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Lendal Bridge information vehicle had 'illegal' number plate
AN EXHIBITION about the Lendal Bridge trial, which sees drivers fined for breaching traffic rules, has been held in a council vehicle whose own licence plate broke the law.
The blunder was spotted when City of York Council – which has closed Lendal Bridge to cars, vans, lorries and motorbikes between 10.30am and 5pm every day until February – set up a public information point about the scheme in a trailer in Parliament Street this week.
North Yorkshire Police confirmed the vehicle’s licence plate did not conform with regulations because of its lettering, and the authority said it will now look into how the mistake happened after a councillor claimed it was “farcical”.
The six-month Lendal Bridge experiment, which the Labour-run council says will cut pollution and speed up bus journeys, began on August 27, when no amnesty from £60 fines for breaching new traffic rules was planned.
However, on the eighth day of the trial, the council said a one-week “grace period” would be allowed. Although full figures have yet to be revealed, officials told the authority’s Liberal Democrats that about 1,000 drivers breached the new restrictions every day during the part-closure’s first week. Signs indicating the restrictions have been criticised, while an online service set up by the council to help motorists avoid the bridge provided many people with a route map which still used it.
Police said the trailer’s licence plate was “non-compliant” and the council would have 14 days to correct it to avoid further action under the Vehicle Defect Rectification Scheme.
Conservative councillor Chris Steward said: “This is yet another farcical development after the council said many of its vehicles were to be exempt from the trial – it is one law for the council and one for the rest of us, but we do at least expect them to stick to the law.”
Geoff Derham, the council’s head of waste and fleet services, said: “It is quite apparent council procedures have not been followed on this occasion and we have taken immediate steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
“We will review this incident and determine what lessons need to be learned.”
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