Drivers who were penalised for crossing Lendal Bridge in York during a trial ban can begin claiming back their fines from Monday.
York Council agreed to voluntarily repay fines after it faced criticism over a trial scheme in the city restricting drivers using the landmark bridge.
It has said the trial aimed to tackle the city’s congestion problems. But the council came under fire over the scheme to penalise private drivers using the bridge between 10.30am and 5pm with a £60 fine, which intensified after a motorist successfully challenged his penalty notice in a move which suggested the council might not have the power to issue fines.
Opposition councillors have unsuccessfully sought to get the council to automatically refund the estimated 50,000 people who were hit.
Coun Ann Reid, Lib Dem Spokesperson for Transport, earlier said: “We believe very strongly that all the fines levied during the botched trail should be repaid without the onus being on the motorist to apply for a refund. The majority of them don’t live in York and, indeed, a significant minority would have been foreign visitors.”
From 9am on Monday, people will be able to make a claim. An application must be made before midnight on December 31.
All applications must be made online via www.york.gov.uk/lendalbridge
Coun David Levene, the council’s cabinet member for transport said yesterday: “I’m pleased the system to apply for a repayment of Lendal Bridge fines will be in place from next week.”
The councillor said the time had now come to ....”draw a line under the issue, move on, and engage with the independently-led congestion commission to decide how we deal with York’s transport challenges moving forward.”
Council chiefs in the city say people need to apply for a refund so the authority can cross reference details and make the process “faster, manageable and auditable.”