Birmingham City Council Leader’s car spotted in a city centre bus lane

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Cllr Ian Ward has been caught on camera being dropped off in the bus lane outside the Council House Extension on Margaret Street

The Leader of Birmingham City Council has been photographed getting out of his car on a bus lane in the city centre.

Cllr Ian Ward (Lab: Shard End) can be seen leaving his official car with his driver behind the wheel on Margaret Street outside the Council House Extension.

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The bus lane on this stretch of road is in operation all day, every day. The notice from the city council states that only permitted vehicles are allowed to use it, these being identified as a bus, licensed taxi, pedal cycle and solo motorcycle.

The fine for driving in a bus lane is £60, reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days of the Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) being issued.

Five photographs have been taken in total, including one showing Cllr Ward leaving the vehicle taken on January 10, 2022.

A spokesperson for Birmingham City Council admitted that the Leader’s cars should not be using the bus lanes. They said that his drivers are being advised that they should no longer use the bus lane.

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The spokesperson said: “This is not usual practice for the Leader’s drivers and all have been advised that this is not permissible, and therefore is not to be done in future.”

Birmingham City Council Leader Ian Ward spotted getting out of his car parked in a city  centre bus lane on Margaret StreetBirmingham City Council Leader Ian Ward spotted getting out of his car parked in a city  centre bus lane on Margaret Street
Birmingham City Council Leader Ian Ward spotted getting out of his car parked in a city centre bus lane on Margaret Street | Source sent to Fionnuala Bourke

When were the pictures taken?

The pictures have been taken at various intervals since last July, with the latest one taken on Tuesday morning (March 15).

Cllr Ward has access to the official vehicle, a Jaguar F Type for official meetings and engagements.

The Council is proposing to shorten the Bus Lane in Margaret Street to just beyond the Council House Extension door.

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Bus lane fines have brought in millions of pounds for City Council - with the one on Sheepcote Street generating at least £3.9million in fines over a two-year period.

Birmingham City Council Leader Cllr Ian Ward’s car spotted using a city centre bus lane on Margaret Street on July 21, 2021Birmingham City Council Leader Cllr Ian Ward’s car spotted using a city centre bus lane on Margaret Street on July 21, 2021
Birmingham City Council Leader Cllr Ian Ward’s car spotted using a city centre bus lane on Margaret Street on July 21, 2021 | BirminghamWorld

What have opposition councillors said about the use of the bus lane by Cllr Ward’s drivers?

Cllr Darius Sandhu (Con: Oscott) has spoken out about Cllr Ward’s use of the bus lane saying: “Whilst residents in Oscott and across Birmingham are facing ever increasing restrictions and charges to use their cars to get to work in Birmingham, the Leader is ignoring bus lanes to get his chauffeur driver car to take him from Sheldon to the doorstep of his office.”

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