A FRUSTRATED driver who was hit with a £70 fine for mistakenly entering a bus lane has claimed the council has failed to install enough signs to warn residents.

Bill Gibson, 75, claims “insufficient” signs and “obliterated” road markings meant the bus gate in Southernhay was not clearly visible.

However, Essex Highways insists the signs road markings have been checked and found to be “acceptable”.

Mr Gibson, of Grosvenor Road, Westcliff, claims the lack of what he sees as appropriate signs and markings could “catch motorists out”.

“It’s criminal,” he said.

Echo: Appeal - Mr Gibson with his penalty charge notice.Appeal - Mr Gibson with his penalty charge notice. (Image: Bill Gibson)

“They’re absolutely catching people out. There has to be around half a dozen blue signs in the run-up to the gate. It looks as though there’s a line down the middle of the road, but there’s far more needed.

“I would like to alert other people who have been caught or who may be caught out to appeal or avoid it in the first place.”

Mr Gibson, who used to live in Basildon, arrived in the town on February 29 for an eye test at Asda. He claims recent roadworks had caused the bus lane markings to be “obliterated”, although Essex Highways denies works have taken place there.

Having appealed his fine, Mr Gibson is confident it will be quashed.

He said: “I’m quite confident it will be deleted. I’ve read up on it and, if there’s a small misdemeanour, they will usually delete the charge.”

Echo: Official - how bus lane markings should look.Official - how bus lane markings should look. (Image: Bill Gibson)

A spokesman for Essex County Council said: “The bus gate restrictions at Southernhay, Basildon, are designed to increase sustainable transport usage and to improve the attractiveness of the town centre.

 “We understand it’s frustrating to receive a traffic fine through the post. However, when the bus gate was opened clear signs were installed and very large road markings were painted in the road advertising the rules for this part of Basildon.

“These markings were studied by the independent Traffic Penalty Tribunal of England and Wales and found to be acceptable for this bus gate. The road surface is also painted red to increase awareness of the bus gate.

“There are no roadworks which have been conducted on these markings and we are not aware any of them have been damaged.”