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Call for amnesty over Coppergate fines
MOTORISTS claim they have been unfairly penalised for driving along a York street during the extended hours of a car ban.
They say they were unaware that traffic rules reserving Coppergate for buses, taxis and cyclists had been changed to operate from 7am to 7pm, instead of between 8am and 6pm.
One driver, James Presnail, who said he had so far received three fines and was anticipating one more, claimed City of York Council should grant an amnesty for drivers caught in the first week of the new hours of operation – as had now happened with drivers caught crossing Lendal Bridge in the week after cars were banned there.
He said there had been far more publicity for the closure of Lendal Bridge to cars than the Coppergate changes and, because he used Coppergate regularly to get to work and it took ten days to receive the first fine, he continued to drive there, blithely unaware there was a problem.
Student Fabia Preece she she had received a penalty charge notice for driving along Coppergate on August 24 at 6.23pm.
“I did not know of the time changes,” she said, claiming they had not been advertised well enough to warn “innocent people” like herself.
Another motorist, S Mortimer, also wrote to The Press last week to complain of a fine for using Coppergate and claim there were no warning signs.
A council spokeswoman said signs for the changes were installed on August 1 and the authority didn’t start enforcement until August 16, giving drivers nearly two weeks’ notice.
Richard Wood, assistant director of city and environmental services, said traffic enforcement restrictions had been in place on Coppergate for more than 50 years but only enforced infrequently.
“In a bid to reduce congestion and improve journey reliability for buses and taxis through the heart of York’s city centre, the council announced in December 2012 that it would be introducing further controls to extend the hours of access for authorised vehicles,” he said.
“Over the last year the introduction of the new automatic number plate recognition cameras (ANPR) system has been widely publicised in the media through press, online features, radio, letter drops to businesses in the area, a public meeting and advance signage.
“Traffic signage was installed 10 days prior to the ANPR enforcement starting and is fully compliant with the Traffic Signals Regulations and General Directions (TSRGD).”
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