Nottingham ‘bus gate’ camera leads to £460,000 in motoring fines in nine months

An automatic camera monitors the Shakespeare Street bus gate.

The Nottingham roads where drivers have been issued with the most motoring fines have been revealed.

Figures from Nottingham City Council show drivers have paid out a total of £2.4 million in fines so far this year.

Around £1.5 million alone has gone to the authority from people caught travelling in designated lanes or roads only meant for buses.

And the street which has led to the most fines in 2016 is Shakespeare Street, where a camera-monitored ‘bus gate’ installed last year has resulted in penalties totalling £460,658.43p.

Some drivers accused the council of persecuting motorists, but the authority says its penalty system helps improve safety and traffic flow.

The council uses a mixture of fixed and mobile cameras to monitor parking and route restrictions.

A person posting on the online discussion board FightBack Forums, vented their frustration at the Shakespeare Street bus gate in April after driving to attend a family wedding held at Nottingham Trent University.

Shakespeare Street, near Nottingham Trent University.
Shakespeare Street, which runs through Nottingham Trent University, has a camera-monitored ‘bus gate’.

In a bid to locate a nearby car park, he says he turned right into Goldsmith Street, off Clarendon Street, and briefly onto Shakespeare Street – but then turned around.

This resulted in a fine for encroaching the bus gate.

He added: “We are clear that we saw no obvious, recognisable signs indicating any restriction on Shakespeare Street.”

However, signs are at both ends of the street indicating the restriction and the presence of a camera.

The second highest area, Lower Parliament Street (westbound), generated £118,172 – all of which was extracted from drivers being in bus lanes.

The third highest is Carrington Street bus gate, near Station Street, which generated £95,920.

Carrington Street bus gate has amassed £95,920 in bus lane fines.
Carrington Street bus gate has amassed £95,920 in bus lane fines.

Individual fines vary depending on the contravention but tend to be around £60 per offence, dropping to around £30 if paid within 14 days of the date of issue.

Steve Hunt, traffic manager at Nottingham City Council, said: “Traffic enforcement is an important measure to reduce congestion, maintain road safety and helps turnover in parking bays to increase footfall for local shops and businesses.

“Bus lanes and bus gates must be observed by motorists like any other restriction – they are in place so bus operators can provide a reliable service, which in turn helps increase the use of public transport.

“This helps increase road space for those who need to use a car for their journey and provides good quality options for those who don’t . Similarly it is motorists’ responsibility to check they are parked legally.”

Mr Hunt added the Shakespeare Street bus gate was introduced last year, working with Nottingham Trent University to “improve the pedestrian environment and safety around the university campus”.

Top ten streets which have accrued the highest total of council motoring fines:

  1. Shakespeare Street (bus gate westbound) £460,658.43p
  2. Lower Parliament (westbound) £118,172
  3. Carrington Street bus gate (near Station Street) £95,920
  4. Cheapside / Poultry (bus gate) £95,420
  5. Milton Street (southbound) £80,069
  6. Friar Lane (bus gate) £71,878.52p
  7. Goldsmith Street £70,365
  8. Carrington Street bus gate (near Canal Street) £66,985
  9. Market Street (bus gate) £65,317.01p
  10. Carlton Street £57,306

Figures apply January 1 2016 – September 30 2016

The figures were revealed in a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by Notts TV News and account for offences including parking in a restricted street during prescribed hours, parking in a free parking space for longer than permitted, and parking in a residents’ or shared use parking zone without clearly displaying a permit voucher or pay and display ticket.

Last year the council accrued nearly £3 million for the same offences.

Roger Lawson, spokesman for the Alliance of British Drivers, said the council was unfairly “trying to extract money from motorists”.

The former Chilwell resident added: “The council in Nottingham is typically very anti-car and anti-motorist.

“I wasn’t surprised because it’s happening all over the place because the councils are desperately short of money because the Government’s been cutting their funding.

“They (the council) look at where they can raise money and they target motorists as a soft touch. They put in cameras in bus lanes and that sort of thing to generate money. It’s about raising money rather than controlling parking infringements.”

Mr Hunt added: “The money from fines is invested in transport improvements, which include measures that help to make us one of the least congested and least car dependent cities in the UK.”