DOZENS of taxi drivers are being forced to challenge bus lane fines - despite being exempt from the charges.

Glasgow Taxis Ltd claim "big numbers" of drivers have been hit with fees for entering lanes they are legally permitted to drive in.

The company say drivers are most commonly fined in error in lanes in the Argyle and Jamaica Street area.

Drivers claim it can take up to a month to receive a reply from the council when they challenge the fines - but they are only given 14 days to pay the fine.

The company has written to the council on behalf of 30 drivers who been issued with fines in recent months - some more than once it claims.

Glasgow City Council said "a small number" of drivers had received penalty charge notices in error and said it would welcome a meeting with the company to try to resolve the issue.

Jack Ferguson, of Glasgow Taxis Ltd's executive committee, said: "You've got to ask why this is happening in the first place.

"We've been offered the excuse that it's because of the angle of the camera but if that's the case why not fix it.

"Glasgow Taxis Ltd believes the volumes of fines handed out to our drivers has now reached three figures.

"Worse still, we are offered 14 days to pay the 'fine' yet it has taken us more than a month to receive a reply when we've challenged it.

"There's a very simple solution here but unfortunately we've been unable to secure a face-to-face meeting to discuss it.

"However, we'll keep fighting the issue on behalf of our members and drivers."

In May a bus lane camera which had been catching out visitors to a city cancer unit was taken out of operation.

The camera was installed at the Great Western Road/ Shelley Road junction near the Beatson cancer hospital in December last year.

Council said it will remain out of action until the result of the seven-month bus lane review is known.

In August last year, the council said the number of motorists illegally driving in bus lanes had more than halved in the past year.

A council spokesman said: "A small number of taxi drivers have received penalty charge notices which have been cancelled.

"We would welcome a constructive meeting with the company to minimise the inconvenience to drivers."