What changes are being made to the Highway Code?
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Drivers will face price hikes of 17 percent for bus lane fines at the end of this month. The fines will increase from £60 to £70 with some experts claiming that the huge increase may “push many over the edge”.
Ministers have been accused of declaring war on drivers by going forward with the increase.
The move has been branded as a money grab by some motoring organisations who warned that it could impact drivers at a time when fuel prices are still high and the cost of living crisis is in full effect.
Many Express.co.uk readers seemed to agree with the statements calling the increase “pointless” and “nonsense”.
One commenter named Siiknee said: “Roads are publicly owned, buses are privately owned often by big businesses many now by overseas-based companies.
“Perhaps changing councillors at every opportunity would stop a lot of this nonsense.
“If a cyclist and taxi can use these lanes then so should everyone else.
“How about a car, slow drive, demonstration nationwide.”
While another reader added that the minister’s idea is “pointless”.
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Other people blamed local councils for the increase.
One reader expressed his frustrations by telling “lying” councillors to “quit”.
Speaking to the Lord’s earlier this month, roads minister Baroness Vere explained why the charges were going up in price.
She said: “We are increasing bus lane penalties by £10 to align with contraventions of moving traffic and higher-level parking contraventions.”
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The £10 price rise for councils outside of London is set to be introduced on May 31.
In response to the law changes, Edmund King, president of the AA, said the price increase was on par with a day’s wages for someone on a £9.50 minimum wage.
He added: “Bus lane fines are set to go up by more than twice the rate of already rampant inflation (seven percent).
“With finances for so many on a knife-edge, losing a day’s wages for mistakenly wandering into a bus lane could push many over the edge.”
Recent data found that councils raked in £73.7million from bus lane fines between March 2020 and 2020.
Around £38.7million of this total was profit for the council.
A spokesperson for the Department for Transport said: “Robust traffic enforcement reduces congestion and deters unsafe drivers.”
Inside Greater London’s Congestion Charge Zone, the fine can be as high as £160, or reduced to £80 if paid within 14 days.
Driving into a bus lane will not always, immediately, result in a fine, with many featuring blue signs indicating their operating hours.
During these hours, the lanes are usually exclusively reserved for buses, but outside of these hours, drivers may be able to use the bus lane as long as it’s safe to do so.
Motorists are advised to always follow the information given on road signs.
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