Coppergate access fines refund process explained

Coppergate - Time to move on

Coppergate – Time to move on

Following approval by councillors on 30 July, City of York Council has opened the application process for the repayment of Penalty Charge Notices in relation to the traffic regulation of Coppergate.

The application process will close on midnight on 31 March 2016.

An application must be made before midnight on 31 March 2016 in order for this to be considered for repayment. The deadline for Lendal Bridge applications has also been extended  until 31 March 2016.All applications must be made online via , although support will be provided for anyone who doesn’t have access to the internet.Full FAQs detailing the repayment process can be found on this webpage, or below.

Drivers are asked to read these FAQs relating to the repayment process before submitting their application.  (more…)

28,153 drivers apply for Lendal Bridge refunds

Only 3 from non UK residents

The York Council has responded to a Freedom of Information request about the progress made in offering refunds to drivers who were fined for driving over Lendal Bridge.

Sight seeing bus on Lendal Bridge

The Council decided, after pressure for opposition parties, to write to all affected drivers telling them of the process for claiming refunds.

The refunds were offered after the traffic adjudicator ruled in 2014 that the Council had acted unlawfully.

The Council has now confirmed that 27,181 letters were sent to drivers on 13th February.

In total 28,153 applications for refunds have been made although this figure does include some duplicates.

Since the decision to send out the letters a total of £334,921 has been refunded.

The Council has broken down into the postcode of the applicant the refund applications which have so far been successful

  • YO postcodes account for 3,506
  • The rest of the UK 15,782
  • Only 3 appear to have originated outside the UK

Taking into account the refunds made last year, a total of £689,531 has so far been refunded.

At the March 2014 Council meeting the Cllr Merrett, who then was responsible for the trial closures on Lendal Bridge and Coppergate, admitted that over £2 million had been raised in fine income.

With the Council now having been judged to have acted unlawfully on Coppergate as well as Lendal Bridge, it seems likely that further tranche of letters will shortly be going out advising more drivers of their right to a refund.

Commenting former Council Leader Steve Galloway, who submitted the Freedom on of Information request, said,

 “Clearly many thousands of drivers did not know about their right to a refund.

Opposition Councillors have been vindicated for their decision to ask that all drivers be notified by letter of the refund process.

It is unfortunate that so few foreign visitors have responded to the letter. This rather suggests that the reputational cost of this project failure may be with us for several more years

I hope that the Council will act quickly to refund fines levied on Coppergate and will be more circumspect in future when rolling out new technology like ANPR cameras

York Council loses Coppergate fines appeal

Another £400,000 to be paid out to fined motoristsCamera

The traffic adjudicator has rejected the York Councils appeal over fines issued for breaches of the  Coppergate access restrictions.

It means that drivers who were caught and fined during the trial period (August 2013 – March 2014) on the route will be entitled to have the fines repaid.

It also puts paid to any idea that the Council may have of switching its spy cameras back on.

The Council may have a right of appeal to the High Court over the ruling but it seems unlikely that the new Councillors, who are due to be elected on 7th May, will pursue that costly option.

In total over £2 million was unlawfully taken  by the York Council in fines on Lendal Bridge and Coppergate.

Even when it was clear (after only 6 weeks) that the trial had gone badly wrong and should therefore be suspended, prominent Labour Councillor Dave Merrett refused to suspend the restrictions.

His chances of re-election on 7th May must now be fading along with the hopes of other Labour Cabinet members who also failed to act to end the scandal.

Both major opposition parties have promised a full public inquiry into the circumstances which led the Council to act unlawfully. Labour declined to hold such an inquiry when they were in office, with Green Councillors also voting against a probe for the truth.


Coppergate Fines – No decision until after the elections

Voters will go to the polls on May 7th still not knowing whether nearly £400,000 was collected by the York Council unlawfully.

The Council have appealed against a ruling by the traffic adjudicator that fines levied using ANPR cameras on Coppergate in 2013 and 2014 were unlawful.

Coppergate bus lane enforcement plans  June 2013

Coppergate bus lane enforcement plans June 2013

The Council accepted last year that similar enforcement tactics used during the Lendal Bridge trial closure were flawed. Refunds totalling over £1 million are owed to affected motorists.

The Council has been asked to provide an updated statement indicating how many drivers have responded to the claim letters which opposition Councillors forced the authority to issue to Lendal Bridge motorists in January.

On Coppergate the problems arose when the operating hours of long standing traffic restrictions were extended during the morning and early evening periods. For the first time in York, cameras were used to enforce a ban. The adjudicator ruled the scheme unlawful because the signs were inadequate.  

The ANPR cameras were switched off a year ago when an appeal against the ruling was lodged by the Council.

 It has taken over 12 months for the appeal to be considered with speculation mounting that the ruling will be sustained and that the new Council will be left to pick up the financial pieces of a mistake which has had calamitous consequences for both drivers and taxpayers.

Labour Councillor Dave Merrett was widely held responsible for the blunder although it effectively ended the York political career of former Council Leader James Alexander.

York Council receives £1.85 million in bus lane fines

A Freedom of information response has revealed that the York Council has received £1.85 million in fines income from motorists misusing “bus lanes”.Camera

Most of the income was generated on Lendal Bridge and Coppergate.

