Reading council bus lane fines up almost 60,000

Mr Guest (left) and Alok Sharma MP (Cons) for West Reading (right)outside the bus lane sign
Image caption Mr Guest (on left) faced fines of £660 after being issued with 11 tickets

Almost 60,000 more tickets have been issued to motorists using Reading's bus lanes than in the previous year, according to the borough council.

A budget monitoring report revealed 95,000 tickets were issued in 2011/12 (excluding March), compared with 36,000 in 2010/11 and 26,753 in 09/10.

In February about 7,000 motorists were issued with penalty charge notices compared to 3,100 in February 2011.

The council said extended camera enforcement had resulted in more fines.

Drivers illegally using bus lanes are sent a £60 penalty charge notice, reduced to £30 if paid promptly.

Councillor Tony Page said: "It's not that more people are driving in bus lanes it's that we've extended the camera enforcement of our existing bus lanes."

But Kenneth Guest, 47, who faced fines of £660 after receiving 11 tickets as a result of one camera in Southcote Lane, claims the sign is not clear.

The father of one, from Reading, said: "It's clear you can't read the sign from six feet away. The font size of the template is less than one inch, but Tony Page said if you can't read the signs you shouldn't be driving."

In response Mr Page replied: "The actual size of the signs and the lettering are all fully compliant. Bus lanes are there not to raise money, they are there to improve and assist the operation of a very good public transport service."

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