Fishergate fury has erupted in Preston city centre after the Evening Post revealed more than 8,000 motorists were fined for flouting the new bus lane rules in just one week.
Fines of up to £500,000 were dished out in the first seven days of the scheme, although that figure will halve if offenders take advantage of a 50 per cent discount by paying up within 14 days.
One “victim” Colin Nugent, 50, (pictured below) who was hit by the £60 fine last week, staged a protest in Fishergate at the weekend with a homemade “No Cars” sign at the junction with Mount Street, claiming the notices put up by LCC there are insufficient.
Traffic marshalls were on duty at the weekend directing motorists off Fishergate to avoid yet more fines.
Here is a selection of reader views on both sides of the argument:
What a farce. The council introduced the shared space and now visitors to Preston are paying for it in unfair fines. Took me 50 minutes to escape Preston after a meeting, Complete joke - Sherlok.
There are no warning signs from Winckley Square/Chapel Street and once on the Fishergate shared space drivers are too preoccupied in avoiding pedestrians to notice one tall pale blue sign just before Mount Street - Voiceofreason.
A disastrous traffic system followed up by fines for people caught out by it - Anthony Blake.
It’s a legal money-making scam. The sign isn’t visible unless you know it’s there - Linda Bamber.
The sign isn’t ‘no entry’ it is ‘restricted’ and only at certain times, so people, especially older people, are really confused. - Marion Fleming.
I got caught down there on Saturday. There wasn’t anyone directing traffic. My stupid mistake, but it’s not all that clear without reading the signs and, if you’re taking time to read whilst driving, you’re not paying attention to the road. A ‘no entry’ sign would suffice to stop idiots like me going down there - Gemma Cade.
Reduce waiting time getting out of town by closing one of the main exit routes. Fantastic example of the genius that is our council. - Andrea Box.
I have parked on St George’s car park for years. I received a fine two days ago for driving down the bus lane. I was unaware of the changes. I will never park on that car park again. I live in New Longton, so I don’t want to be directed all the way round Preston just to get home - Andrea McCourt.
So how do you get out of Preston if you use the St Georeg’s shopping centre car park? Are they trying to drive anyone who has money to spend out of the town? - Valerie Hunt.
It’s as good as another tax. Disgusting. You won’t see me shopping in Preston this year just in case I drive down the wrong road. Money’s tight enough without getting these pathetic fines - Baz Jones.
I didn’t see signs. Both me and my hubby in two cars at more or less the same time driving down there, but only one summons. Hmmm, very selective - Angela Johnson.
It’s disgusting. They need to let people get used to the change before they start giving out fixed penalties. January next year would be soon enough. It’s so unfair, and at this time of year - Angela Dawn Crossthwaite.
Get a grip and open the road up. It has caused no problems beforehand - Bec Hough.
Disgraceful. My grandson has been away for five months in the Navy, got home last week, didn’t think about telling him. Home one day and he got caught - Carol Gray.
Absolutely ridiculous. Motorists are too busy watching the pedestrians tepping out on the roads to even see a sign - Amanda Milly Swarbrick.
The shops will be £500K down when no-one bothers to go into Preston centre to do their Christmas shopping - Nadia Southwood.
The traffic is worse this year. Their plan obviously hasn’t worked. Just shifted the traffic elsewhere. - Dave Kelly.
I avoid going into the town centre completely now. The council have destroyed it. So unwelcoming - Roger Nicholls.
I just hope they use the money to turn it back again. I’ve stopped coming into Preston to shop and so have a lot of my friends and family. - Anne Eshborn.
I was a victim. I don’t know Preston and just followed my satnav to drop my mum off for a train - Noel Mattthews.
Congratulations LCC. Great way to discourage people from using the town centre and supporting local business - Chris Jackson.
LCC are reviewing this after six months. Be sure to email them and say what a bad decision it was - Michael Hogarth.
Looks like they’ve found a way of funding the shortfall in government rants then - Jim Coan.
My grandad’s 89 and has been driving down there 70 years and he’s been slapped with one - Matty Southworth.
I have one on the way which will mean shopping in Southport from then on, which is still quicker than taking the daft route out of Preston back south of the Ribble. Fishergate looks fab, but to fine 8,000 people for a traffic management mess-up is ridiculous - John Anthony Lee.
If you can’t see the road signs then you can’t see pedestrians or cyclists. Consider yourself treated lightly with a fine - Yorkshiregeek.
The squeals of self-righteous and thoughtless car drivers are very touching. There is no universal human right to drive large metal boxes wherever and whenever you want - Frenchwoody.
How many more signs do car drivers need before they see them? - Libbybell.
The changes have been well published, signs are clear. To say they haven’t been advertised outside of Preston, how do we manage when we travel into a town we don’t know? Follow the direction signs. Would you travel down a bus lane if you were in another town? No, so pay up and shut up - Windmill Man.
This is what’s known as an idiot tax and is fair. If you drive down a bus lane it’s not only ignorant, but it’s dangerous too. Many other cities don’t have a problem with this so why Preston? - Prestonspy.
Sorry, but the signage is not poor. Watched 30+ cars ignore the signs in 10 minutes yeatrday. Serves them right - Never Say Die.
I have no sympathy whatsoever. There has been plenty of warnings, especially the LEP website. The signs are big enough and can be clearly seen. Vehicles should be using the Ringway, that’s what it was built for - Cobra427.
Ah yes, the old scheme. When it was quicker to walk from the bus station than drive. Traffic was two-abreast and stationary, churning out CO2. Ah the good old days - Gervaise2.
What frightens me as a motorists, cyclist and pedestrian is not the fact there are so many blind, stupid, lazy, arrogant motorists on the road, but that so many of them don’t think they have done wrong.
I only wish that the punishment was not a £60 fine, but an automatic one month ban. - Grumpier by the day.
I understand it is a trek to get back out of Preston once you start going down that road, but if you are aware that there is a fine, because it has been in effect for ages, noted on social media and LEP, and you still go down the road you can’t really complain when you receive a fine - Marvelmaniac.
There has been loads of publicity in this paper and on social media, together with maps showing the new rules. Carry on the good work LCC, a pleasure to walk down Fishergate these days - Libbybell.
The signs are quite clear and there has been so much publicity - and two weeks of leniency - Absolutely Amazing.
I find it shocking that so many drivers lack one of the most important skills, observation - Alan Hudson.
It’s not hard to just read a road sign. Most cities don’t have cars running through the centre - Kirstie Heyworth.
How about stop driving through the town centre? It’s been a congestion problem for years - Joey Parker.
Great, now spend that on the libraries that are scheduled to be shut - Andy Koziol.
There’s been plenty of notice about this. People still driving down Fishergate will just have to pay up - Bill Brierley.
People make me laugh. There are signs all over and the routes have been in the LEP loads of times and all over Facebook and radio for the last two months. If you are getting caught you deserve it - Doni Don.