A Bispham motorist has fallen foul of a controversial bus lane – which has caught almost 5,000 drivers in less than 12 weeks.
Tom Hall was snapped by the bus lane cameras on the A6 at Broughton, a route used by thousands of Fylde coast motorists every day to get to and from the M55 and M6.
He is one of almost 5,000 drivers to help County Hall rake in almost £150,000 in fines since it went live in June – the equivalent of 58 motorists a day.
Tom, whose father Simon was also caught on camera on a different day, had to cough up £90 for late payment – but then put in a Freedom of Information request to find out how many other people had been done.
He said: “It’s quite shocking how many road users like me and my dad are getting done there.
“I honestly didn’t see the signs. I’m not familiar with the area because I live in Bispham and I was trying to get on the M55 to head home. The first I knew was when I got a letter through the post.
“I thought I would put in an FOI request and I was staggered when I got the results back.”
Figures released to The Gazette by the county council show 4,835 Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) were issued between June 18 when the camera became live and August 31.
More than 300 made “representations” to the council about their tickets, with 173 of those getting off and 128 rejected.
Nine are at the appeals stage with the traffic adjudicator. The total revenue so far from the Broughton bus lane stands at £147,810.
County Hall decided last year to give buses an advantage at the busy junction of Garstang Road and James Towers Way by providing a shortcut just for them, while all other A6 southbound traffic is forced to use a detour involving a roundabout.
When the camera was first installed it caught an average of 64 drivers a day misusing the bus lane during a month’s grace.
That number has barely dropped since the fines were rolled out.
And the income has paid for the camera and its installation (£25,000) six times over.
Coun Keith Iddon, cabinet member for highways and transportation, said: “The bus lane linking Garstang Road to James Towers Way has been put in place to improve bus travel, while also providing a shorter route for emergency services responding to incidents.
“The bus lane is signed and marked. We would rather nobody used it as a short cut, however the enforcement camera is there to provide a deterrent.”
But Tom, who questioned his ticket with County Hall, added: “They say the bus lane is clearly marked, but both dad and I didn’t see the signs, so they can’t be that obvious.
“I appealed it, so did my dad. But it didn’t work, we still had to pay up.”