Bus lane rakes in $1m from errant drivers
A 150-metre bus lane in Auckland has racked up more than $1 million in fines in a year.
From November 2016 to 2017, 8462 infringement notices were issued to drivers for breaching the Kingdon St to Broadway transit lane in Newmarket.
Figures released to Stuff under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act showed the notices totalled to about $1.27 million in fines.
Remuera resident Jay Williams said the large number of infringements issued by Auckland Transport (AT) amounted to nothing more than ‘‘revenue gathering’’.
In August, Williams was stung with a $150 fine after entering the bus lane 28m earlier than the 50m allowed by law.
The signage marking the bus lanes was ‘‘confusing’’ and with other cars ahead it was difficult to see where the 50m entry point started, he said.
Williams, who believed the fine was ‘‘unjust’’, attempted to dispute the infringement but his appeal was denied by AT.
‘‘AT should be putting this money into resolving the problem rather than just getting this shocking amount people.’’
Another common spot where motorists were pinged was the Pah Rd transit lane in Royal Oak, which netted Auckland Council an average $3000 a day in infringement notices.
In the six months from October, 3718 tickets were handed out to motorists trying to beat queues, totalling $557,700 in fines.
AT spokesman James Ireland said there was an ‘‘ongoing battle’’ to keep Auckland motorists out of bus and transit lanes.
‘‘This is not about raising money, this is about compliance, and keeping the city moving.’’
Transit lanes, which become active at certain times of the day, are restricted to passenger service vehicles, motorcycles and vehicles carrying the specified minimum number of passengers.
Motorists could only enter a bus lane or transit lane 50m before making a lefthand turn.
‘‘Buses are the backbone of Auckland’s public transport system and it’s essential that they can move as freely as possible, and this is why bus and transit lanes are so important,’’ Ireland said.
Regular enforcement was in place across the lanes to keep them running as smoothly as possible, he said.