Fishergate tickets ‘should be refunded’

Fishergate tribunal adjudicator, Stephen Knapp, takes a look at the signage
Fishergate tribunal adjudicator, Stephen Knapp, takes a look at the signage

County Hall was today urged to pay back around 30,000 fines after the Fishergate bus lane scheme was officially declared unfair.

A Traffic Penalty Tribunal adjudicator ruled this afternoon that five test case appeals by drivers given tickets for using the controversial no-go lanes should be upheld because warning signs were not adequate.

And immediately the AA urged Lancashire County Council to repay all motorists caught in what the motoring organisation recently branded a traffic “trap” and today described as “not fit for purpose.”

Council chiefs will now have to decide if, as a result of the ruling, they should refund between £900,000 and £1.8m in fines.

The TPT adjudicator Stephen Knapp spent a day in the city hearing the five appeals and visiting the scene.

His ruling today, after two weeks of deliberation, was that signs for traffic approaching Fishergate from Lune Street, Chapel Street and Fox Street is “not adequate to warn motorists of a bus lane restriction that operates from 11am and 6pm.” He therefore allowed the appeals.

LCC have revealed around 30,000 tickets have been issued toi drivers caught on camera using the bus lanes since they were introduced on October 31 to help ease congestion in Fishergate.

Only around 300 of those drivers appealed, with 100 allowed unchallenged. There TPT still has around 200 outstanding.

An AA spokesman told the Post: “We welcome the decision. And we now call on Lancashire County Council to refund all the 30,000 motorists who were given tickets, not just those who appealed.

“We regard this scheme as unfit for purpose.”