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Fishergate bus lane cameras will be OFF as refunds given

Posted on - 10th March, 2017 - 5:49pm | 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
A motorist enters the restricted Fishergate area Pic: Tony Worrall

Preston’s controversial Fishergate bus lane is to stay in place but the cameras are being turned OFF.

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Lancashire County Council is facing the prospect of refunding thousands of drivers their penalty tickets after a parking inspector found they had deployed ‘inadequate signage’.

Six appeals were upheld on Thursday (9 March) and the county council has now announced two major changes.

The first is that anyone receiving a penalty notice for the first time, so if you drove down the bus lane in say January and received one ticket, you can apply for a refund. The county council says this is a ‘gesture of goodwill’.

The second is no camera enforcement is to take place from NOW until mid-April when the scheme is being formally reviewed.

Read more: Now Cannon Street’s getting the Fishergate look

Cabinet member for highways and transport county councillor John Fillis said: “The quickest way to contact us is through our website, stating the circumstance in which people received the penalty. If that is in keeping with the adjudicator’s decision, based on the signing, then we will give people their money back.

“These measures will stay in place while we review consultation responses and look into measures such as extra signing, following the adjudicator’s findings. We won’t use cameras to enforce this bus lane while we review it and look into options.

“This means that unauthorised vehicles are still restricted from using this section between 11am and 6pm. And we ask people to respect this.

“Our aim was always to improve the traffic flow. We didn’t want to issue any Penalty Charge Notices, but they’re an important way to enforce these changes.

“We’re clear that these changes have significantly improved the city centre in many ways. Fishergate has become a more pleasant place for pedestrians and it has helped to reduce traffic building up in parts of the city centre at the busiest times. Bus operators have told us that they’re very happy with these changes.

“This has also helped air quality, thanks to a reduction in queuing vehicles.

“There has been a reported increase in footfall, and we’ve seen new shops and businesses coming into the city centre.”

Highways workers in hi-vis jackets direct traffic in Fishergate Pic: Paul Melling
Highways workers in hi-vis jackets direct traffic in Fishergate Pic: Paul Melling

Read more: Fishergate features in new city centre survey

Independent adjudicator for the parking appeals Stephen Knapp said after reviewing the appeals said: “I am not satisfied that the signing taken as a whole but particularly at the point where the bus street restriction begins is adequate.”

How to apply for a refund

There’s now a dedicated section on the county council’s website where you can challenge a ticket received for driving down the Fishergate bus lane.

You must challenge a ticket by 13 April.

What do you think about the decision? Let us know in the comments below

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