Drivers fear a flurry of fresh fine letters

Essex County Standard: Drivers fear a flurry of fresh fine letters Drivers fear a flurry of fresh fine letters

COLCHESTER town centre motorists fear a flurry of fine letters is about to land on their doormats telling them they’ve been caught out by the town’s bus lane car ban.

It is now illegal for cars to turn right from the High Street into Queen Street, or to drive up North Hill and into the High Street.

However, motorists claim the ban was poorly publicised when it started in October, and there are still not enough signs warning of it.

Hundreds of drivers are thought to have been sent fine letters this week – mainly for offences committed several weeks ago.

Motorists who drive regularly in the town centre and may have unwittingly flouted the ban since them are now waiting to see if they will also face £60 fines.

Birch campaigner Chris Harvey has helped to organise a petition, calling for a County Hall fines amnesty until the restrictions are made clearer to motorists.

Within days, the number of names on the petition has topped the 2,000 mark.

Mr Harvey has been sent several fine letters and fears he and the rest of his family could be on the receiving end of many more.

He said: “I’m expecting between eight and ten more, because we just didn’t know about it when we drove there.”

Lexden stockbroker Michael Franklin, 28, has received four fine letters since the bus lane scheme started and has now launched a petition of his own on the change.org website, calling for the bus lanes to be scrapped.

Mr Franklin, of Victoria Road, said: “I’m in the same boat as thousands of other people who have been caught like this because they weren’t aware the bus lanes were coming back.

“No one I have spoken to wants these bus lanes, or thinks they’re a good idea.

“It’s not going to do anything to alleviate congestion at all.”

The letters demand a £60 fine from motorists, offering a 50 per cent discount if they are paid within 14 days, but warning drivers will have to pay £90 if don’t cough up within 28 days.

Essex County Council has so far refused to reveal how many notices it has issued.

The bus lanes were re-introduced in October – eight months after they were suspended along with a controversial town centre traffic scheme, which banned cars from the High Street.

A county council spokesman said: “We welcome residents’ feedback and will consider any petition which is submitted.

“Recipients of penalty charge notices are able to contest them if they feel they have grounds to do so, and all representations are r e v i ewed on an indiv i d u a l basis.”

Comments (14)

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6:43am Mon 6 Jan 14

seikothrill says...

All the excuses are coming out.

There was plenty of notification of these crazy restrictions and I can clearly see road signs advertising the restrictions.

If people claim they cannot see signs then they shouldn't be driving.

If you don't want to pay the fine the easy solution would be to adhere to the rules.

There are no excuses for poor driving.

Chris Harvey and Michael Franklin, stop whining and pay up.

A note of caution is that if you don't pay fines you could end up with a criminal record.
All the excuses are coming out. There was plenty of notification of these crazy restrictions and I can clearly see road signs advertising the restrictions. If people claim they cannot see signs then they shouldn't be driving. If you don't want to pay the fine the easy solution would be to adhere to the rules. There are no excuses for poor driving. Chris Harvey and Michael Franklin, stop whining and pay up. A note of caution is that if you don't pay fines you could end up with a criminal record. seikothrill

8:19am Mon 6 Jan 14

donttellanyone says...

seikothrill wrote:
All the excuses are coming out.

There was plenty of notification of these crazy restrictions and I can clearly see road signs advertising the restrictions.

If people claim they cannot see signs then they shouldn't be driving.

If you don't want to pay the fine the easy solution would be to adhere to the rules.

There are no excuses for poor driving.

Chris Harvey and Michael Franklin, stop whining and pay up.

A note of caution is that if you don't pay fines you could end up with a criminal record.
You will not get a criminal record for not paying it is a civil matter not a criminal matter. The problem people have is that its 24hrs a day and the right turn into queen street just seems stupid as if you drive past it then turn around you will not be finned but you will still have gone down queen street.
[quote][p][bold]seikothrill[/bold] wrote: All the excuses are coming out. There was plenty of notification of these crazy restrictions and I can clearly see road signs advertising the restrictions. If people claim they cannot see signs then they shouldn't be driving. If you don't want to pay the fine the easy solution would be to adhere to the rules. There are no excuses for poor driving. Chris Harvey and Michael Franklin, stop whining and pay up. A note of caution is that if you don't pay fines you could end up with a criminal record.[/p][/quote]You will not get a criminal record for not paying it is a civil matter not a criminal matter. The problem people have is that its 24hrs a day and the right turn into queen street just seems stupid as if you drive past it then turn around you will not be finned but you will still have gone down queen street. donttellanyone

8:30am Mon 6 Jan 14

Say It As It Is OK? says...

I can't see any benefits from making this a bus lane (other than to generate income from fines). Many motorists are wise and they turn around on East Hill, at the VAF entrance, then continue their journey turning left into Queen Street which, whenever I've been there, is just as busy as it ever was. Get Three buses in a row and Queen Street grinds to a halt because they all can't pull into the bus lay-by. Perhaps a proper bus station in Colchester will help to ease congestion around the town?

























