This Sheffield bus lane snared 47 drivers a day

A Sheffield bus lane has snared 12,344 drivers in three years – an average of 47 fines every day.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 10 May, 2019, 13:33

The restriction on Boston Street at the foot of Cemetery Road prevents motorists turning left on to London Road but only operates for two hours on weekday mornings.

Since it was introduced in April 2016, it has earned Sheffield City Council £392,910 – although officials insist it is ‘appropriately signed’.

Some 4,924 fines were issued in the first year, falling to 3,948 in the second, then 3,472 in the year to March 2019 – but even that raised £102,000.

A driver, who asked not to be named, said it was too easy to fall victim.

He added: “There’s one sign and a green bus lane, but beyond that nothing. It’s just too easy to turn left onto London Road without realising you’ve broken the rules – especially since they only apply for two hours a day.

“The times on the blue sign are too small for a driver to read before it’s too late. But from the council’s point of view it’s a very nice earner.”

Last month, The Star revealed how a new camera on a bus and tram gate on Glossop Road had snared 4,493 drivers, earning £108,527 in fines last year.

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Tom Finnegan-Smith, head of strategic transport at Sheffield Council, said the Boston Street restriction made bus journey times reliable – and cash surpluses went back into traffic management schemes.

“The bus lane was introduced in April 2016, replacing a bus gate which prevented all vehicles travelling between Cemetery Road and London Road during morning rush hour but had signs which were outdated.

“The bus lane measures provide a reliable journey time on that route and were introduced in full consultation with the bus companies.

“This bus lane is clearer for drivers as the operating times are permanently on display. Also, it provides access between Cemetery Road and London Road at all times, although at the operating times vehicles cannot turn left.

“When bus lane enforcement is introduced we always provide a period of warning notices, rather than fines, to allow drivers time to get used to the new enforcement and make alternative journey plans.

“The bus lane is appropriately signed and the level of fines are set nationally, not by the council. In just over three years of operation £392,910 has been paid in fines with surpluses going back into traffic management schemes.”

The fine for driving in a bus lane in Sheffield is £60, with a £30 discount for early payment.