Drivers fined after Preston bus lane computer glitch

Drivers try to steer clear of the Fishergate bus lane.
Drivers try to steer clear of the Fishergate bus lane.

A computer error has been blamed for drivers being wrongly hit with excessive “fines” for driving down Preston’s notorious Fishergate bus lane.

County Hall bosses have admitted a glitch in the system meant a number of motorists were never sent a £30 ticket in the first place - only to be charged £90 when they didn’t pay up.

And now the council is promising to refund the difference if drivers get in touch.

“We’ve had an issue affecting some Penalty Charge Notices for vehicles which drove down the Fishergate bus lane earlier this year,” confessed Peter Bell, LCC’s regulation and enforcement manager.

“In some cases the PCN wasn’t originally sent out, due to an ICT issue. A letter was then sent asking for a payment of £90, due to earlier non-payment.

"As people didn’t have the opportunity to challenge or pay their PCN at the £30 lesser rate, we can reduce the charge if people contact us.

"We apologise for any inconvenience that was caused to people.”

One driver who received the inflated fine said: “If I had been sent the ticket in the first place, back in March, I would have paid the £30.

"But I didn’t and then they tried to charge me £90. Fortunately I rang them and complained.

"I dread to think how many drivers were sent these late payment letters and coughed up £90.”