Penalties in place for drivers straying in Newcastle city centre bus lane

Penalties are in place from today (1 November) for car drivers in Newcastle who stray into bus lanes on John Dobson Street. 

Enforcements were initially suspended in 2017 over complaints of inadequate signage. 

Newcastle city council says additional signs are in place to alert motorists as they approach.  

They confirmed earlier this month that enforcement of the bus lane would be reinstated to support the city’s recovery from the pandemic by ensuring that road networks and public transport services can operate efficiently and reliably as more people return to work.

Councillor Ged Bell, cabinet member for development, transport and neighbourhoods at Newcastle City Council, said: “Good and reliable public transport networks, where bus services are not held up in traffic, are really important for our city and for our residents.

“Delays on one part of the network have a knock on effect further along the route, which can cause lateness and frustration for passengers.

The council says this move will help to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality.

Over 91,000 motorists received fines of up to £90 for using the bus lane between February 2016 and June 2017, before charges were suspended following complaints about the signage.

The Traffic Penalty Tribunal (TPT) ruled last year that the council was guilty of “fundamental negligence” by failing to properly inform drivers of the restrictions.

This prompted Newcastle city council to offer to refund £2.5 million worth of tickets.

The local authority says the bus lane camera on John Dobson Street is operational 24 hours.