Bus lane fine appeals hit council bottleneck

GLASGOW'S bus lane fines system has come under fire again – this time for failing to respond to appeals from disgruntled motorists.

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Linda Kinnon says the buslane fines system is unfair
Linda Kinnon says the buslane fines system is unfair

The fines process, which is run by Glasgow City Council, gives drivers the chance to pay a reduced fine of £30 within 14 days, after which the fine rises to £60.

But for one motorist the fear was she would run out of time to make her appeal.

As reported in the Evening Times last month, Linda Kinnon, from Erskine, was fined for driving into a bus lane in Glasgow city centre.

The 60-year-old – who is registered disabled after surviving the Stockline Plastics disaster – e-mailed an appeal to the council and received a response saying they would be in touch via Royal Mail.

But with the 14-day deadline approaching, and fearing she would be hit with a £60 fine, Linda paid the lower £30 fine.

She said: "I thought it strange that the council would only reply to me by post.

"That doesn't give you much of a chance of having your appeal heard before the fine rises from £30 to £60.

"The whole system is set up to make it difficult to appeal and impossible to actually speak to a human being."

The controversial fines were brought into force in April this year and in the first 11 weeks more than 39,000 drivers were fined, bringing in more than £1million for the council.

Glasgow City Council says selfish drivers who abuse the appeals process are to blame for slowing down the system.

A council spokesman said: "Unfortunately, the large number of groundless appeals slows down the process for drivers who do have genuine grounds to appeal.

"The minority of drivers who abuse bus lanes inconvenience others and their behaviour can lead to danger to pedestrians, cyclists and other road users, and also reduces the effectiveness of the city's public transport service.

"Selfish drivers who misuse bus lanes cause delays to buses and frustrate other drivers who abide by the rules.

"Around £30m was invested by the council, First Glasgow and the Scottish Government, in a bid to improve public transport in the city and the bus lane enforcement scheme will help to get full benefit from that.

"We believe civil enforcement will help lower the number of offences in Glasgow, improve the flow of traffic on a number of congested stretches and improve the reliability of bus journeys on some key routes."

stef.lach@ heraldandtimes.co.uk

Local government

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