A motorist whose sat-nav directed him through Huddersfield’s controversial bus gates has been hit with a £90 penalty notice.
A letter from Kirklees Council told Jason Evanson the £90 fine was because he had failed to respond to an initial demand for payment.
But Longwood man Mr Evanson, who had never previously driven through the town centre, said he did not get the first demand.
The initial fine would be £60 to be paid within 28 days – or £30 if paid within 14 days – with a right to appeal.
He said the incident happened last November as he returned from visiting his mother in a North Wales nursing home. Driving on New Hey Road after leaving the M62 at Outlane, he used his sat-nav to direct him to Bubbles Car Wash on Leeds Road.
“I had only lived in Huddersfield for two-and-a-half years at the time and as I work down south during the week I am not that familiar with the road layouts and navigating to certain points around Huddersfield,” said Mr Evanson.
“I was off sick at the time awaiting major spinal surgery and realising that a fine may be imminent I checked the mail every day for the next few weeks expecting the fine to arrive. I find it rather strange that the only letter I have received regarding this offence is the increased fine of £90 – and that being three months after the offence was committed.”
Mr Evanson said he queried the fine by email, but got no reply.
The bus gates went “live” in February last year to prevent vehicles from using key routes in the town centre. Only buses and hackney carriage taxis are allowed to pass through the gates located at Westgate, Kirkgate, Railway Street, Market Street and High Street.
Retailers have blamed the bus gates for contributing to a fall in the number of shoppers visiting Huddersfield town centre while Kirklees Council has reaped a six-figure sum in fines by the end of last year.
Explaining the decision to install them, Kirklees Council’s website says: “In Huddersfield town centre we have introduced bus gates to improve two main public transport routes.
“Their purpose is to ensure the free flow of traffic where historically traffic congestion has been recognised as a problem, particularly where there has been a negative impact on bus punctuality.”
A Kirklees Council spokesman said they were unaware of Mr Evanson’s complaint and asked him to contact them.
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