England

Bus lane fines overturned after adjudicator and High Court rulings

Entrance to Shakespeare Street
Image caption A fine was given to a taxi driver who drove down the western end of Shakespeare Street in Nottingham

Six motorists have had their fines for driving in bus lanes overturned because of "inadequate" signage.

The drivers challenged the £60 fines handed out in Fishergate in Preston.

The Traffic Penalty Tribunal (TPT) Adjudicator ruling said the signage was not adequate to warn motorists of a bus lane restriction.

Meanwhile, the High Court has ruled drivers could not be fined for driving in a pedestrian zone in Nottingham.

More than £1.3m in fines were issued to 23,000 drivers in two months after the new bus lane was introduced in Preston city centre.

The TPT said that signage on the approach to Fishergate was "inadequate" in warning motorists of a restriction.

'Test case'

The High Court sided with the adjudicator in ruling Nottingham City Council could not fine a motorist for "being in a bus lane" when the street was a pedestrian zone.

The case involved taxi driver Mohammed Sattar whose car was filmed by a traffic camera in Shakespeare Street.

Image caption The tribunal said bus lane signs need to clearly show that there are restrictions to motorists

According to the TPT, an anomaly in English law states councils outside London cannot fine drivers for being in a pedestrian zone and the offence remains a police matter.

Caroline Sheppard, chief parking adjudicator, said: "While most cases are about a £60 penalty, the outcome can have significant implications for councils and motorists.

"Appealing is simple through the TPT... appeals system and motorists can upload evidence and view the council case online."

After the TPT ruling, Lancashire county councillor John Fillis said the authority was "looking into the implications for this scheme".

Nottingham City Council said they brought Mr Sattar's case to court as a "test case" to seek clarification on whether or not their signs complied with statutory requirements.

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