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Councils plan to raise £52million by DOUBLING income from bus lane fines

Councils plan to raise £52million by DOUBLING income from bus lane fines despite Department for Transport saying first-time offenders should not be charged

  • English local authorities line up 35 per cent increase in bus lane profits this year
  • Councils could rake in more than £52million a year under new revenue plans
  • Town hall chiefs ignore advice to give first-time offenders warnings instead

Councils in England plan to double the income they earn from fining motorists for driving in bus lanes.

And their plans to increase the revenue over the next two years will allow them to rake in more than £52 million a year.

Plans for the huge increase come 12 months after Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport, said bus lane rules needed to be reviewed.

Across England, local authorities have lined up a 35 per cent increase in profits from bus lanes this year and a 48 per cent increase next year – adding £26 million to council coffers [File photo]

His Department of Transport officials told councils to issue first-time offenders with warning notices rather than fines – advice town hall chiefs have ignored.

Motorists can easily fall foul of confusing roadsigns. Research for the AA found that three-quarters of members had no idea they had committed a bus lane offence until the fine letter landed on their doormat.

Across England, local authorities have lined up a 35 per cent increase in profits from bus lanes this year and a 48 per cent increase next year – adding £26 million to council coffers.

Drivers in rural counties will see the biggest jump. Bus lane fines in the shires are set to increase a staggering 12-fold compared to a year ago – from a £307,000 projected income in 2017/18, to £3.9 million in 2019/20.

English councils experienced a cash bonanza from bus lane penalties in the last financial year and took £17.5 million more than they had estimated. But they are obliged by law to ringfence surplus revenue for transport and environmental schemes [File photo]

English councils experienced a cash bonanza from bus lane penalties in the last financial year and took £17.5 million more than they had estimated. But they are obliged by law to ringfence surplus revenue for transport and environmental schemes [File photo]

Manchester also expects to cash in next year, with a more than £2.5 million increase in bus lane income. 

This follows a ruling last year that bus lane signs on one of the city’s busiest roads ‘failed to meet the required standard’.

The Traffic Penalty Tribunal said 530 of the 600 drivers who appealed against their fines on Oxford Road were successful – 60 per cent winning on the grounds of poor signage.

Earlier this year, psychologist Dr Bernadine King successfully appealed against her bus lane fine in Essex after arguing there were too many signs for the brain to process.

Londoners will also feel the pinch, with City Hall expecting to make nearly £5 million more on bus fines in this financial year than last. This comes after they pumped up fines from £130 to £160.

Councils in England plan to double the income they earn from fining motorists for driving in bus lanes. And their plans to increase the revenue over the next two years will allow them to rake in more than £52 million a year [File photo]

Councils in England plan to double the income they earn from fining motorists for driving in bus lanes. And their plans to increase the revenue over the next two years will allow them to rake in more than £52 million a year [File photo]

English councils experienced a cash bonanza from bus lane penalties in the last financial year and took £17.5 million more than they had estimated. But they are obliged by law to ringfence surplus revenue for transport and environmental schemes.

AA president Edmund King said: ‘The section in the 2008 guidelines which advised councils to issue warning letters to first-time offenders has been completely ignored by councils. It’s time to re-establish the principle of deterrence, not the harvesting of fines income on an industrial scale.’

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: ‘Traffic enforcement is vital for reducing congestion and deterring unsafe drivers and we are drafting new guidance to help local authorities carry this out in a reasonable and proportionate manner.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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