Bus lane fines amass £60k
Motorists claim the restriction is ‘not clearly signposted’ or marked on road
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.