Bristol bus lane fine revoked

Bus laneA motorist has forced a Bristol City Council to apologise after he was fined for pulling into a bus lane to let two fire engines pass his car.

Ian Pemble, 67, has also been reimbursed the £30 penalty he paid after council officers sent him photos of his vehicle travelling in the bus lane.
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However, he would not have got his money back had he not decided to fight the fine, which was issued despite video evidence showing that a fire engine raced past his car seconds after he moved into the outside lane.

Bristol City Council has since admitted that officers issued the penalty without fully considering the circumstances on the A4 in Bristol last month.

Council spokeswoman Kate Hartas told the Daily Mail: "The team have reviewed the footage, and it is clear that he had moved into the bus lane for a fire engine.

"Actions by motorists to allow access for emergency services occur regularly, and they are normally picked up when the footage is examined prior to a PCN being issued. However, it was missed in this instance in error. We will write to Mr Pemble to apologise."

Pemble, a music journalist from St Annes in Bristol, is just happy to find out that he was "squeaky clean" and get his money back.

"I knew I was in the area but I wasn't sure whether I had just nipped into the lane at the last moment," he said.

"I paid my fine. But I was so annoyed with them, I asked for more evidence. And it was lucky I did because when they sent through the video, it clearly shows me moving out of the way of two fire engines. I was absolutely delighted to find I was squeaky clean."

Bristol is not the only UK city where officers are busy handing out bus fines, though. According to the BBC, Reading motorists caught driving in bus lanes have paid out more than £2 million in fines in the last year.

Figures from the borough council in Reading reveal that a total of 72,178 penalty charge notices were handed out in the last financial year - that's an average of more than 197 a day.

Bogus parking fines are also a problem, with Royal Mail sealing up a post box in Plymouth recently after one of its post vans got a parking ticket while picking up the letters inside. You can read more about that story by clicking here.

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