Thousands fined after being caught by Wellingborough bus gate cameras
Three months after enforcement started, many have had to pay up after being caught
The introduction of enforcement cameras to stop motorists wrongly using a Wellingborough shortcut has led to fines worth at least £300,000 in just three months.
The now-defunct Northamptonshire County Council put cameras at the bus gate which links Church Street with Cambridge Street and Market Street, hoping to deter people from travelling through it outside the permitted times to save going around the one-way system.
No vehicles are allowed to travel through the junction between 9am and 4.30pm between Monday and Saturday, except for local buses and taxis.
A trial using number-plate recognition cameras last year caught a whopping 11,000 breaches in just 18 days, with the authority warning people they would get a ticket when they started enforcement.
And it can now be revealed that between February 15 and May 6 a total of 10,184 tickets were issued to those who breached the restrictions - an average of just under 150 a day given no tickets are issued on Sundays.
A bus lane contravention penalty charge is £60, reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days.
Presuming everybody paid within 14 days the tickets will have generated income of just over £300,000, which the new North Northamptonshire Council says will be used to fund public services.
A council spokesman said: "The bus enforcement in Wellingborough was to enforce a pre-existing bus gate which facilitates buses to pass freely through the town centre along Market Street and Cambridge Street.
“Whilst cyclists are also permitted to take this route, it was not specifically to encourage walking and cycling or in response to a more recent introduction of a 24-hour bus lane as in Northampton.
“We encourage drivers to adhere to the bus gate by not driving through it and avoid receiving a fine.
"Any income from penalty notices is used to fund public services such as the maintenance of the highways.”
Over the same time period 9,679 tickets were issued for the St James Road bus lane in Northampton.