Drivers caught in city bus lanes pay out £280,000 in one year

The 'bus gate' on Rampant Horse Street, Norwich.

The bus gate on Rampant Horse Street. - Credit: Antony Kelly

Drivers paid out more than £280,000 in the space of a year because they were spotted in Norwich bus lanes, new figures have revealed.

Almost 12,000 drivers flouted the law by driving in the city's bus lanes and were snapped on camera doing so between October last year and October this year.

And a Freedom Of Information Act request has shown that more than 40pc of those were snared at a bus gate which only operates for two hours a day on weekdays.

The camera at that bus gate, where Grove Road meets Brazengate, near Sainsbury's in Queens Road, caught 4,731 drivers. It operates between 7.30am and 9.30am Monday to Friday.

Drivers caught there paid just over £126,000 in parking charge notices - nearly 45pc of the £281,662 paid to Norfolk County Council.

Cars and vans using the Brazen Gate bus illegally between 7.30-9.30am. Photo: Bill Smith

The bus gate at the junction of Brazengate and Grove Road in Norwich. - Credit: Bill Smith - Archant

The city's other cameras covering bus lanes are in Rampant Horse Street, St Stephens Street, Earlham Green Lane and Albion Way.

Drivers were caught in the Rampant Horse Street bus lane 2,116 times, paying out £43,378, while £46,661 was paid by the 1,995 motorists caught in the one in St Stephens Street.

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Cameras covering the Albion Way bus lane, near Morrisons, caught drivers 2,051 times, leading to £51,211 in payments.

Penalty charge notices cost £70, reduced to £35 if paid within 14 days.

Twenty-seven drivers appealed against the notices, with 18 of them successful.

Martin Wilby, cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport at the county council, said penalty charge notices were justified.

Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council Member for Highways, Infrastructure and Transport. Picture: Dan

Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport. - Credit: Danielle Booden

He said: “As these are all routes primarily designed for use by buses and bicycles, we do put measures in place to help ensure the lanes are being used as intended as this supports our successful work to boost active and more sustainable travel in the city.

"Sadly a very small proportion of the thousands of the drivers in Norwich do flout the rules, so when people misuse the routes any money from fines is used to run the service, with the surplus reinvested in highways and transport schemes."

The figures were similar to the previous 12-month period in 2019/20, when 11,609 penalty charge notices were issued and £276,239 paid.

Earlier this year, there were calls for restrictions to be removed on public holidays, after a driver was fined for using the Brazengate bus lane on Christmas Day.

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