(Oh sorry forgot, we already have a State of the ARK! bus station)
I can't see any benefits from making this a bus lane (other than to generate income from fines). Many motorists are wise and they turn around on East Hill, at the VAF entrance, then continue their journey turning left into Queen Street which, whenever I've been there, is just as busy as it ever was. Get Three buses in a row and Queen Street grinds to a halt because they all can't pull into the bus lay-by. Perhaps a proper bus station in Colchester will help to ease congestion around the town? (Oh sorry forgot, we already have a State of the ARK! bus station) Say It As It Is OK?

8:54am Mon 6 Jan 14

B1gman says...

If you cant read road signs you shouldn't be on the road. !!
If you cant read road signs you shouldn't be on the road. !! B1gman

9:05am Mon 6 Jan 14

Jack_Wilder says...

The bus lane shouldn't be enforced 24 hours a day when the buses don't even run 24 hours a day. Also what is ridiculous is that if you drive round the statue in front of Castle Park's main gates and then turn down Queen St. you won't get fined as you avoid the tiny part of road which is a bus lane. How ridiculous!

The problem is that it isn't very clear. There are not enough signs in advance to warn you of the upcoming bus lane. On top of that with all the bad weather we've had recently and it getting dark so early, it makes the bus lane incredibly difficult to make out, especially so for those who aren't familiar with Colchester.
The bus lane shouldn't be enforced 24 hours a day when the buses don't even run 24 hours a day. Also what is ridiculous is that if you drive round the statue in front of Castle Park's main gates and then turn down Queen St. you won't get fined as you avoid the tiny part of road which is a bus lane. How ridiculous! The problem is that it isn't very clear. There are not enough signs in advance to warn you of the upcoming bus lane. On top of that with all the bad weather we've had recently and it getting dark so early, it makes the bus lane incredibly difficult to make out, especially so for those who aren't familiar with Colchester. Jack_Wilder

9:19am Mon 6 Jan 14

Valid comment says...

Stop complaining and obey the law! How is it that we all see the signs except Michael Franklin. He has received four fine letters since the bus lane scheme started... that's four chances to see the prominent signs we all see and obey.
Many of us agree the scheme is badly thought out and implemented, and by all means go ahead and try to change it, but in the meantime obey the rules. We do!
Its no different to the morons who get parking tickets and complain. If you park legally, you will never get a fine. If you drive legally, you will never get a fine.
Stop complaining and obey the law! How is it that we all see the signs except Michael Franklin. He has received four fine letters since the bus lane scheme started... that's four chances to see the prominent signs we all see and obey. Many of us agree the scheme is badly thought out and implemented, and by all means go ahead and try to change it, but in the meantime obey the rules. We do! Its no different to the morons who get parking tickets and complain. If you park legally, you will never get a fine. If you drive legally, you will never get a fine. Valid comment

9:25am Mon 6 Jan 14

creditcrunch2010 says...

I drove down High Street yesterday and the signage and road markings shown in the photo are perfectly clear (even on a rainy day).

There is no excuse that people could not see either the sign or road markings.

Any one that goes through the bus lane and turns right into St Botolphs should take the next immediate right to Specsavers!
I drove down High Street yesterday and the signage and road markings shown in the photo are perfectly clear (even on a rainy day). There is no excuse that people could not see either the sign or road markings. Any one that goes through the bus lane and turns right into St Botolphs should take the next immediate right to Specsavers! creditcrunch2010

11:31am Mon 6 Jan 14

TheCaptain says...

Jack_Wilder wrote:
The bus lane shouldn't be enforced 24 hours a day when the buses don't even run 24 hours a day. Also what is ridiculous is that if you drive round the statue in front of Castle Park's main gates and then turn down Queen St. you won't get fined as you avoid the tiny part of road which is a bus lane. How ridiculous!

The problem is that it isn't very clear. There are not enough signs in advance to warn you of the upcoming bus lane. On top of that with all the bad weather we've had recently and it getting dark so early, it makes the bus lane incredibly difficult to make out, especially so for those who aren't familiar with Colchester.
That would be impressive as there are bollards in place so you can't drive around the war memorial.
[quote][p][bold]Jack_Wilder[/bold] wrote: The bus lane shouldn't be enforced 24 hours a day when the buses don't even run 24 hours a day. Also what is ridiculous is that if you drive round the statue in front of Castle Park's main gates and then turn down Queen St. you won't get fined as you avoid the tiny part of road which is a bus lane. How ridiculous! The problem is that it isn't very clear. There are not enough signs in advance to warn you of the upcoming bus lane. On top of that with all the bad weather we've had recently and it getting dark so early, it makes the bus lane incredibly difficult to make out, especially so for those who aren't familiar with Colchester.[/p][/quote]That would be impressive as there are bollards in place so you can't drive around the war memorial. TheCaptain

12:44pm Mon 6 Jan 14

JBoswick says...

