The 'unavoidable' bus lane? Driver's fury over fine
A motorist has been left furious after he was issued with a fine for going into a bus lane that was impossible to avoid.
Ryan Monk says he fears other drivers may also have been fined unfairly after making legal U-turns outside Asda on Wolverhampton Road, Heath Town.
Motorists who make a U-turn cannot avoid cutting part way into the bus lane as the road is too narrow. It is a legitimate section for vehicles to make U-turns, and there is a small lane directing drivers to do so.
The 31-year-old father-of-two from Oxley was baffled when he received a penalty charge notice from the city council. Images captured by the camera showed him momentarily in the bus lane before coming out again.
The Express & Star witnessed a series of cars making the same turning during a short period, all unable to avoid the bus lane.
The council said motorists who quickly get out of the bus lane should not be penalised and has encouraged anyone who feels they have been harshly treated to appeal. Travelling in bus lanes in the city results in penalties of £60, reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days.
Mr Monk says he believes the bus lane could be being used as a cash cow as some drivers may decide not to appeal.
"I was disgusted," he said. "I was probably in there for no more than 15 metres, checking over my shoulder and in my mirrors
"Family members said just pay it as it's the council and they will get their way.
"What made my blood boil was when an old lady went across and did the same thing.
"Ninety nine per cent of people who make that turn come out of the shopping precinct so it's preying on people popping to the shop to get bits and bobs.
"If they vetted them better they would save the council's time and the public's time and effort."
Mr Monk, who has now launched an appeal against his fine, also worries there could be dangers associated with turning.
He said: "Some are taking a wide berth and instead of the feeder lane are going into the middle lane (to make the U-turn) which is more dangerous as they are in a lane they are not supposed to be in."
A Wolverhampton Council spokeswoman said: “If a car enters a bus lane for a short period and for a genuine reason, then this would not result in a notice being issued. However, if a car has entered a bus lane but then drives along it for over 20 metres without attempting to move back into the correct lane, then we would issue a notice.
“If anyone feels that they have been issued with a ticket inappropriately, they should follow the appeals process.”