CITY leaders should reimburse tens of thousands of motorists fined for breaching the Lendal Bridge rules, opposition councillors have said.

The Liberal Democrats want City of York Council to follow the example of Essex County Council, which announced an amnesty for 30,000 drivers penalised for using a bus lane in Colchester, after agreeing signs were unclear.

York Lib Dem leader Keith Aspden said York should do likewise, for motorists who have fallen foul of the trial ban on private traffic on Lendal Bridge between 10.30am and 5pm.

He said: "The council did not put up proper signs when the closure started and went some way towards admitting this by installing new signs at the start of December, but the fines and complaints have continued.

Deputy council leader Coun Tracey Simpson-Laing claimed the Lib Dems favoured a trial bridge restriction while in power, said the Lendal Bridge scheme was being paid for through the Government's Better Bus Area Fund and said the council had to "go through a strict criteria and process" to obtain the funding.