WARRINGTON Borough Council (WBC) expects to generate more than £1.3 million in income from bus lane fines over 2020-21.

Automatic number plate recognition cameras are operating on Wilderspool Causeway, Knutsford Road, lower Bridge Street, Winwick Road, the bus gate between Birchwood Way and Ordnance Avenue and Legh Street.

An additional lane on Academy Street will be in operation by April 1.

The expected income from bus lane enforcement fines in 2019-20 is £1.3 million, with it costing approximately £300,000 to run the enforcement scheme.

Therefore, the income generated after enforcement costs is around £1 million.

The council says this invested into transport improvement schemes and services and that this funding has helped to protect against the impact of continued cuts.

The authority projects it will get £1.36 million of income from bus lane enforcement in 2020-21, with the surplus totalling more than £1 million due to the £300,000 scheme running costs.

The additional £60,000 is the income from the additional site, on Academy Street.

WBC said bus lanes are a hugely important part of the efforts, across the country, to promote and support sustainable travel, reduce emissions and protect the environment, which is ‘more important now than ever’.

“Drivers who misuse bus lanes impede these efforts,” added a spokesman.

“Where motorists use bus lanes or bus gates when they are not permitted to do so, penalty charge notices are issued.

“Bus lanes in Warrington are clearly signposted and, quite simply, if drivers do not contravene the rules, they will not be fined.

“A major objective of our new local transport plan, LTP4, is to reduce congestion, cut carbon emissions, improve health and enhance public transport links.

“Bus lanes ensure speedier travel and improved reliability for passengers, as well as making buses a more attractive, sustainable option.

“We use our powers to enforce bus lanes so that these benefits can be maintained for passengers.

“More passengers on buses means fewer people in their own vehicles on the road, so these lanes support our wider objectives to make the town centre less car-dominated and create new opportunities to travel in greener, healthier ways.

“In accordance with legislation under the Transport Act any income, after enforcement costs, is reinvested into a wide range of transport projects, services and improvements, which bring benefits to Warrington residents.”