AA calls for halt to bus lane entrapment

Monday, September 14, 2015


The AA has called on local authorities to stop using bus lanes as a cash cow and entrapping drivers who accidently stray into them.


The association said that camera enforcement of bus lanes appeared to be overtaking parking tickets as the major cause of complaint from drivers of alleged entrapment.


Complaints from Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester, Cardiff, Bristol and London top the list with the number one complaint being drivers wishing to turn left who often inadvertently merge left into the bus lane early for safety reasons and are then caught on camera in the bus lane before they are allowed to be. These complainants often cite faded road markings and poor signage.


The AA has also received complaints from drivers pulling over into bus lanes to allow emergency vehicles to pass receiving tickets.


Some 554,773 fines are generated outside London and 242,541 within the capital per year with fines worth tens of millions of pounds to the local highway authorities as, unlike speeding fines, the money goes to the local authorities.


The AA said that when an individual camera is raking in millions of pounds per year there must be something wrong with the signing, the road layout or the junction engineering.


It called on 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 also said that there should be no enforcement if signs and markings are not in good condition.


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

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