The enforcement cameras have since been switched off at both locations and the Council is engaged in the costly exercise of writing, to all who were fined on Lendal Bridge, offering a refund. (A further FOI request for a progress report on the numbers responding is due at the end of the month).

The Council has not yet refunded fines imposed on Coppergate but instead submitted an appeal against a traffic adjudicator’s judgement that the fines were unlawful.

The appeal process has been dragging on for over a year now.

£1.85 million in fines

Lendal Bridge fine refund letters being sent out now

Nearly 12 months after the unlawful Lendal Bridge trial closure resulted in over £1 million in fines being levied, motorists will now be told they can have their money back.

Lendal bridge without traffic

Lendal bridge without traffic

Anyone who received a Penalty Charge Notice (PCNs) in relation to Lendal Bridge and has not yet completed the online repayment process is being sent a letter to inform them of the refund.

The decision was forced on the Council when Labour lost their majority in the autumn. The Council is in the process of writing to 27,000 people who have not currently claimed their PCN repayment.

Letters have been sent to their last known address and are expected to be fully distributed in the coming weeks.
They include information on the refund process as well as notifying them that the deadline of the online process for Lendal Bridge repayments has been extended to 31 December 2015.

If the PCN was issued directly to the registered keeper of the vehicle then they will be able to complete the online refund process. If a company or hire company paid the penalty charge and then sought reimbursement from the person, or passed it to them for payment, they will need to speak to their employer or vehicle hire company as they will need to make complete the online refund process.

For more information about Lendal Bridge repayments, including full FAQs and background information

The council will assist anyone in person in the council’s West Offices or over the phone (01904 551550) to help them through the process if they have no access to the internet.#




A final decision on the legality of the fines levied using cameras on Coppergate is expected within the next few weeks.

The Council has indicated that it intends to switch the ANPR cameras back on if their appeal against the unlawful ruling (which also applied to Coppergate) is upheld.

Labour have budgeted to receive £100,000 from new Coppergate fine income during the forthcoming financial year.

Lendal Bridge “automatic” fine refund process revealed

Report published – administration to cost extra £150,000

The Council Cabinet will decide on 20th January how to implement the Councils decision to “automatically” refund those who were fined during the Lendal Bridge trial.

Lendal Man

So far 12,512 refunds have been issued by the Council.

The most likely course of action is that all 35,000 motorists, who have not yet claimed a refund, will be written to and advised of their opportunity to claim.

After that the process will be much the same as the scheme currently in operation.

The cost of sending out and managing the notification process is put at £150,000. The money will come from grant income which otherwise would have been spent on public services in the City.

In total the Council took around £1.8 million in fines from the Lendal bridge and Coppergate schemes. The Council continues to pursue a claim that the Coppergate fines were levied lawfully but their appeal has been outstanding for over 9 months now.

Additionally, over £700,000 was spent on implementing and administering the original schemes.

The Council is shying away from simply putting a cheque in the post to the registered vehicle keeper details that its agents have on file. They fear that many of the payments would not reach the right people (hire cars, parental cars, foreign tourists, deceased etc)  and Legal Counsel have said that such an option could jeopardise the Councils  Coppergate appeal.

All in all it now looks like the Lendal Bridge experiment will cost over £1 million.

That is money which could, and should, have been spent addressing road safety issues across the whole City.

Lendal Bridge fine deadline scrapped

The York Council has agreed tonight to cancel the end of December deadline for motorists wanting to reclaim fines unlawfully levied on Lendal Bridge.

They have promised that there will be a report in January which will confirm how the fines will be repaid “automatically”.

The decision was taken after the new Council required the Labour Cabinet to act to make the refunds.

It has also emerged that very few of the fines lodged against foreign tourists have been repaid.

The figures are:

Of the 5460 payments issued,

  • 1927 (35%) have been to YO postcodes,
  • 3531 (65%) have been to the rest of the UK, and
  • 2 overseas (0.04%).

Lendal Bridge meeting next week

The Cabinet member with responsibility for Transport (now Cllr Levene following Dave Merretts sacking last week) will be asked on Monday to sort out the continuing  Lendal Bridge refund crisis.

Although no background report has yet been published, it seems likely that the first step will be to scrap the 31st December deadline for the Council to receive refund requests.

Quite how the Council will “automatically” refund the remaining fines remains to be seen as does the result of the Council’s appeal against similar unlawful charges which were levied in Coppergate.

Lendal Bridge fines to be repaid “automatically”

The York Council has tonight finally agreed with the support of 42 Councillors (with 3 abstentions) to repay the fines that it imposed unlawfully on motorists using Lendal Bridge during the restricted access trial.

The proposal was tabled by Liberal Democrat Leader Keith Aspden

It is of course a decision which should have been taken in September 2013 when it became clear that the trial had failed.Lendal bridge notice

15 months later it will be too late for some.

Those who have in the interim died, those who have moved home, those who have changed bank accounts as well as many who live abroad, may even now not find the fines are as easy to obtain as many would hope.

However it is an end to part of the saga with any inquiry, into the irregularities that took place, likely now to have to wait until after the elections in May.

Attention will now turn to the appeal relating to the imposition of fines for the extended hours restrictions on Coppergate.

If that appeal by the Council, against the traffic adjudicator ruling, fails then the repercussions for taxpayers and/or local service standards could be considerable.