Dispute over bus lane fines

V Cars taxi drivers Jamie Massey and Allan Barlow who are just some of the cabbies who have been given warning notices for using bus lanes

V Cars taxi drivers Jamie Massey and Allan Barlow who are just some of the cabbies who have been given warning notices for using bus lanes

First published in News Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , @Michael_Benke

QUESTIONS have been raised about the accuracy of council figures regarding drivers misusing bus lanes and gates.

Earlier this week, the council announced that since the introduction of mobile cameras at the start of July, more than 5,500 warning letters and fines had been issued to drivers for breaches of road regulations.

However, it has emerged a number of these have been given to taxi drivers who are entitled to use the bus lanes, although they are not allowed to use bus gates.

Some drivers have also said they have received fines for going into bus lanes between 7pm and 7am despite signs informing them this is permitted, but the council say this is not the case.

One company, V Cars, has received almost 150 notices since the cameras came into effect, despite all the cars being registered with the council.

Although the notices have all been quashed, it has created a mountain of extra work for both the company and the council.

Kane Wollen, who is the drivers’ manager at V Cars, said: “It has been a real pain to be honest. We have now set up a system where I speak with a woman and she cancels them but it is just a lot more work and therefore money.

“I feel just as sorry for her because her workload has increased as well.

“I agree 100 per cent with what they are doing in trying to ease up the system but I don’t agree with how they are doing it.

“They need to sort out how they go about measuring cars which go into the bus lanes.”

In total five cameras were introduced which are moved around the town’s 19 bus lanes and 24 gates following the high number of unauthorised vehicles using them.

Drivers caught face a fine of £60, which is halved if it is paid within a fortnight.

The money raised will go towards paying off the £130,000 cost of the scheme. Any extra money will then go on transport projects around the town.

A council spokesman said: “Any driver who gets a Penalty Charge Notice after driving in a bus lane or through a bus gate has a right of appeal to the council, and if they aren’t satisfied with our response they can take it to an independent tribunal.

“No one has received a penalty charge notice for driving in lanes before 7am or after 7pm, because the cameras log the time when the vehicle is detected.”

Comments (17)

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8:33am Sat 9 Aug 14

southside7 says...

So predictable. Why is the civil service still so pathetically inefficient? It's like constantly battling with lazy schoolchildren.
So predictable. Why is the civil service still so pathetically inefficient? It's like constantly battling with lazy schoolchildren. southside7
  • Score: 13

9:19am Sat 9 Aug 14

Alan Bast*rd says...

Another SBC balls up. Can they do anything properly?
Another SBC balls up. Can they do anything properly? Alan Bast*rd
  • Score: 16

10:14am Sat 9 Aug 14

beach1e says...

how much of my money is being wasted in issuing fines when they are then quashed the people that work for Swindon Council really are paid far too much for their total incompetence
how much of my money is being wasted in issuing fines when they are then quashed the people that work for Swindon Council really are paid far too much for their total incompetence beach1e
  • Score: 12

10:15am Sat 9 Aug 14

lolilovegolf says...

Money making council!!!
Money making council!!! lolilovegolf
  • Score: 18

6:08pm Sat 9 Aug 14

faatmaan says...

so a taxi carrying one passenger can use the roads in question, surely for this scheme to work correctly in the spirit of reducing traffic flow on these roads, the taxi should be carrying a minimum of at least two passengers, even allowing for this, these are public highways, maintained by public money ( not the bus or taxi companies) so if access is denied to normal cars, access should also be denied to any vehicle below say a minibus carrying at least a set number of passengers.
so a taxi carrying one passenger can use the roads in question, surely for this scheme to work correctly in the spirit of reducing traffic flow on these roads, the taxi should be carrying a minimum of at least two passengers, even allowing for this, these are public highways, maintained by public money ( not the bus or taxi companies) so if access is denied to normal cars, access should also be denied to any vehicle below say a minibus carrying at least a set number of passengers. faatmaan
  • Score: 2

6:56pm Sat 9 Aug 14

The Real Librarian says...

QUOTE
Some drivers have also said they have received fines for going into bus lanes between 7pm and 7am despite signs informing them this is permitted, but the council say this is not the case.
UNQUOTE

Well I know someone who got one before 4 am, so with all due respect to the council they are talking bilge.
QUOTE Some drivers have also said they have received fines for going into bus lanes between 7pm and 7am despite signs informing them this is permitted, but the council say this is not the case. UNQUOTE Well I know someone who got one before 4 am, so with all due respect to the council they are talking bilge. The Real Librarian
  • Score: 10

6:59pm Sat 9 Aug 14

The Real Librarian says...

Alan Bast*rd wrote:
Another SBC balls up. Can they do anything properly?
They seem to have ballsups down pat!
[quote][p][bold]Alan Bast*rd[/bold] wrote: Another SBC balls up. Can they do anything properly?[/p][/quote]They seem to have ballsups down pat! The Real Librarian
  • Score: 4

9:44pm Sat 9 Aug 14

Billy Jo says...

Bl00dy moaning taxi drivers. And one of those indignant chaps in the picture is not even a taxi driver. Mr Wollen.... Maybe you should get your house in order before you start chomping off on one buddy. 💪
Bl00dy moaning taxi drivers. And one of those indignant chaps in the picture is not even a taxi driver. Mr Wollen.... Maybe you should get your house in order before you start chomping off on one buddy. 💪 Billy Jo
  • Score: -12

10:05pm Sat 9 Aug 14

Wowzimmer says...

