Motorists rack up nearly £1 million in fines driving illegally in Northampton town centre bus lane - 71 tickets issued per day and £54,000 made every month

The 24/7 bus lane enforcement camera was switched on in February 2021

By Logan MacLeod
Friday, 17th June 2022, 3:21 pm
Updated Friday, 17th June 2022, 4:38 pm

Drivers have racked up nearly £1 million by illegally using a Northampton town centre bus lane in the last 15 months, according to new data.

Chronicle & Echo asked West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) how many penalty charge notices (PCN) have been issued to motorists driving in the 24/7 bus lane in the Drapery, and how much money has been paid in fines.

The bus lane, which went live on February 15, 2021 permits only taxis, private hire vehicles, and buses to use the lane as well as loading between 6pm and 10am.

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The bus lane in the Drapery is 24/7 and only permits taxis, private hire vehicles, and buses as well as loading between 6pm and 10am, according to the sign

Fines people receive start with a £60 penalty reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days, or £90 if the first payment is missed. Failing to pay a fine can land motorists a bigger fine, court action and a visit from bailiffs.

Over the course of the 15 months the Drapery bus lane has been in action, between February 2021 and May 2022, WNC issued around 32,000 PCNs and £817,000 were paid out.

This means that, on average, 2,133 motorists are being issued with PCNs per month at the Drapery, or 71 per day.

On average, there have been around £54,000 in fines per month from Drapery PCNs, which is about £1,800 per day.

Here is a monthly break down of the number of PCNs issued to motorists by WNC

One member of the public, who is currently appealing their PCN, says the signage as you approach the Drapery, just before a zebra crossing, is situated in a position which leaves motorists who do not know the area little time to divert away from the bus lane.

WNC was contacted seven days ago for details on how the fines are put back into the community and to answer the concern about signage, but has not responded to the request.

On December 7 last year, WNC scrapped the St James' Road 24/7 bus lane after public outcry over signage.

The St James’ Road bus lane has since had its operating times changed to 7.30am to 9.30am between Monday and Saturday, with its enforcement camera completely switched off.

Here is a monthly breakdown of how much money the council has pocketed from the Drapery bus lane

It is believed the camera generated at least £800,000 in fines.

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Ten months, 35,000 fines and more than half-a-million-pounds later council SCRAP...