ANGRY drivers have swamped News Shopper with calls after we revealed nearly 1,200 people have received tickets for driving in bus lanes in Welling.

Dozens of people have voiced their anger at being fined for entering a bus lane in Welling High Street.

Last week News Shopper told how six CCTV cameras installed in the town to improve community safety two months ago focus on bus lanes. Since then, Bexley Council has issued 1,177 tickets imposing £50 fines on unwary motorists, and that figure is rising by the day.

Although the council says it cannot confirm it, the bus lane at the centre of the controversy is thought to be a small stretch near Welling Corner.

Drivers complain they are being caught clipping the end of the bus lane as they swop from the outside to the inside lane to avoid queuing traffic waiting to turn right.

Others have received tickets for pulling into the parking bays before realising they cannot be used while the bus lane is in operation. Although they drive off immediately it is too late to avoid a penalty ticket.

Accountant Mike Nunn, 55, who lives off Hook Lane, says wife Trish has already had two near misses because she now leaves it as late as possible to pull into the inside lane to turn left. This is after receiving two fines for driving in the bus lane by the junction.

Like many Ronald Dorrington, 69, from Central Avenue, asked for evidence he had been in the bus lane. But drivers are told they cannot see CCTV footage until after 28 days — when the fine has risen to £100. “I feel like I have been mugged,” Mr Dorrington said.

A council spokesman said: “Every contested case is viewed on its merits and if it is deemed unfair it would be cancelled.” What do you think? Text the Editor on 07781 482502. Standard network rates apply.

The verdict of chief reporter Linda Piper - IT is time to stop this chaos.

Every sensible person backs the idea of public transport.

And most of us, I am sure, support the idea of special road lanes set aside to allow public transport to travel more quickly and easily on our congested roads at peak times.

But neither of those arguments apply to what is happening in Welling.

There, a bus lane which runs only a short distance, does little to help keep the buses flowing, prevents people from turning left safely and legally, and is an accident waiting to happen.

The only thing it does apparently accomplish successfully is to make a lot of money for Bexley Council.

News Shopper says two months of this pantomime is enough. Bexley Council should suspend operation of this lane until qualified experts carry out a proper investigation into what has been going on.

It should consider either amending the lane to take account of what has been happening or, if that cannot be done, removing it completely.

One expects a few moaners when fixed penalty tickets are dished out for traffic offences — but nearly 2,000 usually law-abiding citizens cannot all be wrong. And they are fuming at what they see as a whopping injustice.

We say, it is time to listen to these people, Bexley. Suspend the bus lane and think again.