Who’ll foot the bill for refunds? Us

: It won’t be Westminster politicians paying for the Lendal Bridge experiment, says our letter-writer

: It won’t be Westminster politicians paying for the Lendal Bridge experiment, says our letter-writer

First published in Letters by

YOU reported on April 10 that York Outer MP Julian Sturdy is all for refunding drivers who have been fined for illegally crossing Lendal Bridge during restricted hours.

As one of his Parliamentary constituents, he is not speaking on my behalf. His actions may cost City of York Council dearly. As well as reimbursing the fine, there may well be legal costs and compensation.

I contend that the majority of drivers knowingly flouted the law, as they would have done had they drove through the centre of Durham, London and probably elsewhere, without authority.

This council has been the first to seriously address the issue of congestion and air pollution on our behalf since the closure of Deangate and it should be given time to conclude its appeal, with our support and without Westminster MPs trying to make political capital.

I’d be interested to know which authority Julian Sturdy pays his council tax to. I’m doubtful if it is York council, otherwise he wouldn’t be so free with his advice.

Geoffrey Bellis, Whin Garth, York.

Comments (13)

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12:17pm Sat 12 Apr 14

strangebuttrue? says...

You will pay Geoffrey along with every other rate payer in York.
This is not about who says what now it is about was this lawful and will a judgment be made that says the council must pay back the money. I assume, as the council are now spending even more of our money, on trying to prove themselves right and save Mr Merrets well paid job, that this in itself may lead to some sort of judgement so could be a case of shooting us in the foot. Although I have sympathy with those who were fined, we as rate payers can only now hope that the money does not have to be paid back as it will come straight out of our pockets due to the bungling madness of a dogma driven idea.

The idea did not tackle reducing pollution at all (given of course that the councils actions since 2005 have raised pollution by as much as 48% in York with no increase in the volume of traffic) it just moved it around and probably increased it again and the council report acknowledged this possibility before the closure started. Depending on the prevailing winds the pollution could have ended up back where it was thought it had been moved it from.
You will pay Geoffrey along with every other rate payer in York. This is not about who says what now it is about was this lawful and will a judgment be made that says the council must pay back the money. I assume, as the council are now spending even more of our money, on trying to prove themselves right and save Mr Merrets well paid job, that this in itself may lead to some sort of judgement so could be a case of shooting us in the foot. Although I have sympathy with those who were fined, we as rate payers can only now hope that the money does not have to be paid back as it will come straight out of our pockets due to the bungling madness of a dogma driven idea. The idea did not tackle reducing pollution at all (given of course that the councils actions since 2005 have raised pollution by as much as 48% in York with no increase in the volume of traffic) it just moved it around and probably increased it again and the council report acknowledged this possibility before the closure started. Depending on the prevailing winds the pollution could have ended up back where it was thought it had been moved it from. strangebuttrue?
  • Score: -41

12:28pm Sat 12 Apr 14

bravo whisky says...

Of course it will come out of taxpayers pockets Mr Bellis, what do you expect, it certainly will not come out of Alexanders pocket as he has never had a proper job to build up a pile. One should know by now that labour councillors, as with labour Governments just love to waste and spend other peoples money. Another £235,000 is going to disappear very shortly on 20mph signs across the City. The Pantomime continues until the next election at our expense.
Of course it will come out of taxpayers pockets Mr Bellis, what do you expect, it certainly will not come out of Alexanders pocket as he has never had a proper job to build up a pile. One should know by now that labour councillors, as with labour Governments just love to waste and spend other peoples money. Another £235,000 is going to disappear very shortly on 20mph signs across the City. The Pantomime continues until the next election at our expense. bravo whisky
  • Score: -57

4:51pm Sat 12 Apr 14

ColdAsChristmas says...

I still don't understand how closing a part of the inner ring road relieves congestion, surely it just moves it elsewhere.
And if the fines have to be paid back inc costs it is not Julian Sturdy's fault. Whose fault it is you can work out for yourselves.
I still don't understand how closing a part of the inner ring road relieves congestion, surely it just moves it elsewhere. And if the fines have to be paid back inc costs it is not Julian Sturdy's fault. Whose fault it is you can work out for yourselves. ColdAsChristmas
  • Score: -37

7:39pm Sat 12 Apr 14

tiger4 says...

