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Santa's sleigh hit with a bus lane fine on Plymouth road

By Plymouth Herald  |  Posted: January 17, 2014

By LISA CLARK @lisaclarkherald

  • Santa's sleigh being pulled through a bus lane

  • A spoof version of the ticket given to Plymouth Round Table

Comments (22)

SANTA's sleigh has been issued with a fine after being snapped driving through a Plymouth bus lane.

The sleigh, a charity fundraising prop belonging to Plymouth Round Table, was being towed by a car after an evening of raising charity coffers.

Footage shows a car, pulling the sleigh, being driven straight through the bus lane near to Asda.

The Round Table claims the move was necessary but the council say is a blatant breach of the rules and there was no need to do it.

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The costly cut-through came at 8.32pm on December 19 on Leypark Walk bus lane.

After receiving the fine, the Round Table contacted the council to make their case, and were told to appeal formally.

However, the offending driver has since paid the £30 penalty.

A spokesman for Plymouth Round Table continued: “Members of the Round Table have paid the fine, it will not come out of our charity proceeds.”

Charities to benefit from Plymouth Round Table in the past have included Plymouth Foodbank, St John’s Ambulance, Plymouth Music Zone, Help for Heroes, St Luke’s Hospice and Dartmoor Search and Rescue.

The annual collection has become a favourite feature in Plymouth’s festive calendar.

The sleigh – which has the registration plate of SANTA1 – is dressed up before Santa boards and it is pulled around residential areas by Santa’s helpers.

During the last festive season, the sleigh helped make more than £3000 for good causes.

A spokesman for Plymouth Round Table said: “It is a demoralising outcome for those of us who give up our time to raise money for local good causes and now have to pay this fine as well.

“We wonder where they would have sent the fine if it had been Santa’s actual sleigh that had been snapped.”

Plymouth City Council said the rules around the bus lane were clear.

A spokesman said: “We commend the work of this and other charities in raising funds for good causes, but this was a blatant case of disregarding the rules of the road.

“Our video footage clearly shows a car with a small empty trailer being driven straight through the bus lane, not collecting money for charity.

“The ‘buses only’ restriction has been in place on this road for many years and both the signs and red road surfacing are very clear.

“If the driver felt he had a valid reason for driving through the no-entry signs and through a bus lane he could have submitted an appeal.”

But the round table do see the funny side of the fine and have even created a spoof version of the ticket – addressing it to “Santa” at “Santa’s grotto, Reindeerland.”

Read more from Western Morning News

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  • Herpthederps  |  January 20 2014, 12:57PM

    @Paulibob. take it you got fined for being in a bus lane?

    Rate 0
  • Kwacker10R  |  January 19 2014, 3:50PM

    All I can say is I hope Santa wasdelivering the Councilmembers chrissy presents at the time. Santa will think twice in future!

    Rate   -2
  • mmacz  |  January 19 2014, 2:47PM

    being a non driver i thought the headline sounded callous but then again thought an the herald dont really go together..reading the comments of the people turbulence abounds an daz is right.

    Rate   2
  • Jenn11  |  January 18 2014, 8:57PM

    Charity or not you still drive a car and are liable to adhere to the highway code and rules of the road.

    Rate   11
  • boeing737500  |  January 18 2014, 8:46PM

    not much Christmas spirit here from the public or the council,

    Rate   -7
  • IHateWhingers  |  January 18 2014, 3:41PM

    How on earth did this load of tosh make the columns ? The person driving a car & small trailer simply drove in a bus lane against the rules of the road. Be honest & face it there is plenty of space to turn in the bays at the rear of the supermarket, supply artics lorries do it everyday, the driver simply thought they'd get away with it &the trailer is empty & no different to those used by other drivers every day . It's not a bus & shouldn't be using that section of the road. Round table you should be ashamed of yourselves for trying this one on. Pay up, shut up & employ drivers who are capable of reading signs & obeying the rules of the road.

    Rate   13
  • swshaun  |  January 18 2014, 10:53AM

    pauliebob. also a bit of an idiot it seems. If the car had hit an old person, or hit another car would that be ok? Should we turn a blind eye because it was for charity? Ambulances, Dartmoor rescue, doctors etc etc are all liable to fines if traffic rules are broken until they prove they were on call out.. No excuse what so ever for this, the extra couple of hundred yards through the car park make that much difference?

    Rate   4
  • Nikgee  |  January 18 2014, 10:19AM

    Oh well, I might have thought differently if the sleigh had been occupied, but the traffic camera caught him fair and square... As much as I hate these spy cameras most of them are there for a reason... and this was it!

    Rate   10
  • wazte_of_mone  |  January 18 2014, 10:17AM

    Pity the driver did not stick to the correct way and instead of paying a £30 ticket to PCC put the money in the charity box. So saying the charity did not pay is rubbish ... And I for one certainly do not like the cameras nor abuse of bus lanes by empty hire cars and taxis!!!

    Rate   -7
  • Dazplym  |  January 17 2014, 11:25PM

    And for what it is worth, I have often used this car park and do get annoyed that that road is no entry, but I drive around the way we are supposed to. I also don't like all these bus lane cameras or bus lanes themselves, but if you know the camera is there, then you only have yourself to blame. I think that it is a nice gesture of you to offer to pay some of the fine, I just don't accept the theory that because they were there for charity that they can do what they like.

    Rate   18