OAP’s victory after bus lane fine is cancelled because South Tyneside Council submitted wrong picture as evidence

A pensioner is claiming victory after his fine for driving in a bus lane in South Tyneside was quashed because council chiefs submitted the wrong evidence at his appeal tribunal.
Edwin Peterson is delighted he no longer has to pay the fine.Edwin Peterson is delighted he no longer has to pay the fine.
Edwin Peterson is delighted he no longer has to pay the fine.

Cancer patient Edwin Peterson has always admitted that he accidentally drove in the lane designated for buses on the junction of Fowler Street and Westoe Road, South Shields, in December, as he dashed to a hospital appointment.

But the 79-year-old refused to pay the £30 Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) because of what he says were mitigating circumstances.

The bus lane in Fowler StreetThe bus lane in Fowler Street
The bus lane in Fowler Street
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He claimed a council employee told him he wouldn’t have to pay the charge - as long out he outlined his predicament in a letter.

The father-of-two from East Boldon took his case to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal and a recent telephone hearing - in which South Tyneside Council was not represented - ruled in his favour stating ‘the alleged bus lane contravention did not occur’.

The adjudicator recorded that - while the council did produce a map illustrating signs and the location - they had the wrong junction.

Thjeir evidence concerned the controversial bus lane on Edinburgh Road in Jarrow.

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The tribunal was shown no evidence of the bus lane in Fowler Street and therefore couldn’t be satisfied it was adequately signed.

Mr Peterson said: “I am delighted I won my case, I feel like a lot of weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

“I have never disputed that I was in the bus lane.

“I was angry they told me the wrong information in the first place by saying I should just write down what happened and the fine would be removed, but it wasn’t

“Then they can’t even send in pictures of the correct road for my tribunal - so what hope do any of us have?

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“I hope other people will read this and challenge any fines they may have received.”

A council spokesperson said: “The bus lane complies with all the necessary Department for Transport regulations with video cameras automatically recording incidents of people illegally driving in a bus lane. The fine was issued in accordance with the law.

“It is regrettable that due to resource issues, we are unable to attend every TPT hearing and, unfortunately on this occasion, a clerical error led to the signage plan for the wrong area being submitted as part of this case.

“While we note the adjudicator’s decision, we understand this decision was based on incorrect information about the Fowler Street location. We are taking steps to prevent this from happening again in the future.”