The £11K highway robbery: council fines 370 festive drivers on days no buses ran

COUNCIL Scrooges nabbed 370 drivers on city bus lanes on Christmas and New Year's Day - despite there being no buses on the road.

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A total of 370 drivers were caught in bus lanes on Christmas and New Year's Days
A total of 370 drivers were caught in bus lanes on Christmas and New Year's Days

Angry motorists have hit out at the less than festive behaviour which saw bus lane cameras snap the cars in 15 hot spots across Glasgow.

All drivers were issued with penalty charges of £30, increasing to £60 if not paid in 14 days.

This means the council stands to make at least £11,100 from city drivers over the two days of tne holiday period.

The exact totals have not been disclosed by the local authority.

Figures show that the cameras caught 147 people on Christmas Day and 223 on New Year's Day.

And a total of 422 drivers were fined the previous year - 156 on Christmas Day 2012 and 266 on New Years Day 2013.

If all fines were paid within 14 days this would have generated £12,660 for the local authority.

First Bus, the biggest bus operator in the city, did not run any services on Christmas Day.

The only service it ran on New Year's Day was the Glasgow Shuttle, number 500, which travels between the city centre and Glasgow Airport.

A revised timetable was in operation from December 22 to January 3.

One local driver who was caught out on Christmas Day, contacted the Evening Times following our series of stories on the issue of bus lanes.

Justin Bose, from Clydebank, was caught by a camera driving in a part-time bus lane in Great Western Road at 4.38pm on Christmas Day.

The lane in question is only in force Monday to Saturday from 7am to 9.30am and 4pm to 6.30pm. It is not in operation on a Sunday.

Mr Bose, 43, unsuccessfully appealed the fine with the council and is now ­referring it to the Scottish Parking Appeal Service.

He told the Evening Times: "I'm not denying that I wasn't in the lane, but I'm questioning why this bus lane - and any other for that matter - was in operation on this date."

Mr Bose said he contacted First Bus and Citybus Glasgow which told him they did not have services in the city centre on December 25.

The motorist added: "I have appealed to Glasgow City Council on the basis that the fine is unfair, unjustifiable and unreasonable.

"I cannot understand how someone can be fined for driving in a bus lane on the one day of the year when there are no bus ­services operating.

"Traffic on the road on Christmas Day is even less than that on any regular Sunday, which these part time lanes are not in operation on.

"It's a completely stupid rule and lacks any common sense."

We told this week how Glasgow City Council raked in £2.5million in bus lane fines after issuing over 101,000 to drivers last year.

The most profitable lane is Glassford Street where £545,280 was gathered in fines from 23,250 drivers.

We also revealed that more than 250 council workers were caught out driving local authority cars in the city's camera enforced lanes in the last two years.

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said the figures for those caught on Christmas Day and New Year's Day have fallen since last year.

He said: "Bus lanes should not be driven in during enforcement hours, no matter what day of the year it is. If you drive in a bus lane you are committing an offence."

:: Do you think bus lanes are just a money-making scam? Email your views to: letters@eveningtimes.co.uk

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