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Moor End Road Bus Lane – a win for “People Power”

April 2, 2012 4:37 PM
By Nick Hollinghurst
Originally published by South West Hertfordshire Liberal Democrats

Cllr Nick Hollinghurst Moor End Road SignNick Hollinghurst, Lib Dem County Councillor, has responded to the damning criticism from the Chief Adjudicator of the Traffic Penalty Tribunal in her decision on two appeals.

Nick said:
'Hertfordshire County Council should repay all of the penalties paid in relation to this sorry scheme.
'The Council should immediately cease issuing any further penalty notices and suspend the scheme until they have amended their defective Traffic Regulation Order and put up approved traffic signs in places where they can easily be seen by motorists.
'I first raised problems with the Moor End Road Bus Lane in the third week of August 2011, within a month of the cameras being activated and I sent reports and photographs to County Cllr Stewart Pile, Executive Member on HCC responsible for Highways. Photographs and comments were also sent to county officers and I had several long conversations with officers at County Hall discussing my concerns.
'The County Council's attitude was to meet all comment, evidence and constructive criticism with a flat rejection and an arrogant insistence that the County Council was right and that everyone else was wrong.
'This appalling and ultimately self-destructive response has resulted in a comprehensive rejection of the county's scheme as being "without effect", "unenforceable" and "unlawful". They have also failed in their duties under Section 18 of the Traffic Order Regulations by putting up unclear, confusing and visually obstructed signs.
'The council has a moral duty, quite apart from any legal obligation, to repay the penalties unlawfully issued, to apologise to those who were trying to prevent this shambles and to the council tax payers for what is potentially a million pound loss. Most of the money has been paid to the civil enforcement company operating the camera and is not recoverable. The County must, as a duty to the citizens, make every effort to recover this loss from the design partner within the Hertfordshire Highways consortium which was responsible for the design of this traffic scheme.
'This has been an example of "people power" scoring a rare success against a public bureaucracy that was in the wrong. I am very grateful to the assistance with expert advice from the campaigning group NoToMob and from citizens right across the UK - particularly Mr Clive Courtenay of Bath. Herts County Council should note that NoToMob are continuing with this matter and are examining the legal consequences should the penalties be retained by HCC instead of being refunded in full.'