Driver protests 12-metre bus lane that’s made £442k from fines

A driver has staged a one-man protest warning fellow motorists about an 11.9m (39ft) bus lane that has generated more than £440,000 in fines in less than two years.

Geoffrey Ben-Nathan, 86, stood with a placard near the bus lane in South Harrow, Greater London, which he claims is poorly signed and leads to people using it accidentally.

He was previously fined for using the lane on Northolt Road, which operates 24/7, but successfully overturned the ticket after a court found in his favour, reports MyLondon.

Harrow Council leader Cllr Graham Henson said the bus lane will be reviewed to see whether “improvements can be made” to both the road layout and the signage.

A Freedom of Information request found 7,854 drivers were caught using the lane between April 2019 and the end of 2021, generating £442,363.36 worth of fines.

Mr Ben-Nathan said measures should be put in place to make the situation clearer to drivers, particularly if it is a problem spot.

The retired businessman said: “One answer is that councils be put under a statutory duty to flag up all contraventions which are so many per cent above average: be they contraventions in entering a bus lane or contraventions at any other location.

“Morally, the onus must be on councils to prevent motorists from contravening their motoring regulations. This is not the case at the moment.”

As part of his court hearing, Mr Ben-Nathan said he entered the lane accidentally and gave several examples of other motorists who had overturned their ends by using similar reasoning to his own.

The Northolt Road bus lane generated almost £450,000 in fines in less than two years

I have suggested the council was happy to keep the measures in place because, even if it loses a few cases, the majority of people will still pay their ends.

Mr Ben-Nathan said this was a case of the council being more concerned about collecting revenue rather than efforts to “improve road safety and minimize accidents”.

Responding to his complaint, a Harrow Council spokesperson said: “It is against the law for ordinary motorists to use a bus lane and doing so usually results in a fine.

“We believe that the signage here is clear and in accordance with the law.”

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