Notorious Wellingborough ANPR-controlled bus gate still catching thousands of motorists

Enforcement at the bus gate installed in 2001 started in February 2021
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Motorists in Wellingborough town centre are still using a ‘bus gate’ in their thousands and racking up fines despite enforcement cameras being in place for more than three years.

An FOI by the Northants Telegraph has revealed the Wellingborough town centre bus gate, that connects Church Street to Market Street, generated more than £189,916 in its third year.

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Cameras using Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology, clocked 6,370 vehicles passing through the bus gate from April 1, 2023 up until February 15, 2024 – the third anniversary of the system going live.

Wellingborough Bus Gate in Market Street /National WorldWellingborough Bus Gate in Market Street /National World
Wellingborough Bus Gate in Market Street /National World

More than 20 per cent (1,324) of the motorists sent penalty charge notices (PCN) disputed their fines but only a quarter (336) of these were successful.

The now-defunct Northamptonshire County Council introduced the cameras into the one-way system with North Northamptonshire Council (NNC) now operating the bus gate. In the first year of the bus gate being enforced, a mammoth £694,447.90 had been raked in.

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No vehicles are allowed to cut through to Market Street, between 9am and 4.30pm between Monday and Saturday, except for local buses and taxis.

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A bus lane contravention penalty charge notice (PCN) is £70, reduced to £35 if paid with 21 days. Failure to pay within 28 days may lead to further increases in the PCN amount and enforcement action being taken.

Money received fines pays for the cost of enforcement including the camera system, maintenance of bus lane signs and lines, printing and postage to issue penalty charge notices staff to check and process PCNs and appeals.