London, 16 June 2003.
For immediate release.

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Press Release

Drivers Condemn Birmingham Bus Lane Bungle
The Association of British Drivers has condemned Birmingham City Council for continuing to enforce experimental bus lanes for two years after they forgot to renew the legal regulations which created it.
Bus lanes on the A38 Tyburn Road in Birmingham were installed in the summer of 1998, despite 54% of people who responded to the council's consultation being against the scheme. The bus lanes created traffic jams where there had previously been none, and the tailbacks even delayed the buses using the road.
The experimental status of the bus lanes ran out in February 2001, but bungling bureaucrats at Birmingham City Council forgot to carry out the necessary legal process to make the bus lanes permanent.
For over two years drivers have been forced to sit in queues unnecessarily, whilst countless illegal fines have been imposed on drivers using the 'bus lanes'.
One driver trapped by police and given a £45 fine, was so outraged that he refused to accept the fine, and decided to investigate the bus lane regulations. He was amazed to uncover that they didn't legally exist, and accused the council of incompetence.
ABD Spokesman Ben Lovejoy said:
"As well as refunding fines, we'd like to know what Birmingham City Council intends to do to compensate the tens of thousands of drivers, and countless businesses for the many hours they have wasted sitting in queues caused by bus lanes that did not legally exist."
As the bus lanes currently do not exist in law, the ABD demands that the city council must immediately cover up the signs and remove the road markings relating to them. The ABD's Malcolm Heymer, a retired traffic engineer explained:
"If the order relating to the bus lanes has lapsed, the council will have to start from scratch with a permanent order-making process, including advertising and considering objections from the public."
The Tyburn Road bus lanes serve no useful purpose. They have failed to improve bus services or attract new passengers, indeed some bus services that used the road have been withdrawn entirely. In addition the bus lanes cause danger, congestion and road rage. In the face of mounting public anger over the council's ineptitude, the ABD calls for the bus lanes to be scrapped completely.
ABD Chairman Brian Gregory added:
"This is an absolute disgrace. Birmingham City Council are guilty of illegally obstructing the public highway for over two years, and they should face the same consequences that a driver doing this would face."


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