Wolverhampton traffic wardens targeting buses
Traffic wardens in Wolverhampton have been dishing out tickets to bus drivers - for stopping at a bus stop.
Buses outside the Moon Under Water pub in Lichfield Street have been slapped with £70 fines.
A fed-up driver today described the city council as being 'on a suicide mission to drive everyone out of Wolverhampton'.
Wardens started ticketing buses after receiving complaints about illegal parking. The council said no vehicle was allowed to stop in the street unless loading or unloading.
And while the local authority admits two fines were dished out to bus drivers on Friday, National Express West Midlands say it is 'several'.
A meeting to address issue will take place next week, with traffic wardens told not to give out any more fines while the bus company investigates.
It is the number one Wolverhampton-to-Dudley service, which stops twice in Lichfield Street instead of the city centre bus station, that has been falling foul of the wardens.
One bus driver who was ticketed but asked not to be named said: "I think there was six or seven of us ticketed in total.
"Some drivers were there for two or three minutes waiting for a change of driver when the traffic wardens gave them tickets.
"The wardens were telling us we had to move on, but that is always the place where we change drivers before the bus heads off to Dudley.
"It's crazy when you have cars driving through the taxi-only lane up Pipers Row while the roadworks are on. They don't get tickets, but we are getting penalised for doing our jobs.
"It is as if the council is on a suicide mission to drive everyone out of Wolverhampton."
Wardens were responding to complaints that drivers had been abandoning their buses for long periods of time for breaks.
Buses and coaches are allowed to stop in the street to drop people off and pick them up, but not to park.
National Express spokesman Jack Kelly said: "Some number one buses that had been to Tettenhall were ticketed while they waited along Lichfield Street.
"Several tickets were given out. We know there have been issues there with cars parking in the bus lane which has led to congestion."
Councillor Judith Rowley, who has responsibilities for both the city council and Centro, said she was dismayed that buses had been targeted and added: "This is horrendous and flies in the face of everything Centro is trying to achieve."
Council spokesman Tim Clark said: "There have been issues about parking and congestion in Lichfield Street.
"A meeting has been organised for next week with all the interested parties to talk things through and hopefully agree a way forward."
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