We have every sympathy with Steve Hall of Cheswick Green (Letters 25th October) receiving two Bus Lane Penalty Notices in the early hours of the morning on Lode Lane after a traumatic visit to Heartlands Hospital.
While the use of bus lanes in the right circumstances are a useful tool which we support to improve public transport by avoiding congestion, their application for 24 hours cannot be justified and we see this as an abuse of the powers delegated to local councils.
The system on Lode Lane is in any case quite confusing for motorists especially at night with its broken stretches of bus lanes all too often catching out the unwary.
The vast majority of motorists respect traffic regulations and expect them to be applied for a sensible purpose. Those who don’t will of course be penalised accordingly. However it is surprising that those responsible and elected councillors don’t exercise a greater degree of common sense in the detail.
Solihull Ratepayers Association are firmly opposed to 24 hour bus lanes except in the most exceptional circumstances which isn’t the case on Lode Lane and believe a more standardised approach should apply. Logically, bus lanes are only necessary at peak periods but that’s not always the case and our view is 7am to 7pm is a sensible standard.
We don’t believe the Lode Lane bus lanes which only apply travelling towards Solihull can be justified by the shift changeovers at the JLR factory which is the argument used.
Government have shown in the past, e.g. over speed camera penalties that now go direct to the treasury, that where councils are abusing regulations to impose penalties on motorists for financial gain they will intervene. Applying penalties when there are no buses is in our view such an abuse of powers that were intended to apply for the public good.
Secretary – Solihull Ratepayers Association
I was heartened to read Maggie Lukeman’s letter as it reflected my own disillusionment and anger with Solihull’s planning department.
She cited the refusal of planning permission for a “care village” in Catherine-De-Barnes.
I would add my own observations about planning refusal for the Alderbrook flats coupled with the planning permission GRANTED for a HMO (house of multiple occupancy – i.e. bedsits) in a normal semi in Linden Road, Shirley, the latter despite much vocal, local opposition to the proposal.
Maggie rightly points-out that Shirley is still “under fire” with the proposed HUGE development of houses on “Allocation 13” – an area of greenbelt which is enjoyed locally and which has also given rise to much local opposition.
One rule for these other areas, another for Shirley, it seems.
As I have stated previously, if such a development were to be proposed for, say Tudor Grange Park – or Brueton Park, there would be a huge fuss made about loss of green space and amenities.
Both of these “sites” are just as possible and equally valid when compared with “Allocation 13”.
Well, come on Solihull council – Accept that SHIRLEY is part of Solihull too and stick to the preservation of OUR green space too!