I challenged the council over my bus lane fine and WON – then they wanted me to pay three times as much

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AN OAP successfully challenged the council over his bus lane fine – but was then ordered to pay THREE TIMES the original charge.

Roger Maplethorpe, 79, said he was forced to park in a bus lane "for five minutes" while picking up a new TV as the shop didn't deliver.

Roger from Yardley, Birmingham, told Birmingham Live he couldn't carry the heavy package to a nearby car park due to his old age, and a taxi was out of the question because of the size of the telly.

The OAP, who worked for Birmingham City Council for 25 years – even dealing with driving fines himself – had driven to Richer Sounds in Solihull town centre in October last year.

The technology shop is situated on Station Road – a bus interchange that doesn't allow cars.

He said there's nowhere to pick up packages round the back of the shop, and so stopped outside briefly to load the telly into his green Mini.

But he was then slapped with a fine.

The former Royal Navy man said: "I wrote to them explaining it all but I couldn't get any joy out of them."

Despite his protests, Birmingham City Council told him the lane was "clearly marked".

Roger then took the issue to an independent traffic tribunal, but after an online hearing was scheduled, he was told by the council the fine had been dropped because the council hadn't submitted any evidence.

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The 79-year-old blasted: "They never bothered to respond."

But then he was told his fine had tripled to £90 for "late payment".

A council spokesperson has since apologised to Roger, and told him to ignore the bill.

Roger said throughout the ordeal he found it hard to speak to council staff in person.

He claims he twice visited their offices but was turned away due to Covid.

He said: "I remember I had to deal with these cases. We tried to be fair and understanding. It's annoying now that they won't see you or listen."

Roger added: "If you go and see somebody they won't come and see you. They use Covid as an excuse now."

He also urged the council to "treat people fairly".

He said: "There are two sides to every story. I'm sure sure people do try and get away but you have got to treat people fairly."

A Solihull Council spokesperson said: “We would like to apologise to Mr Maplethorpe. His fine was cancelled by the adjudicator but unfortunately, we experienced a technical issue and the fine process was not cancelled as it should have been.

"We have now rectified the situation, Mr Maplethorpe can ignore the fine and he will receive confirmation of this in writing along with our apologies.

“We would however add that people should not drive or park in the bus lane on Poplar Road, Solihull, but use the available on-street parking or local car parks in order to collect goods from local stores."

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