Reading council has been accused of ‘perverting the law’ by ‘making money’ from bus lanes.

Michael Guinney, from Liverpool, was visiting a relative in Goring with his wife and was on his way to his hotel in Reading when he had the misfortune of driving into a bus lane.

But Mr Guinney has argued that the council has manipulated the law by hitting him with a bus lane fine at 9.06pm.

He alleges someone at Reading Buses told him peak times finish at 9pm.

READ MORE: The Reading bus lanes responsible for the most fines during the pandemic years

Mr Guinney said: “Bus lanes are created to give buses preferential access to roads to get passengers to and from their destination in peak times and to encourage people to use public transport.

“There is no need to restrict ordinary commuting traffic after 9pm, no need for a ‘bus lane’ after 9pm.”

When he asked about where the infraction occurred, Mr Guinney alleges he was put through to a contractor ‘in Manchester’.

READ MORE: How much Reading council raised in parking fines in pandemic

He said: “Reading Council and this third party company are manipulating (perverting) the law simply to make money.

“Politicians are elected into office to serve the needs of society, the people, and uphold the law in a fair and just way.

“Choosing to impose a 24 hour penalty for using a bus lane designed to give buses priority in peak time is not serving the needs of the people and is unfair and an unfair law is an unjust law which surely cannot be right?”

Reading Chronicle: The PCN issued to Michael Guinney. Credit: Reading Borough Council / Michael GuinneyThe PCN issued to Michael Guinney. Credit: Reading Borough Council / Michael Guinney

His complaint has received a thorough response from councillor Tony Page, lead member for transport.

He explained that some Reading Buses run for 24 hours, and that Mr Guinney had fallen foul of one of these 24 hour bus lanes in Bath Road.

He also said how Mr Guinney had already contacted him, other councillors and the mayor, and didn’t dispute evidence that he drove into the restricted bus lane.

Cllr Page (Labour, Abbey) said: “All bus lanes in Reading are fully signed in accordance with Department for Transport guidance. Not all bus lanes stop at a designated time.

“We would always encourage drivers who believe they have been wrongly issued a PCN to follow the appeal process which is clearly explained.

“In this instance, no appeal was made and the fine was paid.

Reading Chronicle: Bus lane in Bath Road, Reading. Credit: Google MapsBus lane in Bath Road, Reading. Credit: Google Maps

“We are extremely fortunate to have excellent and popular local bus services in Reading that are relied upon by many thousands of local residents.

“The Council enforces bus lanes to keep them free of traffic and reduce delays to bus passengers.

“By law the Council has to spend any income received on bus lane enforcement on other transport related projects and in Reading these including better road surfaces, street lighting, road safety and the concessionary bus fares scheme.”

READ MORE: Reading council exploring powers to punish moving traffic offences

Mr Guinney has been sent a reply containing the council’s Annual Parking Services report, which has considerable information about how Reading’s bus lanes are operated.

The incident occurred on Friday, April 15.