Bus lane fines amass £60k

Mo­torists claim the re­stric­tion is ‘not clearly sign­posted’ or marked on road

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By David Rivers david.rivers@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

A BUS lane cam­era in Northolt has banked the coun­cil more than £60,000 in three months by pe­nal­is­ing mo­torists in a lane they claim is ‘not clearly sign­posted’.

Driv­ers claim a cam­era is snap­ping them in a small part of a bus lane at the top end of Man­dev­ille Road, to­wards East­cote Lane, in Northolt, that ‘is not clearly sign­posted or floor marked’.

A Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion Re­quest (FOI) seen by the Gazette shows that in the most re­cent Novem­ber, De­cem­ber and Jan­uary the cam­era over­look­ing the lane made £62,820.

Mo­torist Luisa Rai­mondo, who lives in north Lon­don but some­times trav­els through Man­dev­ille Road, said she has been fined twice on the stretch of bus lane.

In a com­plaint to Eal­ing Coun­cil, Ms Rai­mondo added: “This cam­era is claim­ing that in­no­cent driv­ers are in a bus lane that is not clearly sign­posted, or floor marked, to in­di­cate there is a bus lane.

“There are no road mark­ings to in­di­cate the bus lane. It is a small stretch of road which acts to trick driv­ers.”

Driv­ers claim there is a stretch of the bus lane, around 20 me­tres long, that is not clearly sign­posted that fol­lows a zig zag line just af­ter a cross­ing, which was in­stalled last year.

The FOI re­quest shows that the cam­era made £23,465 in Novem­ber, £25,055 in De­cem­ber and £14,300 in Jan­uary.

But a coun­cil spokesper­son said the ap­proach to and from the cross­ing, marked with a white zig-zag line, is part of a con­tin­u­ous and clearly sign­posted bus lane run­ning from near the post of­fice to around 40 me­tres be­fore East­cote Lane.

The spokesper­son added that the stretch af­ter the lights, which mo­torists feel is un­nec­es­sary, meets le­gal re­quire­ments.

There is also a white ar­row in­di­cat­ing when a driver may go back into the left lane.

“Our pri­or­ity is to keep traf­fic flow­ing and to re­duce jour­ney times for pas­sen­gers by mak­ing buses more re­li­able on one of the busiest roads in the bor­ough,” added the spokesper­son.

“For­tu­nately the vast ma­jor­ity of mo­torists avoid driv­ing in the bus lane dur­ing op­er­at­ing hours, but if any­one feels they have un­fairly re­ceived a penalty charge no­tice they can ap­peal.”

Mo­torist Neil Moy­sey, who used the road two to three times a week for 30 years be­fore mov­ing from Northolt to north Lon­don last year, called for bet­ter sign­post­ing.

The me­chan­ics di­rec­tor added: “Peo­ple turn left to go out of the lane from the lights, but peo­ple do not know that they are go­ing back into a bus lane.

“There should be a sign say­ing ‘bus lane’.”

Money made by bus lane cam­eras is given to the coun­cil, which uses the funds to spend on trans­port projects in Eal­ing.

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