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Fishergate revealed: How much Lancashire County Council are netting in fines

Posted on - 25th November, 2016 - 3:28pm | Author - | Posted in - News, Politics, Preston City Centre, Roads, Transport
New signs showing how this section of Fishergate is not for cars from 11am. Picture at 12.43pm on Monday. Pic: Tony Worrall

New signs showing how this section of Fishergate is not for cars from 11am. Picture at 12.43pm on Monday. Pic: Tony Worrall

The new Fishergate traffic rules stand to net Lancashire County Council a whopping £12 MILLION.

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Bus lanes are now in operation with cameras in Fishergate and Butler Street.

Figures released by the county council show thousands of motorists have been issued with a fine since the cameras were turned on, although the first fortnight only saw warning letters issued.

7,269 penalty notices have been issued for the Fishergate bus lane and 795 for the Butler Street junction, no right hand turn.

The county council said so far only 1,387 penalty charge notices had been paid – giving them £41,610. The £60 fine is reduced to £30 if paid within the first 14 days.

If all fines issued so far were paid and the notices continue, at the rate of nearly 4,000 a week, it gives £12,579,840 being collected, if fines were all paid at £60.

Who could have been fined

The county council decided not to issue any fines for the first fortnight but the figures give a feel for how much money the new traffic rules could be making for the county council.

Between Monday 31 October (when the new rules were introduced) and Sunday 6 November, as revealed to Blog Preston in a Freedom of Information request:
1,122 drivers broke the no right hand turn rule in Butler Street and drove into a bus lane
2,122 drivers broken the bus lane 11am to 6pm rule in Fishergate

This means 3,244 warning letters were issued, which would have been fines.

Read more: Avenham gridlocked due to new Fishergate rules

The new bus lane cameras at the end of Fishergate. £60 if you break the rules. Pic: Tony Worrall

The new bus lane cameras at the end of Fishergate. £60 if you break the rules. Pic: Tony Worrall

What do the county council say

Cabinet member for highways and transport county councillor John Fillis said: “Christmas is a key time for shops and businesses, so we’re taking action to address concerns and encourage people to visit Preston. We want people to come into the city centre and then be able to head home easily.

“Our aim is to help motorists and pedestrians to get around the city centre. We introduced these changes to stop traffic building up in certain parts of the city, at the busiest times.

“Some of the recent changes have gone well, improving the situation by helping people to get around the city centre. For example, the number of people turning right at the top of Butler Street has reduced significantly since these recent changes were brought in, and we’re hopeful that this number will reduce even further.

“Our engineers continue to monitor the traffic flow in and around the city centre, and they’re adjusting signal timings and sequencing to get the best that we can out of the network.

“We’ve also added more signs around the city, including through Avenham to help people based on where they’re going.

“Highways staff have been keeping an eye on the changes and we will continue to monitor the situation.

“We definitely don’t want to issue any £60 Penalty Charge Notices, but it’s an important way for us to enforce these changes. The aim is to help to reduce traffic build-up that has affected the city centre at the busiest times.

“During the first two weeks of these changes we chose to give warnings to drivers, rather than a £60 penalty. This gave people the chance to become familiar with the new arrangements.

“These changes have been introduced to improve traffic flow, not to raise money. Any money raised from the PCNs will be put into road safety measures.”

Read more: YOUR questions answered about new Fishergate layout

What do drivers say

Drivers have been contacting Blog Preston to say they have now been receiving fines, and are unhappy with the ‘poor signage’.

Simon wrote: “I too have received a £60 fine for travelling down the “new” and very poorly signed bus route. Visited Winkley Square on Tuesday left to go home towards Kirkham as usual – being travelling that way ever since I started driving 35 years ago and lo and behold a fixed penalty notice.

“Come on LCC you really have to do much much better in informing the motorist of the new restriction down Fishergate by having road markings – oh but that would ruin the look of the ridiculous attempt to pedestrianise Fishergate with a bus lane only with buses regularly travelling at inappropriate speeds and pedestrians who cannot discern the roadway from the pavement and vice versa.

“Like all the bloggers here state you are doing an excellent job of deterring shoppers for going to Preston. I feel very sorry for the shops who are ultimately going to loose out in the long run.”

Christian said: “Has anyone challenged the fine rather than paying it? What an utter joke and a shambles, I wouldn’t mind but from winkley square to primark it’s only a matter of 100 yards so why charge people of Preston, I’m disgusted!”

Read more: This map of Preston city centre could save you £60

James said: “My parents have contested the 3rd fine stating signage etc. is poor and the fact they have gone through three times means this is simply not clear enough. I will post back with the outcome here.

“Now I wonder, what will the business paying rent in Preston be saying in x months time after the foot fall into their premises sharply drops – AND, just on the run up to Xmas. LCC really don’t help themselves do they?”

How do you feel about the Fishergate changes? Let us know in the comments below

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