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Canon Ian Draffan faces £300 in Lendal Bridge fines after visiting sick aunt
Canon Ian Draffan told The Press he had been shocked and upset to receive the penalty charge notices from City of York Council, which could cost him a total of £300, or £150 if he pays within 28 days.
“I had no idea I was not allowed to cross the bridge, or I would not have done so,” said Canon Draffan, from Sheffield. “I had driven in to York and was trying to get to the hospital to visit my aunt, who was terminally ill and died earlier this month.
“My sat nav directed me on to the bridge; the signposts were very confusing and I was very upset at the time because of my aunt’s condition.”
He said he had now lodged an appeal against the fines, which related to crossing the bridge on September 24, September 27 and October 2.
Canon Draffan is just the latest visitor to complain about being fined for crossing the bridge after failing to realise it is shut to cars between 10.30am and 5pm under a six-month trial by City of York Council.
Darren Richardson, the authority’s Director of City & Environmental Services, said: “We are sorry to hear about the circumstances surrounding Mr Draffan’s visits. Should he wish to appeal the Penalty Charge Notice then this will of course go through the usual process.”
A council spokeswoman said the authority had said from the outset that the purpose of the bridge trial was not to generate revenue but reduce traffic going over the bridge and through the city centre, as part of a long-term vision to create a more attractive and thriving city centre.
She said “comprehensive signage” had been used to inform drivers of the restrictions, and 34 AA advisory signs had also been installed on the inner ring road and key radial routes. Following public feedback, a further 18 AA advisory signs had been installed in October.
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