says it's needed as part of a wider review of council policies.
“Whoever leads the council between now and May it is clear that we need to see a wholesale change of policies including repaying all Lendal Bridge fines and halting plans to close Castlegate and Yearsley Pool.
“The Lendal Bridge trial was the most high profile failure of James Alexander’s term in office. Only by repaying all the fines can we start to repair the deep reputational damage the trial has done to York.
“The Government’s Traffic Adjudicator said that the council had “no power” to issue the fines in the way it did. The council is no longer challenging this decision and therefore there can be no justification for keeping any of the money collected.
“The case for paying back all the fines has been strengthened by the secret report unearthed by my colleague Cllr Andrew Waller. This showed that the trial was not a legitimate transport project managed by council officers. It was a shambles mismanaged by the Labour Cabinet Member in which innocent motorists were caught out.
“The fine money is sitting in reserves, the council has the names and addresses of those fined and therefore it should put in place a system to automatically repay them. Other councils such as Colchester who got themselves into similar problems have done this. York should now belatedly follow suit.”
Labour Leader of City of York Council, James Alexander responded by saying:
“As I said at the last Full Council meeting, if the opposition want to repay the fines in full, then they need to accept that this funding cannot be spent on potholes as it was earmarked for and that the cost of repayment will be higher than the income held from fines due to administration costs. They will therefore need to identify which services will be cut to meet this cost”.
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