John Dobson Street bus lane fines debacle - come clean, hold impartial enquiry, Liberal Democrats demand of Newcastle City Council administration

July 16, 2020 2:27 PM

John Dobson Street ANPR camerasThe Liberal Democrats Opposition has demanded that Newcastle City Council comes clean on the impact of the decision to uphold the appeal against the John Dobson bus lane fines, which at one point were netting £6,000 per day for Council coffers, and saw the cameras branded "the most lucrative in the country".

The Opposition are calling on the Council to accept responsibility, come clean on the implications of the Tribunal's ruling, and commit to implementing all lessons learnt from a thorough, impartial review of the decision making process that led to this humiliating climb down. Council Tax Payers and those incorrectly fined are entitled to answers about where their money has gone.

Cllr Anita Lower, Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, and a key early figure in the struggle for answers, said: "This long running issue has been a hot spot for chaos and confusion, and key questions remain: how much will this debacle have cost the Council by the time it is over? Where has the cash from the fines gone? What will happen to the other bus lane cameras in the City, including those at a Central Station, which have never been turned on? Will the Council reimburse fines or fight appeals?"

Cllr Gareth Kane, Opposition Transport Spokesperson, said: "It is disappointing to see that the Council wants to pass the buck on this long running saga. Learning lessons requires accepting responsibility. Cllr Ainsley says that further information will be provided in a shorter timescale than it has taken the Tribunal to find against the Council: with the track record of delays at Blue House roundabout, Killingworth Road, and other schemes, we won't hold our breath. An impartial enquiry is the way to go."