Online petition launched after 800 drivers hit with fines over bus gate

Barry Young has launch a petition against the Scotch Estate's new bus gate
Barry Young has launch a petition against the Scotch Estate's new bus gate

A row over a bus gate which has led to 800 drivers facing £60 fines has stepped up a gear.

Motorist Barry Young is calling for support via an online petition to have the bus gate on Edinburgh Road removed.

The 49-year-old was captured by a camera as he left the estate following a visit to a sick friend.

After receiving a fine in the post he went back to the area where he seen the signs highlighting the bus gate.

Mr Young claims the signs are wrong, but council chiefs say they comply with Department for Transport regulations.

He is now not only appealing against his fine, but has since launched a petition to have the bus gate removed.

He said: “I’m not bothered about paying the fine, that’s not the issue. The issue is the signs are wrong.

“And there is not enough distance between the sign and the start of the bus gate to take any action other than to do a three point turn in the road with traffic coming at you.

“I’ve been in touch with the council and they said they have done it to improve road safety, but I can’t see how when cars are doing three-point turns on the road.

“There is now only one way off the estate unless you go through what the residents are now calling the ‘rat run’.

“I’ve spoken to a number of residents and none of them are happy with the changes which is why I’ve launched the petition which has got almost 500 signatures on it.”

Since enforcement action was taken against drivers using the bus gate, 800 motorists have been captured on camera with the potential of raking in £48,000 of fines.

Council chiefs say drivers were given plenty of notice ahead of the changes including a bedding in period of almost three weeks to get used to the new layout.

A spokesman for South Tyneside Council said: “The bus lane at Edinburgh Road is clearly signed and complies with the requisite Department for Transport regulations.

“Video cameras automatically record incidents of people illegally driving in the bus lane and their vehicle registration plate.

“Vehicle owners have the right to appeal if they feel the ticket has been wrongly issued. Details on how to do so can be found on the reverse of the Penalty Charge Notice.

“Ideally, we would not have to issue any fines, however exiting via Edinburgh Road is both illegal and unsafe and we would encourage motorists to observe the restrictions to avoid receiving a penalty.”

Find the petition at: www.change.org/p/south-tyneside-council-remove-bus-gate-from-edinburgh-road-south-tyneside