Controversial Bus Lane Decision Is Slammed

MP says it is a council 'money-maker'

The re-introduction of a controversial Wimbledon bus lane has been slammed as a "money-raising exercise".

Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond has attacked the borough council for bringing back the Hartfield Road bus lane in the one-way system around the town centre.

Mr Hammond (left) said the council's own budget figures showed it would raise more than &Pound;100,000.

He said: "This proves what I have been saying all along - this new bus lane is a money-raising exercise - it has nothing to do with safety or public transport.

"This is blatant cash raising gimmick - taking money from hardworking Wimbledon families. I am appalled.

"I protested at the Council's re-introduction of this bus lane as having nothing to do with efficiency of our local public transport and all to do with cash.

"This bus lane is too short to be of any use and needs to be removed. The next Conservative Council will recognise this is just a cash exercise and will remove it".

But Merton Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet member for performance and implementation, Councillor Mark Betteridge said: "The enforcement of this bus lane is designed to reduce the traffic congestion through Wimbledon, a major concern for residents.

"In the past there were complaints from drivers who found themselves penalised when turning left into Graham and Belulah Road, and we have responded by changing the format of the bus lane.

"The markings are much clearer and it is less likely that drivers will accidentally cross into the bus lane. However, anyone driving in the bus lane intentionally and causing congestion will incur a penalty charge notice."

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December 16, 2011