The £2 million bus lane cameras snaring thousands of Brighton drivers

Posted On 24 Jan 2022 at 5:28 pm

Two new bus lane cameras made more than £2.2 million in their first full year of operation in the centre of Brighton.

The cameras were installed as part of the Valley Gardens revamp and snared 84,000 drivers – or 7,000 a month – since they went live in January last year.

The revenue raised from the two camera sites alone was almost more than three times higher than the £774,000 generated by all the bus lane cameras in Brighton and Hove in 2020.

And the number of drivers ticketed after being filmed in one location, York Place, amounting to 54,441, was almost double the entire number of tickets – 28,425 – issued by all cameras in 2020.

Councillors from across the political parties expressed incredulity when they first heard that thousands of drivers were being ticketed for being in the new bus lanes – or “bus gates”.

A Green councillor, Jamie Lloyd, even admitted that he had been ticketed himself at a town hall meeting in the autumn.

The former Labour leader of the council, Nancy Platts, told the same meeting: “An inordinate number of people are being caught out.

“It doesn’t sound humanly possible to issue that many tickets. It sounds like we need to improve the signage. I can’t imagine that number of people deliberately disobeying the traffic regulations.”

And Conservative councillor Robert Nemeth said: “There must be something wrong with the bus gates. There can’t be that many crazy motorists who are intent on breaking the rules.”

The details about the number of drivers being ticketed emerged in response to questions from Councillor Nemeth.

Five cameras monitor vehicles along Valley Gardens, where the £11 million new road layout bars cars from the bus lanes on the western side.

The car ban applies to Marlborough Place, St George’s Place, York Place and St Peter’s Place and came in as part of the two-year revamp of Valley Gardens, completed in September 2020.

“Local traffic” is allowed although not everyone appears to understand the extent of the word “local”.

And some councillors said that people were unfamiliar with the term “bus gates”, with the painted signs on the road already fading.

The national Traffic Penalty Tribunal, which rules on appeals against fines for driving in bus lanes, said: “The term ‘bus gate’ is interchangeable with ‘bus lane’ in terms of enforcement of regulations.”

Brighton and Hove City Council started sending warning letters to those who strayed into the bus lanes from September 2020 and, from January 2021, the council has been issuing £60 tickets.

Since then the York Place camera has caught 54,441 drivers and the camera in Gloucester Place has snapped 29,506.

The council said that the cameras had generated £1,473,000 and £804,000 respectively – or £2,227,000 in total – from the £60 fines which are reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days. The level of the fine is set nationally.

Council officials said that fewer than 100 appeals relating to the two cameras were upheld by the Traffic Penalty Tribunal last year, with almost 200 rulings in the council’s favour.

In total last year 20 bus lane camera sites across Brighton and Hove generated £3,669,000 for the council.

This compared with £774,000 in 2020 from 15 cameras and £1,843,000 from 17 cameras in 2019.

Last year there were seven camera sites that raised six or seven figures compared with two six-figure sites the year before and eight in 2019.

Brighton’s six and seven-figure bus lane cameras in 2021
Site Tickets Revenue
Gloucester Place 29,506 £803,848.42
London Road 4,576 £104,540.00
Marlborough Place 7,946 £178,145.00
North Street 8,446 £212,300.24
St Peter’s Place 5,132 £128,623.69
Western Road 8,629 £206,983.00
York Place and St George’s Place 54,441 £1,473,434.59

 

  1. Some Guy Reply

    Cracking result. Save half, spend the other half on more cameras!

  2. Hove Guy Reply

    Amazing how these cameras are bringing in millions to the coffers of the B&H council, yet very few cameras are capturing images of crimes being committed. It shows where their priorities lle..

  3. Car Delenda Est Reply

    Two birds with one stone, excellent result. Safer roads for all users and we get some of the previously untapped gold mine that dangerous motorists represent.

    • James smith Reply

      You obviously don’t drive and haven’t got a clue ..
      Why can’t cameras be in place to prevent crimes rather then collect fines ?

  4. Wes Reply

    ‘And Conservative councillor Robert Nemeth said: “There must be something wrong with the bus gates. There can’t be that many crazy motorists who are intent on breaking the rules.”’

