Revealed: 11,000 drivers hit with fines for going in bus lanes

The bus gate where Grove Road meets Brazen Gate near Sainsbury's in Norwich. Picture: Brittany Woodm

The bus gate where Grove Road meets Brazen Gate near Sainsbury's in Norwich. Picture: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Archant

More than 11,000 motorists have been hit with fines after driving in Norwich bus lanes in the past year, new figures have revealed.

And a camera at one Norwich bus gate, which only operates for two hours a day on weekdays, led to almost half the total sum Norwich City Council was paid by drivers.

Between October 2019 and November this year, 11,609 penalty charge notices were issued to drivers who had gone into one of five bus lanes covered by cameras - St Stephens Street, Brazen Gate/Grove Road. Albion Way. Earlham Green Lane and Rampant Horse Street.

The figures, obtained using the Freedom Of Information Act, showed appeals were lodged on 1,229 occasions and led to almost half being cancelled.

But drivers did pay £276,239 to the council, with the camera at Brazen Gate / Grove Road, near Sainsbury's in Queens Road, accounting for £136,867 of the fines.

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That camera, which covers the bus gate leading into the city between 7.30am and 9.30am Monday to Friday, led to the issuing of 5,377 fines.

Drivers appealed 528 times, with 281 cancelled as a result. The camera was put in place in March last year and racked up almost £150,000 in fines from drivers in the first eight months of operation.

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St Stephens Street and Rampant Horse Street in Norwich closed to general traffic in 2015, but drivers have continued to get caught by the cameras.

In St Stephens Street, there were 2,195 penalty charge notices issued between October last year and November this year, with £52,830 paid, while in Rampant Horse Street, £38,680 was generated from 1,840 notices.

The 'bus gate' on Rampant Horse Street, Norwich.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The 'bus gate' on Rampant Horse Street, Norwich.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

As a result of 254 appeals in St Stephens Street, 111 were cancelled, while in Rampant Horse Street 63 were scrapped of 197 appeals.

In Albion Way, where a camera was installed in 2017, 1,436 fines were issued, with just under £35,000 paid.

There were 125 appeals, of which 32 succeeded.

The camera in Earlham Green Lane led to the fewest fines. Just under £13,000 was collected after 761 notices were issued. Ninety-one of 125 appeals succeeded.

Norfolk County Council delegates powers to enforce the bus gates to Norwich City Council.

Council bosses said if they did not exercise powers, it would fall to Norfolk police to enforce the bus lanes, taking their resources from other duties.

They said income from enforcement was used to run the service and any surplus reinvested in highways and transport schemes.

On appeals, a city council spokesman said: "We tend to try to be lenient with first offences, especially if there are mitigating circumstances, like someone being unfamiliar with the area."

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