Figures show one third of drivers fail to pay Glasgow city centre bus gate fine

Cllr Alistair Watson
Cllr Alistair Watson

Over a third of motorists have failed to pay fines for driving through a bus gate at Nelson Mandela Place in Glasgow city centre, BBC Scotland reports.

So far, however, drivers have paid out at least £1.3 million in fines.

The gate, meant to make public transport more efficient, was put there by Glasgow City Council at the end of June last year and since then almost 70,000 charge notices have been issued to car drivers.

Cars were banned from driving through Nelson Mandela Place in an effort to ease traffic in the area.

Buses, taxis, delivery vehicles and emergency vehicles are still permitted to pass.

At first some drivers said the move was not fully publicised and argued the signs indicating a bus gate were inadequate, while others thought it was a temporary measure made during the Commonwealth Games in the city last year.

If a motorist pays within two weeks, they are charged £30 – most make the payment. Should they pay later they are charged double this.

Councils deny that bus gates are used as a source of revenue and argue they are only meant to help the environment and public transport.

Between July and August 2014, 30,000 notices were handed to motorists.

However, this figure declined steeply in September to 5,000 and that trend has continued since.

About 10,000 notices were handed out between April and July of this year, with 2,334 being issued last month.

Councillor Alistair Watson, executive member for Sustainability and Transport at Glasgow City Council (pictured), said: “One of the aims of the bus gate is to reduce the number of vehicles travelling through the city centre, while improving provision for public transport.

“There is always a period of adjustment when new restrictions are introduced. It’s clear from the reduction in offences that drivers are aware of the bus lanes and have modified the route they take.

“The majority of the city’s drivers won’t receive bus lane charges since they don’t drive through what is now a well-known and very visible bus gate.

“The number of offences has dropped significantly and hopefully we will see even further reductions. Most drivers contravening the bus gate pay the penalty within 14 days which reduces their fine to £30.”

Edinburgh City Council made £718,000 from bus fines in 2013, Aberdeen City Council £896,000 and Glasgow City Council £3,283,776.

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