Fining drivers for using Cardiff's bus lanes has raised £2.2m within a year
The figures come after the scheme went live on December 1, 2014, – but the council cannot say where the money is being spent.
Fining drivers for using Cardiff’s bus lanes has raised the council £2.2m within a year – but the council cannot say where the money is being spent.
Tuesday, December 1 marks a year since the cameras were turned on at seven locations in the city .
The latest figures show 77,920 drivers have had tickets issued for driving in bus lanes in the city and upheld.
The money paid so far – as of mid-November this year – totals £2,206,785.
There are just over 18,000 drivers yet to pay fines.
If they all pay at the £35 rate, it will add another £633,010 to the pot, totalling £2.83m.
But when asked what the new income has been spent on, a council spokesman said they cannot list specific schemes which have had a cash injection because of fines, but that the money has been reinvested in accordance to legal restrictions.
The council has maintained that the scheme is not intended to make money, but to educate drivers and change their habits.
However, in October – the most recent figures – the number of drivers fined had jumped by a third compared to the month before .
In September, 8,079 drivers had their fines upheld.
In October, that number rose to 12,174.
A previously issued council comment read: “The moving traffic offences scheme was introduced to bring a step change in driver’s behaviour, keep Cardiff moving and ensure that road users abide by the Highway Code. The enforcement ensures that the bus lanes are only used for buses and authorised vehicles, which makes travel by bus more direct and quicker. Those who breach the law, will receive a Penalty Charge Notice.”
The council have also begun fining those who use yellow box junctions incorrectly and who park on zig zag lines outside schools .
They have spent £40,000 adapting a camera car to catch drivers on the move and installed further cameras.
Since the yellow box fines were introduced, 31 fines have been issued during October.
There have been 222 fines issued and upheld for the camera car. Of those, 72 have paid, adding another £2,590 to the council pot.
Opposition leader, Lib Dem Judith Woodman said: “This is a large amount of money coming in. Some road repairs are being carried out but repairs are still a problem. I would like to see exactly what has been spent and how out of this £2 million.
“There are many roads across the city that need resurfacing due to potholes being filled in so many times and then coming back into potholes. Is it spent just on road repairs, or also on removing road narrowings or speed humps or road improvement schemes? A definitive answer is needed.”
Plaid Cymru group leader Neil McEvoy said: “£2.2m is a substantial amount of money in today’s climate. The council should come clean and let us all know where the money is going”.