Fringe Box



Letter: To Say Bus Lane Fines Are Not Used to Raise Council Income Is Misleading

Published on: 23 Feb, 2024
Updated on: 23 Feb, 2024

From: Bernard Quoroll

former local authority CEO

The statement that SCC fines aren’t used to raise income does not tell the whole story.

It is correct to say that councils are obliged by law only to spend income received from bus lane enforcement fines on other transport related projects. It is also perfectly legitimate to impose fines as a means of discouraging drivers from using bus lanes unlawfully.

But once the costs of enforcement have been recovered, any excess income can become a “nice little earner” for a cash strapped council. Some councils derive a very healthy income from such excesses, especially in urban areas.

Whilst such”‘profits” can still only be spent on highways projects, they do in effect reduce the call on the overall annual highways budget and indirectly, the budgets of other council departments, whose total expenditure is reflected in the Council Tax we all have to pay.

To understand the true picture, income from enforcement needs to be considered in the context of a council’s finances as a whole. In that sense, asserting that fines are not used to raise income without more information, is misleading.

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Responses to Letter: To Say Bus Lane Fines Are Not Used to Raise Council Income Is Misleading

  1. Barry Williams Reply

    February 23, 2024 at 9:46 am

    Considering Guildford’s regular traffic congestion backing up from the York Road roundabout to the gyratory, should the question be: Do the bus lanes serve their purpose?

    Bus operators will argue that they do, other motorists may feel that the layout from York Road and poor road signage means they may unwittingly stray into the bus lanes or that an empty bus lane simply adds to the congestion problem as drivers find themselves squeezed into the wrong lane

    Given that the bus approaches will change with the new bus station layout is there a case for reviewing the siting and lane layout from the York Road roundabout (maybe make it traffic light controlled) to the advantage of bus operators and other road users alike?

    Those users should include cyclists who have little or no safe provision for getting around the gyratory.

    I am not anti-bus, we do not have enough urban links and through routes in any case. Sure they need priority lanes and bus gates etc but is Guildford’s road/ gyratory system, designed in the 1960s, still fit for purpose?

    Maybe the answer lies buried within the transport section of GBC’s document Shaping Guildford’s Future.

  2. John Lomas Reply

    February 23, 2024 at 2:39 pm

    With reference to all the items about the Onslow Street bus lane plus comments on other aspects of Guildford’s traffic planning, also the hidden identities of “spokespersons”.

    I have, over 44 years or so of advanced driving intructor experience, come across people in charge of such planning, operation and representation who did not not even have a basic knowledge of traffic law and regulations to the extent that some of them didn’t even have a driving licence of any category.

    Qualifications and book learning mean nothing without practical experience and knowledge. Decision makers should be users of all types of movement around the streets/roads.

    They could be responsible for sign locations which cannot be seen from the driving seat of any vehicle.

    • Jon Hallam Reply

      March 1, 2024 at 9:56 am

      Well said, it’s totally absurd. You should see how many of them actually could, let alone do, use a bicycle. Explains a lot about the disgusting state of Guildford!

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