Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Bus lane fine for taking terminally-ill wife to hospital

Wendy and Andrew Peryer Image copyright Andrew Peryer
Image caption Wendy and Andrew Peryer, pictured on holiday in Mauritius in 1991, were married for 32 years

A man fined after failing to see a bus lane sign as he drove his terminally-ill wife to hospital has accused the council of "underhand" behaviour.

Andrew Peryer was sent a photograph two days after the death of his wife Wendy, 53, showing them in the lane outside Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth.

Council figures show the enforcement camera amassed fines totalling £123,000 within 11 weeks of it being installed.

Portsmouth City Council said the signs complied with national regulations.

Image copyright Portsmouth City Council
Image caption Andrew Peryer said he could not see the signs warning him about the bus lane restrictions as he approached the hospital

Mr Peryer said: "I had to double-take when I looked at my car and saw the picture of me and my wife in there... I'd just lost her on the Saturday... [it] was like a double whammy, it rubbed salt into the wound."

Mrs Peryer died from cancer on 1 October.

A Freedom of Information request to Portsmouth City Council revealed the camera, installed in Cavell Drive on 22 July 2016, generated 2,062 penalty charge notices by 6 October - each for £60.

Image copyright Andrew Peryer
Image caption Portsmouth City Council said the signs complied with national regulations

The 57-year-old from Portsmouth said he returned to check the signs and maintains they were not visible from his driving position.

He is awaiting the outcome of an appeal.

He said: "It just seems rather underhand. Surely, if you have something that's generating such a high volume of tickets you would look to see a reason why.

"It appears to be a high cash-generation spot and it seems to be preying on people who would be under stress or they've gone to visit someone or are having treatment - that seems totally unfair."

Transport councillor Jim Fleming said appeals to fines were considered on compassionate grounds.

He added: "All the signs, both indicating a bus-only thoroughfare and the presence of camera technology, are clear and fully comply with national regulations.

"There have been 19 successful appeals at this location to date but none of these related to the signs."

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