Bailiffs called in as taxi boss makes stand over £400 fine for using Preston bus lane

Fishergate bus lane, with the much-debated sign
Fishergate bus lane, with the much-debated sign
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A taxi boss has been told to expect bailiffs in an ongoing battle over bus lane fines.

Stephen Jones, who runs HB Cabs in Blackgate Lane, Tarleton, is refusing to pay Lancashire County Council £400 on principle, because he believes signage in Fishergate, Preston, is misleading.

Signs displaying permitted users of the bus lane show a picture of a bicycle, bus and the word ‘taxi’.

Lancashire County Council has previously stated only Hackney carriages are allowed to use the bus lane, and it is the requirement of private hire vehicle drivers to know the difference.

>>>Read our previous story about a taxi driver being fined for using the same lane: https://www.lep.co.uk/your-lancashire/preston/taxi-driver-hits-out-after-receiving-fine-for-using-fishergate-bus-lane-even-though-the-sign-says-taxis-are-allowed-1-9621916

Mr Jones, 61, said: “The sign says taxis, so of course drivers will go down there.

“How many have been affected by this? Especially those from out of town, taking people to the station.”

Mr Jones said his battle over fines has been ongoing for six months, with himself and his drivers caught on camera in the bus lane several times. His fines have been totalled up and increased for non-payment.

He added: “All they (LCC) have to do is change the sign to say Hackney only.

“It seems to me like it’s just another way of getting money into the council.

“Now I’m being told that bailiffs will come round to seize property, and what have I done?

“I’m making a stand over this.”

A spokesman for LCC said: “Department for Transport guidelines allow for the use of signs which specify exemptions for taxis.

“The drivers of these vehicles should be aware that there is a difference between the licences and regulations which apply to private hire vehicles and taxis.

“The bus lane was put in place as part of wider measures to improve traffic management in this area and we would be happy if we didn’t have to issue any penalty notices.”

>>>Are you a private hire taxi driver with a similar experience? Email: catherine.musgrove@jpimedia.co.uk