A DRIVER has hit out at Bradford Council for giving him a ticket for using a bus lane during lockdown.

Michael Fawbert said not only were there so few cars on the road buses would not be delayed but the reason he transgressed was because roadworks on Thornton Road forced him to use the bus lane.

He said: "There was only me and another car on the whole of Thornton Road.

"I appealed because I'm only there because the roadworks put me there."

The former policeman who lives in Allerton said when he appealed the Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) for Wednesday, June 3, the Council said their highways department did not know of any roadworks that would direct unauthorised vehicles into the bus lane.

Mr Fawbert queried that because the roadworks had been in operation for weeks.

The bus lane seems to be continuous but there are different cameras and Mr Fawbert may not have moved out of the bus lane in time before he was snapped.

The Council said they would use their discretion to cancel the ticket because of the circumstances.

However, the Council letter added: "This should not be taken as precedence."

Mr Fawbert added that because of turnings by the Mercedes car dealership it appeared as if the bus lane stops: "If there are two separate bus lanes then they can enforce it at two points."

He said he had been using the road to get parts as he is an electrician, an essential worker.

He added: "At the time of the contravention I was the only vehicle on the road owing to lockdown. There were no other road users and certainly no buses, so I was not impeding anyone or gaining any advantage.

"It seemed odd to me that in a state of lockdown that there would be a need to enforce bus lanes when no one is going to and from work.

"As the bus lane runs the entire length of Thornton Road from City Road to Whetley traffic lights it only seemed obvious that the bus lane would not in use or enforced.

"How many other drivers have been fined?"

A Bradford Council spokesperson said: “There are three cameras operating on Thornton Road. We have stopped enforcement of two of them due to the roadworks forcing vehicles into the bus lane.

“The location where this appellant received a Penalty Charge Notice had no roadworks in operation. As such, theoretically, he should have moved back into the correct lane, but as a gesture of goodwill, we accepted his argument that he just continued in the lane he was directed into, and cancelled the charge.

“Bus lanes are back in operation because evidence shows a significant increase in traffic since the easing of lockdown, so we recommenced enforcement on 1st June 2020, along with most Councils nationally."

The spokesperson added: “368 Penalty Charge Notices have been issued at Thornton Road junction with Ingleby Road since 1st June.”

Figures on the Council's website reveal that so far in June at total of 748 PCNs had been issued for bus lane contraventions.

There are no figures for April and May but income from bus lanes in those two months totalled £16,767.