Lendal Bridge fines in doubt after York driver’s challenge

Lendal Bridge in York.
Lendal Bridge in York.
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YORK Council is taking legal advice after a driver successfully challenged its right to issue fines for using Lendal Bridge at certain times of the day.

Restrictions have been in place since last August which mean the bridge is closed to cars between 10.30am and 5pm every day with drivers using the crossing given a £60 fine.

However, 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 to drivers 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 and encourage more people to use buses by make services more reliable.

But the scheme has proved hugely controversial with critics questioning the thousands of pounds raised by the authority in fines.

York Outer MP Julian Sturdy said: “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.”

“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.”

The council will continue to apply the restrictions and issue penalty notices despite the judgement.

A council spokeswoman said: “City of York Council is seeking independent legal advice in relation to the adjudicator’s decision on this specific appeal.

“The restrictions remain in place on Lendal Bridge and Coppergate and we would advise drivers to continue to adhere to these.”