Birmingham bus lane signs 'confusing', tribunal agrees

Priory Queensway Around 100,000 fines have been issued to motorists since September

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Drivers caught on camera driving in bus lanes in Birmingham were unfairly fined, a tribunal has ruled.

The two motorists' fines were among up to 100,000 penalties issued since the city council set up 10 cameras in the city centre last September.

The Independent Traffic Penalty Tribunal upheld the drivers' appeals because signs in Priory Queensway were "not adequate".

The council said it would look at the findings and make "necessary changes".

Out of the 10 locations, the adjudicator said he found signage was inadequate or confusing in three places: The Priory Queensway from Colmore Circus towards Old Square, St Martin's Queensway and Moor Street Queensway.

'Understandable confusion'

Motorist Ben Cheney, who has campaigned against the fines, said he was pleased his £60 penalty had been overturned.

Where are the cameras?

  • The Priory Queensway (southbound towards Old Square)
  • The Priory Queensway (southbound towards Masshouse Lane)
  • The Priory Queensway (northbound towards Colmore Circus)
  • St Martin's Queensway (towards Moor Street Queensway)
  • The Priory Queensway (northbound towards Old Square)
  • Bull Street (towards Corporation Street)
  • Moor Street Queensway (eastbound slip road)
  • Moor Street Queensway (towards The Priory Queensway)
  • Moor Street Queensway (south-west bound slip road)
  • St Martin's Queensway (towards New Street station)

However, he added: "I am concerned many people from the community have received these fines and I think the council should give them their money back."

The tribunal said it would continue to consider appeals over the next few weeks.

In a report, adjudicator Stephen Knapp said some of the signs were "a real source of understandable confusion".

"I am satisfied that the inadequacy of the signing means the penalties issued... should not be enforced," said Mr Knapp.

The Birmingham Mail, which broke the story, published complaints from drivers, including families visiting the nearby children's hospital.

A council spokesman said "many of the routes have been subject to restrictions for a number of years" and stressed the adjudicator had ruled the signs were "compliant" at the majority of locations.

"However, the adjudicator has taken the view that signage at three locations could be improved. We will look at their recommendations in detail with a view to making any necessary changes to road signing as part of the ongoing review of the bus lane enforcement scheme," he said.

In a separate case earlier this month, Essex County Council refunded or cancelled £1m in fines to drivers caught in bus lanes in Colchester, after agreeing its signage was inadequate.

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