Now, now people! Whilst I wouldn't normally stick up for any organisation a certain amount of 'bedding in' is going to be required. These small teething problems haven't led to any real issues.

If of course this same problem was being reported in 6 months time I could well see the disapproval. As it is I will keep my fingers crossed that the system will be working as expected before long.
Now, now people! Whilst I wouldn't normally stick up for any organisation a certain amount of 'bedding in' is going to be required. These small teething problems haven't led to any real issues. If of course this same problem was being reported in 6 months time I could well see the disapproval. As it is I will keep my fingers crossed that the system will be working as expected before long. Wowzimmer
  • Score: -7

4:53am Sun 10 Aug 14

prodriver says...

Lets get thr facts straight .
1 they are not taxi drivers they are private hire drivers,there is a big legal difference(something the adver never acknowledges)
2 The gentleman in the left of the photograph is holding a penalty charge notice for driving in the bus gate in Mazurek Way, Haydon End which is a 24 hour bus gate and thererfore should not be moaning about being caught.
3 They are lucky enough to be allowed use of part time bus lanes (7 am to 7pm)in most towns this is not allowed.
I will not go into the standard of driving amogst this section of humanity because the faults and incidents are far too many to list.
Lets get thr facts straight . 1 they are not taxi drivers they are private hire drivers,there is a big legal difference(something the adver never acknowledges) 2 The gentleman in the left of the photograph is holding a penalty charge notice for driving in the bus gate in Mazurek Way, Haydon End which is a 24 hour bus gate and thererfore should not be moaning about being caught. 3 They are lucky enough to be allowed use of part time bus lanes (7 am to 7pm)in most towns this is not allowed. I will not go into the standard of driving amogst this section of humanity because the faults and incidents are far too many to list. prodriver
  • Score: -5

9:32am Sun 10 Aug 14

house on the hill says...

Since when have the real facts got in the way of another Adver story? Between them SBC and the ADver some up why so many have such a negative view on Swindon and the people who live their. Morons!
Since when have the real facts got in the way of another Adver story? Between them SBC and the ADver some up why so many have such a negative view on Swindon and the people who live their. Morons! house on the hill
  • Score: 13

7:45pm Sun 10 Aug 14

Sir Fawn Maker says...

That'll be "sum" and "there". Now who's the moron?
That'll be "sum" and "there". Now who's the moron? Sir Fawn Maker
  • Score: 4

9:37pm Sun 10 Aug 14

house on the hill says...

Sir Fawn Maker wrote:
That'll be "sum" and "there". Now who's the moron?
So a couple of spelling mistakes makes you a moron? That would probably apply to everyone in the country at some time or another! Typical troll, lets just insult other people rather than use the few brain cells I have to make a comment about the actual story. And what's with the inferiority complex SIR fawn, seriously, you have to call yourself Sir?
[quote][p][bold]Sir Fawn Maker[/bold] wrote: That'll be "sum" and "there". Now who's the moron?[/p][/quote]So a couple of spelling mistakes makes you a moron? That would probably apply to everyone in the country at some time or another! Typical troll, lets just insult other people rather than use the few brain cells I have to make a comment about the actual story. And what's with the inferiority complex SIR fawn, seriously, you have to call yourself Sir? house on the hill
  • Score: -1

9:52pm Sun 10 Aug 14

Sir Fawn Maker says...

you mean as opposed to insulting everyone in the town by calling them morons, Haha. By the way, the user name was an anagram - I'll leave you (clearly a brilliant mind) to work out what it was.
you mean as opposed to insulting everyone in the town by calling them morons, Haha. By the way, the user name was an anagram - I'll leave you (clearly a brilliant mind) to work out what it was. Sir Fawn Maker
  • Score: 3

12:16am Mon 11 Aug 14

greenpacer says...

Bus lanes should be dropped. They clog up the traffic at certain junctions in this town. They are only useful if the whole road is dedicated to bus services. But look at the plans for Fleming Way with the new bus station . What have the council got up their sleeves next. The car is DOOMED DOOMED man, so it is !
Bus lanes should be dropped. They clog up the traffic at certain junctions in this town. They are only useful if the whole road is dedicated to bus services. But look at the plans for Fleming Way with the new bus station . What have the council got up their sleeves next. The car is DOOMED DOOMED man, so it is ! greenpacer
  • Score: 3

11:29am Mon 11 Aug 14

EmmBee says...

"I am a fatcat banker and I got a fine when my chauffeur drove in a bus lane" VS "I had a passenger in my taxi and got a fine when I drove in a bus lane".

Where's the difference? Taxis are short-term chauffeur-driven vehicles, not public transport. They shouldn't be in the bus lanes in the first place.
"I am a fatcat banker and I got a fine when my chauffeur drove in a bus lane" VS "I had a passenger in my taxi and got a fine when I drove in a bus lane". Where's the difference? Taxis are short-term chauffeur-driven vehicles, not public transport. They shouldn't be in the bus lanes in the first place. EmmBee
  • Score: 2

1:07pm Mon 11 Aug 14

messyits says...

house on the hill wrote:
Since when have the real facts got in the way of another Adver story? Between them SBC and the ADver some up why so many have such a negative view on Swindon and the people who live their. Morons!
I am a born and bred swindonian--perhaps --you should look at your own anti comments.
[quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: Since when have the real facts got in the way of another Adver story? Between them SBC and the ADver some up why so many have such a negative view on Swindon and the people who live their. Morons![/p][/quote]I am a born and bred swindonian--perhaps --you should look at your own anti comments. messyits
  • Score: 0

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