I just do a U-turn at the VAF entrance. It's easier than trying to U-turn at the brook street roundabout and its just as quick as turning right at the bottom of the high street.

I got a little confused on Head street the other day as the road markings for the bus lane turning right in to the high street are still present and I thought for a couple of seconds that I might get a fine for turning in to the high street
I just do a U-turn at the VAF entrance. It's easier than trying to U-turn at the brook street roundabout and its just as quick as turning right at the bottom of the high street. I got a little confused on Head street the other day as the road markings for the bus lane turning right in to the high street are still present and I thought for a couple of seconds that I might get a fine for turning in to the high street JBoswick

9:37pm Mon 6 Jan 14

25414nora says...

I like the bus lane idea, and think high street is a lot less congested since the new restrictions came in October. 'However' I also think the position of the camera in High Street / Queen Street are ill- thought out. Motorists are being photographed while still on HIGH STREET, even though some do not actually drive into Queen St. I know of many motorists who do not complete the turn into Queen Street, they correct themselves at the last minute, and make a left turn on to East Hill, but 'alas' too late..£60 up the kilt. The law states that Queen Street is the bus lane, why are motorists being photographed in HIGH STREET? 'Yes' I know the smart Alec's on here are saying 'read the signs' but surely more time should be allowed to get acclimatized to the new restrictions.
I like the bus lane idea, and think high street is a lot less congested since the new restrictions came in October. 'However' I also think the position of the camera in High Street / Queen Street are ill- thought out. Motorists are being photographed while still on HIGH STREET, even though some do not actually drive into Queen St. I know of many motorists who do not complete the turn into Queen Street, they correct themselves at the last minute, and make a left turn on to East Hill, but 'alas' too late..£60 up the kilt. The law states that Queen Street is the bus lane, why are motorists being photographed in HIGH STREET? 'Yes' I know the smart Alec's on here are saying 'read the signs' but surely more time should be allowed to get acclimatized to the new restrictions. 25414nora

8:56am Tue 7 Jan 14

Gladiator of Colchester says...

seikothrill wrote:
All the excuses are coming out.

There was plenty of notification of these crazy restrictions and I can clearly see road signs advertising the restrictions.

If people claim they cannot see signs then they shouldn't be driving.

If you don't want to pay the fine the easy solution would be to adhere to the rules.

There are no excuses for poor driving.

Chris Harvey and Michael Franklin, stop whining and pay up.

A note of caution is that if you don't pay fines you could end up with a criminal record.
LOL..... PART OF THE PROBLEM IS THAT THE SIGNS WERE NOT THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE... LOVE THE PIC AT THE TOP THAT CLEARLY SHOWS SOME OF THE SIGNS MISSING IN THE FIRST PLACE....
[quote][p][bold]seikothrill[/bold] wrote: All the excuses are coming out. There was plenty of notification of these crazy restrictions and I can clearly see road signs advertising the restrictions. If people claim they cannot see signs then they shouldn't be driving. If you don't want to pay the fine the easy solution would be to adhere to the rules. There are no excuses for poor driving. Chris Harvey and Michael Franklin, stop whining and pay up. A note of caution is that if you don't pay fines you could end up with a criminal record.[/p][/quote]LOL..... PART OF THE PROBLEM IS THAT THE SIGNS WERE NOT THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE... LOVE THE PIC AT THE TOP THAT CLEARLY SHOWS SOME OF THE SIGNS MISSING IN THE FIRST PLACE.... Gladiator of Colchester

12:47pm Tue 7 Jan 14

Red Tape 2 says...

Don't pay the fine and appeal - they system will soon grind to a halt and ECC know if they take it to court they will lose. Soo too many people are being caught out there is clearly a problem with the signage (or should that be not so clearly....)
Don't pay the fine and appeal - they system will soon grind to a halt and ECC know if they take it to court they will lose. Soo too many people are being caught out there is clearly a problem with the signage (or should that be not so clearly....) Red Tape 2

10:17pm Tue 7 Jan 14

talllboy says...

The traffic restrictions applied on North Hill and the High St - Queen St junction are perfectly clear and easy to understand ... but then again "There are none so blind as those who will not see."
The traffic restrictions applied on North Hill and the High St - Queen St junction are perfectly clear and easy to understand ... but then again "There are none so blind as those who will not see." talllboy

12:47pm Mon 13 Jan 14

gary@euroloo.com says...

Never nice to receive a fine, but you know the saying, cant to the time don't do the crime,
Never nice to receive a fine, but you know the saying, cant to the time don't do the crime, gary@euroloo.com

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