Six motorists have had their fines for driving in bus lanes overturned in the High Court because of inadequate signage.
The drivers went to court to challenge the £60 fines handed out in Fishergate in Preston. The ruling said the signage was not adequate to warn motorists of a bus lane restriction. In another, the court said drivers could not be fined for driving in a pedestrian zone in Nottingham. More than £1.3m in fines were issued to 23,000 drivers in two months after the new bus lane was introduced in Preston city centre. The High Court agreed with the Traffic Penalty Tribunal (TPT) Adjudicator that signage on the approach to Fishergate was “inadequate” in warning motorists of a restriction.
It also sided with the adjudicator in ruling Nottingham City Council could not fine a motorist for “being in a bus lane” when the street was a pedestrian zone. The case involved taxi driver Mohammed Sattar whose car was filmed by a traffic camera in Shakespeare Street.
According to the TPT, an anomaly in English law states councils outside London cannot fine drivers for being in a pedestrian zone and the offence remains a police matter. Caroline Sheppard, chief parking adjudicator, said: “While most cases are about a £60 penalty, the outcome can have significant implications for councils and motorists. “Appealing is simple through the TPT… appeals system and motorists can upload evidence and view the council case online.” After the ruling, Lancashire county councillor John Fillis said the authority was “looking into the implications for this scheme”.
Nottingham City Council said they used Mr Sattar’s case as a “test case” to seek clarification on whether or not their signs complied with statutory requirements.