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1,700 fines given to Mare Street left-turn drivers are cancelled on appeal

PUBLISHED: 09:12 05 October 2018 | UPDATED: 14:49 05 October 2018

Traffic sign at the junction of Mare Street and Richmond Road, that prohibits vehicles turning left during certain hours. Picture: Polly Hancock

Traffic sign at the junction of Mare Street and Richmond Road, that prohibits vehicles turning left during certain hours. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

A whopping 1,700 drivers slapped with fines for making banned left turns off Mare Street have won their appeals.

More than 15,371 fines were dished out in June, July and August after the measures were brought in at Richmond Road in early June.

After the Gazette revealed the numbers, outraged drivers said there had been no warning, while others said the signage wasn’t visible enough.

Complaints of that nature led to the council rearranging one of the signs in early July, and after this paper’s first article about the fines, town hall highway chiefs added more signs ahead of the junction.

Now, 1,733 fines – 11 per cent – have been cancelled, many of which were batches of offences in a short period. Some have had to go to tribunal, and won.

The Gazette has heard from many, with a variety of appeal arguments proving successful. They include:

n Not receiving the fine until after the 28-day limit

n Left-turn markings were still on the road at the time of the manoeuvre

n The driver turning onto Mare Street from Brenthouse Road, meaning the first of two signs was not visible

In some circumstances the council rejected appeals but didn’t contest them when they reached the tribunal. One driver, who got seven fines in seven days had all but one cancelled, won her tribunal case using Gazette clippings as evidence. She said: “The case was decided in less than five minutes and the judge indicated he ruled in favour of another appellant who like me entered Mare Street from Brenthouse Road.

“The original position of the sign would have meant we were approaching the first sign side-on then the sign on the junction would still be missed as its position again made it difficult to observe.”

The woman, who asked not to be named, added: “It’s a shame people chose to pay rather than challenge their PCNs. I would welcome an apology from the council for the hassle they put me through for such an obvious case.”

A council spokesperson said: “We are listening carefully to representations where drivers feel fines have been issued unfairly or if they have received multiple fines during a short period.”

The council has won 43 of 67 tribunal cases.

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