Shipley bus boss is baffled by Bradford Council imposing bus lane fines - on buses! (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Shipley bus boss is baffled by Bradford Council imposing bus lane fines - on buses!
2:27pm Tuesday 17th September 2013 in News
A bus company have been left baffled by repeated attempts by Bradford Council to slap fines on it for using bus lanes.
The firm’s owner has now made the tongue-in-cheek suggestion that Council staff should be trained on spotting the difference between cars and buses.
Fida Hussain, director of Travel Xpress in Shipley, said that over the past year he has been sent six penalty charge notices, each one demanding £60 for unauthorised use of a bus lane.
Each time he appeals the Council-issued fine and each time it is dropped.
But he said the paperwork involved is becoming a drain on his time and said the notices would also be needlessly costing the taxpayer to send out.
Mr Hussain said: “I think either the Council is cash-strapped, so it is sending out penalty charge notices to everyone who uses a bus lane, or someone is not doing their job right.
“This will be costing the Council money, in envelopes, stamps and printing. It’s a waste of time.”
Mr Hussain said he was particularly puzzled by the notices because each one comes with a picture captured by a roadside enforcement camera, clearly showing that the vehicles are buses.
He said: “The person who’s sending out these pictures wants some additional training to distinguish between a car and a bus to stop them just sending out penalty charge notices willy-nilly.”
The firm, in Otley Road, has a fleet of 12 vehicles, which are hired to do school runs and private hire work.
Mr Hussain said his drivers tried not to use bus lanes unless it was really necessary, as they wanted to give priority to the companies providing public transport.
He said: “We try not to use them that often, because local buses do. We try not to get in their way, we understand they have passengers to pick up when we don’t.
“But we are quite within our rights to use bus lanes. The signs say, ‘Buses, taxis and cycles’.”
Shipley Conservative MP Philip Davies called the situation “absolutely ludicrous”.
He said: “It seems a completely idiotic situation to me – and absolutely typical of Bradford Council.
“They need to just sort it out and stop this bureaucratic merry-go-round.
“You couldn’t make it up, it’s totally ridiculous, and I trust he won’t be receiving any more of these letters. It’s absolutely ludicrous and could only happen at Bradford Council.”
Bradford Council has now apologised for the mix-up which it says is due to details of the firm’s vehicles not being on its database.
A spokesman said: “These penalty notices should not have been issued, so we apologise to Mr Hussain for the extra work and inconvenience this has caused him.
“We have now added details of the vehicles involved to our list which means they will no longer receive notices. We also suggest Mr Hussain sends us copies of the log books for his other eight vehicles. If they have ten or more seats, these can also be added to the list.
“This will help reduce the chance of this problem arising again.”
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