The ‘entrance’ to a UK McDonald’s that is value drivers £500k | UK | News | EUROtoday

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Bus lane entrance

Trostre Roundabout in Llanelli, the place motorists have paid greater than £500k in fines in simply 12 months (Image: Google)

A roundabout exit in Wales has value 1000’s of drivers a whopping half one million kilos in only one 12 months. On a cloudy day in Carmarthenshire, I made a decision to deal with myself to a espresso from McDonald’s on my approach residence from an interview in Llanelli.

Little did I do know, it will turn into the costliest espresso I’ve ever purchased.

It was lunchtime on November 29 final 12 months. I used to be driving north on the B4304 (Trostre Road) away from the Machynys space.

As I approached Trostre Roundabout, an enormous yellow McDonald’s signal caught my eye. It brightened up the gloomy day and tempted drivers to drag off and use its drive-thru facility.

The climate was dreary, and I wasn’t acquainted with the roads in Llanelli. So, I drove across the roundabout and took the exit proper subsequent to the McDonald’s signal, stories Wales Online.

I then took a left into the drive-thru, bought my espresso, and headed residence. You can preserve updated with the most recent Carmarthenshire information by signing as much as the native e-newsletter right here.

Every week later, on December 6, I bought a letter from Carmarthenshire Council. They stated I had pushed down a bus lane and despatched me a fantastic.

I used to be shocked as a result of I did not bear in mind doing that. But they even despatched me a photograph of my automotive within the bus lane.

The fantastic was for £70, but when I paid it inside 21 days, it will solely be £35. I did not argue with the fantastic as a result of I knew I had achieved mistaken.

But I used to be nonetheless upset.

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The roundabout in Wales (Image: Google)

When you get near the roundabout, there are indicators that present a small blue circle with an image of a bus and the phrases ‘Yn unig/solely’ subsequent to it. The similar small blue circle is firstly of the exit, and there are phrases on the highway that say ‘buses solely’.

But after I regarded on Google Maps, I noticed that these phrases have light over time.

I admit, I could not argue towards the ticket. But, the exit is correct subsequent to a McDonald’s signal, and there are indicators displaying the velocity restrict firstly of the bus lane, which additionally has massive indicators for Parc Trostre.

The drawback for me was that it regarded like the way in which into the McDonald’s restaurant as a result of it is proper subsequent to it. In reality, to get to the McDonald’s (with out breaking any guidelines!

) it’s important to take one other exit (which takes you away from the restaurant) and undergo two smaller roundabouts after which flip off into Parc Trostre Retail Park on the third roundabout to move again in direction of the restaurant.

That’s a number of effort only for a espresso.

Wondering if I used to be the one one who had been foolish sufficient to get caught out by this, I shared my roundabout troubles on social media. There have been tons of of responses, a few of which helpfully identified that it is a bus lane, there are indicators, and informed me to mainly recover from it.

But many others have been extra understanding and considerably glad that another person had been caught out in the identical approach.

One motorist chimed in: “My husband got caught too, he is not from Wales but a driver all his life. The sign is not clear enough, it should be a no entry one with a sign below saying access only for buses and taxis,”. Further, one other stated: “I got caught in the bus lane last month – I have never been to Parc Trostre before so didn’t know the entry in, I won’t be going there again”.

A disgruntled motorist added: “Yes, there is a lot of signage…..but the main sign I see is for Parc Trostre, then oops you’ve driven up there.”

Roundabout exit near a mcdonald's

The roundabout was known as a ‘money lure’ for the native council (Image: Google)

Another individual known as it a “cash trap” for the council, whereas one other complained: “I hadn’t seen the signage then looked the next time and it was obvious – but I think in the moment I was looking for the McDonald’s entrance so I didn’t register the signs. It’s also harder to see in the dark and I think it would be dangerous to abort your decision once you’d seen the signs. £70 is brutal.”

