Nearly 6,000 fines, netting a total of more than £180,000 for South Gloucestershire Council, have been issued to drivers caught by a single enforcement camera on a bus lane in Patchway.
The astonishing statistics, verified by the Journal, were revealed after a frustrated motorist used a Freedom of Information (FoI) request to find out how much money the council is making from the camera on Highwood Road, which went live less than a year ago on 1st October 2015.
The response stated that 5,892 penalty charge notices had been issued, raising £187,539.
Derek Hunt, 49, told the Bristol Post he believes the council has deliberately made the road layout confusing and accused it of “stealing” motorists’ hard-earned cash.
He was caught using the bus lane after he failed to make the obligatory left turn into Coniston Road when driving along Highwood Road from the direction of The Mall.
The bus lane is one of two to be installed in South Gloucestershire last year. The other is at Brierly Furlong/New Road in Stoke Gifford, close to the Parkway railway bridge.
A third camera was recently installed on the northbound A38 Gloucester Road approach to the Aztec Roundabout.
In all cases, enforcement commenced after a two week grace period during which warning notices (letters) were issued in place of penalty notices.
A South Gloucestershire Council spokesperson said:
“Prior to undertaking enforcement of bus lanes, the council made a decision that the use of camera technology was the most appropriate way of undertaking this enforcement.”
“The locations where cameras were to be installed, including the Highwood Road bus lane, were reviewed to ensure that the bus lane signage and markings were appropriate and clearly visible so that drivers would be aware of the bus lane and would not be caught out. To further support this, additional signage warning of the bus lane and the enforcement of it were installed at the locations.”
“The legal processes governing appeals against bus lane penalty charges include the right to appeal to the independent adjudicator, the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, for an assessment. Part of this assessment includes an analysis of the signage and road markings in place and whether the driver is adequately warned of the bus lane and its enforcement by camera technology.”
“Since commencement of enforcement at Highwood Road, 19 appeals have gone to the tribunal and on none of these occasions have the road markings or signage been criticised.”
The Bristol Post has since reported that the enforcement camera at Brierly Furlong, Stoke Gifford, has caught out 1,903 motorists in the same time period – so far netting £47,541, while the Aztec West camera has resulted in the issue of 256 penalty notices in less than a month of operation.
Photo: Signage at the start of the bus lane on Highwood Road.
More information and related links:
- Bus lane enforcement cameras (SGC)
- Patchway bus lane fines net council more than £750 per day (Bristol Post)
- Bristol bus lanes slammed after £250K in fines dished out in nine months from just THREE lanes (Bristol Post)
This article originally appeared in the August 2016 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.