5100 penalty charge notices (costing £117,000) to be refunded by Newcastle City Council
October 15, 2016 12:20 PM
Following demands from Newcastle Liberal Democrat Councillors, 5,100 Penalty Charge Notices during hours of darkness between February 23 and April 22 when bus gate signs were visible but not lit up are to be refunded (if you're one of them, you need do nothing)
Opposition Liberal Democrat transport spokesman Cllr Greg Stone said: "Newcastle City Council were warned by the Liberal Democrat Opposition of the need to ensure that bus lane camera fines were being properly implemented in accordance with the law, including clear signage, and we particularly cited the situation in York where more than £1.8m had to be repaid to 55,000 penalised drivers. We were told that this had been taken into account in introducing the scheme.
"An adjudication from the Traffic Penalty Tribunal sets an important precedent which could now see thousands of motorists challenge tickets received at John Dobson Street. It could see the council have to pay back hundreds of thousands of pounds.
"The bus lane cameras have been widely criticised since their introduction. Whilst they may be legitimate to prevent vehicles misusing the bus lanes, many people perceive that they have been designed to trap unwary motorists to raise revenue. This ruling bears out the view that the Ridley Place / John Dobson Street section was not adequately signed and failed to suitably inform motorists unfamiliar with the situation.
"We call upon the council to confirm that it will take urgent steps to address this issue and to confirm that it will automatically refund wrongly fined drivers. We believe that those responsible for this error should be held accountable, and call upon the relevant cabinet member, Cllr Bell, to issue a public apology for the council's maladministration on this issue. We also call upon the council to review the legality of the signage at other bus lane camera locations in the city."