Bus lane fines from a city street in Manchester £10 million

The UK's most lucrative bus lane has made more than £10m for a council in 17 months, new figures reveal.

Drivers in Manchester have paid £10.2 million in fines between April 2022 and September this year for driving through bus gates on the city's Oxford Road, according to a Freedom of Information Act request.

The bus gate means that sections of the road are only open to buses, black cabs and cyclists from 6:00am. to 9:00 p.m. every day, while drivers who pass through this section face a £60 fine which is reduced to £30 if paid within 21 days. .

The data was obtained from the Local Government Reporting Service (LDRS) and revealed that 182,707 fines had been issued since the start of 2020 – the equivalent of 130 every day – if they had been received since 31 January 2020.

In the 17 months to September 2023 Manchester City Council raised a revenue of exactly £10,241,545.13.

Manchester City Council said all money earned from fines was invested in repair and maintenance work on the city's road network.

Oxford Road is likely to be the most lucrative in the country, with the AA having previously given the title to a road in Lambeth, south London which raised £2m between 2018 and 2019.

The stretch of road that made the council the most money is between Charles Street and Brancaster Road, where 119,272 fines have been issued between the start of 2020 and September 30, the BBC reports.

Drivers have previously complained that signage for these restrictions is not clear enough and in 2018, the Traffic Penalty Tribunal found that some signs on some sections of Oxford Road “did not meet the required standard”. The council appealed the decision and the bus restrictions remained in place.

The Council lost its appeal against the 2018 decision and consequently installed upgraded signage and road markings.

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

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

“The income generated from penalties supports the running costs of camera enforcement and processing penalty notices. The use of any surplus income generated over and above these costs is set out in the legislation governing the bus lane enforcement.

“This effectively limits that income for use on environmental improvements, public transport services or motorway improvements in Manchester.”