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Caught in the bus lane

Friday 31 January 2014, 15:43

David Lewis David Lewis Producer 5 live

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Bus Lane

Penalty charges for motorists driving in bus lanes earned councils in England up to £64,816,710 last year.

5 live Investigates has discovered that local authorities are disregarding the decisions of independent adjudicators and refusing to change or improve signs and road markings.

Fewer than one per cent of people appeal, but of those who do, many who claim that warnings signs weren't clear have been successful.

Last year Hammersmith and Fulham Council issued penalty notices worth £1 million pounds to 8,200 motorists, who went into a bus lane on Shepherds Bush Road.

The council insists the bus lane is “clearly marked and fully compliant” but Eddie Williams is one of five motorists who won an appeal at Shepherds Bush Road when he claimed the signage was inadequate.

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A motorist says Hammersmith and Fulham Council were collecting bus lane fines wrongly.

The adjudicator’s decisions are only binding in the individual cases and Hammersmith and Fulham Council is under no obligation to act on their recommendations. The council insists there is no issue on that road and says all of its bus lanes "are clearly marked and are fully compliant”.

AA spokesperson Paul Watters said it was "quite shocking that local authorities are not accepting adjudicator’s findings. To think that an authority will continue dishing out tickets at such a location is quite astounding”.

In a statement the Local Government Association, which represents councils, said: “The fact that over 99 per cent of bus lane fines are not appealed clearly shows that the overwhelming majority of people who are ticketed accept they have broken the rules.

“On the rare occasion it can be conclusively proven that a council has inadequate signage then they should act to correct the error.”

Hear the full report on 5 live Investigates on Sunday 2nd February at 11am.

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  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    My son was fined because the camera operator saw him cut across the end of the bus lane with the nearside wheels. No defence but very annoying. Lambeth definitely use their bus lanes and parking areas as cash cows. I watched the video of me getting a ticket from a remote operator, as I could not believe I had been there 5 minutes. I had been there 5 minutes and 40 seconds though, and the operator closed in on my car and stayed on it for the full time, whilst there were minicabs nearby that did not move at all and obviously were no watched by the camera catching me. Annoying!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Birmingham council is the worst for this. 11, 038 people caught on one camera in 52 days on priory queensway

    There is no incentive for the council to make the signage as clear as possible

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    We have heard. David Cameron going on about benefit claimants receiving FREE money which to anyone who has paid national insurance is NOT FREE, this IS blatantly FREE money is he going to put a stop to councils scrounging of the already beleaguered motorists this after all is just highway robbery (literally) as are parking charge notices they rely on the public who just pay up under the threat of an increase in the fine if not paid quickly it's disgusting


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