Bus lane fine hotspots revealed as Central Station cameras catch out thousands

The bus lane and camera at the junction of Westgate Road and Neville Street, near Central Station in Newcastle Upon Tyne.
-Credit: (Image: ChronicleLive)


Thousands of motorists have been caught out by bus lane penalties around Newcastle’s Central Station, new figures have revealed.

Enforcement measures began in October 2022 in the two bus lanes near the city centre railway station, after years of council bosses choosing not to issue any fines in the area. And the bus lane camera positioned at the junction of Westgate Road and Neville Street, next to the former Long Bar, is now catching out more motorists than any other in the city.

There were 8,617 Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) issued from that spot in a 12-month period from April 2023 to 2024, according to figures obtained by Personal Injury Claims UK. A further 5,884 fines were issued for the nearby Neville Street camera, making it the fourth most prolific among the city’s 10 bus lane cameras.

Gateshead’s Askew Road bus lane continues to be responsible for the most PCNs across the five areas of Tyne and Wear – however, its 2023/24 total of 11,799 is notably down from the 29,895 issued in 2021/22. The Local Democracy Reporting Service previously revealed how almost all drivers who appealed their fine from the contentious Askew Road bus lane were successful, with Gateshead Council either losing or not contesting 297 of 308 cases between October 2020 and July 2023.

There were 6,504 drivers caught in the infamous northbound bus lane on Newcastle city centre’s John Dobson Street, where penalties were reinstated in 2021 following a long-running saga that saw new signs and markings installed on the controversial route, and 6,428 on the Tyne Bridge slip road. While the number of penalties being issued for John Dobson Street is the second highest in the city, it is far lower than when that camera was known as the most lucrative in England – having racked up more than 90,000 PCNs between February 2016 and June 2017, before a raft of complaints about inadequate signage ultimately resulted in Newcastle City Council being found guilty of “fundamental negligence” by a tribunal and offering to pay back up to £2.5 million.

In total, there were 34,866 bus lane fines issued by Newcastle City Council in 2023/24, the fifth highest among all metropolitan boroughs in England, which equates to at least £1.2 million worth of penalties. Neighbouring Gateshead came in sixth on that list, with a total of 29,214.

A spokesperson for Newcastle City Council said: “Bus lanes help us to manage the transport network and provide smooth and reliable journey times for bus passengers. This is particularly important for our city as we seek to encourage people out of their cars and on to public transport during the four-year Tyne Bridge restoration works.

The bus lane camera at the junction of Westgate Road and Neville Street, near Central Station in Newcastle Upon Tyne.
The bus lane camera at the junction of Westgate Road and Neville Street, near Central Station in Newcastle Upon Tyne. -Credit:ChronicleLive

“All surplus income from bus lane penalty charges are ring-fenced and can only be used to make improvements to public transport, local environment and highways projects.”

The standard bus lane fine is £70, but that is halved if the charge is paid within 21 days. Here is a full breakdown of how many bus lane fines were issued in Tyne and Wear in 2023/24 and where, according to Personal Injury Claims UK’s figures.

Newcastle

Total - 34,866

Westgate Road/Neville Street junction - 8,617

John Dobson Street northbound - 6,504

Tyne Bridge Slip Road - 6,428

Neville Street - 5,884

High Level Bridge 2,380

Brunton Lane - 1,617

John Dobson Street southbound - 1,603

North West Radial - 809

Great North Road - 567

Netherwitton Way - 457

Gateshead

Total - 29,214

High West Street – 6,708

South Shore Road – 10,707

Askew Road – 11,799

Sunderland

Total - 3,369

Dene Street - 1946

Brancepeth Road/Raby Road - 1,423

South Tyneside

Total - 6,429

Edinburgh Road - 4,744

Fowler Street - 1,664

Crossgate - 1

Sunderland Road - 20

North Tyneside

Total - 2,232

Balliol Bus Link Eastbound - 155

Balliol Bus Link Westbound - 167

High Flatworth Northbound -353

High Flatworth Southbound - 11,85

Salters Lane northern - 166

Salters Lane southern - 206

Figures for Northumberland and County Durham were not available.