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Woman receives penalty for using bus lane to let ambulance pass

A woman was sent a fixed penalty notice – for pulling into a bus lane to let an emergency vehicle pass.

50-year-old Mrs Plaxton of Cottingham was caught by new bus lane enforcement cameras on Anlaby Road flyover in West Hull just as she moved over to let an ambulance get by.

Luckily the fine was only a notice of warning as part of a 14-day grace period designed to promote awareness of the new cameras, but those who do the same after the 1st of August 2015 are likely to face a fine during peak hours.

“I was just going over the top of the flyover when I saw an ambulance behind me in my mirror,” Mrs Plaxton told the Hull Daily Mail.

“I’ve always pulled over to allow emergency vehicles through and, on this occasion, I pulled into the bus lane to let the ambulance get by. I was on my normal route home and was intending to turn right into Walton Street, so I was in the right-hand lane when I first saw the ambulance in my mirror. 

“It was a natural instinct to pull over into the inside lane and, to be honest, I had forgotten all about it until the fixed penalty notice arrived in the post. A couple of drivers behind me did the same thing, so I can only assume they have got the same warning notice as me.” 

Hull council issued the warning alongside three photos of the maneuver, which clearly shows the vehicle moving out of the way of an ambulance.

In a statement, the council admitted this sort of situation could be grounds for the fine being dropped if an appeal is lodged.

A council spokesperson said: “Where a motorist has taken evasive action to get out of the way of an emergency vehicle, this would clearly constitute mitigating circumstances for consideration. However, as no details of the incident were provided, we were not able to look at the specific circumstances. 

“If a motorist would like to appeal a bus lane ticket, they need to appeal by completing the notice sent to them and posting it to the address on the notice. All appeals will be assessed on a case by case basis.” 

The new enforcement rules will be in force from 7am to 9:30am for routes into Hull city centre and from 4pm to 6:30pm for all routes out. 

The cameras, which feature automatic number plate recognition so a driver can be traced instantly, were installed to improve the bus system and ease traffic congestion.


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