Bus lane drivers in Chester issued with £110,000 in fines

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The street approach to Oswald Street Bus Station ChesterImage source, Google
Image caption,
Cameras have been installed at four locations in Chester

Fines totalling £110,000 have been issued to drivers using bus lanes in Chester, a council has confirmed.

Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras were installed at four locations in Chester city centre in August.

Up to 1,830 drivers have been issued with a £60 penalty, which is reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days.

Cheshire West and Chester Council said it hoped the cameras would improve journey times for buses.

The cameras have been installed on St Oswald's Way, Upper Northgate Street, Wrexham Road and Hough Green.

'Irresponsible minority'

Karen Shore, Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, said the council hoped the cameras would "encourage more people to use public transport".

"The vast majority of motorists do follow the rules but there is a selfish and irresponsible minority who drive in bus lanes, slowing up buses and disrupting other road users," she added.

After cameras were installed, drivers were given a one-month grace period before bus lane regulations were enforced.

In that time, 2,193 drivers received a warning letter to help "educate and raise awareness".

Driving in a bus lane is an offence, and the police have the power to prosecute, but Cheshire West and Chester Council said it was using ANPR cameras to improve detection rates.

ANPR cameras are different from other types of enforcement cameras because they can identify number plates to make enforcement more accurate.

The images are checked by trained officers, and if an offence has been committed, a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) is issued.

Revenue from fines is primarily used to enforce traffic regulations with any additional income raised invested in the highways network and transport schemes, said a council spokesman.

Cheshire West and Chester Council declined to say how many bus lane fines had been issued incorrectly.