Page last updated at 20:06 GMT, Tuesday, 10 June 2008 21:06 UK

Council refunds tram gate fines

Sheffield tram lane
The offer is expected to cost the local authority up to 350,000

Thousands of motorists who were fined 30 for using tram lanes in Sheffield are to get their money back.

The so-called tram "gates" were introduced in the Hillsborough area last year, to allow buses and trams to bypass congested sections of roads.

An adjudicator looked at the cases of seven people who were fined for using the gates, and agreed the warning signs to motorists were not clear enough.

The city council has offered to give drivers who were fined their cash back.

It is thought the move will cost the authority up to 350,000.

Signs 'being improved'

Council leader Paul Scriven said: "I want common sense to prevail here.

"An independent adjudicator has reviewed seven appeals and felt that the signs may not be as clear as they could be.

"The adjudicator did not say that the council should refund all fines, but I want to be fair and give motorists the chance to get their money back."

He said affected drivers should write to or e-mail the council to claim their money back.

Alan Bangert was one of the motorists who appealed against his fine.

He said: "It's a traffic management system that's operating illegally and it needed addressing.

"It's cost an awful lot of people an awful lot of money."

The council said it was now working to improve the warning signs and markings on the road.

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