Driver defeats council to get controversial bus lane fine overturned

Tony Sherwin (left) and CCTV footage of his car pulling into the car park (right)
Tony Sherwin (left) and CCTV footage of his car pulling into the car park (right)

A determined driver has had his fine for driving in a bus lane rescinded against all odds after taking on the local authority at a tribunal.

Tony Sherwin, of Flamborough, appealed against the £30 penalty after a CCTV camera caught him in the bus lane on Holderness Road in Hull before turning into Tesco’s car park.

But rather than pay up, the 36-year-old call centre worker took Hull City Council to a tribunal and won his appeal.

Mr Sherwin said: “I was pretty overwhelmed when I got the result. I didn't expect it to go my way. I was 50/50 when I came out of the tribunal but before that I was 90% certain I didn't have a chance but I'd taken it too far to give in."

In the lead up to tribunal he had received the backing of Nick Freeman, also known as Mr Loophole, who’s clients include David Beckham, Jimmy Carr and Jeremy Clarkson.

But after seeing the footage, Mr Freeman stepped back saying Mr Sherwin didn’t have a leg to stand on - leaving Mr Sherwin, who has no legal experience, to fight the battle alone.

"It was really nerve-wracking at first, I was surrounded by councillors and legal people I felt like I was in court for a major crime," said Mr Sherwin. "But the adjudicator was really good and he listened to what I had to say.

"It would have been easier to pay the £30 fine but it was the principle. So many people had been done for it and I wanted to make a stance and I believed in it and thankfully they ruled in my favour.

"The reason I pursued this is because I wanted it to stop and for the council to take notice and change it."

The tribunal, which was held at the Holiday Inn in Hull Marina, concluded Mr Sherwin did not contravene the law when he was filmed entering the bus lane at 8:17am on April 20.

In a statement from the adjudicator, he said: “I accept that he was not intending to gain an advantage over other traffic and there is no doubt that he only travelled a short distance along the bus lane, perhaps expecting to be able to turn left rather earlier than he actually did and in fact, no buses or other authorised vehicles were obstructed.

“I take into account that from the point the vehicle is first seen on the camera to the end of the solid white line is short and this is the measure I use to make the decision in this case.”

Many drivers were caught on the same road when the supermarket, Tesco, swapped its entrance and exit around in March. This means motorists have to encroach the bus lane to enter the store’s car park.

Hull City Council have since said they will not be appealing the decision and are satisfied they acted correctly. The council has also said the bus lane will continue to be enforced.