The High Price of Life in the Bus Lane

by Andrea Willoughby

Friday, November 8th, 2013

Eagle Couriers' bosses are outraged by Glasgow City Council's decision to issue multiple fines to one of their drivers in GlasgowFed up couriers have criticised Scotland’s biggest council after being hit by a series of bus lane fines – including a series of £60 penalties for a driver who was delivering vital hospital supplies.

Eagle Couriers driver Dave Durnan was issued four personal fines for briefly using a bus lane on Maryhill Road in Glasgow while working a series of night shifts for the courier firm.

In one case he spent no more than 10 seconds in the  100-150 yards long bus lane on Maryhill Road close to midnight before turning left onto Queen Margaret Drive, en route to Gartnavel General Hospital to deliver medical supplies.

When the council sent him photographic evidence of his transgression, his Eagle Couriers van was the only vehicle on the road.

Normally based in Edinburgh, where bus lanes are only active until early evening, the experienced driver was stunned to learn that Glasgow’s bus lanes are active even when deserted at night. Both Dave and his bosses at Scotland’s biggest independent courier company have now criticised the council for failing to properly put up warning signs for motorists.

Dave said: “I’m disappointed that Glasgow City Council has chosen to erect ambiguous signs. To me, it seems like a deliberate attempt to catch out drivers – It’s a cash cow.

“Glasgow is known for being hospitable and friendly, but this policy suggests otherwise. Close to Maryhill Road, there are other bus lane signs indicating clear times of operation for drivers so I fail to understand why these details are missing on the stretch of road where I was caught out.

“Seeing as I was fined on more than one occasion, I’m puzzled as to why someone at the council didn’t make contact with Eagle Couriers to get them know of my error, instead of allowing it to happen multiple times and issuing me with hefty fines thereafter.

“Funnily enough, I’ve never spotted a bus in that bus lane over the three weeks I’ve been doing the night shift. I wonder why it’s even necessary to have a bus lane in place there. I’ll have to pay a large price for misjudging a sign I believe is intentionally vague.”

Paying The Price

Eagle Couriers drivers clock up millions of miles travelling all over Scotland delivering packages and parcels for the company’s customers and it has a fleet of 100 vehicles, with 55 based in Glasgow and 45 in Edinburgh.

Jerry Stewart, one of the three Directors of Eagle Couriers, said: “I’m from Glasgow and I can’t tell you how disappointed I am by this. In Edinburgh, there is total transparency for motorists. You know when and if you can travel on certain roads if they have bus lanes.

“However, in Glasgow, that doesn’t exist which is punishing drivers like Dave who aren’t in the know and get hit with fines.

“While I understand each city has its own by-laws, it’s very unfair when these laws aren’t clearly stated.  I think it’s shameful that Glasgow City Council has such a mixture of signs in its many bus lanes, as that simply causes great confusion and extra worries for drivers.

“Added to inadequate road surfaces, the rising costs of insurance, fuel and road taxes, drivers in Glasgow are now being tested further by a council that seems insistent on confusing them to raise extra funds.

“To drive as carefully and safely as possible, people need odds stacked in their favour – Something needs to change.”

Each of Dave’s fines were issued for driving in the bus lane on Maryhill Road where he assumed drivers could use bus lanes outwith peak travelling times, as is the case in Edinburgh.

Eagle Couriers provides safe and quick logistics services to organisations across the private, public and third sectors as well as working directly with consumers.

Boasting a 3500-strong client base including the BBC, the Government Procurement Service and the NHS.  Further information on Eagle Couriers can be found at  www.eaglecouriers.co.uk  or on 0845 123 1230.

Private: Andrea Willoughby

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