London Bridge attack: Taxi driver hit with £270 fine for running a red light fleeing terrorists

Ryan Barney set off to help people flee the attack on 3 June but Transport for London gave him a £160 fine, three licence points and an order to pay further court costs

Chris Dyer
Thursday 28 December 2017 10:40
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'I was just doing it to get as many people away as possible,' says the dad-of-two
'I was just doing it to get as many people away as possible,' says the dad-of-two

A black cab driver who helped people flee the London Bridge terror attack was handed a £270 bill for jumping a red light as they fled the scene.

Ryan Barney has just finished his shift the day Khuram Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba drove a van at terrified pedestrians on London Bridge then ran through the busy Borough Market knifing innocent passers-by.

After seeing news break on 3 June, which left eight people dead and 48 injured, the 31-year-old jumped in his black cab and set off towards the area to help as many possible escape the carnage.

But as he drove down a deserted road late at night taking a car full of scared passengers home to east London, he was caught by a traffic light camera, given three points on his licence, and fined £160.

When he explained the reasons for the infringement to Transport for London (TfL) he was taken to court and ordered to pay further costs of £110.

The dad-of-two says he knows he should be given three points as he went through a red light, but says the authorities should not have pursued him for the fine, as he was helping people get away from a terrorist attack.

He said: “I pleaded guilty and took the three points as I had just about jumped the light as they were changing, but explained my actions in the mitigation.

“I was just doing it to get as many people away as possible. No one knew what was going on and I just wanted to help people get away from the attackers.

“At the time there were lots of differing reports, initially they thought the Vauxhall stabbing was terrorism as well and that many incidents seemed to be happening all over London.

“They were saying the London Bridge incident was different to Borough Market, there was a lot of chaos and confusion.

“Police were saying ‘run, hide and tell’. All the messages seemed to be getting crossed.

“I saw that after the Manchester attacks cab drivers were turning off their meters and just doing all the could to help, so I thought that I would try and do my bit.”

Ryan was caught by the camera at the junction between Commercial Road heading to East India Dock Road in Poplar, east London, at around 11pm.

But after appealing the fine, Ryan says he was shocked to see TfL continue to chase him for it and even seek to claim legal costs.

The case was sent to Lavender Hill Magistrates to be dealt with administratively and Ryan was ordered to pay the £160 fine, plus £30 court costs and £80 of further costs, leaving him with a total bill of £270.

The cab driver from Northwood, north west London, who has been working in the industry for around two-and-a-half years, added: “It happened at a cross roads, it wasn’t particularly dangerous, no one was about at that time and the lights were only just changing as I went through.

“I pleaded guilty, I wasn’t trying to get away with it, but they didn’t take the situation into account and just acted by the book.

“There should have been some consideration of the circumstances, but they just acted as if it was a normal situation and handed out the normal punishment without even looking at the reasons.

“They even charged me court costs.

“I’ve got a speeding fine before and that’s understandable, but this was a pretty unique situation.”

SWNS

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