COVENTRY Council has replaced street signs at the Gosford Street bus gate after years of pressure – prompting fresh calls for fined motorists to be reimbursed.
Last week, signs near to the Gosford Street bus gate in the city centre were taken down by the council after four years, and replaced with larger ones.
Road safety campaigner Richard Heneghan has long claimed the small signs were only to be used as a ‘last resort’ according to Department for Transport (DfT) regulation, as drivers cannot read them.
He claims the new signage is still in breach of DfT regulations as it is at the end of the bus gate rather than at the beginning – giving drivers no chance to avoid punishment once they enter the gate.
Mr Heneghan says no other bus gate signage across the city is positioned at the end of the gate.
Last week, we reported a big fall in the number of motorists being fined since September last year when signage was eventually changed at nearby Whittle Arch bus gate – after years of campaigning and independent tribunal criticism that motorists had not been adequately warned by signage not to enter the bus gate.
Mr Heneghan said: “The cabinet member, the head of highways and the highways director all, over many years, have stated all blue and white bus gate signage is fully compliant, so no refunds will be issued.
“Last week they removed the tiny signage and replaced it with the significantly larger signage that we have been campaigning for.
“Given the tiny 450mm signs have been used and the fact they are placed as far away from the start of the bus gate a possible, the driver is not given clear, timely and adequate information in order to avoid the bus gate.
“Many changes we have campaigned for are now being enacted. Is this anything to do with the new cabinet member?”
City services cabinet member Patricia Hetherton replaced Jayne Innes in December.
We asked the council to explain the change of signs, why they had not done so earlier, and about Mr Heneghan’s claims about the new signs.
A Coventry Council spokesperson said only: “We consider the signage is located in accordance with the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016. This sets out the rules on signage.”