Review of QA bus lane fines despite ‘overkill’

The bus lane at Queen Alexandra Hospital.
Picture: Ian Hargreaves (170047-1)

The bus lane at Queen Alexandra Hospital. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (170047-1)

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A REVIEW will be held into a camera in a bus lane near Queen Alexandra Hospital – which has made £210,900 in fines – but a transport boss has said there are so many signs there already it is overkill.

In the past five months alone, the camera netted the cash via 3,500 penalty notices issued to drivers.

People are issued with a £60 fine, which is cut to £30 if paid promptly.

As reported, angry drivers say the signs are not clear enough.

The city council said there is not a problem with the signs.

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt said cameras resulting in a large number of fines should be reviewed by the council.

But Councillor Jim Fleming, cabinet member for transport at Portsmouth City Council, hit back saying if anything the signs were ‘overkill’ and that they had been looked at by an independent assessor.

He told The News: ‘It’s certainly not a case that the signs can’t be seen by people. It’s been a bus route for six years.

‘People were using the hospital as a rat-run, mainly a the drop-off place for ambulances that’s why the decision was made to put a bus lane camera in the gate, it’s to stop people clogging up the bus lane.

‘We even had an independent person go and have a look, and he said “are you sure you need that many?”.

‘Ultimately it can only be people who are using that particular gate as a rat-run and it’s just causing additional congestion.’

He has now asked officers to work with the hospital to see if more signs or markings are needed.

He added: ‘People who have made representations on compassionate grounds, for whatever reasons, have been looked at sympathetically.

‘However, those on their way to and fro from work are not.’

Ms Mordaunt said: ‘These things tend to happen rather by accident than by design.

‘Why the council should be concerned is that clearly people have these traffic management things in pace to stop either dangerous or anti-social driving.

‘And if you’re getting a load of fines still it’s a clear indication whatever you’re doing to stop that isn’t working.’

She added: ‘I think it would be a good idea as a matter of course that where places are delivering very large amount of fines in the city that they are automatically reviewed by the cabinet member or the council’s audit committee.’

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