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More than 1,000 drivers caught in first week of bus lane cameras in Northern Ireland

By Adrian Rutherford

Published 03/07/2015

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

More than 1,000 motorists were caught in the first week of a crackdown on drivers using bus lanes.

A total of 1,273 cars were snapped using the lanes - an average of 180 a day.

Each driver can now expect a £90 fine, although this will be reduced to £45 if paid within two weeks.

The fines - issued between Monday June 22 and Sunday June 28 - could rake in at least £50,000.

The Department for Regional Development released the figures after an enquiry from the Belfast Telegraph.

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

Officials said the cameras are not intended to generate income.

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 DRD to monitor vehicles using bus lanes and deal with an infringement as a civil offence.

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

The new 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 £90 fixed penalty fine will be cut to £45 if paid within 14 days. There will also be an appeals process.

Public hire taxis and emergency vehicles are exempt from fines.

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