New Station Road signs after 8,500 hit with fines
Better signage is being promised on a road near Cambridge railway station after more than 8,500 fixed penalty notices were issued to motorists caught driving in a bus-only area.
Cambridgeshire County Council said yesterday (Tuesday) it is in the process of installing additional signage to “aid drivers”.
“After having reviewed the signs on Station Road, we’re in the process of installing additional signage to aid drivers who travel through the area,” a spokesman said.
According to figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, drivers using the busy Station Road wrongly entered the bus gate, which restricts usage to buses and authorised vehicles only, on 8,620 occasions from January 1, 2017 to September 8, 2018. However, it
was only in June this year that the county council announced the bus gate was active.
If all those issued with tickets, minus the 49 successful appeals the FOI also reveals, paid a £30 fine – the minimum amount which must be paid within 14 days – the council will have collected an estimated £257,130.
The fee goes up to £60 if paid after 14 days but before 28 days – and rises to £90 if the penalty notice is not paid after that.
The county council says that all of Cambridgeshire’s highways meet the requirements as set out by the Department for Transport.
A total of 438 penalty notices were challenged, with 49 successful during the same period, according to the FOI which was published on the public WhatDoTheyKnow website.
The successful appeals involved permitted emergency vehicles, taxis, buses, minibuses, utility vehicles, mitigating circumstances, double jeopardy and processing errors.
A Cambridgeshire County Council spokesperson added: “We listen to advice and guidance from independent adjudicators who review parking ticket cases on an individual basis, taking into account the driver’s circumstances at the time of receiving a penalty charge notice.
“We’re constantly reviewing the signs on our busy roads, and will consider further signage in spots to provide more guidance and information for drivers where a review is deemed necessary if restrictions are not being followed.
“We would like to remind drivers to observe all road signs while travelling and take note of restrictions.”
Cllr Richard Robertson, executive member of finance and resources at Cambridge City Council, said he was suprised that so many people had fallen victim to the bus gate.
He said: “It very surprising that so many people don’t understand the road signs.
“They are exactly the same size as used elsewhere like Emmanuel Road, but it doesn’t have anywhere like the number of people ignoring them.”
Cllr Robertson said the problem could be that a lot of people attending the station may not be come into Cambridge that often.
“It could be people dropping people off or picking people up but the road signs, I’m told, are the legal size that should be used and they’re being recognised elsewhere but not near the station.”
Cllr Robertson added that for a “large chunk of the period [January-September] the cameras weren’t actually operating, so that means that the figure is even more condensed into a short period”.
He added: “It also highlights the volume of traffic still going to the station.”
Cllr Kevin Blencowe, executive councillor for planning policy and transport at the city council, added: “The figure is on the high side and would suggest that more information needs to be imparted to the users of the station and people who drop off so they know what the situation is and where they shouldn’t be going.”