Expressing settlement, yet one more driver wrote: “This happened to me! Couldn’t believe it! It’s easy to see the signage once you realise, but there are so many signs around there. If you’re not familiar with the area and are also trying to work out where you’re going, it’s easy to just turn too soon and it’s then too late to do anything as you can’t suddenly stop or reverse onto the roundabout. I rang the council and a very nice lady said – ‘oh my goodness, so many people do this all the time’.”

A woman informed WalesOnline about her fantastic on a roundabout, saying: “The bus lane doesn’t start until after you have left the roundabout and you are then effectively unable to do anything other than drive through it, as to reverse back on to the roundabout to avoid it would be dangerous. Although I have paid the reduced fine of £35 as I do not want to risk further costs and aggravation, I feel very much that this ticket is unfair as it was not clear enough and it feels like a bit of a trap that is there to make money – a modern day highway robbery.”

Someone recommended that possibly an enormous purple ‘no entry’ signal may assist higher, with phrases beneath for buses and taxis solely. This would make it clearer for automotive drivers who’re those largely utilizing the roundabout.

At the opposite finish of the bus lane, by McDonald’s, there are two ‘no entry’ indicators and writing on the bottom too. It does not say it is for buses however makes it apparent you should not go down there in a automotive.

It looks as if no one will get caught out at that finish.

One individual wrote on-line: “I use this roundabout almost daily and have witnessed countless drivers making the same mistake. I’d be intrigued to see the yearly count on just how many made that mistake – it’s a farce!”.

Meanwhile, from December 2022 to November 2023, Carmarthenshire Council bought over £500,000 in fines as a result of drivers went into the bus lane at Trostre Roundabout. If you look again a bit additional to August 2022, data present that 15,112 drivers have been caught within the bus lane up till December 2023.

It seems to be like there would possibly actually be an issue with the indicators!

I admit, I did not combat my fantastic as a result of I used to be within the mistaken. It’s a bus lane and it is clearly marked.

I additionally admit that I did not learn the signal as I approached the roundabout (truthfully, I understand how again to Carmarthen, so why would I?)

My important drawback is that should you’re not acquainted with the realm, particularly the roundabout, there is a massive probability you may make an costly mistake (simply ask the opposite 15,000 drivers).

So possibly, simply possibly, the council could possibly be affordable and let off first-time offenders who’ve clearly made an harmless mistake?

After all, should you park on a double yellow line, even for 2 minutes, you take a danger as a result of you already know you are doing one thing mistaken. At Trostre Roundabout, I had no clue I used to be doing something mistaken, not till per week later, and I assume the 1000’s of different drivers caught out did not both.

Councillor Edward Thomas has hit again at complaints about drivers being fined, saying: “All of our traffic signs are compliant with the relevant regulations. The bus lane is accessed from Trostre Roundabout, and we have ensured that all approach roads to the roundabout include advance signs warning approaching drivers that one of the accesses off the roundabout is restricted. On the roundabout itself, the presence of the bus lane is then clearly shown with appropriate signs which are reinforced with additional carriageway markings on a red surface.”

He additionally stated: “If a motorist feels they have been unfairly issued with a penalty charge notice they are able to appeal to the parking appeal service which is an independent body. Bus lanes help to ensure smoother traffic flows by giving buses priority over other vehicles. This is especially important in congested urban areas like Llanelli where traffic congestion is a significant issue. Overall, the enforcement of bus lanes plays a vital role in efficient, reliable, and sustainable public transport, which are essential for the well-being of Carmarthenshire residents.”

So, the visitors indicators are “compliant with the relevant regulations” and “bus lanes help to ensure smoother traffic flows”. But are these indicators clear sufficient?

And whereas nobody I’ve spoken to doubts the necessity for bus lanes, many are puzzled about how they ended up driving down a selected one in Trostre.

As I’ve stated, I used to be within the mistaken and paid my fantastic with out arguing, studying a expensive lesson: I’ll by no means once more be fined for driving down the bus lane off Trostre Roundabout, however I’m positive others, who do not know concerning the bus lane or aren’t acquainted with the roundabout, will likely be.