Geoffrey Bellis has got his facts wrong, drivers were not "fined for illegally crossing Lendal Bridge" as the fines were illegal, they were illegally fined for crossing the bridge.
Geoffrey Bellis has got his facts wrong, drivers were not "fined for illegally crossing Lendal Bridge" as the fines were illegal, they were illegally fined for crossing the bridge. tiger4
  • Score: -17

10:43pm Sat 12 Apr 14

NoNewsIsGoodNews says...

tiger4 wrote:
Geoffrey Bellis has got his facts wrong, drivers were not "fined for illegally crossing Lendal Bridge" as the fines were illegal, they were illegally fined for crossing the bridge.
Nobody was fined, they were given a PCN (Penalty Charge Notice)
Councils and parking company's use them to scaring people into paying silly money for doing something that they don't like.
They make them sound lawful and official as if they have been issued by a court, when in fact they are as worthless as me or you writing a letter to Alexander or Merrett and demanding that they resign.
[quote][p][bold]tiger4[/bold] wrote: Geoffrey Bellis has got his facts wrong, drivers were not "fined for illegally crossing Lendal Bridge" as the fines were illegal, they were illegally fined for crossing the bridge.[/p][/quote]Nobody was fined, they were given a PCN (Penalty Charge Notice) Councils and parking company's use them to scaring people into paying silly money for doing something that they don't like. They make them sound lawful and official as if they have been issued by a court, when in fact they are as worthless as me or you writing a letter to Alexander or Merrett and demanding that they resign. NoNewsIsGoodNews
  • Score: -25

12:01pm Sun 13 Apr 14

Teabag1 says...

So is it labour who have done this?
So is it labour who have done this? Teabag1
  • Score: 6

2:33am Mon 14 Apr 14

Magicman! says...

The letter write is spot on, and it is solely for this reason that fines SHOULD NOT IN ANY WAY be repaid. At the time of fines being issued, everything was believed to be legal, and so they still stand... after the first 4 weeks of the trial when the poor signage was replaced by high visibility signage complete with "Lendal bridge" identification plates, the vast majority of cars going over the bridge were being drive by people who knew they were flouting the regulations (I watched quite often as cars stopped at the signs, the drivers read the signs, and they then casrried onto the bridge)....

The problem is that a lot of motorists in the UK believe they can get away with any form of poor driving if their legal representation is good enough... "you cannot fine me for driving at 95mph, mr policeman, as you are not wearing your hat" or other bs along those lines. The whole fiasco which has ended the closure has been brough about by a bloke who drove along coppergate and got a fine, complained to the Press about it, and then drove along there AGAIN and got another fine and decided to get legal advice - he got fined once, and then willfully went along there again.

And the ending of this closure just says one thing:"you may break the rules, but if enough of you shout for long enough then the rules are removed just to shut you up"... It worked with Water End.
The letter write is spot on, and it is solely for this reason that fines SHOULD NOT IN ANY WAY be repaid. At the time of fines being issued, everything was believed to be legal, and so they still stand... after the first 4 weeks of the trial when the poor signage was replaced by high visibility signage complete with "Lendal bridge" identification plates, the vast majority of cars going over the bridge were being drive by people who knew they were flouting the regulations (I watched quite often as cars stopped at the signs, the drivers read the signs, and they then casrried onto the bridge).... The problem is that a lot of motorists in the UK believe they can get away with any form of poor driving if their legal representation is good enough... "you cannot fine me for driving at 95mph, mr policeman, as you are not wearing your hat" or other bs along those lines. The whole fiasco which has ended the closure has been brough about by a bloke who drove along coppergate and got a fine, complained to the Press about it, and then drove along there AGAIN and got another fine and decided to get legal advice - he got fined once, and then willfully went along there again. And the ending of this closure just says one thing:"you may break the rules, but if enough of you shout for long enough then the rules are removed just to shut you up"... It worked with Water End. Magicman!
  • Score: -3

6:44am Mon 14 Apr 14

NoNewsIsGoodNews says...

