Man fined £195 for pulling letting police van pass on busy road

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A man has been fined £195 for pulling into a bus lane to let a police van pass on a busy road.

Despite appealing the fine, the council insists the driver must pay the fine.

Stephen James was driving along Forest Road in Walthamstow, east London, when a police van pulled onto the wrong side of the road to get past him and other cars.

Video footage from the incident seen by MyLondon shows the van being unable to get past while a car coming towards them was making a turn.

To give the police van more space to overtake, as it appeared to be trying to do, the 37-year-old pulled into the bus lane to allow the police to pass during the incident on September 13, 2022.

However, he was shocked when he later received a fine from Waltham Forest Council, charging him £195.

Stephen unfortunately missed the first letter sent to him, so he only found out about the fine when he got a second notice.

He said: “When I got the second one, I looked at the evidence and thought it’s rubbish that I’ve not seen the first one but should be ok to appeal this one looking at the evidence.”

Speaking of the moment he pulled into the bus lane, Stephen said: “You see [the police van] coming up, and you know you need to do something to help in that situation.

“They weren’t going to be able to speed past, so some action was needed.”

He added: “I was trying to do the right thing, and I’ve been penalised for that.”

Stephen was surprised that his appeal failed after reading an article where the council insisted that drivers would not be fined if they moved out of the way of an emergency vehicle flashing its lights or using its siren.

A Waltham Forest Council spokesperson said: “The rules in London are very clear about entering bus lanes, and it is the responsibility of drivers to know and follow them.

“The driver can be seen moving into the bus lane to let the emergency vehicle pass, before proceeding to drive the length of the bus lane, despite having the opportunity to re-enter the carriageway.”

The council explained that drivers will not be fined if they move aside for an emergency services vehicle that is responding to a call and displaying emergency lights and sirens.

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