Council confident bridge trial legal

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Council chiefs say they are “confident” the controversial trial closure of a bridge is within the law after a driver successfully challenged its right to issue fines for using the bridge at certain times of the day.

Restrictions have been in place since last August which means Lendal Bridge in York is closed to cars between 10.30am and 5pm every day with drivers using the crossing given a £60 fine. Further restrictions are in place in the city’s Coppergate.

Coun Keith Aspden, the leader of the Liberal Democrat group, has called for the cameras to be switched off following the ruling and claimed it was “untenable” to continue with the closure.

Kersten England, chief executive of York Council, said yesterday: “Having received independent legal advice from an expert in this field we are confident we are operating both Lendal Bridge and Coppergate schemes within the law. We also take assurances from Oxford, who contested with a similar appeal with the Traffic Penalty Tribunal and successfully won.”

Nigel Rhodes, who received a fine while working as a volunteer driver for the York Wheels charity, challenged his fine and his objection has been upheld by the Traffic Penalty Tribunal.

Adjudicator Stephen Knapp said the restrictions were not clear enough because of the type of signs used. He questioned the location of the enforcement cameras and suggested the appeal process was a “lottery”.

York Council insists the restrictions are needed to reduce congestion in the city centre.