Controversial ‘bus gate’ in Jarrow's Scotch Estate nets more than £400,000 from fines in just three years

A ‘bus gate’ in Jarrow has led to fines worth £422,067 over the last three years, with over 15,000 penalty charge notices (PCNs) being handed out by South Tyneside Council.

In the 12 months to September 2022, the bus gate’s cameras in Edinburgh Road, on the Scotch Estate, captured images leading to 4,470 notices worth £115,515.

In 2020-21, despite much of the period being subjected to lockdown, 5,888 PCNs were issued raising £164,281. In 2019-20 there were 4,700 fines worth £142,271.

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The Gazette obtained the data through a Freedom of Information request which asked the council how many fines had been appealed against and how many were successful, but the request for this information was refused.

South Tyneside Council said: "The Edinburgh Road bus gate is clearly signed and complies with the requisite Department for Transport regulations."

PCNs are worth a minimum of £30 each. It can be £60 if more than 14 days is taken to pay the fine.

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The total over the three years is 15,058 PCNs issued - almost 14 per day.

These had a combined value of £422,067, making each fine issued worth an average of £28 each.

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South Tyneside Council insists signage for the bus gate meets national guidance.

In September the Gazette reported on a driver who had successfully appealed a fine after driving on the bus gate following a two-year battle.

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He appealed as the signage says “bus gate”, which he successfully argued was not a term used anywhere in the Highway Code and therefore not one he recognised, unlike “bus lane”.

However, the numbers of fines and the revenue received by the local authority are well down on previous years.

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In July 2019, the Gazette reported more than 22,000 fines, netting the council up to £1.33 million, were issued relating to the bus gate in the two years prior.

The Scotch Estate bus gate in Edinburgh Road has netted council bosses thousands of pounds.
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A South Tyneside Council spokesperson said: “The bus lane is clearly signed and complies with the requisite Department for Transport regulations.

"A DfT approved CCTV device automatically record incidents of any vehicles contravening the bus lane and their vehicle registration plate is recorded on the council’s back office system.

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"Vehicle owners have the right to appeal if they feel the ticket has been wrongly issued.

"Details on how to do so can be found on the reverse of the Penalty Charge Notice.”