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Dagenham minicab driver wins Barking bus lane fine battle

PUBLISHED: 07:25 14 January 2019 | UPDATED: 07:25 14 January 2019

Robert Bedwell was advised by a sign to drive into a bus lane in River Road to avoid road works, and the council fined him,

Robert Bedwell was advised by a sign to drive into a bus lane in River Road to avoid road works, and the council fined him,

Archant

A minicab driver has won a battle with the council over a bus lane fine thanks to the Post.

Mr Bedwell said a row of cones and two signs forced him to enter the bus lane in River Road, Barking on December 6 last year. Picture: LBBDMr Bedwell said a row of cones and two signs forced him to enter the bus lane in River Road, Barking on December 6 last year. Picture: LBBD

Robert Bedwell was driving along River Road, Barking on his way to see his elderly parents when he was forced into the bus lane by roadworks caused by a burst water main in Bastable Avenue.

Barking and Dagenham Council fined Mr Bedwell’s employer, Addison Lee – the Ford Galaxy’s owner – which automatically paid the £65 penalty before taking the money from his pay in line with company policy.

When the 46-year-old from Rowney Road, Dagenham appealed the council had told him the case was closed and wouldn’t be reopened.

But after the Post contacted the council the fine was cancelled.

The council told Mr Bedwell they couldn't reopen his case. Picture: ROBERT BEDWELLThe council told Mr Bedwell they couldn't reopen his case. Picture: ROBERT BEDWELL

“I’m over the moon. But it really shouldn’t have taken me all this time and aggravation to try and sort it out. It would have taken 10 minutes for someone to take a look at this and get it cancelled.

“But the outcome was good so I’m happy with that.”

Cones and two signs can be seen in a CCTV image in the main carriageway on December 6 last year with Mr Bedwell – a driver with almost 30 years’ experience – in the bus lane.

One sign directed motorists to use the bus lane, he said, adding that there was no excuse for driving in a bus lane but at the time he had no choice.

Cllr Margaret Mullane raised the matter with the council’s parking services team but they emailed saying they couldn’t help because Mr Bedwell’s employer had already paid.

At a loss as to what to do after the fine left him out of pocket he got in touch with the Post.

A Barking and Dagenham spokeswoman said: “The council’s parking team was not officially informed of the diversion at the time, which is why the PCN was automatically issued.

“We reviewed the footage and there appears to be an obstruction on the carriageway. We have issued a refund.

“In order for PCNs to be dealt with in accordance with the law, we have stringent policies in place that our officers must follow.

“Addison Lee’s auto-payment policy added a layer of complexity. We’re pleased to have resolved this and would like to extend our apologies for any frustration Mr Bedwell may have experienced.”

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