Northern Ireland

Bus lane camera game of zones: Belfast's 'dark edges'

Dark Hedges, file pic
Image caption Unlike the dark hedges, wandering into the dark edges of Castle Street could cost you dear

Belfast has its own "dark edges" and wandering into them could prove expensive.

Big Brother is watching you and the city has become a complicated game of zones.

Stray into the city's strictly monitored bus lanes, and you will pay the price.

Government figures suggest that nearly 52,000 penalties have been issued for driving in bus lanes.

More than £2.7m has been generated in fines from 22 June 2015 to 31 August 2016, the Belfast Telegraph has reported following a Freedom of Information request.

One city centre bus lane camera has proved a right little money earner.

The so-called camera of gloom has caught out commuters nearly 18,000 times in a city centre bus lane, and totted up nearly £1m in fines.

The iron eye in the sky at Donegall Square East beside City Hall has caught most offenders.

Other bus lane hot spots include East Bridge Street and College Square East.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Game of zones: Would a boat up the Lagan be a better bet?

Bus lanes were introduced as part of the On the Move traffic plan.

Last year, Ciaran de Burca from the DRD's transport projects division told Stormont MLAs that the scheme was not about making revenue.

More than £500,000 was raised from fines between 22 June and 16 September 2015.

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