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How did Council get caught out in multi-million pound bus lane camera debacle? Opposition Liberal Democrats renew pressure for John Dobson Street Enquiry

August 18, 2020 9:06 PM

John Dobson St, Newcastle, bus laneThe Liberal Democrat Opposition has reacted with incredulity to Newcastle City Council's non-apology for the John Dobson Street bus lane camera debacle, and renewed their calls for an enquiry into how the Cabinet Member for Transport and Air Quality allowed the Council to be caught out.

The Opposition slammed the Labour Administration's decision to require drivers who have been incorrectly fined to apply for a refund, and to set arbitrary time limits on when applications will be accepted. They called on the Council to accept responsibility, 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

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Cllr Anita Lower, who has fought for answers from the beginning, said: "When the ruling was originally published, we highlighted key questions that need public answers. No answers have been forthcoming, so we issue them again: how much will this debacle have cost the Council by the time it is over? Where was the cash from the fines going to be spent? What will happen to the other bus lane cameras in the City, including those at the Central Station, which have never been turned on? What has been the cost of the legal advice from this ultimately failed attempt to save face?"

Cllr Nick Cott, Opposition Leader, said: "A Council that genuinely understood drivers' frustrations with these unfair penalties would proactively issue refunds, not put barriers in place to receiving them. The intention to swiftly switch the cameras back on, whilst remaining completely unrepentant, risks carelessly making the same mistakes again. An impartial enquiry and learning exercise is desperately needed."