Drivers face price hikes for bus lane fines this month – may ‘push many over the edge’

Councils make THOUSANDS in bus lane fines

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Ministers were accused of declaring war on drivers yesterday after hiking bus lane fines by 17 percent to £70. The £10 increase has been branded a money grab by some motoring organisations, warning it could impact drivers at a time when fuel prices are still high and the cost of living crisis is in full effect.

Currently, fines are set at a cap of £60, which is decided by Government ministers.

Speaking to the Lord’s last week, roads minister Baroness Vere explained why the charges were going up in price.

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.

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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.

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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.

The blue sign may also contain information on what vehicles can use the bus lanes during certain times of the day.

Some bus lanes may only allow taxis, bicycles, motorcycles or mopeds.

If there is no blue sign, it is assumed that the bus lane is reserved solely for buses, with this usually being the case 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Many bus lanes are monitored by CCTV, so authorities will issue fines based on when the infraction took place.

The penalty charge notice (PCN) will be sent through the post and will include details of the offence, some information about the vehicle and some photographic evidence.

If a road user drives into a bus lane by mistake, they will not receive any points on their licence and a PCN won’t affect their car insurance premium.

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