Dispute over bus lane fines
5:00am Saturday 9th August 2014 in By Mike Benke, @Michael_Benke
QUESTIONS have been raised about the accuracy of council figures regarding drivers misusing bus lanes and gates.
Earlier this week, the council announced that since the introduction of mobile cameras at the start of July, more than 5,500 warning letters and fines had been issued to drivers for breaches of road regulations.
However, it has emerged a number of these have been given to taxi drivers who are entitled to use the bus lanes, although they are not allowed to use bus gates.
Some drivers have also said they have received fines for going into bus lanes between 7pm and 7am despite signs informing them this is permitted, but the council say this is not the case.
One company, V Cars, has received almost 150 notices since the cameras came into effect, despite all the cars being registered with the council.
Although the notices have all been quashed, it has created a mountain of extra work for both the company and the council.
Kane Wollen, who is the drivers’ manager at V Cars, said: “It has been a real pain to be honest. We have now set up a system where I speak with a woman and she cancels them but it is just a lot more work and therefore money.
“I feel just as sorry for her because her workload has increased as well.
“I agree 100 per cent with what they are doing in trying to ease up the system but I don’t agree with how they are doing it.
“They need to sort out how they go about measuring cars which go into the bus lanes.”
In total five cameras were introduced which are moved around the town’s 19 bus lanes and 24 gates following the high number of unauthorised vehicles using them.
Drivers caught face a fine of £60, which is halved if it is paid within a fortnight.
The money raised will go towards paying off the £130,000 cost of the scheme. Any extra money will then go on transport projects around the town.
A council spokesman said: “Any driver who gets a Penalty Charge Notice after driving in a bus lane or through a bus gate has a right of appeal to the council, and if they aren’t satisfied with our response they can take it to an independent tribunal.
“No one has received a penalty charge notice for driving in lanes before 7am or after 7pm, because the cameras log the time when the vehicle is detected.”
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