Lancashire County Council has confirmed that the Fishergate Bus Lane will remain in place.
However, as a gesture of goodwill, the council will review the case of anyone who contacts it in writing, for first-time cases made on the basis of inadequate signing, with a view to issuing refunds where appropriate. This would need to be before 13 April.
The independent adjudicator found that the measures were legal and in accordance with the guidelines, however he suggested changes to the signing that he described as inadequate.
The bus lane, between Mount Street and Corporation St, will remain in operation from 11am to 6pm every day.
The bus lane restriction was introduced to:
• Reduce traffic congestion at peak times.
• Maintain traffic flow around the city centre.
• Improve the Fishergate environment.
• Reduce pollution within the main shopping area at peak times.
While the restrictions remain in place, no camera enforcement will be carried out until the council has reviewed the experimental scheme as planned in April, taking into account the findings of the adjudicator, and all other comments made during the consultation process.
County Councillor John Fillis, Cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “The quickest way to contact us is through our website, stating the circumstance in which people received the penalty. If that is in keeping with the adjudicator’s decision, based on the signing, then we will give people their money back.
“These measures will stay in place while we review consultation responses and look into measures such as extra signing, following the adjudicator’s findings. We won’t use cameras to enforce this bus lane while we review it and look into options.
“This means that unauthorised vehicles are still restricted from using this section between 11am and 6pm. And we ask people to respect this.
“Our aim was always to improve the traffic flow. We didn’t want to issue any Penalty Charge Notices, but they’re an important way to enforce these changes.
“We’re clear that these changes have significantly improved the city centre in many ways. Fishergate has become a more pleasant place for pedestrians and it has helped to reduce traffic building up in parts of the city centre at the busiest times. Bus operators have told us that they’re very happy with these changes.
“This has also helped air quality, thanks to a reduction in queuing vehicles.
“There has been a reported increase in footfall, and we’ve seen new shops and businesses coming into the city centre.”