Hundreds of motorists caught using a Croydon bus lane will appeal against fines running into thousands of pounds, claiming traffic queues left them no alternative.
Over £44,000 of fines were handed out by Croydon Council to drivers caught driving in the bus lane on Tamworth Road to avoid traffic near the town’s Centrale Shopping Centre.
Sanjit Dalby, of South Park Hill Road, received two fines of £120 in the same week. “There were loads of cars doing it,” he said. “People just assumed the council would use their common sense and not issue fines but it seems they haven’t.”
Mr Dalby believes there would have been further traffic chaos had he and other drivers not used the bus lane.
Other drivers also claim they were forced to use the bus lanes, and a council spokesperson confirmed that once a driver was in the queue there was no way round it. He said Sanjit Dalby “should have taken another route back to his house on the second day once he knew there would be queues.”
Due to the huge volume of complaints the council has invited the drivers to watch CCTV evidence of their crimes, should they wish to appeal. One council spokesperson said the issue “only flared up because this man chose to go to the papers”.
Croydon residents were in support of the council’s decision to fine the motorists. One said: “I agree the charges should have been made as drivers were obviously in the wrong, but let’s hope Croydon council puts this money towards the cost of their new offices which will help reduce the costs to residents of the borough.”