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Page last updated at 08:36 GMT, Monday, 2 August 2010 09:36 UK
Pulteney Bridge causes major problems for Bath motorists

Pulteney Bridge, Bath
Traffic restrictions along Pulteney Bridge came into force in April 2007

Motorists in Bath, who have been fined for driving over Pulteney Bridge, say the council did not give them sufficient warning.

The historic bridge is only meant to be used by buses, taxis and bicycles.

But some drivers say the small 'no right turn' sign on nearby Grove Street is easily missed and does not warn there is a CCTV camera on the bridge.

BBC Radio Bristol listener Chris Money spoke to Bath reporter Robin Markwell about the problem.

"The only thing telling you not to [turn right] is this little sign on the right hand side of the road, affixed to a lamppost," said Mr Money.

"[It says] 'no right turn except taxis, cycles and for loading' but as far as I'm concerned that is by no means adequate signing.

"Sometimes that sign is knocked round by lorries that are parking or unloading and you can't even see it anyway - at night you can't see it at all."

Mr Money, a music therapist, was working in Bath for the day when he received his fine.

"I unloaded some equipment into the United Reform Church Hall," he said.

"After I'd finished unloading, I went to park my car in the Manvers Street car park.

"I turned right at the end of the road to go across Pulteney bridge, which I've always done before.

"A week later I got a letter through the post saying I'd infringed the regulations and had to pay a £30 fine."

Mr Money paid the fine, as did a friend who was also fined for the same infringement on the same day, although said he shouldn't have even been in that situation in the first place.

"If it had been clearly signed there would be no doubt about it and I'd hold my hands up and say 'yes I'm really sorry, I infringed the bus lane regulations' but it's just not at all clear."

Bridge closure

A statement from Bath and North East Somerset Council, which states that Pulteney Bridge could close to all traffic later in the year, said:

"The signage and road markings are clear and legal and comply with Department for Transport (DfT) guidelines.

"There is a view that the signage and markings notifying drivers of the restrictions could be improved but we are not at liberty to augment the current markings and signs as these are prescribed by the DfT.

The council introduced these restrictions in order to improve the city.
Bath and North East Somerset Council

"There are signs in place which indicate that camera enforcement operates on the bridge and these are clearly visible to road users.

"It is the authority's intention to close the bridge to all traffic (except emergency vehicles) later this year (subject to consultation and a member decision) and this will provide an opportunity to clear up any ambiguity or confusion about the restrictions.

"The council introduced these restrictions in order to improve the city centre for visitors and residents and has attempted to strike a balance between the needs of road users and others.

"Their introduction has considerably reduced the traffic levels in this area and made the area more pleasant for pedestrians.

"Whilst the difficulties in negotiating unfamiliar cities in traffic is recognised, it is incumbent on drivers to recognise that directional guidance is just that, and they should at all times be alert to and comply with road traffic signs."




SEE ALSO
Guide showcases River Avon Trail
27 Oct 09 |  Nature & Outdoors
Bridge users caught out on CCTV
18 Jun 07 |  Somerset
CCTV enforces traffic no-go area
01 Apr 07 |  Somerset

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