Taxi driver hits out after receiving fine for using Fishergate bus lane - even though the sign says taxis are allowed

Stephen Parkinson beside the unclear sign
Stephen Parkinson beside the unclear sign
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A taxi driver is taking on Lancashire County Council after being fined for driving along Fishergate’s bus lane - even though the signs say taxis can.

Stephen Parkinson was taking a passenger home from Preston city centre when his private hire Kia Seat Estate was caught on the bus lane camera at 2.38pm on February 6.

Stephen Parkinson in his taxi

Stephen Parkinson in his taxi

Although the bus lane signs say taxis are allowed to use the lanes, Mr Parkinson said he has been told that this only applies to hackney carriages, also known as black cabs.

He must now pay £30 or face the fine rising to £90. If this is not paid within 28 days, then it becomes a civil legal matter.

Mr Parkinson, 54, of Freckleton, said: “The signage is not clear enough if that’s the case.

“I’m hoping to take this to the point where I get an independent adjudicator, because I won’t back down.

“I feel like it’s entrapment, it’s a money-making scheme, and I’m determined to take this up.

“They are stopping me taking up my duty as a private hire taxi driver. Why should it be any different for black cabs? It’s discrimination.

“I take a lot of older, frail people into town, or pick them up from the Post Office, and it’s easier for a lot of them to get in and out of a private hire vehicle.”

The council introduced the fines in autumn 2016 as part of the shared space makeover of Fishergate. No cars are allowed down between 11am to 6pm each day.

A Lancashire County Council spokesman 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.”