TAXI drivers in Accrington are furious after they were fined for driving in bus lanes in the town centre.
Around 15 cabbies using the lanes on both Peel Street and outside the Town Hall on Blackburn Road were issued with £40 fixed penalty notices last weekend following a police clampdown on all vehicles using the bus-only lanes during recent months.
Mohammed Arif, chairman of the Hyndburn Taxi Cab Association, said that the drivers were booked when they were using the lanes on Saturday night.
He said: "We can't understand it - at night-time there are no other vehicles whatsoever, just taxis. The drivers are really fed-up, especially as this is a busy time of the year for us.
"I have been complaining about this for the past three years. In all the other towns, buses and taxis use the same lanes, so why not in Hyndburn? We're providing a public service and we should be allowed to use the bus lanes."
Mr Arif added that they were waiting for the results of a town centre traffic study to see if the restrictions could be changed, and he hoped to discuss this with both the council and the police in the near future.
Inspector Phil Cottam, of Accrington Police, said there was no evidence that taxi drivers were being targeted more than any other drivers.
He said: "At the front of the Town Hall the signs are quite specific - buses only, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We have had a number of complaints recently from bus drivers and pedestrians who use that area, saying that the number of vehicles there is becoming a problem.
"We are looking into it but people who use that lane are breaking the law. During December we have had extra patrols looking at that stretch of road and dealing with any obstructions to the buses, and I don't think we have been doing anything over the top."