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Just 20 people fined for using Lewes Road bus lane
Only 20 vehicles have been caught illegally using a new £1.9 million bus lane in three months – an average of one every four and a half days.
Brighton and Hove City Council unveiled the changes to Lewes Road, Brighton, in October, as part of wider plans to boost sustainable transport use in the area.
A camera was installed to catch those who drive their cars in the lane.
And with thousands of vehicles a day using the stretch, council leaders said the fact that just 20 motorists were issued with the £60 fines is proof the scheme is working well.
Green councillor Ian Davey, the authority’s lead member for transport, said: “Clearly people are aware that we are enforcing the scheme and that is enough of a deterrent for people not to use the bus and cycle lane illegally.
“We would always prefer that people use the road correctly, rather than having to issue penalty charge notices.
“We are continuing to monitor the lanes so advise everyone to continue observing the restrictions.”
The council did not break down the figures by vehicle type.
But a spokeswoman confirmed that refuse vehicles, charity minibuses and any vehicle carrying more than eight passengers is allowed to join buses, taxis and emergency service vehicles in using the lane.
She added that any of these vehicles were allowed to switch lanes to overtake.
Coun Davey said figures compiled by the council showed a 14% increase in cyclists, a 7% increase in bus passengers and a 41% increase in taxi use since the lanes opened.
Steve Percy, of motoring lobby group People’s Parking Protest and a member of the city’s transport partnership, said: “I think people are very money conscious now so they are not going to take the chance of getting fined.
“Catching one car every four and half days is hardly a good return on the investment.”
Speaking generally about bus lanes, Mr Percy added: “I’m still convinced the restrictions should be lifted to off peak.”
Conservative councillor Graham Cox said: “It seems that by and large, the rules are being complied with and the council is not using the bus lane as a cash generator in this instance, which I welcome.”
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