Drivers run up £312,000 in Games Lanes fines
Almost 2,500 motorists have wracked up a total of £312,000 in fines for using the Olympic Games Lanes, according to transport bosses.
The lanes, which run to 30 miles, were first brought in on July 25. Transport for London (TfL) said it gave drivers time to get used to the system by only issuing warnings for infringements within the first six days.
But 2,400 drivers have been fined a total of £312,000 since the start of the month, TfL figures show.
Transport bosses said the introduction of the lanes has “gone well” with 98% of drivers complying with them. Motorists are advised on which lanes they can use by 150 signs.
TfL chief operating officer for surface transport Garrett Emmerson said: “We have no interest in unnecessarily penalising drivers and, with a very high compliance rate of around 98% to date, the overwhelming majority are following the requirement to stay out of Games Lanes when they are in use.
“We are now issuing PCNs (penalty charge notices) to drivers who contravene the ORN (Olympic Route Network), but will continue to be proportionate and sensible; we’re seeking compliance from drivers, not income from fines.
“To date, some 2,400 PCNs have been issued.”
AppealNow.com founder Barrie Segal said: “I am not surprised because one of the things I found confusing before the Games even began was that there were some lanes which had signs indicating they had started, while on the other side of the road there was an illuminated sign saying this lane was OK to use.
“I would imagine it was an enormous task to get the signs in place and so some might be confusing and some may not be properly placed.”
Segal added: “Presumably the tickets have gone out in the post by now and people will be starting to appeal or pay. I am interested to see what happens and I hope the authorities act reasonably and understand that people make mistakes.
“In the Olympic spirit it might be a nice gesture if people’s first contravention is cancelled.”
Motorists who feel they have been wrongly fined for using a Games Lane should go back and take pictures of the signs and lanes, Segal said.
He continued: “It is difficult for local authorities if someone challenges signs and they are down. Who is to judge what the situation was if neither party has photos?
“These contraventions should have been recorded on video and therefore the evidence should be clear and unambiguous showing signs and lines that have been breached.”