ONLY a fraction of people who were fined for crossing Lendal Bridge during the trial closure have applied for a refund, figures have revealed.

In a written answer to questions posed by Liberal Democrat councillor Ian Cuthberson, the cabinet member for transport David Levene said 5,500 refund applications have been made.

With more than 50,000 fines issued during the six month trial closure, the new figures mean only a small proportion of those affected have asked for their money back.

Cllr Cuthbertson had asked for a breakdown of the applications by postcode, but Cllr Levene’s answer said that 5,500 unverified refund requests have been made so far, but their locations cannot be specified.

He said more in-depth analysis would be possible once the refund requests had been reviewed and matched against data about fines issued.

The Liberal Democrats said the figures support calls for the fines to be refunded universally. The party’s transport spokesman Cllr Anne Reid said: “The Liberal Democrat Group has said all along that the council should be contacting everyone caught out by Labour’s botched Lendal Bridge trial and offering them a full refund.

“With the majority of fines going to people living outside York and a significant minority being foreign visitors, it is inevitable that many people will not have heard about their right to a refund.

“Now that Labour have dropped their appeal against the Traffic Adjudicator’s ruling there can be no justification for keeping any of the fine money.

“I would urge the Labour Cabinet to rethink this process and, at the very least, consider extending the cut-off time for applications and publicise the refund process more widely.

“Doing anything else risks further damage to York’s reputation.”

But Cllr Levene said the council had done its best to tell people how to get their money back.

He said: “The decision to voluntarily pay back fines as a gesture of goodwill where a request is made to the council, as no dispute exists unless a request is made, has gained significant local, regional and national media coverage.

“We are keen that anyone who wants to challenge their fine is able to do so and have publicised the process as much as possible, in order to draw a line under the issue, move on, and decide how we deal with York’s transport challenges.

“We continue to hope the opposition decide to do the same.”

Visit York has spoken of the importance of telling all visitors who were hit with fines while on holiday in the city of York that they could get their money returned to them.

Kate McMullen, head of Visit York, said: “We’ve taken steps to ensure that the visitors who had contacted Visit York directly in respect to the Lendal Bridge Traffic trial have been fully informed about the process for refunds, and will continue to do so as the refund process remains open.”

To apply for a refund, visit the site and enter your name, address and vehicle registration numbers before December 31.

The council has also said it will help anyone who visits council offices or contacts them by telephone to ask for a refund.