City councils are pocketing millions of pounds a year from fining motorists for misuse of bus lanes, with new figures revealing which locations are genere the biggest revenues.
While London is the city where most motorists receive a penalty charge notice for incorrectly driving in a bus lane, an investigation has revealed which locations outside of the capital raked it in during the 2018/19 financial year.
Topping the list is Manchester City Council, issuing almost 390,000 fines worth an estimated value of £8.4million.
Revealed: A freedom of information request to councils responsible for the 50 biggest towns and cities in the country revealed which locations dish out the most bus lane fines to motorists
The figures were revealed by a study conducted by comparison website Compare the Market.
It issued a freedom of information request to London boroughs and the 50 most populated town and city councils outside of the capital to understand how many bus lane PCNs had been sent in the financial year and the income generated.
With many authorities now using CCTV cameras to enforce the lanes, drivers are more likely than ever to be caught if they breach the operating times.
The exact cost of a PCN varies but is usually around £60, as long as the motorists pays within the first two weeks of being issued with a fine.
Outside of London, Manchester drivers racked up a massive 388,213 fines over the course of the 12 months.
Compare the Market estimates that these totalled a massive £8,389,610.
Second in the list – and quite a way off the volume of PCNs issued in Manchester – was Glasgow, with 89,658 penalties dished out with a total value of a calculated £2,784,720.
Also reportedly earning over £2million in bus lane fines during the year were city authorities for Coventry, Reading, Nottingham and Birmingham.
Rounding out the top 10 of councils that responded to the FOI were Cardiff, Brighton, Bristol and Cambridge.
Manchester City Council said it issued almost 390,000 fines worth an estimated value of £8.4million in the financial year 2018/19 – more than any other city council, says Compare the Market
As for London, it was Lambeth Council that appeared to generated the most revenues from bus lane infringements in the capital, issuing 41,628 PCNs and collecting in the region of £2,731,832 in 2018/19.
Authorities in Ealing, Kingston upon Thames, Camden, Merton, Hammersmith & Fulham and Barking & Dagenham also collected fines to a value exceeding £1million, based on the comparison site’s estimates.
It is worth noting that these statistics do not cover all bus lane fines issued in London, as it only includes PCNs sent by councils and doesn’t include figures for penalties for lanes operated by Transport for London.
The generated income figures will not all be profit, though the number of PCNs has highlighted which areas drivers are most likely to get caught using a bus lane at the wrong time.
London boroughs were also contacted to find out how many bus-lane-related PCNs they had issued in the same 12 months. The figures do not include bus lane fines issued by Transport for London
With more people considering commuting to work in their cars to avoid public transport after the coronavirus pandemic, drivers are being told to be extra cautious, especially when driving on roads that are not familiar
Commenting on the figures, Dan Hutson, head of motor insurance at the comparison webiste said accidentally driving in a bus lane can happy to anyone, ‘especially if you are driving in an unfamiliar part of a city or town’.
He added: ‘With cameras monitoring the roads more and more, it’s easy to get caught out.’
Hutson added that with a greater number of motorists using their cars to commute to work to avoid public transport following the coronavirus pandemic, drivers need to ensure they are staying aware and keeping to the rules.
‘If you think you’ve received a fine and it’s wrong, you can always contest a penalty charge notice,’ he said.
‘However, keep in mind that if you don’t pay the fine within 14 days, the rate usually doubles.’
Compare the Market added that not all town and city councils could provide data on PCNs for bus lane infringements as some are not enforcing them with CCTV cameras.
The income generated also refers to income received for PCNs issued during the 2018/19 financial year, meaning that that some PCNs may have been cancelled or written off, or may not have been paid at the time the stats were issued to the comparison site.
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