A woman who accidentally drove in a bus lane as she raced after an ambulance carrying her critically ill partner says she feels 'vindicated' after her fine was cancelled.

Ian Trantum went into Central Middlesex Hospital in February for a routine operation to repair a hernia.

But what began as couple of nights' stay turned into a transfer to Northwick Park Hospital, where the 63-year-old spent two weeks in a coma after contracting sepsis.

On the night of his transfer, hospital staff called his partner Sally Olney, who lives in Ampthill, Bedfordshire, to tell her the ambulance was going to leave and to follow it.

Sally, 64, got into Ian's car, put the location in the sat nav and set off through unfamiliar streets - only to receive a fine two weeks later.

"The sat nat took me through windy roads and I saw a narrow bit with a wide bit and realised too late I'd gone through a bus lane," she said.

"In the circumstances all I was thinking was Ian was going to die."

Ian, a former police officer, remembers nothing of the ordeal as he was in a coma for 12 days.

Ian praised his hospital treatment as "second to none", but as he recovered, the couple encountered bureaucracy when Sally appealed the ticket.

The council said Sally was not the the registered keeper of the car and Ian had to pay or they would double the fine.

He said: "It's outrageous and it's heartless, there's no empathy.

"I wasn't well at all and this just left a nasty taste in my mouth."

Following intervention by this paper, a spokesperson for Harrow Council said: "We’ve reviewed the case again. Given the circumstances we have on this occasion cancelled the PCN."

Sally, a physiotherapist, said: "It's fantastic, we're delighted you (the paper) managed to do it for us.

"We feel vindicated. At least the council had the good sense to see reason." 

Ian added: "It's the principle. If you appeal they say it doesn't fit the criteria. It's a really bad system, like somebody just looks through a tick box and then they threaten you with an increased fine if you do appeal and fail.

"You'd like to think that somebody would look at the circumstances and treat everyone on its merits. Clearly they didn't.

"They should say 'I'm ever so sorry for the inconvenience and stress, hope you're making a full recovery', there's none of that.

"There's no empathy."