Woman given ‘heartless’ bus lane fine for chasing partner’s ambulance

  • london
  • April 24, 2023
  • Comments Off on Woman given ‘heartless’ bus lane fine for chasing partner’s ambulance
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A ‘heartless’ local council issued a panic-stricken woman a fine for accidentally driving in a bus lane as she raced after an ambulance carrying her critically-ill partner.

Ian Trantum, 63, contracted sepsis from a routine hernia repair and was placed in a coma for 12 days as his condition worsened.

He was transferred from Central Middlesex Hospital to Northwick Park in Harrow, northwest London, with staff telling his partner, Sally Olney, to follow an ambulance ready to leave.

Ms Olney, 64, told how she feared Mr Trantum would not survive as she drove on unfamiliar roads using a sat nav.  

She said: ‘The sat nav took me through windy roads and I saw a narrow bit with a wide bit and realised too late I’d gone through a bus lane.

‘In the circumstances all I was thinking was Ian was going to die.’

A fortnight later, a letter arrived from Harrow Council issuing Ms Olney, a physiotherapist, with a £65 fine for driving in the bus lane.

Mr Trantum, a former police officer, was forced to battle council bureaucracy during his five-week convalescence after officials said he had to pay the fine because Ms Olney was not the registered keeper of the car.  

The fine would have doubled to £135 if an unsuccessful appeal been launched.  

The council eventually agreed to review the case and cancel the fine after being contacted by journalists.

Mr Trantum slammed the council for having ‘no empathy’, describing officials as ‘heartless’.

‘I wasn’t well at all and this just left a nasty taste in my mouth. It’s the principle. If you appeal they say it doesn’t fit the criteria.

‘It’s a really bad system, like somebody just looks through a tick box and then they threaten you with an increased fine if you do appeal and fail.

‘You’d like to think that somebody would look at the circumstances and treat everyone on its merits. Clearly they didn’t.’

‘They should say ‘I’m ever so sorry for the inconvenience and stress, hope you’re making a full recovery’, there’s none of that. There’s no empathy.’

Ms Olney said the couple felt ‘vindicated’ after the fine was cancelled, adding: ‘At least the council had the good sense to see reason.’

A spokesperson for the authority said: “We’ve reviewed the case again. Given the circumstances we have on this occasion cancelled the PCN (Penalty Charge Notice).”

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