More than 100 drivers have appealed against bus lane fines in Plymouth
A TOTAL of 105 drivers have lodged appeals against bus lane fines in Plymouth, it can be revealed.
The Herald reported yesterday on how two motorists had successfully appealed against their fines – though the council is fighting to overturn one.
Last month it emerged that a whopping 33,715 penalty notices had been handed to drivers who stray into bus lanes since the city's six cameras were turned on in August last year.
Anyone who breaks the rules is fined £60 – reduced to £30 if paid within two weeks – and those who feel they have been wrongly punished can appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal (TPT).
A TPT spokesman was unable to reveal how many of the 105 appeals have been successful.
Last month 60-year-old Keith Hocking, from St Budeaux, was caught driving in a bus lane in Tavistock Road, Derriford.
The bus lane runs along the outside lane of the northbound carriageway, and several people have been caught while turning left into the nearby retail park.
Mr Hocking said: "I left McDonalds and was heading into B&Q. There was no way I could get into the middle lane because of all the cars. I thought there's no point trying to find a way into the line. I just drove down there, there were no buses there but that's where they caught me."
Mr Hocking lodged an appeal but opted not to take the case to a tribunal and paid the £30 fine.
"It's a ridiculous one, it's stupid," he said. "If you get caught in the way of a bus, fair enough, you are in a bus lane and you are holding them all up. But this camera is causing more problems with people trying to push in to traffic."
Andy Chatfield, aged 49, from Ivybridge, was also caught in the same bus lane two months ago.
He said: "I was four cars away from the lights and instead of polluting the planet I carefully checked my mirrors for anything coming on the inside of me, but nothing was there.
"I looked at the arrow telling me to turn into the B&Q or M&S entrance and proceeded into the turning with no problems at all.
"Yes I do admit to the offence, I crossed into the bus lane, but no I didn't obstruct the buses or taxis."
Mr Chatfield chose not to appeal but feels the camera should be removed.
He said: "I feel that camera is a entrapment, especially when you're sat at the lights and you see a big arrow pointing left 150 metres away from you. Your reaction is 'nothing is coming, I'll go ahead and turn'."
The council says bus lane cameras were introduced to reduce congestion, and insists that money generated through fines is invested back into the city's transport network.