William Eichler 04 April 2018

Councils penalise over one million drivers a year for using bus lanes

Drivers in the UK’s cities have been issued with over one million penalty notices each year since 2015 for driving in bus lanes, new research reveals.

Freedom of information requests made by the RAC to the UK’s 20 largest cities found that on average there were 3.4 million penalty charge notices (PCNs) issued for driving in bus lanes issued between 2015 and 2017.

The RAC calculated the total amount of penalties issued during this time period could amount to nearly £200m.

The data showed that Manchester City Council issued the most notices between 2015 and 2017, with 352,688 sent in total and 172,311 in 2017 alone - a dramatic 175% increase on 2015.

Glasgow was next, issuing 339,402 notices between 2015 and 2017, and then it was Cardiff (267,713), Bradford (208,790) and Nottingham (194,993 notices).

The fine for driving in a bus lane varies across the UK, with London levying some of the steepest charges (£160 or £80 if paid quickly), while other metropolitan and provincial areas charge much less (around £60).

RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: ‘Bus lanes have a vital role to play in ensuring the reliability of public transport as they help to keep our urban areas moving.

‘But the sheer quantity of fines — more than a million every year — suggests something is awry and we don’t believe the vast majority are knowingly breaking the rules.

‘While there is clearly no defence for deliberately driving in a bus lane, we believe more can be done to make it obvious to drivers when they can and can’t drive in one.’

Mr Williams added that it was important for councils to improve signage and he also urged the introduction of ‘smart bus lanes’ into cities where technology could be used to make it clear to drivers when they are permitted to use bus lanes.

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Interim Head of Fostering

Tile Hill
Negotiable day rate
We are working with a local authority client in London who is looking for an Interim Head of Fostering, the local authority was last inspected as “... London (Central), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Tile Hill

Interim Head of Children in Care and Care Leavers

Tile Hill
Negotiable day rate
We are working with a local authority client in London who is looking for an Interim Head of Children in Care and Care Leavers, the local authority... London (Central), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Tile Hill

Head of Regeneration and Economy

City of York Council
£59,593 - £68,094
York is a wonderful place to live and work and it is quite rightly famous across the globe. York, North Yorkshire / Hybrid
Recuriter: City of York Council

Clinical Lead, North Essex

Essex County Council
Clinical Lead, North EssexPermanent, Full TimeUp to £57,869 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Assistant Director Legal,&Governance/Monitoring Officer

Rochdale BC
£70,340 - £81,589
The Assistant Director role has breadth of responsibility beyond legal services incorporating Constitutional and Democratic Services Rochdale, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Rochdale BC

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.