Beds, Herts & Bucks

Hemel Hempstead bus lane drivers to get fines refunded

Hemel Hempstead
Image caption A tribunal ruled the signage was unlawfully placed

Thousands of drivers prosecuted for using a bus lane in Hertfordshire are to get their fines repaid.

After complaints, the Traffic Penalty Tribunal ruled signage on Moor End Road in Hemel Hempstead was unlawful.

About 36,000 drivers received £60 fixed penalties for using the bus lane and the county council is to repay £1.3m.

The council said it was not legally obliged to make the repayment but felt it was morally right. It asks drivers to wait for a letter and not to call.

Rob Smith, the assistant director for transport management, said: "We have carefully considered the adjudicator's decision and have decided not to challenge it.

No further penalties

"On behalf of Hertfordshire County Council, I would like to extend our sincere apologies that our processes in enforcing the bus lane have been found wanting.

"Those who have received penalty charge notices and have not paid the charge do not have to pay.

"No further penalty notices will be issued until the current arrangements have been rectified.

"Our legal advice is that we are not legally obliged to repay those who have already paid penalty charges.

"However, we feel strongly that there is a difference between our legal and moral obligations and the council's cabinet has decided to offer to pay back the fines to all drivers who have paid.

"Over the next couple of months, we will write to those affected to make arrangements for a refund."

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