Bus gates on street in Manchester raked in £10million in 18 months,

Bus gates covering major street in Manchester city centre raked in £10million in 18 months, figures show

  • Only buses, black cabs and pedal cycles are allowed on Oxford Road between 6am and 9pm 

Bus gates covering a major street in a city centre made council chiefs over £10 million in 18 months, making the restrictions some of the most lucrative in the country.

The camera-enforced crackdown applying to a two-mile section of road resulted in revenue of £10,241,545.13 between April 2022 and September this year, a Freedom of Information Act request found.

The figure, revealed by Manchester City Council for the Oxford Road bus restrictions alone is dramatically higher than earnings by many entire councils for bus gates, as revealed in a separate study last year.

In the earlier research, by Forbes, Bristol made the highest total of £3,701,727 from bus lane fines in 2022. Manchester does not appear to have provided data to Forbes.

Manchester City Council said it believes signage on Oxford Road is adequate and that restrictions banning most vehicles from the road, which runs between the city centre and main university area, are needed because it is one of the busiest bus and cycle routes.

Restrictions on Manchester’s Oxford Road, one of the busiest bus corridors in Europe, have raked in over £10million in 18 months

Only buses, black cabs and pedal cycles are allowed on Oxford Road between 6am and 9pm.

Drivers breaking the restrictions face a £60 fine that reduces to £30 if paid within 21 days.

The BBC reported the most lucrative section of Oxford Road – a set of cameras at the city centre end – has seen a total of 119,272 fines handed out over a longer period between the start of 2020 and 30 September.

READ MORE: The £9MILLION bus lane: Nearly 150,000 motorists are hit with £60 fine in just six months after driving in ‘no car’ zone on busy city centre road

The restrictions were brought in during 2017 but the following year, the Traffic Penalty Tribunal found some signs ‘failed to meet the required standard’ after a challenge by a motorist. The council appealed the ruling and the bus restrictions have remained in place.

Manchester City Council lost its challenge to the 2018 judgement; as a result, it installed upgraded signage and road markings.

A Manchester City Council spokesperson said: ‘There are no current plans to change or add to the number of signs already in place to alert motorists to the bus lane.

‘The council is content that the signs that are in place are adequate, that they meet the legal requirements and are prominent enough to make the bus lane restrictions clear to motorists.

‘The income generated through penalties supports the costs of operating the camera enforcement and processing penalty charge notices.

‘The use of any surplus income that is generated beyond those costs is set out in the legislation which governs bus lane enforcement.

Restrictions, which were brought in during 2017, mean that only buses, black cabs and pedal cycles are allowed on Oxford Road between 6am and 9pm

‘This essentially ringfences that income for use on environmental improvements, public transport services or highway improvements in Manchester.’

According to the Forbes research, after Bristol, Brighton and Hove City Council accrued the second-highest total from fines in 2022, of £2,873,591, while Sheffield City Council, South Yorkshire, made £1,889,873.

The research found the most lucrative individual bus gate restrictions were at York Place, Brighton, where 38,514 drivers were caught in 2022, potentially netting Brighton and Hove City Council £2,695,980 – a figure dwarfed by the Manchester total.

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