A record-breaking number of motorists are driving on bus lanes in Cambridge, but they aren't getting away with it.
Transport chiefs are raking in more money than ever as the number of motorists caught by cameras soars.
The £1 million in fines barrier has been smashed – doubling the income in just a year as thousands more bus lane bandits are being clocked by the cameras.
A year ago this month Cambridgeshire County Council chiefs said they were seeing a reduction in the number of drivers flouting the bus lane ban.
But there has been a massive increase. In 2016/17, there were 26,000 fines issued but in the last financial year that figure shot up to 46,300. These numbers have raised the fine income from £589,000 in 2016/17 to £1.1 million.
Since the first full year of the cameras going live in 2015/16, there has been an 80 per cent increase in motorists driving on city bus lanes.
Now the total income in fines over four years has hit a massive £2,579,000 and a total of 110,000 fines have been issued.
Some 8,870 fines have been cancelled over the four years after drivers appealed the tickets.
Drivers around Cambridge will have to be on the look-out as more cameras are planned for the city centre to catch out motorists driving in bus-only areas.
The new bus lane enforcement scheme started on November, 3 2014 and motorists began being hit with £60 fines.
They were introduced after a number of bus lanes across the city were identified by the bus companies as suffering from delays due to unauthorised vehicles.
A Cambridgeshire County Council spokesman said: “Bus Lane cameras are an effective way of controlling the traffic in the city centre. They are installed to support the movement of buses by restricting vehicles to ease congestion and improve air quality.
“The number of people issued with fines for being caught illegally in bus lanes has increased because we have more than doubled the number of bus lane cameras in the city centre to replace rising bollards, which are costly for the tax payer in terms of maintenance and operational costs.
“We have installed five new cameras, taking the total to nine, to replace the rising bollards in Emmanuel Road, Bridge Street and Regent Street. These are funded by the income generated from tickets issued to people who ignore the restrictions.”
Bus lanes with around-the-clock cameras:
Elizabeth Way, Newmarket Road heading out of town between River Lane and Cheddars Lane and between B&Q and the first retail park entrance
Bus lane with cameras from 7am-7pm:
- Hills Road, heading into town between Bateman Street and Union Road
Coaches, buses, any vehicle with more than eight passenger seats, taxis, cyclists and emergency vehicles can legally use the bus lanes.
Fines are £60 and are discounted to £30 if paid within 14 days.
Disputing the fine
You can challenge the fine within 28 days of the date of your letter. Challenges or payments for PCNs will not be considered at the Parking Permits desk in the Central Library.
If you challenge the PCN and are unsuccessful you will be re-offered the chance to pay the discounted amount of £30 for a further 14 days from the notice of rejection.
If the council rejects your challenge, you have the right to appeal to an independent adjudication body, the Traffic Penalty Tribunal. The legal grounds for appeal are included on the PCN. The Council will enclose the appropriate form with the 'Notice of Rejection of Representations'.
Can I use the bus lane to access the retail park/supermarket in Newmarket Road?
You must wait until the arrows on the road show that you can move to the left hand lane. There is room for approximately 5 to 6 cars to then queue at the traffic lights in the left hand lane.
I own/visit a property on the bus route, can I access my property from the bus lane?
Yes. You should indicate left, and then cross the bus lane directly to the property.
Can I load/unload in a bus lane?
Some bus lanes have a loading ban indicated by signs and yellow blips or kerb markings (two if loading is never allowed and one if it is allowed between certain times).
If there are no kerb markings, anyone can make a delivery/collection in a bus lane. A fine would not be served if the delivery is seen on the cameras.
You can also stop to either pick up or drop people in a bus lane.
I am a Blue Badge holder, can I park in a bus lane?
You cannot park in a bus lane with your Blue Badge.
You can stop to either pick up or drop people in a bus lane.