Bus lanes are being used as 'rat traps' for councils to earn millions in fines, says AA

Bus lane fines are now the biggest annoyance to drivers, not parking tickets

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The Independent Online

Unfair fines for misusing bus lanes have become the biggest complaint of UK drivers, according to the AA.

The association has processed complaints from its members all over the UK with the highest numbers coming from London, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester, Cardiff and Bristol.

The top complaints comes from drivers who want to turn left and merge left into a bus lane early for safety reason, or those who end up in bus lanes without realising due to faded road markings and poor signage.

The AA has also received complaints from drivers who received fines after pulling over into bus lanes to allow emergency vehicles to go past.

"Whilst we support the use of bus lanes in the right places, functioning at the right times, we are totally opposed to 'entrapment' cameras on poorly designed or poorly signed bus lane junctions," Edmund King, AA president said.

One junction in Lambeth, south London is estimated to have generated over £6m in fines over the last few years from capturing footage of motorists turning left. The bus lane on Clapham Park Road was highlighted in complaints from AA members.

"If thousands of drivers are getting tickets at the same junction then something is wrong and that junction/bus lane should be reviewed," Mr King said.

"We fear that too many local highway authorities have become addicted to the lucrative income from these rat traps and believe that central government should intervene and investigate when fines from an individual bus lane exceed £10,000."

The AA has encouraged drivers to appeal tickets if they believe the junction is not adequately signed or they have been fined unfairly.

"Highway authorities should apply more discretion or give warnings when thousands of drivers are apparently getting it wrong. They could then use their camera data to identify the problems," the AA said in a statement.

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