Magicman! wrote:
The letter write is spot on, and it is solely for this reason that fines SHOULD NOT IN ANY WAY be repaid. At the time of fines being issued, everything was believed to be legal, and so they still stand... after the first 4 weeks of the trial when the poor signage was replaced by high visibility signage complete with "Lendal bridge" identification plates, the vast majority of cars going over the bridge were being drive by people who knew they were flouting the regulations (I watched quite often as cars stopped at the signs, the drivers read the signs, and they then casrried onto the bridge)....

The problem is that a lot of motorists in the UK believe they can get away with any form of poor driving if their legal representation is good enough... "you cannot fine me for driving at 95mph, mr policeman, as you are not wearing your hat" or other bs along those lines. The whole fiasco which has ended the closure has been brough about by a bloke who drove along coppergate and got a fine, complained to the Press about it, and then drove along there AGAIN and got another fine and decided to get legal advice - he got fined once, and then willfully went along there again.

And the ending of this closure just says one thing:"you may break the rules, but if enough of you shout for long enough then the rules are removed just to shut you up"... It worked with Water End.
Can we have some facts and figures please Magicman?
Terms such as "a lot of motorists" and "the vast majority of cars", don't really count for anything if you can't back it up with evidence.
Which is exactly why the bridge trial was a failure, because the council had no evidence to back up their reasons for the restrictions.
[quote][p][bold]Magicman![/bold] wrote: The letter write is spot on, and it is solely for this reason that fines SHOULD NOT IN ANY WAY be repaid. At the time of fines being issued, everything was believed to be legal, and so they still stand... after the first 4 weeks of the trial when the poor signage was replaced by high visibility signage complete with "Lendal bridge" identification plates, the vast majority of cars going over the bridge were being drive by people who knew they were flouting the regulations (I watched quite often as cars stopped at the signs, the drivers read the signs, and they then casrried onto the bridge).... The problem is that a lot of motorists in the UK believe they can get away with any form of poor driving if their legal representation is good enough... "you cannot fine me for driving at 95mph, mr policeman, as you are not wearing your hat" or other bs along those lines. The whole fiasco which has ended the closure has been brough about by a bloke who drove along coppergate and got a fine, complained to the Press about it, and then drove along there AGAIN and got another fine and decided to get legal advice - he got fined once, and then willfully went along there again. And the ending of this closure just says one thing:"you may break the rules, but if enough of you shout for long enough then the rules are removed just to shut you up"... It worked with Water End.[/p][/quote]Can we have some facts and figures please Magicman? Terms such as "a lot of motorists" and "the vast majority of cars", don't really count for anything if you can't back it up with evidence. Which is exactly why the bridge trial was a failure, because the council had no evidence to back up their reasons for the restrictions. NoNewsIsGoodNews
  • Score: -22

7:08am Mon 14 Apr 14

roy_batty says...

I accidentally drove into a bus lane on Pentonville road last June, i never ever received a pcn/fine, was this the local council acting discretionally (i.e. he/she must be a lost tourist) or was that lane not a cash cow like Lendal bridge, at the end of the day Lendal bridge was shut down for one reason only , that reason was to raise money! And Labour keep saying they are the party of low taxation.
I accidentally drove into a bus lane on Pentonville road last June, i never ever received a pcn/fine, was this the local council acting discretionally (i.e. he/she must be a lost tourist) or was that lane not a cash cow like Lendal bridge, at the end of the day Lendal bridge was shut down for one reason only , that reason was to raise money! And Labour keep saying they are the party of low taxation. roy_batty
  • Score: -13

9:44am Mon 14 Apr 14

zorpie says...

If the fines were issued illegally then they must be repaid. Fair is fair.
If the fines were issued illegally then they must be repaid. Fair is fair. zorpie
  • Score: 5

10:41am Mon 14 Apr 14

the original Homer says...

tiger4 wrote:
Geoffrey Bellis has got his facts wrong, drivers were not "fined for illegally crossing Lendal Bridge" as the fines were illegal, they were illegally fined for crossing the bridge.
Actually, "illegally" is the right word in both the above sentences.

