Debate continues over Lendal Bridge trial
Thank you for making an FOI request to get emails concerning the Lendal Bridge “trial” (Lendal Bridge – the secret files, February 27).
On September 13 I was caught by a camera on Lendal Bridge. I paid the fine, but after seeing a large temporary sign in Monkgate for a cycling event warning of the changes at Lendal Bridge, I realised the changes could have been better advertised than they had been when I drove across.
I decided to make an appeal and wrote describing the warning sign in Monkgate.
I continued: “I rarely drive over Lendal Bridge, and on 26/09/13 was caught by your camera. After receiving the notice, I walked on the bridge to see how I had missed your signs. I thought the left-hand sign at the south end of the bridge could be concealed by a bus; and that the sign on the pedestrian crossing was too small.
“I hope that you will look kindly on my appeal as I understand that the changes are a trial. I think the signage needs more thought.”
I received the reply: “We are currently reviewing what further signing/information can be provided ... Additional signing has recently been installed with further signs to go up shortly.”
My appeal was turned down, even though the comments supported my argument.
Today I have read in the Press that last September Coun Merrett said one of the signs notifying drivers of the trial, in Station Rise, “feels very confusing” and that he had been “disappointed at the initial high level” of fines.
I want a refund. I hope others will ask for theirs too.
Stephen Gavin River Bank, Chestnut Court, The Old Village, Huntington, York.
• Oh what a glorious thing to be City of York Council, with nearly £1.3 million in fines from motorists crossing Lendal Bridge.
They must be rubbing their hands together, and I never, ever trust anyone who makes as many hand gestures as Coun Dave Merrett did on Look North on Thursday. It was not an experiment, it was a way to fill the council coffers!
So if, as Coun Merrett states, it makes bus journey times quicker by closing Lendal Bridge, why haven’t they also applied the same to Skeldergate Bridge and Castle Mills Bridge?
So, City of York Council, what is going to happen to the money raised? Are we going to have all the potholes repaired, all the salt bins replaced/and or refilled?
Oh, and this might be a little too much to hope for, instead of squeezing York residents out of more money (which most of us can’t afford) would it be too much to ask that the rise in council tax be held over until next year, or better still a slight reduction for every one?
I won’t hold my breath.
C Henson, Ullswater, York.
• Well, at last the six-month trial over the restrictions of the Lendal Bridge closure has come to an end and it is now time for York council to consider what further measures to adopt in the future.
I understand that thousands of fixed penalty notices have been issued to unsuspecting motorists, most of whom seem to be visitors to the city.
I fully understand the concerns of city-centre shopkeepers, who feel that their livelihoods are being affected.
I can speak from experience in that a similar fixed-penalty notice issued, in my opinion, unfairly by Portsmouth council has ensured that I will never visit that city again, and can only assume that people caught in a similar situation in York will feel the same.
I would advise the council to think very hard as to their future options, because I am sure, like me, many people have long memories and seldom forgive.
Paul Tutill, Danby Cottages, Thornton-le-Clay.
• In 2010 York, like all local authorities, was asked by central Government to prepare a third Local Transport Plan.
York’s LTP3, as now known, covers the period 2011 to 2031 and plans to further reduce demand for private car use.
This sensibly recognises that, without restraint, the number of local car journeys could double or treble within coming decades. The impact of this upon servicing, deliveries, public transport, blue-badge holders and essential private car use would be devastating.
By giving more priority to these latter users, and encouraging car sharing, cycling and walking, we might avoid Carmageddon for our descendants. LTP3 was endorsed by the then ruling Liberal Democrat party. Its detail included the closure to private cars of one of the central river crossings.
This strategy was inherited by the Labour group when it took control.
Your FOI exposure of internal council emails (Lendal Bridge – the secret files, February 27) has generated many predictable comments. Most disappointing for me is the revelation that incorrect legal advice was received on a “yellow card” system. Had this been implemented, it would have reduced the extent of fines to that preferred by Coun Merrett, as expressed in his Look North interview.
I hope that the evaluation process will confirm the wisdom of the closure decision, and I look forward to making many a pleasant daytime crossing of Lendal Bridge on foot, bus and bike.
Paul Hepworth, Windmill Rise, York.
• I expect the whingers will win over Lendal Bridge, but before they do could I just say how grateful I am for the benefits the closure has brought to my part of town.
Gillygate has been so much more pleasant a place to walk along, quieter, cleaner, much easier to cross.
The bus service has improved noticeably. For a few months, as a member of those despised groups, pedestrians and bus users, I’ve felt that someone actually cared about my comfort.
I’d like to make two points. If the signage is up to national standards, as has been claimed, then the number of people not seeing it suggests either that the national standards are not good enough or a large number of drivers are not paying attention.
Finally, if York suffered a plague of locusts, how many people would write to you suggesting it was because of the closure of Lendal Bridge?
Ann Holt, Portland Street (off Gillygate), York.
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