AN angry driver is refusing to pay a £70 fine after being snapped by a controversial camera car in a bus stop no longer in use.
Callum Laws pulled into the bus stop opposite The Royal pub, in Church Street, Hartlepool, to drop off a pal.
The bus shelter has a sign pasted onto it informing passengers that it is “not currently in use”.
It has been out of official use since a number of supported bus services were withdrawn in March.
Callum, 20, said he planned to drive straight from the bus stop in his Vauxhall Astra immediately after dropping off friend Chris Sanderson on May 31.
But a woman approached him and warned him not to stay because her husband had also been snapped by the hi-tech car operated by Hartlepool Borough Council.
And as she was warning him, the car drove past and took a photograph of his vehicle and a couple of weeks afterwards a penalty notice arrived.
The council says the stop is still used by a school bus service and anyone who parks there risks a fine regardless how long they stop there.
Supermarket worker Callum, of Compton Road, Hartlepool, said: “I think it’s unfair to get a £70 fine for stopping there.
“There were no buses about and usually when I drive past it is full of cars anyway.
“It would have literally been stop, jump out and go.
“The only reason I stopped was because a woman came over and said ‘I wouldn’t stop here.’
“I think it’s petty for the council to buy a brand new car, fit it with a camera and drive around the town charging people.
“I’m not going to pay £70 to stop for less than a minute.”
More than 400 drivers have been hit with penalty notices since the council launched the £40,000 camera car last month aimed at catching drivers who park illegally.
A Hartlepool Council spokesman said: “Although the bus stop is marked to advise passengers that there is no scheduled public service from that stop, it is still used for a school bus service, it remains a commissioned bus stop and the bus bay remains clearly marked as such for the information of motorists.
“As people are well aware, it is illegal to park in a bus stop and anyone who does so risks a fine regardless of how long they are parked there.
“Anyone issued with a penalty charge notice has the right to appeal.”