Council defends itself after pocketing minimum of £290,000 from Northampton motorists in just 81 days

The council revealed that it has issued 9,679 tickets so far since February 15 to drivers using the 24-hour bus lane in St James' Road

Friday, 7th May 2021, 4:23 pm
Updated Saturday, 8th May 2021, 12:56 pm
The bus lane camera (top right) opposite Westbridge Garage

West Northamptonshire Council has defended itself after pocketing at least £290,000 from Northampton motorists who were caught driving in a 24-hour bus lane.

The council revealed that it has issued 9,679 tickets so far since February 15 to drivers using the 24-hour bus lane in St James' Road, opposite Westbridge Garage.

This adds up to one ticket issued every 12 minutes, or 123 per day. And with each ticket being £60 reduced to £30 within 14 days, WNC has generated a minimum of £290,000...but it could be more.

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Here's how the council responded when asked if this was another tax on Northampton motorists.

A West Northamptonshire Council spokesperson said: “The 24-hour bus lane restrictions were introduced to ensure that alternative forms of transport are given reasonable priority into Northampton town centre.

"We carried out extensive consultation around our plans for this change from 12 to 24-hour restrictions and it is important that we enforce those as part of our wider plan to ensure that public transport and cycling are viable alternatives to car use.

“While there are some concerns about the scheme, it has been in place for only a short time and we don’t currently have plans for any changes, though we will continue to monitor and amend our approach, where necessary, to alleviate traffic issues.

"We continue to encourage motorists to abide by the rules of the road and not to drive in the bus lane. Money raised through enforcement is used to fund council services.”

The bus lane was introduced in August 2020 in a bid to provide greener ways of travel, the single enforcement camera opposite Westbridge Garage went live on February 15.

Many people have since complained about the camera and the bus lane.

The majority of the concerns raised by the public mention that buses do not run 24-hours in Northampton; the camera has been placed in an area where people have been using the bus lane to undertake cars for years; there should be no right turn into the garage as it now causes congestion and pollution.