    Below are official figures from gov website,

    ‘On 20mph roads, 87% of cars exceeded the speed limit during weekdays, and 89% during the weekend (Figure 15).’

    • fan vintage Reply

      Bus gate fines are not speeding fines!

      • Wes Reply

        The point is there clearly are many, many people willing to break the rules on the roads.

        • Trevor Woolford Reply

          What an absolute con, never saw any proper signs to warn me of the offence being committed, never heard of a bloody bus gate, on top of every other inflation busting rise have to pay this , aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh! I am not blind and drive HGV,s the council should not be allowed to get away with this unchallenged.

  5. Barry Reply

    Just paid a lovely £30 fine to Brighton and Hove City Council and I’m definitely not a ‘crazy motorist’. The signage at York Place is shockingly bad, i’m not surprised so many drivers fall in to the Brighton Council Cash Trap!
    I don’t i’ll be taking my kids to Brighton for anymore trips to the Pier and Shopping etc.:-(

  6. Tony C Reply

    A total joke and rip off, there are no clear signs warning of a Bus Lane, what the hell is a “Bus Gate?” Every driver in the UK knows what a Bus Lane is, simple so what we will do is change it to confuse the hell out of drivers and then benefit from our fraud. The council should be fined for purposely trying to deceive drivers and benefit from their confusion. It’s clear from the number of fines that no one knows what the hell a “Bus Gate” is, if there was a gate there it would make some sense but there is not. It is a clear fraudulent activity by Brighton and Hove Council.

  7. A mitchel Reply

    Totally agree with most of the comments on here as I just received a £30 fine in the post for driving along York Place last Monday evening @ 9:30pm. I had absolutely no idea I had done anything wrong?! – Until I received the fine.
    I used to love coming to Brighton – Not any more – I won’t return back & Brighton will “die”….& I hope the council along with it when mugs like us won’t be paying their wages anymore!
    Typical Labour / Green council !

  8. Mart Burt Reply

    Ha Ha so many comments.

    So many drivers on here unable to read clear signage, big blue ones indicating a Right Turn at North Road, amazing how many big signs they passed.
    Perhaps visits to Specsavers would suffice.

  9. Trevor Cromwell Reply

    Doesn’t the sign also say Local Traffic pointing to the left which sends cars along the bus lane?

  10. Emma Reply

    Just received the fine regarding BUS GATE!!!!
    What the hell is a bus gate. Bit of a con not nearly enough clear signage!!!!

  11. Vince Reply

    This whole thing is tantamount to extortion. There is no reason why the ‘bus gate’ signs should not have been simply the conventional NO ENTRY (except buses and bikes).
    The fact that hundreds of innocent people are being penalised for not seeing the signs, perhaps because they are obscured by buses or they are unfamiliar with what a bus gate is.

    Council officers pretend there is no problem and the protests of elected councillors are ignored.
    Brighton has long had a reputation of being officer driven and this fiasco demonstrates it perfectly.
    And to the clown who uses a pompous pretentious Latin moniker you might try currus.

  12. Dave johnson Reply

    Having driven through Brighton for fifty years suddenly change a well established route with poor signage and unfamiliar names, ‘bus gate’?.Being surrounded by numerous large buses and obvious inadequate signs it is not so surprising the amount of unfortunate errors are being made…Perhaps my recent fine could be used to install better and less confusing instructions.

  13. m.willians Reply

    This is a total rip off there are no large signs , there should be a no through road sign for cars , if they want it for only buses they should pedestrian the whole bloody road , I have taken my mum to a hospital appointment 3 times and got done twice , now I have to rearrange a journey avoiding the rip of our Own people areas of Brighton which are many , tell ya the truth a small indicator on trip advisor saying stay away Brighton is a huge trap for car visitors could ruin visitors going there because of these sneaky cameras and let’s face it you drive around Brighton you could get hit by 3 in one day ridiculous get a pair Brighton council rip off Britain u are ! Sorry state u are

    • Cash Collection Reply

      Thank you m.williams for the donation.

Leave a Reply to Barry Cancel reply

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.