The Government claims that motorists are being ‘abused by’ councils who seek to profit from 24 hour bus lanes.

Jacob Rees Mogg was the Commons Leader. He raised the matter of London’s “smallest bus lane” in the House.

The MPs were told that the Northolt Road section in South Harrow in north-west London is 39.5ft in length and has resulted in hundreds of thousands in fines.

Bob Blackman, Conservative MP and representative of Harrow East, asked why bus lanes are open all the time instead of only during peak periods.

“Recently, there was a case wherein we had the smallest bus lanes in London. It’s 39ft long.

‘But over the last year 7,800 motorists have been fined for going in this bus lane, which is seven days a week, 24 hours a day, and the Harrow Council has got £442,363 in fines.

Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg made the claim as the case of the 'smallest bus lane in London' was raised in the House

Jacob Rees Mogg was the Commons Leader. He claimed that the case of London’s’smallest bus lanes’ was being raised by the House

A 39ft bus lane in Northolt Road, South Harrow, generated £442,363.36 in fines after catching 7,854 drivers between April 2019 and the end of December 2021

A 39ft bus lane in Northolt Road, South Harrow, generated £442,363.36 in fines after catching 7,854 drivers between April 2019 and the end of December 2021

The lane is adjacent to another lane which is used only during peak hours.

“So, could we have an open debate at Government time about bus lanes? And indeed the signage on bus lanes which seems more to milk the motorist than to allow people to properly travel?”

Mr Rees-Mogg responded: “I am in total agreement with (Mr Blackman). It’s obvious that bus lanes have changed from having set times to being open 24 hours per day under the provisions of Covid, even though they aren’t being used for large portions of the day.

‘But what he tells me about 7,800 fines for the 39ft of bus lane raising over £442,000 is a swindle.

“Once more, councils that don’t like motoring are abusing the hardworking motorist.”

According to him, the Conservatives are the “party of motorists”. He also said that bus lanes have a purpose during peak hours but that it was wrong for them to be open 24 hours every day to serve as a barge to milk the cows.

News broke yesterday about Harrow Council’s £442,000 profit from Northolt Road fines after a Freedom of Information request was made by pensioner Geoffrey Ben-Nathan, 77, who had himself been fined for driving along the road.

The figures were obtained by Geoffrey Ben-Nathan (pictured), 77, a driver who submitted a freedom of information (FOI) request to Harrow Council after he managed to overturn his own fine on that stretch of the road

Geoffrey Ben Nathan, 77 (pictured), was a driver who filed a Freedom of Information (FOI) request at Harrow Council following his victory over his previous fine for that section of road.

Geoffrey Ben-Nathan, 77, who was fined after driving into the 39ft (12-metre) section of the bus lane which has a 24/7 restriction, argued the rules were 'unclear'

Geoffrey Ben Nathan (77), who drove into the 37ft (12-metres) bus lane with a 24-hour restriction was given a fine. Ben-Nathan claimed that the rules weren’t clear.

Ben-Nathan received a fine after he drove into the 39ft section on the bus lane that is under a 24 hour restriction.

According to the grandfather, the road must be the shortest bus lane in London. He also argued that the rules are ambiguous because the other restrictions on the same route were only applicable at specific times.

The council was asked to remove the 24 hour restriction or implement signs that make the information clearer for other drivers. He claimed there are no warning signs that direct motorists to change lanes.

Harrow Council, however, disagreed and stated “we believe that this signage is clear”.

After Mr Ben-Nathan had measured and provided other examples of drivers who were caught driving on that small stretch, the case went to tribunal.