The staggering sum of money made from fining drivers on one Cardiff road in a year

A bus on a bus lane in Cardiff city centre
-Credit: (Image: John Myers)

A Cardiff bus lane camera catching out nearly double the number of drivers than what it did two years ago is making the council hundreds of thousands of pounds. Cardiff Council data from a freedom of information request shows that the camera at the eastern end of Newport Road, at the junction of the A4161 and A4160, caused 218 drivers to be issued with fines in 2021.

This went up to 1,539 in 2022 and 9,125 in 2023. So far in 2024, 3,036 penalty charge notices (PCNs) have been issued. Of the 9,125 fines issued in 2023, £274,228.20 has been paid to the council to date. Cardiff Council said there might still be appeals or debt recovery stages outstanding in relation to these fines.

The road layout at the eastern end of Newport Road changed in 2022 when a new segregated cycleway was opened. Motorists are currently reduced to being able to use one lane going into the city as the other two lanes are now a cycleway and a bus lane. The old arrangement for the road consisted of two lanes for all vehicles. For more Cardiff news, sign up to our newsletter here.

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More data from the council obtained via a freedom of information request shows that 1,115 of the 9,125 fines issued in 2023 were challenged. In the year before, 168 of the fines issued were challenged and in the year before that 40 were challenged.

The data also shows that 403 of the 1,115 fines challenged in 2023 were done so successfully. In 2022, 39 of the fines were challenged successfully and in 2021, 23 were challenged successfully. On Cardiff Council's website, it states that the penalty for all bus lane contraventions in the city is £70. If payment is made within 21 days then this is reduced to £35.00.

The council has been asked to provide a figure for the amount of money paid to it from the the 3,000 fines that it has issued so far this year. If all of the fines handed out so far were to result in the minimum payment, that would mean the council would make £106,260.

The bus lane camera opposite the Hilton Hotel in Kingsway was the highest grossing one in 2023, making £324,000. All cameras across the city for that year made a combined total of £1.2m. Cardiff Council said any surplus generated from traffic fines was used to support public transport, off-street parking and highway improvements.