Bristol Bridge closure raises £4M in fines - as 300 a day caught

More than 100,000 fines have been paid in the 15 months since the bridge closed to traffic in November 2020. Credit: BPM Media

More than £4million worth of fines have been dished out to people who drove through the Bristol Bridge closure.

The route was closed to general traffic in August 2020 and Bristol City Council started issuing fines to people who drove through the closure in November that year.

From November 2020 until present day, the council says 141,045 fines have been issued.

Of those, 115,537 have been paid - totalling £4.23million. 

It means around 300 fines per day are being issued in relation to the closure - which also affects key routes around the bridge itself.

The scheme means traffic is banned on Bristol Bridge, on Baldwin Street between St Augustine’s Parade and Marsh Street and from Baldwin Street to High Street as well as on Union Street's left turn onto Rupert Street.

There are 'no-entry points' at either side of Bristol Bridge Credit: ITV West Country

The closure of Bristol Bridge was introduced as a temporary measure in August 2020 and was made permanent in July last year.

While general traffic is banned, buses and taxis can use the route but pedestrians and cyclists have priority.

The fine for wrongly going through the bus gate is £60. It goes down to £30 if paid within 14 days, but it increases to £90 if not paid within 28 days.

A traffic Enforcement Centre fee of £9 is added if not paid within a further 21 days, increasing the total fee to £99.

The latest figures released by Bristol City Council show more fines are being issued per month now - around 10,000 - than at the start of the bus gate enforcement, when the average was 9,000 fines a month.

In a statement, Bristol City Council said: “Giving permanent priority to buses, cyclists and pedestrians over Bristol Bridge has reduced traffic in the central area of the city and improved bus punctuality and journey times, without causing significant problems elsewhere on the network.

"The changes are helping to improve air quality and making it easier for people to catch the bus, walk and cycle in the city centre."

While there have been complaints there are not significant signs to make the public aware of the traffic ban on the bridge, the council said the scheme has been "well publicised".

A spokesperson added: "We have even installed larger signs in the area to make it even clearer for motorists that the bridge is closed to private vehicles.

“We continue to monitor the measures and will consider additional physical changes to help emphasise the new road layout, such as red road surfacing in the bus lanes.”