‘Don’t ignore rules!’ Drivers should not let new ‘cash cow’ bus lane rules win
Should this driver have been FINED for using the bus lane?
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A motoring expert has urged British motorists not to let the new bus lane fine rules wreak havoc in their lives. Drivers can easily do that by familiarising themselves with the new rules in order to avoid some hefty fines.
Earlier this month, Express.co.uk warned drivers of huge bus lane changes that will come into effect this month.
Drivers will face price hikes of 17 percent for bus lane fines at the end of May.
The fines will increase from £60 to £70 with some experts claiming that the huge increase may “push many over the edge”.
Ministers have been accused of declaring war on drivers by going forward with the increase.
The move has been branded as a money grab by some motoring organisations who warned that it could impact drivers at a time when fuel prices are still high and the cost of living crisis is in full effect.
And now, an expert has urged motorists not to ignore the rules in order to avoid the hefty fines.
Dorry Potter, car and scrappage expert at National Scrap Car, exclusively told Express.co.uk: “It should be very clear when approaching an area where there is an operational bus lane to ensure it is fair to motorists.
“As far as it being a cash cow, after the pandemic councils are finding whatever ways they can to regain money lost, and motorist fines such as illegal parking and driving in the bus lane are two of those ways.
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“However, they do not become cash cows unless motorists are ignoring the rules that are allowing them to become a cash cow in the first place. “
The expert added: “If a bus lane is fairly signposted then it should be considered the same as any other road sign.
“If you see the speed limit is 40 and you decide to go 50 you risk a fine, similarly if you see there is a bus lane with specific rules, such as do not use between 8am-5pm for example and you do, then you are knowingly putting yourself at risk of receiving a fine.”
Speaking to the Lord’s earlier this month, roads minister Baroness Vere explained why the charges were going up in price.
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She said: “We are increasing bus lane penalties by £10 to align with contraventions of moving traffic and higher-level parking contraventions.”
The £10 price rise for councils outside of London is set to be introduced on May 31.
In response to the law changes, Edmund King, president of the AA, said the price increase was on par with a day’s wages for someone on a £9.50 minimum wage.
He added: “Bus lane fines are set to go up by more than twice the rate of already rampant inflation (seven percent).
“With finances for so many on a knife-edge, losing a day’s wages for mistakenly wandering into a bus lane could push many over the edge.”
Recent data found that councils raked in £73.7million from bus lane fines between March 2020 and 2020.
Around £38.7million of this total was profit for the council.
A spokesperson for the Department for Transport said: “Robust traffic enforcement reduces congestion and deters unsafe drivers.”
Inside Greater London’s Congestion Charge Zone, the fine can be as high as £160, or reduced to £80 if paid within 14 days.
Driving into a bus lane will not always, immediately, result in a fine, with many featuring blue signs indicating their operating hours.
During these hours, the lanes are usually exclusively reserved for buses, but outside of these hours, drivers may be able to use the bus lane as long as it’s safe to do so.
Motorists are advised to always follow the information given on road signs.
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