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8,500 more fined for crossing Lendal Bridge
A FURTHER 8,500 drivers have been fined for crossing York’s Lendal Bridge, bringing the total penalised since its trial closure began to more than 34,500.
Latest statistics have also revealed three out of York’s five Park & Ride bus services took slightly longer to get in and out of the city in November than in the same month last year.
The figures have been published by City of York Council in its third monthly update on the impact of the controversial closure of the bridge to cars, vans and motorbikes between 10.30am and 5pm, a key aim of which is to speed up bus journeys.
The 8,500 penalty charge notices (pcns) were issued from November 11 to December 2.
There were slight increases in the time taken for Park & Ride buses to the city centre from the Designer Outlet at Fulford, Grimston Bar and Monks Cross and slight decreases in the journey time from Rawcliffe Bar and Askham Bar.
Journey times from the city to Askham Bar, the Designer outlet and Grimston Bar increased slightly, the Monks Cross service journey was unchanged and the time to get to Rawcliffe decreased.
The council said all Park & Ride routes worked to a scheduled timetable and therefore required to arrive/leave destinations at certain times during the day, so overall journey times may mask improvements in reduced actual real-time travelling between stops.
A spokeswoman said: “Where buses are running faster, it means that they must wait longer at certain stops, predominantly at the Park & Ride sites or at their main city-centre stop, to maintain an equal time between buses arriving/departing.
“This means that unless the trial is made permanent and the scheduling of the buses is altered, it is not possible for the buses to take full advantage of the time savings being generated.”
Bus operator First has said the trial closure is helping improve service reliability and increase passenger numbers.
Business manager Will Pearson said yesterday the new report made a number of positive points about the punctuality and reliability of Park and Ride services.
“This supports our recent announcement that we have seen a three per cent reliability improvement in all our bus services in York, from September-November, compared to same period last year,” he said.
“Some Park and Ride Services that don’t use Lendal Bridge have had small declines in reliability in November due to circumstances identified in the report, eg new signals being identified at the A64 roundabout, as well as other factors such as roadworks.”
Darren Richardson, the council’s director of city services, was unable to give the total gross and net incomes received by the authority to date but said it had been calculated in November that, by the end of the trial, fines paid would come to approximately £600,000 after trial costs had been taken into account. This will be ringfenced for highways and transport projects, he said.
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