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Liverpool council in "confusing" bus lane sign blunder

by Adam Faulkner. Published Fri 12 Nov 2010 14:37, last updated: 27/11/10
Council bosses removed the potentially confusing sign on October 15th
Council bosses removed the potentially confusing sign on October 15th

Liverpool motorists stung with fixed penalty fines may be reimbursed for hundreds of thousands of pounds after a council blunder over a "confusing" road sign

A bus lane enforcement camera on Liverpool's famous Lime Street has raked-in more than £330,000 since it went live in January.

But after several drivers appealed against their £60 fines, an adjudicator at a Traffic Penalty Tribunal found that the sign ahead of the city centre stretch of road was not clear.

One woman drove through the bus lane nine days in a row before claiming the road side warning notice was "confusing".

Council bosses removed the potentially baffling sign on 15th October and tore up eight pending appeals.

Self-employed web designer Paul Rogers, 21, was one of the drivers who successfully appealed against the fixed penalty notice, after his car was snapped in the bus lane back in August.

Mr Rogers said: "You don’t realise you’re going in the bus lane until you’re there.

"There is absolutely no way to correct your error and turn around. You have to just keep going.

"At first the council rejected my appeal. But I delved a little deeper and looked up the relevant legislation on line.

"I was all set for a tribunal in December but I received a letter through the post saying the council would not be contesting the case because of "incorrect signage" at the time of the offence."

A trio of controversial traffic cameras were installed under the Liverpool City Centre Movement strategy and to date they have netted more than £1m for town hall coffers.

Another one of the cameras, at the junction of Old Haymarket and St John's Lane - formerly a main route into the heart of the city - snared more than 44,000 drivers by the end of July.

And now Legal experts have blasted council chiefs for the sign post blunder, which has caught out thousands of unwitting drivers.

Jonathan Thew, a civil litigation solicitor with leading law firm Kirwans, said: "It would appear that the enforcement authority has opened up a can of worms by declaring that it does not intend to pursue this gentleman’s case any further.

"It means that the many thousands of other victims should consider contacting the authority asking for their cases to also be reopened.

"It is pretty damning that the authority has admitted that the correct signposting was not in place and should reasonably be expected to review each and every ticket they have issued.

"If the authority refuses to review other cases or tries to make out that other cases are somehow different, then the victims may well have a case for seeking a judicial review something we have done in the past for a number of clients."

A trio of new traffic cameras were went live in January under the Liverpool City Centre Movement strategy and to date they have netted more than #1m for town hall coffers.

A council spokesman said: "The bus lane has the correct signage and markings approved by the Department of Transport.

"However, we were advised by the national appeals adjudicator to remove an additional early warning sign on one of the approach roads because it could confuse motorists.

"It has now been removed.

"As a gesture of goodwill, we have written off the eight penalty charge appeals pending for this bus lane."

UPDATE: Click Liverpool readers continue to complain that it is still a trap for unsuspecting drivers, even after "confusing" signs were removed from the approach to Lime Street "Buses and Taxis Only" lane.

* On Sat 27th December 20-10 a vistor from St Helens wrote: I was absolutely disgusted and angry today to recieve a letter today from Liverpool city council and a bus lane penalty charge. This was my first ever journey by car into the city centre with my heavily pregnant partner and was confused enough by signs and busy traffic as you dont know where to go and followed a car in front to park on the St Johns shopping car park. I feel sick to the bone and the council should be ashamed of themselves for this moneymaking scam. D
Did not a sign stating you cannot use this lane and neither did my partner and was just simply following the car in front to find parking. Lee, St Helens.

(Ed: it is often worthwhile ntering an appeal against the penalty notice)


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"had to go to walton hospital other wise would not go to scouseland for a gold watch found the airport a rip off for parking when droping off" senior, wales around 2 years, 3 months ago

"Warning sign is so low it is generally obscured by a buses outside Lewis's" Peter, Liverpool around 2 years, 5 months ago

"it's nothing more than a money making scam. it does help with traffic or buses....just the council coffers" GRAHAM, AINTREE around 2 years, 8 months ago

"i need help so far i have been caught 8 times for being in a bus lane for 3 seconds while turning left into a street can anyone help" alan, old swan around 3 years, 9 months ago

"if drivers read the signs, they would not offend. simple as " mike, liverpool around 3 years, 10 months ago

"I will never visit Liverpool again - what a rip off!" Steve Allport, Sowerby Bridge around 4 years, 1 month ago

"St. Johns Lane .I Thought that bus lanes were only for peak times. If ticket had arrived promptly after offence I wouldn't have reoffended." Frank, Liverpool around 4 years, 4 months ago

"Didnt realise this as was following a car in front and wanted to find parking,city centre driving is confusing enough, letter recieved today" lee, st helens around 4 years, 8 months ago

"This is just a money making scam, how do they think they can get away with it" Louise, Liverpool around 4 years, 8 months ago

"Everyone should appeal against this scam" Emma, Wallasey around 4 years, 8 months ago

"I was caught 3 sundays running by this camera, this was because it took them 4 weeks to send me first letter cost me £90.I will appeal" John , wallasey around 4 years, 8 months ago

"it is to make money nothing else " birtha, liverpool around 4 years, 8 months ago

"Why do we have these cameras anyway, there is no need for them. We had no problems before. Tis is a money making Scam. Robbing Basxxxds." Bill, Anfield around 4 years, 8 months ago

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