Review needs to take place over bus lane fine camera

Clive Smith says he would not like to arm wrestle athlete Caster Semenya 		Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

CLIVE SMITH: English pigs? Don’t bite the hand that feeds you

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Cameras in bus lanes are considered a necessary evil by some. They are meant to help keep routes free of traffic to allow speedy travel for passengers using the city’s buses.

Ultimately, they’re designed to help keep traffic flowing and at the same time punish those who flout the rules.

But clearly something is amiss with the camera outside Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.

As reported today, the device has racked up fines of almost £211,000 – hitting the pockets of countless drivers in less than half a year.

And this comes after a man taking his terminally-ill wife to hospital was fined in November last year. He said he drove into the lane accidentally – and it’s easy to imagine, with the busy road layout around QA, that drivers will get confused, or simply go wrong.

As previously reported, angry drivers have claimed the warning signs nearby are not clear enough – something the city council’s cabinet member for transport, Councillor Jim Fleming has today disputed.

He said if anything, the number of signs warning drivers about the bus lane and the camera was ‘overkill’ and that they had been independently assessed.

Cllr Fleming added the camera near the hospital was designed to help cut the number of people using the road as a ‘rat-run’ and to stop people ‘clogging up’ the bus land.

However, many of those using the route where the camera is located are on their way to the hospital.

They are families of patients, they are people in need of treatment – they are the nurses and doctors who tend to those in need.

The last thing they need is to be hit with a £30 – potentially rising to £60 if they don’t act in time and pay it off – fine.

So we’re backing the calls from Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt, who says cameras racking in this much cash, fining hundreds of motorists, need to be looked at.

Too many people are being stung by this device and it’s time things were looked into and reviewed.