Compromise needed in the bus lanes
MANY readers will be smiling today when they read about the victory of the common man over the powers-that-be.
Motorist John Ayre is the first person to successfully appeal a fine for driving in a Plymouth bus lane.
He is among thousands who have been snapped by the Embankment Road camera but the first to successfully overturn the fine.
Although Plymouth City Council is appealing the decision, Mr Ayre was relieved the Traffic Penalty Tribunal agreed there was insufficient signage warning drivers of the oncoming bus lane. Mr Ayre awaits the result of the council's appeal but is hoping other drivers may also see a refund of their penalties if his victory is upheld.
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More than than 33,000 penalty charge notices (PCNs) have been issued since six bus lane cameras across the city were switched on in August last year.
Of that figure almost half came from the single camera in Embankment Road with many motorists pleading confusion following the new road layout.
Bus lanes are required to keep public transport flowing in the city and the council has successfully stopped many drivers breaking the rules.
But the council has been criticised for using too little discretion in the handing out of fines.
Drivers placing one wheel in the bus lane, or innocently caught out by new road layouts, are being treated the same as those who knowingly flout the law and use the lanes to beat traffic.
Whoever is the final victor in Mr Ayre's Embankment Road case, it's hoped drivers will become increasingly aware of the cameras and the council will be more lenient towards those who make a genuine error.