Cabbies Turn Into Traffic Cops
To photograph other vehicles 'misusing' M4 bus lane
Black cab drivers, angry at what they say is the misuse of the M4 bus lane, have started photographing other vehicles they say are wrongly using it.
A report by BBC London which said showed the bus lane is 'hardly being enforced', prompted minicab companies including Addison Lee, who are not officially allowed to use the lane, to tell their drivers to use it.
A spokesperson for black cab driver's union Unite told BBC London they were "fed up with misuse" of the bus lane by all drivers who were not supposed to be in it.
"No-one has put their hands up to the policing of the bus lane and people are taking advantage. We want to prove to the government bodies that there is a massive amount of misuse."
Private hire cab form Addison Lee believes its drivers have the right to use the lane and have said they will challenge any tickets they receive in court.
In 2008 only 14 £60 fines were issued and a mere six so far this year.
The 3.5 mile lane which runs on the eastbound carriage way from Heathrow into central London was launched in 1999 however, there are no dedicated cameras watching who is using it. A spokeswoman told BBC that policing it is not a priority. "The Met is constantly balancing our aim to improve safety on London's roads with making the most effective use of road policing resources. While officers will enforce non-criminal road traffic offences wherever possible, we will always prioritise resources for activity that can reduce casualties."
Buses, coaches, motorbikes, emergency vehicles and licensed taxis are all entitled to use the bus lane which did initially improve journey times for all type of traffic. However, according to the AA, it is now 'under-used and under-policed'. A spokesperson for the motoring organisation said, "If we can't find ways to make it more efficient perhaps it should be opened to all."
November 13, 2009