They were illegally fined for illegally crossing the bridge.

Although the adjudication concluded that the issuing of PCNs was illegal, he also said the ban itself was perfectly legal. It's just that, effectively, there was no penalty for breaking it).

Any of those drivers could have been given a legitimate ticket, if there had been a Policeman there to issue one.

Julian Sturdy's advice is sound, and is now the cheapest option for the Council. Everyone should be entitled to claim a refund, but not all will.

If the Council drag this out, they will incur more costs, and (in my opinion) will end up being ordered to refund absolutely everybody, with compensation added.

Yes, it will cost every resident - that's what happens when Councils make mistakes, and that's what the Council should be explaining.

Of course, most of the refund money is not a "cost" as such, it's just that they're not getting the revenue they thought they were getting. That doesn't necessarily need to be made up by Council Tax payers - the Council could just abandon some of the other schemes they were planning to use the bridge money to pay for.

Given that they were going to spend more money on traffic and road schemes, and given their record on traffic and road schemes, maybe abandoning/suspendin
g future ones is a good thing?

Our best hope now is:

1) The current Council pays refunds and abandons the legal appeal.
2) Any unstarted traffic and road schemes are put on hold until after the elections.
[quote][p][bold]tiger4[/bold] wrote: Geoffrey Bellis has got his facts wrong, drivers were not "fined for illegally crossing Lendal Bridge" as the fines were illegal, they were illegally fined for crossing the bridge.[/p][/quote]Actually, "illegally" is the right word in both the above sentences. They were illegally fined for illegally crossing the bridge. Although the adjudication concluded that the issuing of PCNs was illegal, he also said the ban itself was perfectly legal. It's just that, effectively, there was no penalty for breaking it). Any of those drivers could have been given a legitimate ticket, if there had been a Policeman there to issue one. Julian Sturdy's advice is sound, and is now the cheapest option for the Council. Everyone should be entitled to claim a refund, but not all will. If the Council drag this out, they will incur more costs, and (in my opinion) will end up being ordered to refund absolutely everybody, with compensation added. Yes, it will cost every resident - that's what happens when Councils make mistakes, and that's what the Council should be explaining. Of course, most of the refund money is not a "cost" as such, it's just that they're not getting the revenue they thought they were getting. That doesn't necessarily need to be made up by Council Tax payers - the Council could just abandon some of the other schemes they were planning to use the bridge money to pay for. Given that they were going to spend more money on traffic and road schemes, and given their record on traffic and road schemes, maybe abandoning/suspendin g future ones is a good thing? Our best hope now is: 1) The current Council pays refunds and abandons the legal appeal. 2) Any unstarted traffic and road schemes are put on hold until after the elections. the original Homer
  • Score: 3

12:16pm Mon 14 Apr 14

Micklegate says...

If the judgement is illegal surely it's a case of repay the fines now or repay them later after wasting fortunes in legal costs and annoying everyone more and more.

Unlike the letter writer I can't believe people knowingly got the fines, unless the writer is a particularly rich individual who will happily pay £30 for a 50 metre toll road.
If the judgement is illegal surely it's a case of repay the fines now or repay them later after wasting fortunes in legal costs and annoying everyone more and more. Unlike the letter writer I can't believe people knowingly got the fines, unless the writer is a particularly rich individual who will happily pay £30 for a 50 metre toll road. Micklegate
  • Score: 2

5:52pm Mon 14 Apr 14

Sillybillies says...

Alexander and the other Labour idiots responsible should all be personally surcharged to repay the fines. We shouldn't have to pay a penny, but no doubt we will fund it all.

Vote the idiots out next year and make sure Alexander never holds public office again.
Alexander and the other Labour idiots responsible should all be personally surcharged to repay the fines. We shouldn't have to pay a penny, but no doubt we will fund it all. Vote the idiots out next year and make sure Alexander never holds public office again. Sillybillies
  • Score: 3

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