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Cullingworth motorist appeals bus lane penalty
4:50pm Friday 10th January 2014 in News
A Cullingworth motorist who was one of 223 fined for going into a bus lane on the day of the Bradford City Runs is appealing the decision with an independent adjudicator.
Nigel Dixon was issued with the £60 Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) after driving in the restricted area in Bridge Street, Bradford, on October 27.
Road closures were in place for the event – organised by Bradford Council and the Bradford Athletics Network – from 8am until 2pm.
The 55-year-old is disputing the notice because stewards were diverting traffic into Bridge Street. Not knowing the city centre well, he followed other cars and assumed the bus lane restrictions were suspended to allow for people having to take alternative routes.
An initial appeal to Bradford Council failed, with the local authority saying “once diverted, motorists were expected to comply with traffic regulations as normal”.
Mr Dixon, of Sunningdale Crescent, is now waiting to hear from the Traffic Penalty Tribunal.
“If it had just been me and I was the only car that went that way, I’d have thought obviously I’m the only one that got it wrong. I’m really, really aggrieved. It’s not the money, it’s the principle,” he said.
Mr Dixon expects to give evidence to the adjudicator in the next few days, and said he would point out how many people were issued PCNs.
If all drivers paid the fine within 14 days, meaning it drops from £60 to £30, the council would net £6,690 from the notices issued on October 27.
A council spokesman said: “About 20 per cent of people [issued PCNs] appealed and there are currently four cases with the independent Traffic Penalty Tribunal awaiting hearings.”
Council documents sent to the adjudicator acknowledge there was a road closure in place, but said “no other restrictions were suspended”.
“It appears the appellant, not knowing the area, simply followed the vehicles in front. We can confirm they were issued PCNs as well,” the document says. “The appellant’s mitigation is not compelling enough for us to cancel this PCN, but if this appeal is dismissed, we would accept the discount rate.”
Mr Dixon was on his way to Leeds when he drove into the city centre along Sunbridge Road. He intended to take his usual route and turn onto Tetley Street, but was directed further along Sunbridge Road.
A second marshal at the junction with Goodwin Street advised him to continue along Sunbridge Road, which turns into Bridge Street. But instead of avoiding the buses-only section of Bridge Street, by using Market Street and Bank Street, drivers carried straight on.
Bradford Council appeals and adjudications officer, Gary Leeming, said: “No vehicles would have entered the bus lane in Bridge Street if the clear signs had been followed.”
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