Readers tell retired army captain to ‘stop moaning’ over bus lane fine

Scores of South Tyneside residents have expressed their support for the council after a retired army captain complained of being fined for using a bus lane.

Ralph Jackson, 70, was caught driving his Volvo through the bus lane at the remodelled exit of Edinburgh Road, on the Scotch Estate, Jarrow. He insists he did not see any warning signs.

Ralph Jackson at the Bus Lane close to the junction of Edinburgh Road and Newcastle Road. Picture by FRANK REID

Ralph Jackson at the Bus Lane close to the junction of Edinburgh Road and Newcastle Road. Picture by FRANK REID

CCTV monitors a 20metre stretch and anyone who drives into it faces a £60 fine.

South Tyneside Council says signage is in line with regulations and it acted on safety concerns.

More than 4,500 tickets have been issued since last July – netting the council £270,000 in fines.

Now scores of Gazette readers have taken to social media to defend the council’s actions and criticising Mr Jackson.

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. I guess many have cast their stone

Ralph Jackson

Martin Tyler posted: “I’m not normally one for defending the council.

“However this time I believe the only blame for any fine here is the driver.

“All drivers should be able to read a registration plate at a distance of 20.5 meters / 67 feet for us oldies or five car lengths for those with no education. Therefore should be able to read these signs when travelling at a speed of only 20mph.”

Dave Barnes wrote: “Amazing how many drivers are happy to display their incompetence in public.”

Jamie Witts said: “If people are still going through it, they shouldn’t be driving.

“On the other hand, If they are going to go through regardless then they should just pay and stop moaning.”

Mickey Newly posted: “Another driver who needs to read the signs.

“It’s made the road a lot safer. Well done South Tyneside Council. Just make sure the money made is spent wisely and not wasted.”

Mr Jackson himself posted: “Quite a lot of negative comments on my error of judgement.

“I do wish people who believe they are superior to others would keep there (sic) negative comments to themselves – after all they are so perfect and have never made a driving error?

“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. I guess many have cast their stone.”