Man's car caught using bus lane… half an hour AFTER being seized by police
A DISGRUNTLED man has been fined after his car was caught in a bus lane after being seized by police officers half an hour earlier. Graham Hayles, 65, of Manningtree, lent his Peugeot to his son Gareth Hayles, 42, of Harwich, to take a friend to hospital. As he passed through Hythe Hill, Colchester, Gareth was pulled over by police officers and he was found to be using the vehicle without the correct insurance.
Gareth had assumed because he has fully comprehensive insurance and is over the age of 25, he was able to drive any car. As a result of the stop, officers seized Gareth’s dad’s car. “I did not read the small print on my insurance and so I put my hands up and say I got it wrong,” said Gareth.
“But the way the police handled it was just all wrong. I said my dad would pick the car up by they said no.”
Just under two weeks later Graham received a fine for GBP60 which had been issued after his vehicle was caught driving through the Hythe Station Road bus lane on the same night Gareth had been pulled over by the police. The bus lane camera clocked his vehicle 27 minutes after it had been seized by police at 10pm. Graham’s Peugeot was taken to the nearby LJ Transportation compound and has since been crushed after he refused to pay the charges to release it.
Having also refused to pay the fine, the penalty has increased and he has been threatened with court action. Graham said: “Whoever drove it to the compound that night has taken a short cut and gone through the bus lane but I am the one having to pay the ticket. “LJ Transportation says they picked the car up on a tow truck so they want to charge me GBP150 in fees, but if they did pick it up then I would not have got a ticket.
“I have told Essex County Council I was not in the car and nor was my son but they keep saying I have to pay. It is not fair, and I just feel like nobody is listening to me at all and nobody wants to own up.”
The Gazette asked Essex Police to comment on whether any of their officers drove the car through the bus lane but after a week, it said it could not. LJ Transportation has also failed to respond to any of our calls or reply to messages and emails over that time. An Essex Highways spokesman said: “Anyone who has received a penalty notice for driving their vehicle in a bus lane has the right to appeal to an independent tribunal if they dispute the circumstance.
“We have never heard of any camera timing being inaccurate. Because driving through a bus gate is a civil offence the driver is irrelevant for these purposes. “It is always the registered vehicle keeper who is liable to pay the fixed penalty.
“If the vehicle keeper has an issue with whoever was driving, they may pursue the matter.”
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