A COURTEOUS motorist who quickly got out the way of two emergency vehicles has said she was slapped with a £60 fine for using a bus lane.

Sarah Graves, 45, of Roundhill Crescent, Peacehaven, said she had to momentarily use the bus lane to let two police cars through on the A259 Marine Drive road in Rottingdean last month.

Weeks passed and Mrs Graves gave the incident no further thought – until she opened a letter on Friday containing a penalty charge notice (PCN) from Brighton and Hove City Council.

Mrs Graves said: “I was on my way to pick my daughter from a friend’s house and did what any other person should do, so it’s laughable really. I thought to myself ‘how ridiculous’.

“You’d think someone would see the picture of the incident before sending it out and realise there are two police cars speeding through the traffic, but no."

Mrs Graves has until July 6 to pay the £60 fine, but has been offered a 50% discount if she coughs up before June 30.

But, unsurprisingly, she intends to appeal the ticket.

The Argus: The image of Sarah Graves driving in a bus lane when she moved out the way of two emergency vehicles.  Picture: Terry ApplinThe image of Sarah Graves driving in a bus lane when she moved out the way of two emergency vehicles.

She said: “I’m definitely going to appeal. I trust they will have common sense. To get a ticket for this came as a bit of a shock.

“People should be aware of the circumstances surrounding their motoring fines before being quick to pay them. I wonder how many people just pay up without checking what happened, especially as the incident was a few months ago and memories can be vague?”

A Brighton and Hove City Council spokesman said it takes ten to 12 weeks for an appeal to be processed. If an appeal is not lodged within 14 days of receiving the ticket, motorists are liable to pay the full fine.

The spokesman added: “We would ask Mrs Graves to follow the appeals process. We cannot comment on this individual case as it would prejudice any appeal made.”