One million bus lane fines issued each year

New RAC research has shown that over one million fines are handed out to drivers caught in city bus lanes every year, with the total cost of the penalty charge notices (PCNs) reaching at least £68 million.

The motoring firm said that the number of PCNs issued for bus lane misuse annually rose five per cent from 2015 to 2017, reaching 1.13 million, with 994,000 fines issued in London alone between 2015 and 2017.

Outside of London, Manchester City Council issued the most PCNs with 353,000, closely followed by Glasgow (339,000), followed by Cardiff (268,000), Bradford (209,000) and Nottingham (195,000).

Simon Williams, of the RAC, said: “Bus lanes have a vital role to play in ensuring the reliability of public transport as they help to keep our urban areas moving. But the sheer quantity of fines – more than a million every year – suggests something is awry and we don’t believe the vast majority are knowingly breaking the rules. While there is clearly no defence for deliberately driving in a bus lane, we believe more can be done to make it obvious to drivers when they can and can’t drive in one.”

A Local Government Association spokesman said: “Councils make no apologies for enforcing the law to ensure the smooth running of bus services. If any motorist believes they have been fined unfairly, then they have the right to appeal against it. The fact that more than 99 per cent of bus lanes fines are not appealed clearly shows that the overwhelming majority of people who are ticketed accept that they have broken the rules.”

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