15th Nov, 2018

EXCLUSIVE: Coventry council rejects campaigner's offer to help cover costs of bus gate fine victims

COVENTRY council has rejected a campaigner’s offer to foot the bill of writing to those wrongly fined after driving through city bus gates.

Road safety campaigner Richard Heneghan had offered to dip into his own pocket and cover the postage costs of the council notifying all motorists who paid their fines for driving through Park Road, Greyfriars Green and Gosford Streetbus gates between December 2015 and April 2016 by means other than bank transfer or credit/debit card payment.

His offer, made in December, followed repeated refusals from the Labour-run council to write to each driver individually to notify them of their right to a refund of their £30 fine (or £60 if they did not pay it within 14 days).

But following a meeting, the council has rejected his offer and said they will not automatically issue a refund to affected drivers.

Instead they will continue to only reimburse those who took it upon themselves to apply directly to the council in writing to ask for their money back.

A council spokesperson said: “This offer has been well publicised in the local media over many months and we have also promoted it on our website.

“We will also be asking the Department for Transport to cover the costs of any refunds we make.”

But Mr Heneghan said he was concerned the council was simply dragging its feet and trying to mitigate the amount of refunds it had to pay.

He added: “Given that cabinet member Coun Jayne Innes has repeatedly hidden behind the cost of contacting those whom can’t be automatically refunded, I felt compelled to offer to cover the costs myself.

“It would now appear that the matter of costs was just a veiled attempt at retaining the public’s hard earned funds.

“The council have on occasion claimed to be acting in good faith.

“However, bad decisions made in good faith are still bad decisions.

“I am confident that the public will see this response for what it is; a morally questionable and evasive approach which seems to only work to the detriment of the public”

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