300,000 in fines for motorists using games lanes

£300,000 in fines for motorists who use Games Lanes as more than 2,500 tickets are issued

By Mario Ledwith

Nearly 2,500 fines have been issued to motorists who have driven in controversial VIP lanes designated for officials and athletes during the Olympics.

The huge haul of tickets, issued by Transport for London (TfL), could result in a maximum of £312,000 in fines being paid by members of the public.

Driving without authorisation in the Olympic ‘Zil’ lanes - named after the limousines used by political leaders in Moscow at the height of communism – carries a fine of £130.

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Out of the lane! Traffic builds up by one of the Olympic lanes, which unauthorised people are not allowed to use

The lanes initially drew criticism for causing long tailbacks and confusing motorists who were unsure whether or not they were allowed to travel in them.

TfL said it had treated motorists fairly by issuing cautions rather than Penalty Charge Notices in the first six days of the lanes introduction on 25 July.

But despite assuring motorists that it has ‘no interest in unnecessarily penalising drivers’ the body has issued 2,400 fines since 30 July.

TfL said that driver compliance with restrictions on the series of lanes has been 98 per cent and said they would be ‘proportionate and sensible’ with appeals.

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Chaos and confusion: The lanes drew criticism for causing long tailbacks and confusing mototrists

TfL’s Garrett Emmerson said: ‘The overwhelming majority are following the requirement to stay out of Games Lanes when they are in use.

'We are now issuing PCNs to drivers who contravene the ORN, but will continue to be proportionate and sensible; we’re seeking compliance from drivers, not income from fines.’

The travel restrictions include 30 miles of designated lanes.

The lanes initially proved confusing, especially on a road in Westminster where a normal road blended into a bus lane and Olympic VIP lane, both of which carry fines for entering.

But despite early worries that the lanes would lead to widespread congestion, London workers heeded warnings and congestion in the capital barely increased during the Games.

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