Tens of thousands of motorists are being caught using bus lanes in Warrington, new figures have revealed. New stats show Warrington Borough Council issued 24,967 penalty charge notices to people driving in the town’s 10 bus lanes.
Moneybarn’s research, covering the financial year 2020/21, shows the authority raked in £694,350 in bus lane fines in the financial year 2020/21. Motorists who illegally use bus lanes in Warrington face a £60 fine, which is reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days and hiked to £90 after 28 days.
The town has 10 bus lanes – one in Academy Street/Scotland Road, Birchwood bus gate, Boston Boulevard, Knutsford Road, Legh Street, Lower Bridge Street, Scotland Road, Wilderspool Causeway and two on Winwick Road. Motorists – other than those driving buses, taxis or emergency services – who unlawfully drive on these roads may be caught by the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras.
It comes after the council came under fire from motorists in October 2021 when a new bus lane camera appeared near the Cockhedge Centre on Scotland Road. Many drivers were issued fines despite claiming to be unaware of the new gate, even though the council stated that warning notices were put into place three weeks prior.
The council announced two months later it would refund fines and install extra signs to remind motorists of the change.
A Warrington Borough Council spokesperson said: “The bus gate camera enforcement on Scotland Road forms part of the council’s wider plans to reduce congestion through the town centre, make the town centre a more attractive place for walking and cycling, improving air quality and access for buses. All of the signage notifying motorists of the new bus lane cameras on Scotland Road has been thoroughly checked and conforms to national standards.
“Warning notices were also issued three weeks ahead of the cameras being activated. Before the cameras were activated, we introduced additional signage to warn motorists of the bus gate – and even if they get to the bus gate they can easily avoid travelling through it by performing a u-turn at the roundabout if approaching from the north, or by turning right into Cockhedge Way if approaching from the south.
“An information leaflet showing the routes to use when accessing Prince Henry Square car park at Cockhedge and Town Hill has been produced and can be found on the council website warrington.gov.uk/bus-lanes-and-fines .”