Glasgow & West Scotland

Bus gate fines in Glasgow top £800,000 in two months

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Media captionThe bus gate at Nelson Mandela Place in Glasgow city centre has earned the council at least £800,000 in two months

A controversial new restriction on cars in Glasgow has earned the city council at least £800,000 in just two months.

Since the end of June cars have been banned from going through Nelson Mandela Place, near Queen Street Station, for much of the day.

Drivers who break the restriction are given a minimum £30 penalty charge - rising to £60 if unpaid within 14 days.

By 1 September, at least 28,000 drivers had gone through the bus gate. So far, £477,000 in fines has been paid.

The Nelson Mandela Place bus gate has earned Glasgow City Council roughly the same amount in two months as Edinburgh and Aberdeen Councils receive from all bus lane transgressions in a year.

Traffic flow

Glasgow City Council strongly denies that it sees the bus gate as a source of income and stresses that the gate was put in place after consultation in order to improve the environment and the flow of traffic.

It accepts that the number of transgressions is unusually high and plans to look at improving the signage in the area to help ensure drivers get the message.

Image caption The bus gate at Nelson Mandela Place in Glasgow city centre has earned the council at least £800,000 in two months

One advantage of the bus gate is that it can improve journey times for buses and taxis. Another is that it could reduce the number of cars in George Square and improve the local environment.

Last year Edinburgh City Council received £718,000 from bus lane fines while Aberdeen City Council received £896,000.

Glasgow - Scotland's largest city - received a total of £3,283,776.

Although council budgets are under severe pressure, these amounts are a small proportion of each council's income.

The majority of Scottish councils do not have bus lanes or do not receive any income from transgressions as they are not responsible for enforcement.

The Glasgow Restaurant Association wants the city council to reconsider the Nelson Mandela Place restriction as it fears it is doing more harm than good.

The council says the bus gate will remain but hopes to reduce the number of cars going through it.

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