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Bus lane cameras go into operation

Published 01/06/2015

One of the cameras which are being installed to catch motorists driving in bus lanes in Belfast
One of the cameras which are being installed to catch motorists driving in bus lanes in Belfast

Cameras to catch motorists driving illegally in bus lanes come into operation today.

After an initial two-week period of grace, drivers who flout the law risk a £90 on-the-spot fine.

Six static cameras have been installed at congestion hotspots in Belfast city centre while a mobile detection unit will monitor the greater Belfast, Lisburn, Antrim and Newtownabbey areas.

Transport Minister Danny Kennedy said: " The advice is simple, observe the bus lane restriction and avoid the possibility of a fine."

Bus lanes have been the subject of hot debate since they were introduced in Belfast in October 2012.

Legislation passed earlier this year permits the Department for Regional Development (DRD) to monitor record vehicles using bus lanes and deal with an infringement as a civil offence.

Mr Kennedy added: "Bus lanes were introduced to help manage traffic, reduce journey times and improve our public transport infrastructure.

"Supporting this I want to ensure that everyone who travels on our roads does so in a responsible and respectful way. I am confident that these new measures will help achieve this.

In Belfast, cameras have been situated at Castle Street, East Bridge Street, Donegall Square East, Donegall Square South, Great Victoria Street and College Street East.

The new enforcement system has cost around £200,000 but the DRD expects to generate around £500,000 a year to be reinvested in the public transport network.

The cost of the £90 fixed penalty fine will be reduced to £45 if paid within 14 days. There will also be an appeals process.

Public hire taxis and emergency vehicles will be exempt from fines.

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